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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

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 749 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (521)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (129)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (35)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (37)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (27)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (32)
  • Responsive (31)
  • Excellent sound quality (26)
  • Versatile (22)
  • Good selection of effects (12)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Performances (29)
  • Home studio (25)
  • Amateur recording (22)
  • Outdoor events / games (20)
  • Professional recording (14)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (35), Professional musician (9), Novice (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Twinkie, Cockroach & The Boss DS-1

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...Read complete review

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.

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 749 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(9 of 10 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 7 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

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 8 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 25 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.

    (6 of 6 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.

    (5 of 16 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

    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.

    (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.

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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