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Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal Featured

 
From screaming loud to whisper soft, the Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal can faithfully reproduce the dynamics of your playing style. Level and distortion controls give you complete command of the amount of signal processing. Tone knob lets you tailor EQ right on the unit. The Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal is a tough stomp box that can take whatever your boot can dish out....


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Not the best but decent. featured

Ease Of Use 3 controls, stomp on, stomp off, simple to use right? But I really really tried getting a good rock sound out of it using a Fender 30 watt amp and it couldn't even compete with the on board amp gain. Changing the tone was simple enough but which ever nob you turned it still sounded pretty similar, like hardly any change :


Sound At that time I was using a Stratocaster with single coils going through the DS-1 into the Fender 30 Amp, I put every nob on the pedal and amp in the middle, on the clean channel. As I turned on the pedal it started to make a Hissing sound, not sure why? Maybe all Distortion pedals do this? the effect of the pedal was pretty weak, I mean i expected more out of it when it has Distortion written on it, but it hardly gave out at all. I could not get the sound of my favourite artists, the closest I could get is an Indie which did not appeal to me...in any way.

I tried to get a Bon jovi sound with it and it failed very badly. There are a lot of distortion pedals better than this one like the MD-2 (Mega Distortion) and a certain Line 6 distortion pedal :)


Reliability It is pretty solid, I've dropped it twice and had no problems with it, circuit board all good.

I wouldn't give with it full stop due to it being no use to me.


Customer Support Have not been in touch with them due to not needing support :)


Liked about it 1. It was solidly built.

2. It could be used as a boost for your amp, but I wouldn't recommend it.

3. Its orange! :D


Didn't like 1. The gain.

2. The variety of sounds from twisting 3 controls.

3. You get what you pay for.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By Speedabob
May 20, 2010
 
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What you put in is what you get out. featured

Ease Of Use This is a very simple stompbox--three controls: One for Tone, one for Gain, and one for output level. Be easy on the controls as small changes can produce big results.


Sound As many others have noted, this is the inexpensive BOSS distortion pedal and with this box you truly do get what you pay for--a bunch of distortion without much character or color. Again, as others have noted, this is most likely due to the quality of the parts. So what does Race do? Without changing too many capacitor or resistor VALUES, just swap out the lower-quality parts for higher quality parts. Replace cheap resistors with metal film resistors and you will notice an immediate difference in the fidelity of the sound. Same goes for the capacitors. Just make sure your soldering skills are up to par as the tolerances on the pedal are quite small. Then, if you want to change out values to get different tones (more bass, more mids, etc.) then you can perform those mods as well. I took some of the parts from the Monte Allums Recto mod and modded up a DS-1 and now all my friends want me to make them one with my "selective combination" of which parts to replace and which ones to simply upgrade.


Reliability It's a BOSS pedal--I've never had one go bad.


Customer Support Haven't dealt with them--never needed to.


Liked about it Inexpensive effect.
Easy to mod and well-documented.
Works well in combination with other pedals given the right settings.


Didn't like Stock tone is sterile.
Takes modding to really make the effect shine.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By racerevlon
Jan 05, 2010
 
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A staple of the Boss line, but why? featured

Ease Of Use I have owned or used a countless number of Boss pedals so far in my life, and for the most part they are universally easy to use. Roland seems to have a really good handle on what controls to include, and to what extent the controls change the sounds. This DS-1 is no exception, it is a really simple and easy pedal to use. Getting a good sound out of it is another story. Anyway, Boss pedals are very aesthetically pleasing. Very neat, organized little rectangles in a variety of colors. Simple and effective, but not too simple. The DS-1 is without question a very easy pedal to operate.


Sound My main rig is an Egnater Mod 50 head with the Bassman and SL2 modules through either a Mesa 4x12 or 2x12 cab. My main guitars are a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Eric Johnson Strat. Maybe I am spoiled or a little too picky with tone, but the DS-1 didn't do it for me at all. Then again, the pedal is the least expensive pedal in the Boss line, so maybe I am being a little too harsh. But, everyone always talks about how great this pedal is and that Vai and Satch both swear by it. Well, I am willing to bet that both Satch and Vai either use one of the really old Japanese DS-1's or use a Keeley modded one. I have owned both the Keeley modded and stock Boss DS-1 and neither really floated my boat. The Keeley was much more amplike in its tone, but it didn't sound any better than my other drive and distortion pedals. The stock DS-1 really just sounded bad, very buzzy, flat, and solid state sounding. Maybe the trick is to have your amp overdriven and then put the DS-1 on to kinda goose it even more, but I figure a drive pedal should sound good on its own in front of a clean amp. It was very one-dimensional and didn't inspire me whatsoever. I kinda feel bad to be trash talking such a 'classic' and often used pedal, but man, I just don't get it.


