« great pedal for live and studio »Published on 10/20/11 at 14:01
When used with an amp's clean channel, it has the most useful range of gain of any pedal I've ever used... from tasty subtle crunch, to sweet singing gain. With the 'Dist' control on max, and the 'Tone' at 9 o'clock, I can only describe the sound as a candy-sweet tone that's not over-saturated. For my tastes, it's a great tone for rhythm or leads.
When used in front of an amp's dirty channel, I use it mainly as a subtle gain boost. With all controls set below 12 o'clock, it compresses the signal just a bit, and adds a nice touch of sustain for solos. The current draw of this particular pedal is very nominal so no worries if you are using battery it would last quite long. As far as durability is concerned believe me I have no words to describe it as it never caused me any trouble for the last two decades.
Overall, I've used the cheapest and the most expensive distortion pedals/pre-amps over the years (tube and solid state), and this one has remained my go-to for a long time. In my opinion, it's very versatile, and works best in front of an awesome tube amp. I've never tried to achieve the modern metal sound with this pedal, so I can't comment on whether or not it's useful in that application. However, if you're looking for a way to expand your amp's tonal range, give this pedal a serious look. Because of it’s low price, the DS-1 is the ideal distortion pedal to use for experimentation in do it yourself modifications (DYI). There are plenty of DS-1 DYI circuits readily available on the net and, even if you totally screw it up, you’re only out $40!