Boss DS-1 Distortion
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Boss DS-1 Distortion

DS-1 Distortion, Distortion from Boss.


113 user reviews
Prices starting at $49 average price: $49
Find it in the classifieds starting at $25 avg used price: $46

Boss DS-1 Distortion tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Boss
  • Model:DS-1 Distortion
  • Category:Distortions
  • Added in our database on:04/18/2004

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User Reviews Boss DS-1 Distortion

tonmazz08/08/2012

tonmazz's review"Boss DS-1 Tried and True for basic Distortion tone"

Boss DS-1 Distortion
No rocket science in the features of the Boss DS-1, just straight ahead fizz when you need it. Three easy to use controls for tone level and distortion. That's as straight forward as it gets. Well made and instruction manual is more than sufficient.

UTILIZATION

The tone control takes the DS-1 into bright to bassy territory depending on the setting. Level sets your level of the pedal tone in comparision to your amp tone. FInally the Distortion dial gives you more or less distortion depending on your preference. As I said, very straight forward and easy to use configuration with few bells and whistles. Typical Boss battery configuration for easy changing of the 9 volt. Can take a power adapter as well.

SOUND QUALITY

This is a tough one for me because before I recently became a tone snob, I used the DS-1 through a Fender Twin Reverb for many years and loved it. It served its purpose which was to make a clean toned amp sound dirty and hairy. I have to say back then I loved it and it was all I needed to gig with. To my more picky ears these days, it can be a little harsh and fizzy but that is what it's supposed to do so I don't mean that in a negative way. We all have preferences for what we'd like to hear and to my ears these days, I prefer a warmer distortion less abrasive and more compressed. This is not it if that is the goal. It creates an open, fizzy gain that works for most hard rock songs and in a mix who can really tell anyway.

OVERALL OPINION

I like the simplicity of this unit and when I gigged with it years ago I really like it a lot. While I have one now as a back up, I don't actively use it anymore but I think it is perfect for what it is and it is truly an old standby. Hard to find anyone in my group that hasn't used this at one point or another. Yes there are better units out there but for simplicity and price this one is tried and true and works well.
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MountAnDewMe07/21/2012

MountAnDewMe's review

Boss DS-1 Distortion
The Boss DS-1 is a distortion based effect. It is used to add an analog type distortion to a guitar signal before use in an amplifier. This distortion has been around for many years and has remained unchanged though it's production life. The unit has three user definable controls to allow for configuration of the sound. There are two ¼ inch jacks, one for the guitar input and one to send to an amplifier. There is also a 9 volt adapter jack available so the unit can be powered from an external AC source (sold separately).

This distortion effect pedal can be tailored through three user controls. These consist of level, tone, and distortion. The level control is responsible for the overall output of the unit that will feed the amplifier. As this knob is turned clockwise the overall volume will increase. The distortion dial allows the user to control the amount of clipping, or distortion the unit will produce. As this control is turned clockwise the amount of gain will increase producing a more distorted signal. The tone control will affect the how much high or low signal is processed through the unit. As the dial travels clockwise the tone will alter from a thick, bass heavy sound to a cutting, high treble sound.


UTILIZATION

The Boss DS-1 is one of the easier effects to tailor in your pedal board. This effect should be one of the first in your signal chain, before all time based effects but after and compressor or envelope type effect, like a wha. As with any distortion based effect you will want to add or decrease levels so they are most complimentary to your amplifier. The effect is engaged when the red LED is lit, always be sure the light is bright as a dimly lit LED will indicate a weak battery that will affect the quality of your sound. The manual is very basic but it does get its point across.

SOUND QUALITY

The Boss DS-1 is one of the easier effects to tailor in your pedal board. This effect should be one of the first in your signal chain, before all time based effects but after and compressor or envelope type effect, like a wha. As with any distortion based effect you will want to add or decrease levels so they are most complimentary to your amplifier. The effect is engaged when the red LED is lit, always be sure the light is bright as a dimly lit LED will indicate a weak battery that will affect the quality of your sound. The manual is very basic but it does get its point across.