Reliability Boss pedals have proven to be reliable, and this one was no exception.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them


Liked about it Cheap
Potential to mod and make sound better


Didn't like Tone very flat
Buzzy distortion



Overall satisfaction:
 
2.0

By Severinsteelsmit
Jan 02, 2010
 
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DS-1 still good or mod? featured

Ease Of Use Now this is easy to use, no doubt.


Sound Well some say that the new version is much more sterile. I think they simply compare it to the vintage ds-1 and yes it does sound different. But for the price this unit costs it has the best drive sound in the price range and in my opinion sounds much better than other Boss distortions. Of course compared to a (hefty priced) vintage DS-1 or a keely modded it has much less fundamental distortion in the low frequencies and hence is much more "transistory". Also this distortion really shines if you want to boost the overdrive channels of a tube amp, you can easily scale the amount of boost and the distortion melts nicely with most amps. Also this pedal sounds better with humbucker pickups, for instance I get much better results with a Les Paul than with a Strat.


Reliability This unit is totally awesome in built quality.


Customer Support Very nice helpdesk. problemsovling can take time, but hey this unit costs near to nothing.


Liked about it - Overall Sound
- Built Quality
- Price Tag


Didn't like - Sounds with sinigle coils


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Tank
Nov 16, 2009
 
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It has potential featured

Ease Of Use It's a distortion pedal, very simple. Three dials only, very straightforward.


Sound I had two of these. The first was a 1979 Made in Japan and the second (which I still own) is a brand-new 2008 Made in Taiwan. The old MIJ model, featuring the Toshiba TA7136AP op-amp, sounds better; the MIT model is harsh and lacks bass response. Noise levels are within expected range for a distortion unit. Both stock pedals produce a very dirty distortion and even at minimum distortion level, both are too dirty to be used as a clean boost. As a boost for a distorted lead channel, though, they sound really good. I personally wouldn't rely on a DS-1 for distortion, unless you're looking for a grunge tone, like Nirvana. In that case, you can get some nice Kurt Cobain tone out of a 1967 Fender Twin Reverb amp. For the record, I've used these units in so many amps (from cheap combos to boutique amps) that it'd be boring to name them all.

In the title I said it has potential, because its circuit can be easily modded and then the pedal sounds great! The most common mods are the All-Seeing-Eye and Ultra, by Robert Keeley. My current MIT DS-1 has the Ultra mod and sounds really good. It's what I call a "80's Marshall-in-a-box" distortion unit. It really worth a shot! Currently using it as a distortion box plugged in a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier and sounds really nice, ranging from rock 'n roll AC/DC to killer Pantera tones. The modded DS-1, combined with my TS-808 (boost) and GE-7 (equalizer) is probably my favorite pedal combination ever!


Reliability It's a Boss, built like a tank. I bought my 1979 unit in 1999 and it was in really good shape for a 20-year old pedal. And I bet it's still alive somewhere around the world. The most sensible part is the plastic switch under the metal pedal, but if it breaks, it's easily replaceable. The circuit board shows a very crude soldering work, but I didn't find any real issues with the circuit.


Customer Support I've never dealt with Roland/Boss.


Liked about it - It can be easily modded
- Very resistant
- Cheap


Didn't like - Useless without the mods
- Old units (pre-1994) used the ACA power adapter and the power circuit sometimes doesn't work on generic PSUs. Post-1994 (PSA adapter) units work fine, though
- Circuit board looks like it was soldered by apes


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By carlos seo
Nov 01, 2009
 
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A timeless, classic pedal featured

Ease Of Use The Boss DS-1 is a pretty simple unit to operate. There are the 3 knobs: Tone, Level and Distortion. Be aware though that the controls are fairly touch sensitive.

It can be used in a couple of different ways too. You can use the DS-1 as a stand alone distortion pedal on the clean channel of your amp, plus it is quite nice as an overdrive on the dirty channel of your amp. The pedal operates in two completely different ways when using it in these modes though.

