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Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal

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From screaming loud to whisper soft, the Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal can faithfully reproduce the dynamics of your playing style. Level and distortion...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

All the grind you'll ever want.

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 stompbox that can take whatever your boot can dish out. Includes 5-year warranty.

FEATURES
  • Tone, level, and distortion knobs on face
  • Super-tough construction
  • Lets your true guitar tone shine through

Sometimes you need a soft, clean, pure tone to express your musical vision. The REST of the time, you need the DS-1. Put it in the cart!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BossDS-1 Distortion Pedal
 
4.4

(based on 756 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (526)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (131)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (35)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (37)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (27)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Responsive (37)
  • Compact (36)
  • Excellent sound quality (32)
  • Versatile (28)
  • Good selection of effects (13)

Cons

  • Limited selection of effects (5)
  • Poor sound quality (4)

Best Uses

  • Performances (35)
  • Home studio (31)
  • Amateur recording (27)
  • Outdoor events / games (22)
  • Professional recording (18)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (38), Professional musician (11), Novice (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Legendary Pedal Immortalized Hall of Fame

The DS1 Boss pedal was the biggest selling pedal and was the go to pedal through the years of the arena rock Marshall Stack phenomenon. When these big amps needed a boost, which they...Read complete review

The DS1 Boss pedal was the biggest selling pedal and was the go to pedal through the years of the arena rock Marshall Stack phenomenon. When these big amps needed a boost, which they all did, this pedal was designed to put the right harmonic fizz on the top amp models since its inception. Look up ACDC ,Guns and Roses, Joe Satriani, Gary Moore, Ted Nugent, Skynard, ZZ Top, ...the list is endless. And this pedal still tops the list and there is a reason for it. It delivers harmonic distortion that was designed to boost and push powerful drive and distortion thru so many amps. It is the most efficient balanced tone distortion pedal to date. If you've ever gotten the chance to hear how many amps this thing sounds good through. I have had the luck to have been involved in many studio sessions as an engineer and session player. I also worked in music stores while going thru college.and got to try it in everything. Amps like the 65 FD Twin and 65 DLX Reverb 57 DLX Reverb,...all Marshall Amps, tube and Solid State....All Crate amps...etc...etc. It always delivers and enhances overdrive to distortion along with the amps own tone. There is no other pedal that does this so efficiently that comes to mind. The new pedals out there do have great sonic differences that may or may not enhance any particular amp. If you have the opportunity to sit and try them one but one you could be at it for days. But my experience is that some amps do better with an overdrive and some do better with a distortion. I also like the Boss Metal Zone because it has great eq control, but some amps like the FD Twin just sound better with the Boss DS1. This pedal is killer for clean amps where overdrive simply will not do. We use to keep a list of amps that were good matches for the DS1 and the list was quite large. All you have to do us look at the many raving reviews. I have not seen anything on this site with over 700 reviews and the DS1 has exceptionally great reviews.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Ok but not as a stand-alone effect.

Like many people, I got this as my very first distortion pedal when I started playing guitar many years ago. It was ok as a beginner pedal but I eventually moved on to hi-gain...Read complete review

Like many people, I got this as my very first distortion pedal when I started playing guitar many years ago. It was ok as a beginner pedal but I eventually moved on to hi-gain amps and pricier boxes. Looking back (I do still have the pedal), I realize now that this thing can be a good tool but it's very dependant on everything else you're using. By itself, through a clean amp like a Fender or an AC30 (and especially through solid state) the pedal can sound like garbage. I agree with the other reviewers here who say it sounds best with a pushed tube amp or when supplemented with other pedals. I'd always heard that Steve Vai uses this pedal a lot but it never made sense to me until I saw how many other pieces of gear he uses. So overall, depending on the other gear you use, this could be a good pedal for you. I personally prefer the Proco Rat pedal for classic distortion tones but that's just my taste...although the Rat definitely wins on build quality. At this price it's not like you're risking life and limb to try the DS-1.

