DS-2 Turbo Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (170 votes)
Boss: DS-2 Turbo Distortion

Price paid: $ 80

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Sound — 7
I use this with a Line 6 Spider III 150 watt amp, and a Gibson SG. I use to use a Fender Princeton 650 with a Fender Stratocaster. I also have a Crybaby Wah-Wah Pedal, a Danelectro Fab Chorus pedal, and a FAB Flanger. Today, I more commonly use the built in distortion (and flange, chorus, and phaser) to the amp using a footswitch (which sounds awesome by the way), but sometimes I use this to boost the distortion or if I practice on a different amp. At low levels, the distortion is weak, but if you jack it up all the way, it sounds nice and fuzzy. I like to play Grunge, and other types of '90s rock. My favorites are Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, you know, early '90s stuff. It fits some of these well. I seem to get a good Nirvana (Kurt popularized this pedal), RHCP, and Soundgarden tone out of it, but I find it hard to get a Smashing Pumpkins or Pearl Jam tone. It's hard to perfect that Pumpkiny tone, which my amp's preset nails, and the Pearl Jam distortion, which has plenty of Overdrive, and an occasional heavy distortion is almost impossible to replicate in the first place. Overall, the sound is pretty good.

Overall Impression — 8
I play grunge music mostly. The pedal can match the tone of some of my favorite bands, but a few of them are impossible to get on this. It matches Nirvana absolutely perfectly. I've been playing about four years, and use a Gibson SG and Line 6 Spider III 150 watt amp, along with a few other pedals. If this were stolen or lost, I would probably forget about it for the time being and use the Big Muff I'm getting this week, but eventually buy it again when I had more money. I love the fact that it has two turbo modes, which can Switch from a warm, smooth crunch to a heavy fuzzed out distortion. I first bought a DS-1 Distortion, but I was unhappy with it, so I returned it and upgraded to this. It was a good step up. If you play Grunge like me, and are trying to match that early '90s tone, you should look at the Big Muff Pi, like I am. If you're a fan of classic or modern (I don't really like modern), you should definitely consider this one.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this pedal for about a year and a half, and it has never failed me. I bought an adapter, but it was defective, so I use batteries. I'm pleased to say, the battery life is ages. As long as you make sure to take the cord out of the input when you're done. It's never broken, or stopped working.

Ease of Use — 9
Of course it's easy to use. Got the typical three knobs, and has one extra to switch between the turbo modes. It's easy to figure out, but I've never found a pedal that'sany harder to use. The manual gives the basics and explains the tones each turbo will provide. Getting a good tone depends on how heavy you want. If you want full blast, turn it all to the right. If you want a crunch, turn it more to the left. However, getting an in between tone is slightly hard.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I use it as a lead boost these days. I bought my DS-2 about 12 years ago and it is solid and reliable. For tones I use the amps channels and a variety of distortion pedals depending on what I'm playing. The DS-2 doesn't cope too well with metal and can sound a little clinical when compared with a Tubescreamer, Big Muff Pi or Rat. Still a great pedal - but try a few out in the store before settling on one.
    I have a fender frontman 25r and I don't know why but It sounds really bad with my amp My Pinch Harmonic sounds pretty bad and my palm mute are even worst so If someone can Help me please cause I know the pedal Is good but I don't know how to set my amp to have great palm mute and pinch harmonic Help me please !