To use it as a distortion pedal on a clean channel the level increases volume when used through my Blackstar HT-5, and of course distortion increases said distortion.

If I'm using it as a boost to overdrive my dirty channel the level knob, and the distortion knob work in slightly different ways to overdrive the sound. The level doesn't really affect the volume in this mode.

The tone knob pretty much does the same thing in both modes though.


Sound The DS-1 is typically known to be a little noisy, and when using it as a distortion pedal it can sound a little artificial. I have found this to be true, but it is quite acceptable stock as an overdrive pedal.

It gives my amps dirty channel a great kick, beefing up the already mid to high gain tone, without turning it in to a buzz saw sound. The DS-1 also gives my tone a little bit of a mid range kick which is great to really cut through a mix.

Just be wary though that small adjustments with the knobs result dramatic changes.

Whilst I'm getting great results tone wise from my DS-1, the noise is still a little annoying. I am planning on modding this pedal, to try and clean up the noise, and give it a little more natural sound.


Reliability I've had my DS-1 for about 16-17 years, and whilst it is quite beat up now it has never missed a beat. It's battery life is also quite good if you just plan on sticking with the trusty 9 volts, rather than a power supply.

There is no real noise extra noise or crackling when adjusting the knobs, which still move freely, and the input and output jacks are still sound.


Customer Support I never had to deal with Boss support.


Liked about it Price
* Classic Boss chassis
* Quite good tones when used as an overdrive pedal


Didn't like Although the noise can be an issue
* Can sound a little thin and unnatural when used as a distortion pedal on the clean channel


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By LonePhantom
Oct 26, 2009
 
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A classic pedal but be prepared to spend a little featured

Ease Of Use I Currently own and use a MIT one of these. These little orangey boxes have been the staple of rock ton for so long used and loved by the likes of john petrucci, kurt cobain and joe satriani there's plenty of fun to be had with this little box. The cotrols are tone, distortion and volume. Tone alters the depth of tone, distortion alters the amount of disortion and volume adjusts the line level volume. Its comes with detailed instructions and gives a few settings to start you off. I have moddified mine with the melanhead mod which is a variation of keeley's ultra mod which given the minimal price for one of these is a must and gives the box a whole new lease of life. power is via a 9v battery concaled under boss' clever foot plate lid and is simple to change or why not plug it into a 9vdc supply wth the socket provided.


Sound In its stock form there are some good tones to be had here, as i previously mentioned boss are kind enough to start you off. At times it can be a little thin but the idea of a distortion pedal is to add fuzzy distortion and not gain but will be more than enough for those of you who like your aerosmith esque tones or are looking to be pagey or even feeding it into the crunch channel of your amp to give a cobain wildness to your tone. With the melanhead mod the tone is changed to allow deeper tone control and higher gain as well as greater volume bleed and asymettrical clipping. fed into my tube amps crunch with my les paul it sounds similar to buckethead or carcass with a loud authoritive chunk and thud thats quite complex sounding. Add an overdrive afterwards it sears into smooth saturation with simply terrific sustain sounding very much like mr satriani or dream theaters earlier recordings add a little flange and we head directly into the territory of paul gilbert. This is my goto pedal for most things.


Reliability Trustworthy to a tee. Boss pedals are great, they just plug away merrily but they could be improved by adding steel or alloy knobs, improving the pots and paint finish. The paint finish on these is somewhat a bug bear for me especially the hideous regurigitated orange colour these ones are. Please boss can yu maybe ake a few of these things on board!


Liked about it simplicity of use
modified tone is second to none
inexpensive


Didn't like The paint colour and lack of thickness in it!
wish they'd understand why people modify them and alter them slightly!


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By fretboardpyro
Oct 15, 2009
 
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Decent distortion box for Hard Rock featured

Ease Of Use It doesn't get much easier with only three knobs. It's not the easiest to adjust on the fly, but getting a decent sound out of it does not require any advanced degree. The tone knob is a bit tricky. While slight knob adjustments make a big difference, the window for usable tones is actually pretty small.