Reviewed by 756 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(23 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Legendary Pedal Immortalized Hall of Fame

By Marky Mark

from Pittsburgh PA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

    The DS1 Boss pedal was the biggest selling pedal and was the go to pedal through the years of the arena rock Marshall Stack phenomenon. When these big amps needed a boost, which they all did, this pedal was designed to put the right harmonic fizz on the top amp models since its inception. Look up ACDC ,Guns and Roses, Joe Satriani, Gary Moore, Ted Nugent, Skynard, ZZ Top, ...the list is endless. And this pedal still tops the list and there is a reason for it. It delivers harmonic distortion that was designed to boost and push powerful drive and distortion thru so many amps. It is the most efficient balanced tone distortion pedal to date. If you've ever gotten the chance to hear how many amps this thing sounds good through. I have had the luck to have been involved in many studio sessions as an engineer and session player. I also worked in music stores while going thru college.and got to try it in everything. Amps like the 65 FD Twin and 65 DLX Reverb 57 DLX Reverb,...all Marshall Amps, tube and Solid State....All Crate amps...etc...etc. It always delivers and enhances overdrive to distortion along with the amps own tone. There is no other pedal that does this so efficiently that comes to mind. The new pedals out there do have great sonic differences that may or may not enhance any particular amp. If you have the opportunity to sit and try them one but one you could be at it for days. But my experience is that some amps do better with an overdrive and some do better with a distortion. I also like the Boss Metal Zone because it has great eq control, but some amps like the FD Twin just sound better with the Boss DS1. This pedal is killer for clean amps where overdrive simply will not do. We use to keep a list of amps that were good matches for the DS1 and the list was quite large. All you have to do us look at the many raving reviews. I have not seen anything on this site with over 700 reviews and the DS1 has exceptionally great reviews.

    (9 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The standard for distortion pedals

    By Josh

    from Carrboro, NC

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

    Distortion goes from mild break up to ALMOST metal territory. Great for electric blues all the way to modern rock.
    Three knobs, the way distortion pedals were intended. Tone and Dist. are easily adjusted. Level is a little harder to access, but that's fine. It makes it harder to mess up that setting.
    It's a Boss.
    Yes, it doesn't have a true by-pass, but it also doesn't pop when you hit the pedal.
    Good value for an indestructible pedal that's been around forever. A very useable pedal for real life, not just the bedroom.

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Twinkie, Cockroach & The Boss DS-1

    By Gear Junkie

    from Central, NJ

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Even Signal Output
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive
    • Tough Casing
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Not Tube Based

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

    This pedal has been around for ever and there is a reason. It's not flashy or boutique, but it is a classic. If you are like me, you don't have just one distortion pedal, but a few (in my case a box), but I always come back to this pedal. I have some great distortion and overdrive pedals including a few of the vintage tube and analog ones and several digital ones. The DS1 gives you a straight up utility distortion and what I love about it is that the output signal doesn't waver like some distortion pedals and there is really good tone transparency. What's also great about this pedal is the consistency of sound no matter what guitar or amp you are using. You have a really good range of tonal control and the casing can take a beating. It's not the kind of pedal that you just drool over, but it is a must have if you are looking for a solid, reliable distortion pedal for a really good price. I've been using this pedal for years and I find that I use it alot as a reference pedal against my other distortion pedals and if another pedal doesn't blow the DS1 away, I tend to not use it. The DS1 always seems to creep its way back into my pedal board, just like putting on an old pair of comfortable shoes. Oh and if you were wondering what the heck the title was about, I was referencing that the DS1 will survive the apocalypse as well.

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    "Great Distortion Pedal"

    By David P. Makowski

    from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Blooming Tone
    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Practicing
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

    The Boss DS-1 is a great distortion pedal. I have been through all the so called "boutique" pedals and I am happily back using Boss. First of all there is a lot to be said for how long this pedal has been in production. The other thing is knowing how to properly EQ it with any given guitar/amplifier. Tone is subjective, so try one out to see if you like it. What I like about my DS-1 is the sound, tone, availability, and cost. If you travel to play gigs, Boss pedals are the best due to road worthiness and they are very easy to replace if lost or stolen. One last thing is if you play LOUD, then the nuances of more expensive pedals will get lost in the mix. By comparison, Dunlop makes many great wah wah pedals but the original sounds great and on stage no one will be able to tell which variation you are using. I have been playing guitar for 34 years so that's what I am basing my OPINION on.

