« Versatile little Boss Pedal »Published on 11/29/10 at 11:12
This pedal is generally pretty easy to use. There are three knobs (Level, Tone and Distortion), as well as the fourth knob which is a switch between the two different distortion modes (more on that later). There isn't a whole lot out of the ordinary here, anybody should be able to figure it out without a manual. The only tricky thing comes when using the footswitch, and the only tricky thing about that is knowing which one to buy! The FS-5L is the one that is recommended, but I used a Crate generic one at my house and it worked fine. I'm not sure what the model on that crate one is, but I'd say if you're going to have to buy one just for this you might as well go with the recommended FS-5L.
This is a pretty great sounding pedal. It has a little bit of subtle differences from the DS-1. The two different tones give it much more versatility. The 1st one is definitely a lighter, more rhythm oriented tone, while the other one is better for leads. Of course, that's just compared to each other. If you are using it in combination with a tube screamer, you could probably use either channel as a lead. If you're using it with a Big Muff, you could probably use either channel as a rhythm. That's the best part about this pedal, that even if you don't use both channels on it, it still has a lot of versatility. It can go from a heavy overdrive to a decently heavy distortion. It gets pretty fuzzy and isn't that noisy, really. Therefore it's got a lot going for it. I don't think it's the clearest distortion pedal I've used but that's not really what it's about.
I like the variety of tones, as well as the solid build of this pedal. It's nice and cheap too. I think that if you need a replacement for something and are short on cash this is a great choice. I don't think it'll ever be my go-to distortion, but I think that's because I have quite a bit of things going already. If you only need one distortion pedal, this is a solid one to have as it's capable of a diverse array of tones.