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

SD-1 SUPER OverDrive, Overdrive pedal from Boss.

Fireguy8402 12/23/2011

Boss SD-1 SUPER OverDrive : Fireguy8402's user review

"Mediocre, but beats TS."

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The Boss SD-1 is a very basic overdrive pedal. It has familiar settings, one tone knob to adjust the EQ of the pedal, one knob for overall volume, and one knob for the amount of gain. The pedal can be powered by 9 volt batter or external AC adapter. Dimensions of the pedal are Boss’s typical 2.4" x 5.1" x 2.9" and it weighs about a pound.


It’s a Boss, reliability is a given. The pedal is built very sturdy, with a nice stomp plate switch exactly like every other Boss pedal that has been beaten to death over the past 20 years. I have never heard any issues with quality control on these pedals. I wouldn’t worry about any Boss pedals breaking on you. Boss may not always have the best tone, but it won’t let you down. It’s a very straightforward layout and the knobs seem sturdy and hold your settings well. The housing and jacks are metal and seem like they would hold up to a good amount of abuse.


Some people would consider this an Ibanez Tubescreamer clone, while it does sit pretty close to it; there is a little bit of a difference. The insides are similar to an old Tube Screamer circuit, but Boss adds an additional diode in the clipping section. This results in an asymmetrical wave that produces a little more low end response than that of the Tubescreamer’s symmetrical clipping. The SD-1 doesn’t have as much of a midrange honk to it as the Tubescreamer either. I would much rather use this as an overdrive or a boost, where the Tubescreamer I find only usable as a boost into an already driven amp. I wish Boss had split the tone into high and low control knobs.


Overall this pedal is a decent basic overdrive. I prefer it to the famous Ibanez Tubescreamer, but I would probably look at other pedals to fill the same tone requirements as the SD1. I like the Digitech Bad Monkey because it splits the tone into two separate knobs, allowing for more tweaking. The Transparent Overdrive from Danelectro is also above this in my book, not only for the split EQ section like the Bad Monkey, but for overall quality of sound and for the fact that this pedal is in the same price range and it is true bypass. Boss isn’t known for having the best drives, they are more famous for their delays and modulations, but this one isn’t too bad really. While not very natural sounding, it’s worth the price and very reliable if the sound is what you’re going for.