BOSS DS-1 Distortion

There are 2 units that have been in my pedal rack for as long as I can remember and the BOSS DS-1 Distortion is one of them, the other being the BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive. The DS-1 is pretty straight forward to use having only 3 controls: Tone, Level and Distortion. In contrast to an overdrive effect the distortion is noticeably grittier in character but it is quite possible to back the distortion off and mellow the tone to produce quite an expressive bluesy crunch. At higher settings the pedal produces a crisp edgy distortion at home in any hard rock or metal scenario.

The DS-1 is one of those pedals that lends itself to modification but mine is stock having been purchased sometime in the early 1980s. In its modified form the DS-1 has been used by Steve Vai (and others) but for a good example of the pedal in use checkout Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Alternatively, try the following clip…

In the clip above the DS-1 was used in conjunction with a Line 6 POD Xt Pro and Ibanez JEM 777FP guitar. The POD was set to use the Jazz Clean amp model and 2×12 Jazz cab resulting in a completely clean tone. All the crunch in the clip is the DS-1 set as follows: tone 30%, level 100% and distortion 60%.


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