Become a member
Become a member
Continuer avec Google

or
Log in
Log in
Se connecter avec Google

or
review

Boss reinvents the DS distortion pedal

Review of the Boss DS-1X
Agrandir
Add this product to
  • Mon ancien matos
  • My current gear
  • Mon futur matos
Boss DS-1X Distortion
Images
1/103
Boss DS-1X Distortion

Distortion from Boss .

Write a user review

This year, Boss has been releasing new stompboxes at a prodigious pace: two at Winter NAMM and three at Summer NAMM. All are reinventions of older Boss pedals. The DS-1X, released along with the OD-1X in January, is a revamped digital version of the DS-1. How does it compare to its predecessor? We tested them head to head as part of this review.

A classic pedal reborn

The DS-1X is a completely revamped pedal from its predecessor, the venerable DS-1, which has been part of the Boss pedal lineup since 1978. Although it maintains the classic Boss body shape, battery compartment and power-adapter input, the DS-1X has a slightly different control set. Both pedals have a Level and a Distortion control, but while the DS-1 has a single tone control, the DS-1X features Low and High controls, giving it more sonic flexibility. 

From a looks standpoint, the DS-1X, like the OD-1X, sports a mirrored top, which gives it a spiffier look than the DS-1.  The DS-1X can be powered either by a 9V battery (included) or an optional Boss PSA adapter or equivalent 9V power supply. The DS-1X is just about three times as expensive as the DS-1.

Besides the price, the biggest difference between the pedals is on the inside. The DS-1X uses the company’s “Multidimensional Processing,” which is digital (same technology used on the OD-1X), whereas the DS-1 is analog. Although in most cases I'd choose an analog pedal over a digital one, that's not the case here.

The DS-1X has a more complex sound. It’s smoother, has more sustain, more overtones and harmonics. By comparison, the DS-1 sounds like the $49 pedal that it is. The only area where the DS-1 is superior is presence — it's much more "in your face” that the DS-1X, which is a bit compressed sounding.

Boss says the new pedal is “ultra responsive to volume changes and picking dynamics, ” and I would agree that it’s definitely improved in that area. 

DS pedals go head to head

To give you an idea of the sonic differences between the pedals, here is a series of comparisons, where I'm playing similar parts through both pedals, using the same amp, a Fender Blackface Twin Reverb reissue, miked by a Shure SM57. The guitar used was an ESP 400 series Strat with Fender Lace Sensor pickups.

Here's a high-gain rhythm part.

First, the DS-1:

00:0000:00
Now the DS-1X:
00:0000:00
Now some lead with the same high-gain setting as the previous example.

Here's the DS-1:

00:0000:00
Here's the DS-1X:
00:0000:00
In both of those comparisons, the DS-1X sounds smoother and deeper, but the DS-1 is more present.

 

Now a comparison with lower gain settings on a rhythm guitar part.

The DS-1:

00:0000:00
The DS-1X:
00:0000:00
The DS-1X again sounds smoother and richer. The DS-1 is more present, but its tone on this example could be diplomatically described as  “inexpensive-sounding”.
 

This time we’ve dialed up an even lower gain setting, for a blues-rock rhythm guitar part.

First the DS-1:

00:0000:00
Now the DS-1X:
00:0000:00
Advantage DS-1X. It’s richer and warmer than the DS-1.
 

And lastly some lead playing at the same settings as the previous example.

The DS-1:

00:0000:00
The DS-1X:
00:0000:00
The DS-1X is warmer and has better sustain.

X marks the spot

The DS-1X ($149) offers a lot more sonic flexibility than its predecessor. It definitely provides a rich distortion with lots of sustain. I wish it was a tad less compressed sounding, with a bit more bite, but overall it’s a good sounding pedal that offers warm and modern-sounding distortion. While it beat the DS-1 rather handily in our comparisons, how it fares on the market, with a lot of other distortion pedals to choose from, remains to be seen.

 
7/10
Pros
  • Lots of gain
  • Fat sound with lots of bottom
  • Individual Low and High EQ controls
  • More polished sound than original DS-1
  • Spiffy look
Cons
  • Lacks presence
  • Sounds a bit too compressed
  • SenatorSteak 1 post
    SenatorSteak
    New AFfiliate
    Posted on 08/20/2019 at 09:46:43
    Absolute loved the before and after comparison! I've had the DS-1 forever and was debating if I should upgrade. Short Answer: Yes. The DS-1 is about a basic at it gets for distortion and it has served me well, but the electronics are 20 years old. I figured it might be time for an update.

Vous souhaitez réagir à cet article ?

Log in
Become a member
cookies

We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.