Boss SD-1 SUPER OverDrive
Boss SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

SD-1 SUPER OverDrive, Overdrive pedal from Boss.

nickname009 05/18/2011

Boss SD-1 SUPER OverDrive : nickname009's user review


  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
  • Email
This is the classic yellow overdrive pedal with a level, tone and drive controls. Classic asymmetric overdrive. What I would consider the opposite of the the classic tube screamer.


You don't really need a manual for this, 3 knobs and you're ready to go.

Level controls the overall output.
Drive controls how much gain you want.
Tone shapes the sound from dark to bright.

Obviously for electric guitar, there are 2 or 3 main uses for the pedal.

1. As a clean boost

2. As a mild bluesy overdrive

3. As a high-gain metal boost

Simple ain't it?


1. As a clean boost:

Ok so though this is an overdrive, it's strength does not lie as a clean boost, though it CAN be used as one. It can do so but it will generally add some compression along with a bit of dirt even with the drive knob down. It is not transparent like some other pedals, it sucks up quite a bit of the original signal, whether this is good or not of course is subjective to the user. Most players say it is a tone sucker.

2. As a mild bluesy overdrive:

Decent. Though the tone is generally thin with the tone knob at noon. Picking attack is also enhanced and the ice-picky sounds are accentuated. It's a very mild gain which is fine for the blues idea, rolling the tone knob to the left will darken the sound if though the tone knob is not completely sensitive, it will muddy up quick if rolled too much.

3. As a high-gain metal boost:

This is what made he sd-1 famous! The classic JCM 800 setup for medium gain boosted with the sd-1 makes it the classical high-gain/metal setup! There are plenty of debates out there which suits what amp. In my opinion, for any amp with a vintage-like tone, the boss sd-1 suits them very well. Yes noise is an issue in this aspect, but again it depends on the user. I would have to get a noise gate. This is what I would call normal however. Since every boost I know, adds noise and feedback. It's asymmetric clipping gives it that edginess that vintage amps do not have, offering a well balanced tone. While, tubescreamers would suit better for modern amps.


What I like most about it is the uses for boosting amps to get that high gain saturated sound from vintage marshall-esque amps.

It's dirt cheap as well nowadays. Nowadays there are many mods available, the sd-1 is kind of like the honda civic of overdrives. Everybody has a different mod to put into it. And though it can be modded to be more versatile, I think the core sound will always be inherent in the sd-1.

I do not need to talk about reliability with boss pedals. Everybody knows how sturdy they are!

I currently don't own one. Though if I did ever need one again, I would get a standard, un-modded version. I like things simple and don't like to over analyze when it comes to tone and I hate tweaking. I've worked with the original sd-1s and a variety of modded ones and have come back full circle to realizing that although the modded ones are amazing. I'll always be happy and suffice with a stock sd-1. It's like always seeing an old friend that's always and will always treat you well! :)