DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (442 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: $ 42.34

Purchased from: Local Music Store

Sound — 9
On my standard setup, I run this pedal through a Fender Frontman 15 with a Squier Strat. I have been forutnate, though, to be able to run this pedal through a Fender Jam 75 also, which is what I will base the following information off of. The DS-1 has great potential, you just have to unlock it. The tone knob is, to me, very sensitive. Running too much Drive with tone tone knob past twelve o'clock gives a very nasaly tone, but turned around eleven o'clock, there is a nice tone for most punk rock. I wouldn't argue the effects always sound great, but definitely good. There isn't actually that much noise produced either. Aside from a very small, almost inaudible buzz, this pedal is silent.

Overall Impression — 8
Lately, I have been playing alot of punk rock (Green Day, MxPx) and have found this pedal very suitable. This pedal is third in my chain, after my DigiTech RP70 and MXR Dyna Comp, but before my Boss ML-2. If this pedal was stolen, I don't think I would buy another. I would probably save for an Ibanez TS9 Tubescreamer. Nonetheless, this is a very strong pedal, I only wish it dodn't sound so whiny with the tone knob.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Boss compact pedals are all made like tanks, but nonetheless, playing without a backup is stupid. This is a very sturdy pedal, and you would probably be okay without a backup, but common sense says bring one anyway. This pedal could definitely withstand being thrown openly offstage, and even the most vicious stomping. The only fear of mine would be it would die onstage, due to short battery life. I would advise using a certified power adapter with it.

Ease of Use — 8
The Boss DS-1 is one of the most commonly used pedals in all of the guitar world. With opening the box, the DS-1 is very straight forward. Tone knob, Drive knob, and Output knob. This pedal can literally be taken out of the box, thrown on your pedalboard, and be used once you get the right settings. The manual for the DS-1 is quite easy and straight forward also. In the back, the manual also provides you with a variety of possible settings. Getting a good sound, though, is a little tricky. Setting all the knobs just the right way can be very tricky depending on what style of music you intend to use this pedal with.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    geez, i'm probably being a bit picky here, but learn how to use equipment properly people. Yeah, if you have a crappy guitar and amp, most all pedals will sound like garbage, idiot. an easy to use pedal, but doesn't necessarily give a GIGANTIC variety of sounds. Oh, and if you play metal of any sort, well, what the "F" were you expecting when you bought this pedal as opposed to the Metal Core or Metal Zone pedals? And yes, first and foremost, concentrate on getting a good tube amplifier, then concentrate on guitar, then pedals. Then, instead of just saying something sucks, try making other suggestions smart guys, what's the hot piece of crap you like using? Or, try your pedal with a different amp or guitar, oh gee, i never thought of that duh! Oh, i think boss is coming out with a pedal called the MMH-1, the "Metal Meat Head," sounds like it will suit some of you perfectly.
    this is the most original and simple distortion pedal BOSS has to offer. I would recommend it to grunge and rock players.
    My DS-1 sounds pretty crappy through my G-Dec Jr. Should I switch it to a overdrive pedal?