Sound I loved this pedal when I first got it. As time passed, it fell out of favor. I have an un-modded MIT version and most of what people rave about with this is the MIJ (older Japan-made) version. I find that most of the time I use the distortion between 3/4 and full out while keeping the tone at less than 1/3 of the knobs' turning radius. Any farther and the tone becomes too trebly and nasally. Any less gain and it loses the smoothness of the distortion and becomes very harsh and grainy. It's great for harder rock. Anyone looking for less gain would be better served with an overdrive pedal and anyone looking for brutal would be unsatisfied. My biggest complaint about this pedal is that its dynamics are not good. Rolling back the volume on the guitar does little except kill some of the sustain without actually cleaning up very much. I play a lot of different things and found myself moving away from using this pedal for my distortions unless I wanted Hard rock grind. Tonally, it's a fine balance between nasal and mud. While slight knob adjustments make a big difference, the window for usable tones is actually pretty small. I don't have any experience, but there are several mods out there for this pedal. As a first distortion pedal, I'd give it the thumbs up for it's hard rock tones at a very affordable price while still being solidly built.


Reliability I've had it for years, gigged and stomped around on it and it's always been fine. No problems and very sturdy/dependable. This actually makes it a good pedal to me despite the less than glowing sound review.


Customer Support N/A


Liked about it 1. Good hi-gain distortion that's not super compressed.
2. Orange color keeps it easy to see and distinguish on darkened stages.


Didn't like 1. Usable tone window was too small, not an extremely versatile pedal but great if you're into hard rock.
2. Dynamics were not great, it just wouldn't clean up well. I own the Satchurator and while the distortions of the two are in the same ball-park, the tone and dynamics of the Vox kill (as they should for being almost $100 more).


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By smooth55
Oct 09, 2009
 
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Quick Easy and OK

Ease Of Use Not many pedals easy to use than this one.
a distortion knob a volume level knob and a tone knob.
I've got a stock one and a Keeley modded one.
The keeley modded one adds a switch and a way better tone..


Sound The sound is ok to good depending one what amp and guitar you use.
I know a lot of great guitarist such as Satch and Vai have the modded one
like mine. I'm not sure if they use it. Remembering that this is a Distortion
pedal, not an overdrive nor a Metal pedal then you'll be happy with the tone..
I tend to start with the tone control at about 12 o'clock..


Reliability Bullet proof.. Boss pedals have always been made to last and at the price you
can get these at, I'd recommend this pedal for a first time modder.


Customer Support They have been good about getting me manuals but I haven't used them
for much else.. which is also a good thing since it means I haven't had the
need..


Liked about it Great price
Good sound.
Bullet proof.
sounds great when modded


Didn't like They don't have stellar tone all the time.
with just a "tone" control they aren't very adjustable..
you either like it or not..


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.5

By ChrisPcritter
Jul 20, 2011
 
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Easy and sounds great

Ease Of Use I as stated above found this easy to get a variety good sounds out of. Lower the dist. and raise the level nice crunchy od sounds. Do the opposite and great distortion sounds. Mine was not modded in any way.


Sound I used this with various ibanez guitars to boost the front end on an ADA mp1 and the sound was BEAST. A lot of people i have read say it could be buzzy in tone but i never really found it to be.


Reliability As with most Boss stuff it was built like a tank and i spilled liquid on it more than once. Kicked it dropped and everything in between and it never even flinched once.


Customer Support Never had to deal with customer support since it never let me down


Liked about it I liked the ease of use. The tone was pleasing to me. And i liked that it didn't seem to just eat up batteries like some other boost/od's i have used before.


Didn't like Honestly nothing i didn't like or would change. Maybe true bypass but cant have everything!!!


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Playloud78
May 14, 2011
 
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An oldie but a goodie

Ease Of Use This is generally the first distortion pedal that any guitarist should buy. It will get you that basic driven sound right through to a nice heavy growl all at a low cost and with very little effort.


Sound I have used this pedal through in a range of set ups through the years and it has always provided options when other more supposedly high end boutique pedals have failed miserably. With a nice Boss DD-3 delay this pedal goes off.


Reliability These things are built like a tank. I have never had one fail on me nor have I heard of anyone say that they have.


Liked about it What really gets me gig about this pedal is the colour: orange, now you can't beat that!

In all seriousness the three things I like about this pedal are:

1. Ease of use
2. Works well in most situations
3. Solid fail safe construction


Didn't like The only weakness that this pedal possesses is that because it is so good and is so common, there is a tendency for a user to not stand out from the crowd simply because of it's abundance.

Other than that - well worth the money.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.5

By Wolfram
Apr 23, 2011
 
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Great little distortion pedal

Ease Of Use This is a pretty simple pedal. 3 knobs for tone volume and distortion level. I found the manual to have helpful suggestions for various settings in the back. I've heard that Analog Man has a pretty swell mod for this pedal but I haven't gotten around to getting mine worked on. Probably will eventually.


