The ds-1 is most widely recognized as a grunge pedal, it's nothing too complicated for anyone to use. It only has 1 input and 1 output. It does have the option for an a/c adapter, but a 9-volt lasts quite a while.
The pedal does well to offer a good range of sound for having such limited variable controls. I have used it with several guitars, primarily a fat strat. The most use mine sees is with my bassist. He loves it. He has a MusicMan which he plays through a trace elliot and he just loves to distort his bass and get that dirty, grungy sound.
I've had this pedal for about 8 years. I have recommended it to several people, and wouldnt mind having a spare myself. I cant say that it is a quiet pedal, it comes with some noise and you can achieve feedback when you want. It's a fun pedal for anyone wanting some simple distortion with an easy interface. The Boss name is undeniably reliable. If you dont have a gain channel on your amp, it is sufficient and nice to have around. It's value compared to it's price is about right, with boss, you get what you pay for, and they have products for everyone. The ds-1 is right for beginners but good enough for anyone. Im glad I bought it years ago.