    (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Awesome pedal for hard rock genre music

    By Bertie

    from Melrose, MA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Simple To Use

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Practice Sessions Home

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      This pedal is good for rock, hard rock and grunge music genres. With a Marshall amplifier, you get really good sound. It also pre-amps the volume when effects are in use. I have used it to play tracks from Nirvana, Stone temple pilots, Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses, Oasis, Green day, etc.

      (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      ds-1

      By Thor the Dragonslayer

      from everywhere

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      you know, this may not be the best dirt box but it really isn't that bad. do not, i repeat do not put this infront of a solid state amp or use it as your main distortion pedal as it will sound harsh and thin. i use it as a boost for either my duecetone rat or with the dirt channel on my blues deluxe reissue. when used as a boost it can really enhance your gain and saturation. and it has a buffered bypass which is great for long cables which can cause you to lose tone. all things considered it's a decent pedal.
      three knobs; tone, level and distortion. when you think about it, that's all you really need
      this thing is practically indestructible
      it's cheap and does what it's supposed to do

      (6 of 26 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Worst distortion pedal

      By Cameron

      from Akron, Ohio

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Sturdy

      Cons

      • Cuts Volume
      • Poor Sound Quality

      Best Uses

      • As a paperweight

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      This is the worst distortion pedal out there. Whenever you turn it on, the volume cuts down to about 30%. In a band setting, it's like unplugging the guitar, you just can't hear it anymore. Plus, it's pointless if you have an amp with a drive channel because it sounds the same. Actually, the drive on my Marshall 50W solid state sounds way better. I returned mine and found out that the volume problem was not just my pedal but is actually a frequent problem with these pedals. Don't waste your time or money.

      (5 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Almost the worst distortion pedal ever

      By Montana Ax-Man

      from Missoula, MT

      About Me Experienced

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      These DS-1 pedals sounded lousy way back in 1982, when I took mine back to the store after 3 days and traded it for a Boss HM-2, which was way, WAY better. Nowadays, with 100 times more choices out there, I just don't understand the continuing popularity of the DS-1. It's not the worst distortion pedal ever, but it's close. I hate the buzzy, thin, one-dimensional sound of these pedals. Goodbye bottom end. Goodbye harmonic overtones. Goodbye natural tube amp tone. The other guitarist in my band still uses one. One day I will simply snap and hurl his DS-1 into the river. Guess then I will have to buy him a new pedal, but believe me it won't be a DS-1.

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Perfect birthday gift!

      By GuitarWife

      from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      It was my husband's birthday and he loves music gadgets and guitar related products. He absolutely loves this item! Another high five for the wife/ole lady!

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      simple distortion

      By BlackStacheGuitarist

      from Jacksonville, FL

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Limited Selection Of Effects

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Performances

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      This is a simple distortion pedal. It is excellent for beginners and novices and can be tuned it for an excellent overdrive sound by experienced musicians. I use it for songs that require a little softer distortion and it works great for classic rock covers. I would suggest this pedal to anybody, I've been using it for 12 years.

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Its an ok product

      By metalhead

      from Portugal

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive

      Cons

      • Breaks Easily

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Performances

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      If you are looking for a rock; Grunge; Punk kind of distortion this pedal is great for you. Its very easy to use, in fact it has just 3 knobs. It is a very solid pedal, but if you are not careful the paint job can go out easily. I have it for 3 years and it still plays, so i recommend it.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Classic sound from a classic pedal

      By Tim Kreitz

      from Texas

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Responsive
      • Tough

      Cons

      • Limited Selection Of Effects
      • Sweet spot is narrow

      Best Uses

      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      This venerable pedal has been manufactured unchanged for at least 30 years now, and produces a very recognizable sound. I use it in tandem with another more modern distortion pedal, whereby the DS-1 serves well in producing a smooth, dirty sound that's "in between" my clean sound and my lead/crunch sound.

      While the DS-1 is an excellent product, those searching for a "metal" distortion character will be sorely disappointed. That type of guitar tone is not what this pedal was designed for. It's more Tom Petty and less Dethklok, so buyer beware.

