SD-1 Super Overdrive review by Boss

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 8.7 (121 votes)
Boss: SD-1 Super Overdrive

Price paid: $ 25

Purchased from: Another UG member

Sound — 6
I am using it with my trusty Fender strat and Peavey classic 50. The best aspect of this Overdrive is that it's not real noisy. Anyways, with everything set at noon, this pedal is passable at best. Tone freaks like me (and half of the UG gear forums), will not like it. It's real harsh (not in the good way) and unmusical. But, I dialed the tone back all the way, and set the Drive to below 1/4. This gives it a smooth, warm, tubey tone. But, the problem is, you can't dial in any more gain without it becoming unmusical again. The sound overall is very "meh". The point of a good Overdrive is getting several different good tones, not just one. The general Overdrive voicing is quite sterile and sandpapery, sort of like a cheap solidstate amp. And, it doesn't provide much of a clean volume boost at all. It gives a very very marginal volume boost. If you are boosting your amp, get a tubescreamer. The sound just isn't good, but can achieve passable tones. But, I'll say it again, tone freaks won't like this.

Overall Impression — 7
I usually play blues and rock. This isn't a very good match. But, the only decent tone one can get out of it is passable for some blues OD, so I guess it fits the blues genre decently. If it were stolen or lost, I think I'd get something else. I think this pedal would become much better if it were modded. Luckily, for SD1 owners, there are plenty of affordable mod kits going around for the SD1. I've compared it side by side with my DigiTech screamin blues (similar price). And the screamin blues kills it in the Overdrive department. The SB also slaughters the SD1 in amount of gain too, reaching a nice crunchy distortion when the gain is dialed up. Overall, If you have 50 bucks, I'd go with a DigiTech Bad Monkey or screamin blues. But if you're a modder, I'd go with an Ibanez TS7 or if you don't want a TS, I guess go with the SD1.

Reliability & Durability — 9
It's a Boss, it's a tank. Not as much of a tank as my DigiTech screamin blues, but pretty close. I probably wouldn't even gig with it. not because of bad durability, but because of the sound. But, it's a tank of a pedal, and nearly indestructable (like all Boss stompboxes). If I would gig with it, I don't think I'd need a backup.

Ease of Use — 7
It's an Overdrive, it's really easy to use. But, the next problem is getting a good sound out of it. There are very few settings that sound good with it. Either it's too muddy or too harsh. Finding that sweet spot is difficult. I also found that it can't be a good volume booster. With the level cranked, and the gain down, you get a very small volume boost. the only way to get more volume out of it is to crank up the Drive too, but that doesn't make it a volume boost anymore.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    phenom1991 wrote: Frozenfire3D wrote: Uh. . . I tried putting this behind an MT-2. . . Definitely no warm tone. . . But with a bit of tweaking you get a very strong, live sound. Like a booster. I could get machine gun palm mutes with this and the mt2. Haha. . But probably that's also cos i use active pickups. . . That is because MT-2 is a very very very bad pedal.
    depends on your taste. The MT-2 in my experience is great for leads and solos. I havent found the right setting yet for a good rhythm sound. dont dis the metal zone!