Sound I've found that the primary gripe about this distortion is that it has a very transparent sound. Personally that's exactly why I like it. I don't like pedals that color my tone too much. In my opinion what should be giving you the sound is the guitar and the amp. The rigs I've been using this pedal with are a Music Man RD100 head, a Carvin Legacy, and a Black Heart Little giant. The guitars I use are pretty varied, from an Ibanez Jem to a Gretsch 5120. The distortion brings out the natural qualities of these guitars and amps without imposing it's own signature on your signal. I usually have the tone knob on the pedal rolled all the way to the left which fattens things up nicely without being muddy. With this pedal and a little tweaking of the amp knobs I can get just about any tone I would want. It works great as a base distortion or as a boost in conjunction with an amps gain knob or an other distortion pedal (in my case the other distortion is a TS808.)


Reliability I've had this single pedal for several years. The orange paint is pretty chipped and scuffed from being repeatedly dropped or knocked around. Still works just like it did right out of the box though.


Customer Support Never needed to, you could probably hammer nails with this pedal and not have it die on you.


Liked about it Wicked cheap pedal that's built like a tank and gets a great distortion without coloring your tone.


Didn't like I keep the tone knob rolled all the way to the left pretty much at all times. It gets a bit too shrill for my tastes when you turn the knob all the way right.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By Jemwielder
Jul 07, 2010
 
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OK distortion for the money.

Ease Of Use Very easy to use and dial in tones. Knobs are logically placed, and the footswitch is tough enough for serious stomping.


Sound I ran this in front of a Carvin Lecagy, being pumped by an Ibanez RG-570 with a Dimarzio EVO2. While it's a good little distortion pedal for the money, I just found it a little to grainy for me. I modified it with an Analogman kit and that fattened it up a bit, but just not enough for my taste. The bottom end also seemed a bit spongy.


Reliability It's built pretty tough. I never had any issues with the build quality.


Customer Support Never had to use it.


Liked about it Knob layout is ideal. Distortion is above average. Boss puts together some tough pedals.


Didn't like I didn't like the graininess of the distortion. I also didn't like the spongy bottom end. I would like to mention that it's a decent pedal for the money, but not the tone I was searching for.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By AlaskaBat
Apr 10, 2010
 
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An excellent Distortion pedal at a very affordable price.

Ease Of Use Boss is notorious for its practical design and ease of use. This particular pedal is even simpler to use than most other Boss pedals, because it only has three knobs: Level, Tone and Distortion. The rubber foot grip is also a major advantage when it comes time to using it on stage. No need to worry about this thing breaking, the metal casing is practically bullet proof!


Sound I found the DS-1 to suite my needs much better than the more expensive distortion pedals on the market. Over the years I have tried just about every distortion and overdrive pedal on the market. I use this pedal with a variety of different guitars, ranging from: Ibanez, Gibson and Jackson. The DS-1 is a great distortion box when used as a means of creating its own distortion, or it sounds good using it as a way to add extra distortion to your amplifier. I personally choose to use it as a way to add more harmonics and definition to my tone. I have used with a variety of different amps as well. The DS-1 is a great match for a Marshall jcm2000 or jcm800.


Reliability Never had a problem with any of my Boss pedals. These things can take a beating and still manage to work! I'm sure I dropped this thing hundreds of times too. This truly is a quality product at a very affordable price. Boss products speak for themselves.


Customer Support Luckily I never had to use the support service for any of my Boss pedals.


Liked about it 1.) Great metal casing. Very durable and color coded nicely.
2.) Ease of use. This pedal is beyond easy to use and it makes for a great tone shaper.
3.) I liked the fact that the pedal had rubber grip. Really helps when your setup on a slippery floor.


Didn't like Nothing not to like. Its affordable, practical, and durable. It possess all the necessary traits for a successful pedal. Boss is legendary when it comes to effects units. The DS-1 is at the top of the list when it comes to sales, I suggest you check out all the hype!


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By sirshredsalot
Mar 01, 2010
 
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There's a reason why so many people use the DS-1

Ease Of Use This pedal is the definition of simplicity:
Guitar + DS-1 + amp = Distortion!


