DS7 Distortion Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 04/12/2010 category: Guitar Effects
Ibanez: DS7 Distortion
The most versatile Ibanez distortion pedal ever, the DS7 is capable of producing a wide range of smooth, dynamic overdrive tones.
 Sound: 7.6
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Ease of Use: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (11) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.5
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: ndfcartman, on december 13, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: H & H Music Co.

Ease of Use: Although it is easy to use, only 3 knobs (drive, tone, level), and the manual shows some examples of settings, the sound was way too fuzzy. // 8

Sound: I use an Ibanez RG370, Ibanez GRX20, and my Behringer GM108 amp with this pedal. This is definately the worst part of the pedal, the sound, it was way too fuzzy for my taste, I couldn't seem to get a good sound even though I tweaked with the settings. // 4

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is reliable, it's well built. The "tone lok" feature is pretty cool, it keeps from accidentally moving the settings you have. But I wouldn't use it at a gig because, as I've already mentioned, I wasn't satisfied with the sound it produced. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a wide variety of music, from classic rock to nu metal, I've been playing since August of 2004, which was a year and three months ago, but who's counting. I wish I had tried this out before I bought it, I prefer the distortion on my amp, but it's hard to switch from clean to distorted while playing guitar without a pedal, which is why I purchased this. I ended up giving it away to a friend, needless to say I wouldn't buy this again, Ibanez really dropped the ball with this product. // 5

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overall: 6.5
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: DaftRocker, on april 12, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: First of all, I'm not sure if this can be easier to use. Three knobs; Drive, Tone and Level, and just a tap of the foot will turn the effect on/off. A feature of the Tone-Lok series is that you can "push the knobs down and your tone settings lock securely inside the case. No more lost settings or knobs broken." It's also got a red light that shows that it's on. It can either run on a 9V battery or a power supply (Ibanez AC adaptor recommended). The manual includes the usual information (safety hazzards blah blah blah) and some tone setting suggestions (which can also be found on the Ibanez website) that you may find helpful depending on your amp EQ settings. I give this a 10 because it is very straightforward to use. // 10

Sound: When I owned this pedal I had an Ashton AG 140 playing through a little 30W Ashton practice amp, not much bigger than a two-slice toaster. Of course the OD on the amp was terrible, so I was glad to have some sort of upgrade; the DS7. When I first turned on the pedal I discovered what sustain was. Yes you can hold a note a duration of time with this pedal! Other than that I was not happy with the sound at all. Even with my mates Jackson with Seymour Duncan JB and 59 pickups through a Randall RG100, the sound was fuzzy, no matter what tone/EQ setting I had. I found if I turned the 'Tone" knob past half way it would start to hiss like an angry cat. Is it noisy? If you want a mild-heavily distorted sound at a convenient volume then yes. To eliminate excessive and unwanted feedback I was forced to turn down the 'Drive' knob, or gain. But then you lose all sustain and clarity in your tone, so the best thing you can do is compromise somewhere in between; feedback or weak sound? After some tweaking it is possible to get a suitable sound for rock - heavy rock. If I was to use this pedal at all I would have to a rhythm guitarist though. You would just lose your notes if you trying to play lead with it. // 4

Reliability & Durability: As far as sturdiness goes it's built pretty well. It would take a fair bit of stomping and hacking to break it. For both gigging/practicing purposes I'd recommend using an adaptor if possible as the pedal chews through batteries rather quickly. But pretty reliable, I never had a problem with it. // 8

Overall Impression: I play anything from Jazz to Death Metal. I have been playing guitar very seriously in the last 5-6 years now and I have a fair bit of experience when it comes to guitar equipment. Honestly, this pedal doesn't cut it for me. I would have to say it would be best suited for rock genres but even then, the sound is always empty, otherwise too sharp and 'unnatural' sounding. I ended up giving it to my brother, who didn't like it either so I don't know what's happened to it now. This pedal would be best for a new guitar player with a weak OD from their amp and looking for a boost of gain for practice purposes. // 4

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overall: 9
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: ooblah, on february 27, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 70

Purchased from: Local Music Store

Ease of Use: This model isnt complicated at all and is your typical distortion pedal. It is easy to use in the fact that there is just 3 knobs you turn (gain, level, tone) and seems very sturdy. There is no editing patches and the manual covers all the basic things you would need to know about it, (batteries, customer service, etc). // 8

