DS-2 Turbo Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (170 votes)
Boss: DS-2 Turbo Distortion

Sound — 8
I use 60s Strat and an Epiphone Firebird Studio through a Blackstar HT60 Stage, and as has been mentioned previously, the tone of the pedal is altered mainly through amp EQ settings, so I adjust the treble levels on the amp and have the pedal knobs at a constant setting. The pedal doesn't seem to give too much of a problem at high volumes as far as I can tell and it has a really great effect on a Strat. It doesn't seem to handle the Wah effect on my ME-50, though I may have the setup configured wrong, or it may be a dying ME-50, but either way, it goes pretty muddy and ill-defined. Like I said, it's good to have an idea of a sound based on the Turbo's use in a song you know, for example "Dani California". It's also really great for Pixies, especially through a humbucker like on the Firebird. It's just a really great heavy distortion.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 9 years or so, in the last 2 years I've been using a Strat and a Firebird. I play mainly high-gain alt. Rock, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Pixies, Biffy Clyro, Muse, Weezer, RHCP etc. And for that it's absolutely ideal. It's a perfect tone for a slightly heavier take on songs like "Where Is My Mind" through humbuckers, and I recently discovered its genius as a tone for something like "Search And Destroy" by The Stooges, even through a strat. I'm going to try out an Ibanez WH10-2 or DB-7 Wah, just to see if that helps with the Wah situation, so I'd advise you try it out with a Wah before hand, if that's a style you often utilise. I think I'd definitely regret losing the pedal but the OD2 channel on the Blackstar Stage 60 or the ME-50 DS effects would probably hold me off from buying another one immediately but if it was my only source of distortion, I think I'd be pretty distraught. I love that it's easy to get exactly the sound I was hoping for, and I love that it's also perfectly suited for my own style, in a way I never considered. I bought a Boss OS-2 and found it wasn't the style of distortion I was looking for, so was put off Boss pedals slightly, but this DS-2 has restored my faith.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I found the batteries run out extremely quickly, within a couple of hours of replacing, so I would advise investing in an adapter like I will. I always play through my ME-50 anyway, so if the pedal died I would use some distortion settings on that. Based on the battery life I'd be hesitant not to bring a back-up to a gig, but with an adapter I'm sure you'd be fine, if you only need one kind of distortion.

Ease of Use — 9
I bought this pedal based largely on the fact that John Frusciante uses one, and was looking to emulate his sound at "Slane Castle" and the "Dani California" chorus and I found that the pedal gave this sound almost immediately.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Smart Patrol
    Right now Im just almost a bedroom player, but I telling you Im love with this pedal. Comparing with Behringers UD-100, its less fuzzy and less noisy and also has better sound in mode 1 than the Behringer. In mode 2 they sound more alike. In overall quality, of course, DS-2 wins easily.