Sound The DS-1 pedal is famous for distortion and distortion only. You can get a wide range of distortions by using the knobs (trial and error until you find something you like). I previously used the DS-1 pedal because my amp only has one channel (Laney GH50L) and I found it useful so I could switch between clean and distortion easier. Problem is, the DS-1 pedal's distortion was no match for the amp's distortion and it didn't make a difference when it was on - just more feedback.

I wouldn't rely on a DS-1 alone to push my distortion further - It just doesn't do it for me.


Reliability Built like a tank. Very sturdy. It doesn't need a backup at all, just bring spare batteries if you don't have the AC Adapter.


Customer Support The only time I dealt with them was getting the warranty. They were very quick and efficient at getting the letter to me. Luckily, I never had to use the warranty.


Liked about it Simplicity - A monkey could use it.
Warranty - I don't know if other pedal companies do a warranty, but it gives you peace of mind knowing that if it blows up, you can ask for a new one.
Price - £39 is a great price.


Didn't like Strenght of sound - For something whose sole purpose is to provide distortion, it isn't amazing. But, it's a cheap pedal - You pay for what you get.
Keeley mods - I've heard a DS-1 with a Keeley mod and it's amazing. This is what I was expecting from a NORMAL DS-1. Shame really...


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By TheYoungGuitaris
Feb 21, 2010
 
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a must have pedal!!!!!!!!!!

Ease Of Use it is so simple, you can learn to work with this without the manual. but i suggest take look at the manual at least once!


Sound I have JS1200 when I plug it to DS-1 and then to amp it work so cool without any noise in the middle amp volume range but you should use high quality cables I test it with some cheap cables and results were not acceptable.
the sound is so pretty you can have a crazy distorted sound in any volume range. I wondered when I turned the amp volume to the minimum level and I had a nice distorted sound yet(it was a nice feeling and experience).


Reliability I have not any problem with this and all of boss compact pedals are so heavy duty and have strong body. it breaks only if truck over pass it :D !!


Liked about it Sound
Color
Boss shaped body


Didn't like Made in Taiwan
green cell battery that included in the new package


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By uprockingbeats
Jan 21, 2010
 
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Old school distortion

Ease Of Use Too easy!
Tone, level and gain. Stompbox simplicity at its best!


Sound I actually had a, what is now termed "vintage", version of the DS -1. I got it second hand from a mate who used to gig with it. Great pedal for the amp I had then. If you are a bedroom blaster and don't need mega gain or want more than overdrive this is your pedal. Through a single channel practice amp I could get great rock, hard rock, even 80's metal type tones. As others have stated it is a bit treble rich, but I had 1 guitar, 1 channel and 1 pedal so I dialled in the best sound I could and didn't touch it again - much! I sold it when I got a ME-6 when they were released.... I should have kept it'.


Reliability Rugged and dependable, lost some paint but it was used and abused!
Was gigged before I had it, gigged whilst I had it and basically survived my teens, being thrown into boxes, cars, water tipped over it etc


Customer Support N/A


Liked about it Ease of use. No fancy EQ to mess up!
Sturdy and tough. Took a real pounding!
Good distortion, just a nice easy boring ol' distortion. Something about just using a distortion pedal I guess.


Didn't like Was a bit "trebly".
Got rid of it.... :( Worth big $$$ for a vintage one!
Newer ones not as good, hence never replaced it (and I have a Metal Zone.)


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Shockme.au
Dec 27, 2009
 
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A good building block for your tone

Ease Of Use How difficult can it possibly be? Three knobs, input and output jack, battery compartment.
Plug your guitar, plug your amp and crank it, for gawd's sake! :-D


Sound The Boss DS-1 is a favourite among guitarists and is present in almost every rig.
It has good clipping and cranks up really nicely when the Gain knob is at its lower settings. It's also a favourite for mods!

It can sound really good into a clean/slightly driven channel on an amp. However, due to the trebly (it really lacks some punch) nature of its tone, it's really easy to get your tone all messed up and resembling a chainsaw!
Take some time tweaking both the amp and the DS-1.

I currently use it only almost as a treble booster/clipped compressor in front of my wah-wah pedal and into the Carvin Quad-X Amp. Not that the Carvin lacks overdrive/distortion, but the nature of the sound changes drastically when the DS-1 is on.
I don't use it into the clean channels of the Quad-X Amp because my settings on the DS-1 are extremely trebly.


Reliability I have never owned or heard of a Boss pedal that has broke or malfunctioning. That way, it's 100% reliable to me.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them directly.
However, Boss features a product registry on their website, which may eventually become handy.