Sound: I use this with my Ibanez Wizard and Fender Frontman amp, and it is actually decent. It almost never feeds back and remains extremely quiet when not being stummed on. The only thing I can complain about sound wise is that this pedal is purely designed for metal players and doesn't sound as good with other tones. If your looking for the sound of Slayer, Pantera, Korn, then this works for you. Although it is heavily aimed at towards medal and hard rock, I am sure if you took the time to tweak it just right according to your setup you could alter it so it fits what you want. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Other than all that I could heavily depend on this, it seems very durable and reliable and has never done anything out of the ordinary. Even though I dont use it much because of its limited tone options, I could always rely on it if the time came. // 10

Overall Impression: Although I don't exactly like it much because I play with a little less distortion and less of a crunch, my metal friends love it! I have been playing for about 5 years and dont exactly own the best gear in the world. Although it makes my setup sound metalish, I happen to have a limited tone in the first place to work with so I would go to a store and try it out on your stuff to see. I wish I had looked into it more before buying it but honestly it is very high quality distortion compared to some of the multi-effects pedals I have tried. For what its supposed to do, I give it a ten because it does just what it says. The only reason I'm a little unhappy is that it happens to be not what I'm aiming at! But it is one of the most noise/feedback free pedals I've heard in awhile, and if I lost it I probably wouldn't buy it again just because. However if your a metal head you would probably be running to guitar center for another! // 10

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overall: 7
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 20, 2004
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 73.2

Purchased from: Nevada Music, Portsmouth, UK

Ease of Use: Very easy to use, also features tone lock, so if you have set it just right, you can keep it that way, I give this an average, because I left the input plugged in all night, and it ran the battery out, it takes 9V batteries. // 6

Sound: Very good sound, I'm impressed, especially when the drive is on full, although I did Pick up japanese talking on it once, I had it set to high, might have been my amp. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I believe I can depend on it. // 8

Overall Impression: I'd say this is good for rock/metal bands, great pedal, well done Ibanez! // 8

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overall: 9.5
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: Dezerado, on april 21, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Lakeland Music Store

Ease of Use: Any sound is easy to get with the Drive, Tone, Level settings, and to boot they Press in a lock so you don't turn the knobs during a show. The Manual, trying to Gather my thoughs about it, I seem to remember it not telling you much more than what the buttons do and how to put install the battery. // 10

Sound: I use my DS7 with a Epiphone Les Paul Studio and a Berhinger Ultra Combo, and the only thing I don't like about it is its Fuzzy sound. The distortion is VERY Fuzzy and I like it for certain types of playing. It does Buzz some when your not playing but all you have to do is step on it and turn it back clean to rememdy this. Not many people use these things if I'm correct, well not "famous" people, so it would be easy to Create your own sound with this piece of Eq. Oh and it's got rubber on the bottom so it doesn't slide around the stage when you step on it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This thing is Built like a Tank, I've abused mine to much for Comfort and there is hardly any Scratches on it. I would definitely use it without even worrying about haveing a back up petal, tho I do keep an Extra battery because accidents do happen and batterys get Drained. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall i'd say this is a perfectly exceptable petal and anyone that isn't looking to copy another person could benifit from it since its so easy to Tweak. It's tough, it's reliable and it has an AC adapter port so you don't have to worry about the Batterys, all and all I'll keep mine forever. I play in a "hard rock" as the Rythem player, and it suits me just fine as far as playability. I've been playing about 2 years maybe more and been in this band for about a year, tho I have alot to learn this petal really has done everything but hold me back. If it were stolen I'd probably by another one, but not after experimenting with some other petals. // 10

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overall: 10
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 10, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 106.4

Purchased from: Rajen Music

Ease of Use: This was the first pedal I ever got, and at the time I was a total beginner when it came to tailoring my own personal sound. But even at that time 4 years ago, I could still milk very nice crunchy sound out of this nice little stomp box. The simplicity comes from the fact that you're given only what you need to work with. More experienced players might want to invest in an EQ pedal but if your amp has an EQ then you can tweak what you want there. All in all it's almost painfully simple to just plug in, dial up a sound, lock the knobs give the thing a kick and start cranking out riffs. // 10

