DS-2 Turbo Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (170 votes)
Boss: DS-2 Turbo Distortion

Price paid: $ 82.35

Purchased from: GAK.co.uk

Sound — 6
Well this pedal only arrived 4 hours ago so you'd expect me to still be excited about it and say "yeah it's amazing, 10/10!!!", although actually, I'm frustrated because the shipping of the Electro-Harmonix small clone I ordered with this has been delayed, it's the small clone I was excited about. I'm using this with a Fender Cyclone (bridge humbucker and neck single coil) and a Laney VC30 1x12 combo. This pedal can be very very noisy on both modes, particularly mode 1 if you crank the distortion control, although that could be because my computer is near. Apart from that, on lower gain settings there's little to no noise at all. On to the distortion then, well, I can sure see why some people dislike these pedals: the sound is very harsh, very buzzy sounding, with little warmth. some hate it, but I love it. The harshness tends to smooth out a little if you turn the tone and gain down, or if you run it in front of the overdriven channel on a tube amp. I can get the exact sound of Nirvana out of this thing, but that's because Kurt Cobain used one of these. I'd say it's a good pedal for anything from modern rock to Grunge. While I love the sound of this, I'm marking it down a few points simply because I think some people will hate it.

Overall Impression — 8
I play a lot of different styles of music, from clean Indie to punk/grunge, maybe just a little bit of metal. This is a good match for harder rock, punk and Grunge. I've been playing guitar on and off since I was about 8, and now I'm 18, although I only started playing seriously about 3 years ago. In the way of distortion pedals the only other thing I have is a Marshall Jackhammer dist/OD pedal, which I use as an Overdrive to boost my amp's natural Drive. the whole reason I bought this is because the distortion mode on the Jackhammer not only marshallized my tone more than I wanted it to, for some reason the bypass goes bad when in distortion mode, and it actually grits up the signal a little when the pedal is turned off! If this pedal was lost or stolen, I'd either buy another DS-2, or try the cheaper DS-1 since I rarely seem to use mode II on this, which is the only thing that really separates it from the DS-1. The thing I love about this pedal is, needless to say, the buzzy, crunchy sound. it's exactly what I was looking for. The only downside is that it's noisy with the distortion cranked, but that's just a characteristic of all distortion pedals. I will probably be getting a remote footswitch for this at some point as the mode I and II remote switching could be a useful feature. I didn't really get to compare this properly with anything else as I ordered it off the internet, but I did try a DigiTech hothead and a EHX Big Muff Pi, wasn't so keen on either of them. I'm glad I did the foolish thing this time and bought this pedal simply because I liked the way the DS-1 sounded on some of Nirvana's songs and knew this would sound similar, although I don't endorse choosing equipment like this. I'm happy with this pedal, the only thing it leaves to be desired is the other pedal that I ordered from the same place!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've heard good things about the reliablity of Boss pedals. It feels solid as a tank to me. I would gig with it without a backup, but if anything does go wrong, I can flick my Marshall JH-1 into distortion mode if it's overdrive function isn't needed for that particular song.

Ease of Use — 10
It is very easy to get the best results out of this pedal since it has very basic controls (vol, tone, distortion, mode switch). Whether the sound that comes out is good or not is subjective, but there's several settings I like on this pedal. The manual gives the basic info on how to use the pedal, not that anyone other than a real beginner would need to read it. I'm not sure if the DS-2 has ever been changed since it's initial release, but it sounds the same as the earlier pedals to me. All in all, very easy to use.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I went to guitar center today and I tryed it it okay but wasnt enough by itself so I turned on the mt metal core and yea those to together sounded great by themselves both pedals you couldn't really do pinch harmonics on the lower strings but together yea sounds amazing so im totally going to get both when i get the chance.