DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (443 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: C$ 90

Purchased from: Local store

Sound — 9
I've used it with small solid states to big tube amps, and it sounds great on all of them. On my old Peavey Stereo Chorus 212 (solid-state) I can get the clean channel to do anything from blues, funk, rock, ACDC, all the way up to some surprisingly nice sounding heavy metal. I've mic'd the amp to record some stuff and it sounds very nice. The Distortion knob gets me nice RHCP sounds when it's real low, and nice Dream Theater or Megadeth sounds at the highest. The tone knob is great, because if it starts sounding tinny and hollow I just move the tone knob down, and if it gets too muddy, I just move it up.

Overall Impression — 10
I play EVERYTHING, so this pedal alone is my main component for my sound. It is the most versatile pedal in this price range that I know of, it can get almost any sound and do it well. I would definitely buy it again, seeing as it's like 60$ online. I've been playing for several years now and tried several other distortion pedals. None of them filled the distortion/overdrive spectrum as fully as this one. It sounds great on my Epiphone Les Paul and my Jackson Dinky.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a boss, I'm not sure I CAN break it. It's survived several power surges where other 300$ pedals have been fried. I have used it without a backup, and I don't think I would ever need a backup (though it's so darn cheap that I could bring 5 if I wanted).

Ease of Use — 10
The pedal is extremely easy to use, only two knobs. It sometimes takes a bit of fine tuning but you can quickly get any sound you need. I've done live performances with it and I can easily change sounds between songs since I only need to remember two knob positions.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    nightonthesun wrote: I am tube amp kinda guy so I use an Ibanez Tubescreamer TS-808, so basically anything compard to the tubescreamer is gonna sound bad.
    Old comment is old, but I would like to respond: Funny, cause my experience with Tube Screamers is that they're bland and generic sounding. The DS-1 has its uses. Mostly as a frankenstein's monster for amateur pedal modders.