Liked about it Ease of use, sturdy construction (the d*mn thing is built like a tank!!!).


Didn't like Trebly nature of the tone.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Crazy_Guitar
Dec 07, 2009
 
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Every guitar player should own one.

Ease Of Use Simple. Plug it in, set your dials, and wail!


Sound It isn't a perfect pedal, but for $40 there's no reason every guitar player shouldn't own one. Sure, try it out if you want before buying, but again... $40... for what, in my opinion, is another color on the pallet of loud rock noise! If you're looking for that ONE PERFECT SOUND, then maybe you might want to look elsewhere.
Yes, it's a bit noisy and it does wash out a tad on the bass. It's sharp on attack and a bit crisp. It chunks along nicely too on the metal stuff. I use it outside a multi-effects board to get the classic DS-1 sound on a clean channel and give other sounds a little extra gas.


Reliability I think you could drop this from a rather tall building and it would still work. Reliable? Yes.


Customer Support Never had the pleasure.


Liked about it Sound
Durability
Nice classic orange color!


Didn't like I'm good with this pedal.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By mike570
Dec 06, 2009
 
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Decent pedal for a decent price

Ease Of Use It's very easy to use, the controls are clearly labeled.


Sound It sounds very sterile, it's not the kind of distortion you'd use for metal. It's lows are VERY muddy, and the highs are too thin.


Reliability It's built like a tank.


Customer Support Haven't dealt with boss


Liked about it Cheap
Looks nice
Sturdy


Didn't like Sound
Boss should understand why people mod these pedals.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By Timbaline
Nov 07, 2009
 
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Great Tone and Almost Indestructible

Ease Of Use Very Easy.. 3 knobs. Tone, Level and Gain.


Sound I have used the DS-1 with several setups, I have never been satisfied by using as a distortion pedal. Instead I set the level high and gain low and use it as a boost. It really tightens up my tone and it has an awesome low mid growl that reminds me a lot of Any Timmons or John Petrucci.


Reliability Its built like a tank!


Customer Support I have never dealt with boss but I imagine they would be very helpful.


Liked about it Its not a noisy pedal and it is capable of a huge boost. I like the low midrange it adds to my tone.


Didn't like When used alone on the clean channel with the gain dimed on the pedal it sounds thin, it sounds like a distortion pedal. Not thick and full like an amps natural distortion.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By pwnzor
Nov 04, 2009
 
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Needs some help - but worth the money

Ease Of Use Very easy to use effect and clearly labeled


Sound I used this mainly on a two humbucker setup, an RG550 and a Les Paul. It tends to get a bit fizzy sounding, but if you use it more like a boost and not over distort it it can work well. I ended up modding it with a Monte Allums mod, and it really helped this pedal out a lot. Warmed up the tone and made it much more usable. After the mod it was a completely different pedal. The rating will be for Pre-modification. Rating after mod would be a 4


Reliability You can't kill these boss pedals, they are made to be run over by a tank


Customer Support I have not needed it on a boss pedal but I called Rold (Boss) once on another product and they were very helpful and fast.


Liked about it Very tough
Easy to use
very cheap


Didn't like tones was not what I was looking for'
a bit noisy


Overall satisfaction:
 
2.0

By torgeot
Oct 22, 2009
 
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The Standard distortion pedal

Ease Of Use I took one of these for free from a friend (a Taiwanese one). It´s very simple to use: adjust the levels, step on: on, step on again: off.


Sound I use it always before the amp on the drive channel as a boost. Otherwise it sounds like a fly fighting with a bee. The sound is very bright and needs more bottom. I like it for fast legato and tapping runs with the bridge pick-up, but not for picking or sweeps with the neck pick-up. The worst thing is it has not true bypass so adds lots of noise.


Reliability It is like a tank as all boss pedals, never broken, but I tend to use more often the Ibanez Tubescreamer.


Customer Support Never needed.


Liked about it 1- Construction
2- Sounds for liquid-like runs
3- Easier to turn on or off than the tubescreamer and the led is brighter


Didn't like 1- Sound on the clean channel
2- No true bypass
3- Noisy


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By vy100
Oct 16, 2009
 
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No fuss Distortion Pedal

Ease Of Use The pedal has three dials: Level, Tone and Dist. If you've used an effects pedal before this one is a walk in the park, even if you haven't in about 1 minute you'll figure out what everything does. Its got one input, one output, uses a 9 Volt battery or Boss's power supply. Its probably one of the simplest pedals on the market today.


