DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (443 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: Mozingo Music

Sound — 8
Obviously, the DS-1 is a distortion pedal, and comes with no other settings. While many artists use distortion pedals, the DS-1 will not give a very distinct or recognizable sound. I used the DS-1 with an Ibanez GSA-60 on both a Crate 125 watt and a Marshall 10 watt amplifier. While the large-wattage amps show a notable difference when the pedal is added to the Overdrive channel, the low-wattage amps are not changed much once the pedal is introduced into the chain. When coupled with a clean channel, both amps deliver a strong, crunchy sound with a high amount of gain, but only large-wattage amps deliver the presence needed for a good lead. Buzzing was a problem on both amps when using low quality cables, like no-name brands, but there was almost no hum or buzz when a Monster 100 Standard cable was used.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, the pedal is great for hard rock leads, solid, bass-y rhythm, and even bluesy licks. The pedal does not give as much presence when strumming out metal riffs, so if you play a lot of metal I suggest checking out the MetalCore pedals and reviews. I recommend the pedal to anyone with a decent amp (at least 25w) who would like a nice, strong lead sound with good application in most playing styles and eras.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The DS-1 is an absolute tank in construction. The body is solid, all metal, and has a rubber pad on the hinged pedal. The knobs are on tight and produce no wiggle. The battery light is very bright and gives a clear notice when the battery is low. I'd suggest keeping extra batteries on hand during gigs, but you will have fair warning before the pedal begins to lose tone quality, so fear not.

Ease of Use — 8
The Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal is a pretty simple device: consisting of three knobs, users can easily dial in the tone they desire. Two primary knobs are present for changing Tone and Distortion, while a smaller center knob adjusts volume. While the uses of said knobs is self-explanatory, it should be noted that the knob's effects are a little lack-luster. The volume knob seems to have two modes: blasting loud, or quiet as a mouse. There is very little definition between the two settings, despite the presence of the knob.

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