Sound: I'm running my DS7 through a Fender FM65R on a Squier Fat Strat. And the sound is simply amazing. There is a little bit of hiss/buzz when the gain is on a higher setting but it disappears as soon as you start playing and you can just switch to clean to eliminate this noise when you're not playing. It's a good idea to keep the tone setting pretty high or else your sound will get a bit muddy, but providing you keep it above 5 or 6, you will always have a nice tight sound. As I think has been said about the DS7 I don't know of any artists who use the DS7 so this is definately the pedal to get if you want to create your own individual sound. And it's easy to do, I have a few friends who use a DS7 and not one of us has a sound that's similar, very versatile pedal especially considering the limited controls. I run my DS7 through my amp with the mid contour control on, this creates the scoop eq setting that most modern rock players use, but it sounds awesome even without this. But to get that really tight crunch, an eq pedal could be an idea if you prefer your mids a bit lower. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built like a brick shithouse. It'll take anything your boot can dish out and then some, I've had the thing for 4 years and it's seen some pretty rough gigs courtesy of my liking for combat boots. The construction is solid metal and there is nothing fragile or flimsy about this little tank of a pedal. Rubber base prevents sliding on stage when you give it a nice big stomp but you don't need to try and crush the pedal to switch the juice on. I not only would use this without a back up, I do use it without a back up. All I can reccomend is to keep a spare battery on hand if you're not using the AC adapter. But that's not too bad considering it just takes 9v. // 10

Overall Impression: I play in a band that plays a combination of punk/emo/metal sounds. And the DS7 handles all of those sounds as well as being able to tailor a sound that works for all of them at once live. I also have a Zoom 606 multi effects, but the distortion sound from the DS7 blows the Zoom away no problems. I've been playing guitar for 7 years and I've tried out the Boss DS-1 and even the mighty Ibanez TS7, but prefer the DS7 purely for it's versatility, from just a little bit of bluesy Overdrive to a full on metal crunch, it does it all and then some. If my DS7 was lost or stolen, I'd get a new one without even thinking about it, mainly because it's this pedal that gives me my own characteristic distortion sound, and I doubt any other pedal would give the same sound. The best features of the DS7 are it's ease of use and versatility, and it's unbreakable construction, it will stand up to life on the road no worries and that just what you need. For the more advanced player it would be handy to have more eq control, but as I've said, you can fix that on most amps. // 10

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overall: 10
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: KnivesIsEvil666, on october 13, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: George

Ease of Use: The DS7 is very easy to use it has 3 control knobs. One for volume, one for tone, and one for drive (distortion). The manual will give you enough knowledge to operate this pedal with ease. A bonus is if you go to Ibanez.com they give you sample settings to get you started. // 10

Sound: I use the DS7 with a Behringer GMX 210 and switch between a Squier Strat and a BC Rich Warlock and the sound is awesome. The only problem is there is a little feedback when the tone is turned all the way up. The distortion is very powerful. The lead tones are very nice. It also gives the bottom end a nice crunch. The settings I use can get very good Metallica sound. For lead tones, I use more of a Tony Rombola sound but some songs I use a Chris Amott type sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: In my opinion this is the only distortion pedal a guitar player would need. I've had this pedal for over a year and the sound is still good. The cosmetics will deteriorate after a few months of heavy use but other than that this pedal is awesome. The Only thing I would say is that if you use 9v batteries to power it have a few extra or get a good brand of battery. // 10

Overall Impression: For anyone playing metal or hard rock, this pedal is a must have. After playing for 5 years this is the best affordable distortion that I have found. If I lost this pedal I would buy 2 to replace is in case the other one got stolen. Compared to the Boss DS-1 and the DOD FX55 this is the Holy Grail. // 10

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overall: 9.3
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 02, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: The Ibanez DS7 Distortion pedal is very easy to use. It has 3 knobs. One for Drive one for level and one for tone. You can easily get what sound you want from this pedal. I'm not sure if the pedal has been upgraded because it was used before I got it. I did not get the manual so I don't know if it was helpful and easy to understand. // 9

Sound: I use this with a Yamaha EG 112 guitar and a 10 watt Fender squire practice amp (I know, it's a junk amp). The pedal itself is not very noisy. The distortion sounds great for rhythm and lead guitar. As for getting the sound of my favourite artists I have not really tried to get those sounds. I mainly just try to get something that sounds good with what I'm playing when I use it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've had this pedal for about 7 or 8 months and apart from the pedal failing to turn on when the battery was low I have not had any problems. The pedal is working fine and is in great condition. I got it used so it will probably last for a long time without breaking. I'm not in a band but if I was I would use this at a gig without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I play different types of music from rock to punk to metal and I think this pedal is a great match for each of these styles of music. I've been playing for just over 1 and a half years and I have a Yamaha EG112 and a Fender squire 10 watt practice amp to go with this pedal. I wish this pedal had at least one more setting so you could get more sounds out of it but I'm still happy with this pedal. If it were lost or stolen I would buy this pedal again. // 9