Sound The first pedal I ever had was a 1980's Boss DS-1 and I loved it. While the new line of DS-1's sound nothing like their earlier counterparts they still provide ample distortion. For me personally its a fairly weak pedal it lacks output its not until the Level is set to 12 o'clock that its adequate. Also its very "bitey" sound, it reacts badly to you picking, it lacks bass and it doesn't have good tone control. However with some good adjustments it is quite a good sounding pedal. One of my favorite settings is Level: 12 o'clock Tone: 10 o'clock and Dist: 2 o'clock.


Reliability Its made like a tank and I've never had a problem with one.


Customer Support Never had to deal with Boss.


Liked about it 1. Its very easy to use.
2. You can get a lot of different sounds out of it you just have to tweak the knobs a little.
3. Its very reliable.



Didn't like 1. The output is low.
2. Poor tone control.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By Mike239
Oct 14, 2009
 
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Not good at all

Ease Of Use Ok well first off, the product is very easy to use. 3 knobs: Tone, Level, and Distortion, how could this go wrong right? will have to say this pedal was very "cheap" sounding. the distortion was very muddy and the notes had zero clarity. i was disappointed with this boss product, as most of their stuff is incredible. the instruction manual was clear and concise, and provided some settings for different types of distortion, but they all sounded the same.


Sound i played this with my 1990 american strat, and my Ibanez RG320, with a wah pedal in front of it, and without. also with a digitech chorus pedal into my mesa boogie studio .22. it sounded like trash. i got this pedal in hopes of possible replicating some of the sounds joe satriani creates with this pedal along with his other stuff. all i can do is hope then i guess.


Reliability it is a Boss, so it is built like a tank. but i would never bring it to a gig, even for a backup.


Customer Support never dealt with boss


Liked about it it was a sturdy pedal
sounds good when its off


Didn't like sound (muddy)
variation of sounds


Overall satisfaction:
 
1.5

By DownHomeRock
Mar 29, 2011
 
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Useless pedal if not modded

Ease Of Use The pedal is very easy to use. The one I used was stock, no mods done.


Sound First of all, this review is about the newer models made in Taiwan (as opposed to the older ones made in Japan). This pedal sounds very harsh and trebly. It also is kind of cold and thin. I could not get a sound I liked with it. Overall the sound has an artificial vibe to it that makes it very unpleasant. I don't recommend getting this pedal unless you plan to mod it.


Reliability These things do not break.


Customer Support Never dealt with them


Liked about it - not very expensive
- sturdy


Didn't like - sounds very bad to my ears


Overall satisfaction:
 
1.0

By Professor Jones
Apr 25, 2010
 
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Its does what it says.

Ease Of Use 3 knobs.. How simple right? Easy to get the sound you want. Never read the manual because I bought it used.


Sound The sound is ok. Just say you get what you pay for. Modding it gives a very more robust sound than stock.


Reliability Its a Boss so... Its built road worthy. Very durable case


Customer Support Never dealt with any sort of this.


Liked about it Ease of use, durability, and the cost.


Didn't like Only one HUGE one.. Not much tone.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By kshands
Mar 15, 2010
 
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Good pedal for a great price

Ease Of Use This is very easy to use since it only has 3 controls.


Sound This sounds great for such a cheap pedal. you cannot get too much variety from this one since it has only 3 simple controls, but that dosent mean its a bad pedal this pedal is awesome.


Reliability This thing is built very well. I cannot see it falling apart or breaking.


Liked about it Cheap
Boss quality
Sounds great
9v and AC power


Didn't like Little variety in sound
You cant get as much of an extreme sound as other boss dist. pedals


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By IBNZ_RG
Oct 22, 2009
 
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A Staple In Rock Sound

Ease Of Use I like dials, more hands one interaction with the pedal (rather than digital) brings a better sound in my opinion. Not to mention easier to adjust "under the gun".


Sound Goes from light and smooth almost straight to hell in a good way. Another of Boss' pedals picks up the gain from there.


Reliability Can't seem to break it


Customer Support Indirectly. The one time I called I was re-directed to a CS group that seems to be a separate entity from Boss.


Liked about it Simplicity
* Sound Quality
* Dependable


Didn't like ?


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By THE UNIVERSAL ON
Oct 13, 2009
 
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