      The DS-1 is quiet, dependable, and tougher than nails. I've used mine in the studio on multiple occasions and always have it on tour with me. Highly recommended when used within the scope of its design.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A good basic distortion pedal

      By What Name?

      from Montana

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      I've had my Boss DS-1 pedal for about 7 or 8 years now, and it's still my go-to pedal for rock distortion. I play a variety of styles, from bluesy rock licks to Foo Fighters-style power chords to This Will Destroy You mellow post-rock. Currently, I use the pedal with my Les Paul Studio and a Blackheart Killer Ant (soon to be upgraded, hopefully).Here's some specific things I like:- this is one DURABLE box. It's a Boss pedal - they are well-made.- Its quality has held over time. I do get a slight hiss when I turn it on, but that's fairly typical when not using a noise gate. It sounds basically the same as when I bought it.- Adds great rock overtones. Note that this is not a metal distortion pedal, although with the dist all the way up and the tone set high, it might work. But get a metal muff or something if you want to sound like Iron Maiden.- Level control lets me use it as a solo pedal in the right situation (puts a little more sauce on the signal to boost my output during solos)- Even though the controls are simple, you have a big range of tweakability.- If you've listened to Nirvana, you've likely heard this pedal (songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit). Seriously, its tone is that kind of quality for rock/grunge.- It's orange.Overall, the price cannot possibly be beaten by any comparable product. If you need a basic distortion pedal, this is a great place to go. One more thing - make sure you either use AC power or disconnect your input cable after use. Boss pedals drain power as long as you are connected to the input. Even with the adapter, make sure you unplug the pedal so as to not run up your electric bill.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great for opening up your sound!

      By CS93

      from Monticello, GA

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      I bought one of these used at a pawn shop and it was a great deal. I use it mainly for stuff that requires distorsion but doesn't need to be super loud or dirty. It's also great for giving the gain channel on an amp for when you want just a bit more gain but can't get it from the amp. I've also noticed that when i use it with the solo channel on my Roland Cube 80x, that i get a ton of sustain where i wouldn't get as much without the pedal. So overall this was a great buy, really gave me another dimension to my tone, buy it now!!!!!

      (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Good product

      By Wild Bill

      from USA

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Good Selection Of Effects

      Cons

      • Buy AC adapter seperately

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

      This pedal was on sale and although it is a good product, apparently on sale meant buying the AC adapter separately. Either use a lot of 9V batteries or buy the adapter.

      (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Old Faithfull

      By Vore

      from Dallas, TX

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Good Selection Of Effects
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Mobile DJ
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

        Great pedal for any style of music.

        (3 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Too much hype there is reason its cheap

        By Jamie Johnson

        from North Carolina

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Good For Beginners

        Cons

        • Poor Sound Quality
        • Terrible Gain

        Best Uses

        • None

        Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

        I got one of these for a birthday present and thought it was cool my first effect pedal but it really blows it has a very weak gain sound and its just bad

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        A good distortion pedal.

        By WhiteGalaxy

        from FL

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

        Good product. i was expecting a little more metal sound out of it. i can only get a heavy crunch out of it. it is built like a tank, and could withstand almost anything. i use it pretty much every day, and it hardly even has a scratch on it. overall, this is a good distortion pedal but if you are looking for a more medal sound, than i would probably get the Boss MT 2. great for the price. you can't go wrong with it.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Just the sound I was looking for...

        By Charles Shafer

        from Indiana

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

        So far I would condense my opinion to simply "very satisfied". I haven't had long enough to judge it like it's "in for the duration" but the pedal' sound is exactly what I was looking for and I'm confident I won't smash it with my foot.
        This pedal in it's simplicity does exactly what I needed it to do. The "tone", "distortion" and "level" knobs makes for a quick selection of the sound I need.
        I'm really quite pleased with the quality of this pedal. It is sturdy enough for me to quickly engage the distortion without hte worry I am stepping too hard.
        not too high a price for this pedal, I think it will last me but then again, I have only had it for 2 weeks. Ask me again in 2 years, I hope I answer the same.

        (3 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Broke in one day...

        By jack perry

        from Ny

        Comments about Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal:

        Broke in one day. Very disappointed.
        Nice basic pedal. It was a good value.
        Broke in one day.
        Broke in one day.

        Displaying reviews 1-20

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