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overall: 8.3
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: evill22, on january 24, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 70

Purchased from: local music store

Ease of Use: This is one of the first guitar effects I've ever owned. It is extremely easy to get a great sound out of it. It came with the manual and everything, but I didn't even read it, it's all self-explanatory. It has drive, level and tone knobs, which all can be pressed back into the pedal itself. // 10

Sound: I use my Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 with a Vox DA15 amplifier. With the amp on clean settings, and the guitar on bridge pickups, it makes a kind of Black Sabbath sound to it. This doesn't work well with other guitar effects though. When I first tryed using it with my DigiTech Hot Head Distortion pedal, it made a scratchy overdistorted sound. But alone, it sounds great. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Since this is one of the first guitar effects I've ever owned, and I still use it now, I feel I can rely on this pedal fine. However if I were to go to a gig, I wouldn't use this effect with other effects solely because it doesn't work well with most other pedals and stomp boxes I own. // 7

Overall Impression: This is definitely a good chioce for any beginner guitarists. However for any more experienced or intermediate guitarists, I would definitely recommend a different distortion pedal, or a multi effect pedal. If this effect was lost or stolen, I would buy a different one, probably the Ibanez Tube Screamer. // 8

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overall: 8.8
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: olij92, on january 30, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 91.5

Purchased from: Local Music Store

Ease of Use: Well, like your usual (easy) pedal it is simple, just turn the three knobs to get the correct sound; they are drive, tone and level. Drive gives you more distortion which as I see makes it have more of a 'bass' sound and more 'fuzz'. The tone gives you that more clearer sound for soloing, and of course Level is basically the level which you want (volume). // 9

Sound: I use a Nevada something (I don't actually know) with my beginner amp which is a Nevada G-10 (see I know that) and well basically I get a 'limited' sound, because it's designed more for metal players and I'm slightly more towards the rock, but I still make do and play and for saying I have only played for 1 'n' 1/2 years (properly) I believe that the sound is ok because I'm only a beginner. The distortion is fuzzy and the sound is 'limited' but ya' know just tinker with it abit. I usually have the the Drive at 12 o'clock, the tone at 3 o'clock and the level at around 12 o'clock. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Of course this is metal so it can withstand some preassure, I would use it for a gig for it reliability because it is unlikely that this thing will fail. The pedal itself wont turn itself of because it is stiffer than the Washburn SX:3 Which is also have (because that is plastic). // 10

Overall Impression: I play rock and this is mostly for metal but I make do with whatever because I'm not really fussy, it's how you play guitar rather how the pedal and amps play your guitar (if that makes sense). If it were stolen (crosses fingers) I would probably try to buy a pedal with more than just one effect on it because I want more effects. I compared it with my Washburn SX:3 and it seems that the DS7 is louder, stronger and I think 'fuzzier' by a bit, and more sensitive if you know what I mean. // 8

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overall: 9.3
DS7 Distortion Reviewed by: Surreal Reverie, on august 06, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: The DS7 is fairly simple to get used to, yet has dozens of different distortion sounds for each adjustment. The manual for it does give some idea of how to operate it, and there are some preset ideas, but it's just as easy to test around and see what settings you like. // 9

Sound: I run the DS7 mainly between a Yamaha strat and two small amps (a 33 watt guitar and 40 watt bass amp). There is an obvious drop in bass when activated, but it doesn't affect my setup much. So far, I haven't had to set the level of the effect past 2 to get amazing punch tones, but in the higher levels it gets very noisy (and causes ear bleeding feedback in the time between notes). The distortion and tone knobs are very sensitive, but in a great way. With the tone at 5, you can get the dry crunch of Adam Jones, and easily replicate Josh Homme's sound at 7. The distortion setting can create sounds spanning from classic rock to Death Metal as well. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is built strong. I don't stomp the pedals like some so, but I'm willing to say it could stand up to it, especially with the tone-lock knob design. I'm not sure how long it'd last without fresh batteries, though, since I use a power supply. I'd definitely trust it on a gig. // 10

Overall Impression: I play every genre from metal to jazz, and this pedal worked amazingly for me. I've compared it with the Boss DS-1 of the same price, and this simply sings past it in capabilities. If it were stolen, I'd hunt down whoever stole it and beat them to death with their own arm, or just buy another. The only thing I wish it had was EQ settings. If you're on a budget, though, this is the pedal to get. // 9

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