OVERALL OPINION

The Boss DS-1 is one of the easier effects to tailor in your pedal board. This effect should be one of the first in your signal chain, before all time based effects but after and compressor or envelope type effect, like a wha. As with any distortion based effect you will want to add or decrease levels so they are most complimentary to your amplifier. The effect is engaged when the red LED is lit, always be sure the light is bright as a dimly lit LED will indicate a weak battery that will affect the quality of your sound. The manual is very basic but it does get its point across.
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johnrae06/20/2012

johnrae's review"An Instant Classic"

Boss DS-1 Distortion
The Boss DS-1 is a simple, dirty, and crunchy distortion pedal. It's a compact little killer. The thing has murderous sounds. It reproduces dynamics very accurately and has an awesome tone. It's a very simple unit to use and runs on a 9V battery or a power supply. It's a really classic unit used on many great recordings. It can go from a slight bluesy edge to pounding rock distortion. It's also a real steal, I got mine for just 50 bucks. It doesn't have any bells or whistles (it doesn't need them), and it sounds great. I use it all the time on gigs, for practice, whatever.

UTILIZATION

Easy setup. Plug it in, mess with the knobs, play.

SOUND QUALITY

I have used this with guitar, vocals and keyboard, all with great results. There are three knobs, tone, level, and distortion. Tone sweeps from an edgy biting treble to a muddy pounding rhythmic sound. Level affects the output volume and Distortion adds/subtracts how much edge and bite is applied to the sound. It's really easy to get a whole bunch of awesome sounds with a minimal amount of effort. It's such a versatile unit and VERY well built. These things are TOUGH. All metal chassis and good parts. I've had mine for months, it's been dropped, banged, rained on, smashed, and rolled down stairs. It works like new. There is also no tone loss. Instead of some distortion pedals, where you just hear a toneless, thin crackle, this has a very full and thick sound.

OVERALL OPINION

My favorite things about the DS-1 is the simplicity and AWESOME sound. It's so versatile, and I love the grit and crunch. I have no complaints about it. It's a well built piece of equipment with a great sound. I got mine for 50 bucks. I would pay 300. If you are considering this, buy it. It's a professional piece of equipment for an amateur price.
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MGR/irishguitar05/24/2005

MGR/irishguitar's review"Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal"

Boss DS-1 Distortion
I play metal, classic rock, some bluesy stuff, and basically anything rock.

I bought this pedal for 40 dollars at my local music store (Music and Arts). I bought the pedal primarily to have something to switch between distortion and clean on my marshall 15 watt amp(i just play for the fun of it in my bedroom). It was very annoying to have to press the distortion button every time i wanted to switch from the intro into the power chords in songs

My setup is as follows:

Ibanez GRX-40 H/S/S guitar (low end but very good)
Marshall MG15DFX(just a practice amp)


I bought this pedal just to switch channels on my amp, but i find that this stompbox is very versitile. I can get sounds from Metallica's black album if i turn the tone knob down to 9:00. If you turn the tone up, it gets rattier and fizzier. I keep the tone knob at about 8-10:00 for my rhythm work.

The distortion CAN sound like metallica or most nu-metal you hear today. This could be becuase i have an ibanez guitar, which are primarily for metal. It is great for power chords. I usually keep the distortion up all the way.

When i switch to the single coils on my guitar with the distortion up all the way, it can actually get the sound of Eric Johnson on "Cliffs of Dover"



The one major complaint I have about the pedal is that it DOES suck the bass out of your guitar as you turn the tone knob higher (around 12 o clock). It gets a fuzzy ratty sound, which can be desireable, but I do not like it. However until you get to the 11:00 position of tone, i can get some great bass(could be i have a marshall)

Also, it gets noiser the more the distortion knob is turned up. It does get pretty noisy, but it could be my cheap guitar and amp which i bought used online.

It is made of metal, seems very solid. i don't stomp on it(i step on it) so i hope it will last a long time

Great distortion pedal, very good value for 40 bucks. I am very glad this was my early birthday present to myself :-)

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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