Boss DS-1 Distortion

Single-Effect Pedal

Made by Boss

Description The DS-1 provides a harder distortion effect for guitar and keyboard sounds. Instead of toneless, fuzzy distortion, the DS-1 faithfully reproduces all the subtle nuances of your playing dynamics, from whisper-quiet to screaming loud.
Posted By WholeNote
Directory Equipment: Effects
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 4.0 (of 5)
Rating Votes %
10 34 ||
11 38 ||
7 24 ||
1 3 ||
0 0 ||
From 29 votes total

Member Reviews


On 5/7/2009, David Hendrix (569) posted:
Overall Rating:
Great pedal. Awesome for heavy metal genres and from switching to clean and distorted without the use of a footswitch. Great pedal.
Model Year: 2009
Price: $48.00
Where Obtained: Roadhouse Music
Features:
Tone, distortion, and level controls, battery and AC powered, LED light power indicator. Input/output switch. Strong metal casing, long lasting and durable.
Sound Quality:
I use this with my Epiphone Les Paul Standard through a Raven RG 60 amp and it seems to be getting the thing I need. Although if you turn it up too much it has the screeches, it gets the job done. I use it as a clean/distortion switch as well it adds so much distortion.
Ease of Use:
Very easy to use, just get the tone you want and keep it there. On/off is the switch.
Durability:
EXTREMELY DURABLE. I had my friend jump on it and nothing happened. Very nice steel casing and interiors are very stable.
On 10/12/2008, Chris Hammond (417) posted:
Overall Rating:
This is a great pedal if your looking for a little extra distortion and sistain in you tone. Perfect for making notes ring longer. Straight up good effect pedal.
Model Year: 2008
Price: $49.95 (new)
Where Obtained: Counts Brothers Music
Features:
It has a 1 tone, 1 level and 1 distortion knob on it. Its both AC and battery-powered.
Sound Quality:
I use my marshall with it. I use it for rock and blues only. There's a limit to what sounds good with distortion and sistain. I kinda gives a little feedback. Thats expected from effect pedals though. Thats why you should get a BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor!!
Ease of Use:
It's straight out simple to use. You don't have to fiddle fart around with it for half an hour to get the sound you want.
Durability:
It's pretty good for both studio and live playing. BOSS is a pretty well known company. They make the best effects pedals. Second to best is digitech. Its made out of metal.
On 3/5/2008, Ken Richardson (9051) posted:
Overall Rating:
It produces a lot of useful tones, overdrive to very distorted. Good sustain!! Its a little noisy on high distortion settings I tried Boss OD, but think this is just as good.
Model Year: 2007
Price: $40.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Fret Mill
Features:
Level, Dist, tone controls
Sound Quality:
So far using a Strat with it.. have H S S setup, it gets a good overdrive sound, and a sound like EC in Cream, a little noisy at higher distortion setting - Good sustain!
Ease of Use:
Easy to use
Durability:
Seems sturdy 5 year warranty too
On 1/7/2008, Michael Laurance (4040) posted:
Overall Rating:
I'd like to try having one of my 2 pedals modded to see if that sweetens it up.
Price: $30.00
Where Obtained: e-bay
Features:
This is the essential all-around distortion pedal. Everyone should have one. I have 2.
Ease of Use:
The simplicity of this pedal is good and bad. The level and dist. are easy to dial in right where you want it, but the tone knob doesn't always hit a pleasant place for me. Adjustments are frequently necessary.
Durability:
It's a Boss, it'll outlast humans.
On 8/5/2007, Deidra Grusy (49) posted:
Overall Rating:
I looked at the MD-1 but i chose this one because i wasnt for certain what i was going to be playing yes but i would get the md-1 more range
Model Year: 2005
Price: $90.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
Features:
1. controls-tone, distortion, level 2. AC pwered, batteryppowered- both 3. i wish it sounded more metal 4. honestly i have no idea
Sound Quality:
1. fender squire strat with fender 15G frontman[i know crappy amp!!] 2.i play metal which i can turn up to metal setting but it doesnt cover everything i want in metal. 3.yes 4.the sound quality is great 5.it has a buzz but most distortion pedals do
Ease of Use:
1. no it is not programable 2. no not at all 3. yea it is
Durability:
Yes it is definitally boss is known for durability it is metal frame
On 9/16/2005, Nick Homer (529) posted:
Overall Rating:
I would buy it again,on the ease of setup
Model Year: 2004
Price: $20.00 GBP
Where Obtained: ebay
Features:
3 knobs 1 battery what more could you ask for
Sound Quality:
Gets all the distortion I need
Ease of Use:
A newborn could figure it out
Durability:
Its a Stompbox emphasis on the word STOMP
On 6/27/2004, Peter Hsieh (1575) posted:
Overall Rating:
I chose this unit because it had a decent sound and because it has a lot more affordable than most other distortion pedals by Boss. If I had lost it I wouldn't buy it again because I've got a MT-2 metal zone that is a lot more flexible than this pedal. My favorite aspect of this unit is its simplicity and the worst would have to be its lack of tone options. This is a good effects unit and I would recommend it to beginning guitarist looking for a distortion pedal.
Price: $35.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
Features:
This is an overall good, simple to use pedal. It includes three knobs; tone, level, and distortion. It is flexible in that it can be battery powered or used with an AC adaptor. It is not a stereo pedal and has no tubes but delivers a nice sound. iF anything, I wish there more tone options to work with ( which is why I got a metal zone).
Sound Quality:
I use a Marshall JCM 800 2203 head with this unit, The cabinet I use with the head is a Marshall 1960 A head. I usually play with the master volume set to two or three and with the pre-amp volume at 10 so the base sound is already pretty good. The DS-1 is a pretty basic rock pedal, good for early 80's metal, AC/DC, GnR, and playing rock licks but since I play heavy metal and shred (metallica, slayer, zakk-wydle style leads), I require more distortion and tone shaping than the DS-1 could offer. This pedal is excellent for Rock and blues and as far as the one I use goes it is not noisy at all. The main problem with this pedal is that it lacks tonal variety and needs more distortion
Ease of Use:
This pedal with only three knobs: tone, level, and distortion, is one of the easiet pedals to use. There is not to much to work with so getting a good sound would be almost like finding its only sound, pretty easy. It the easiest pedal I have ever used
Durability:
This is a very durable pedal, I've used it live probably 20 to 30 times and it has never failed me. Boss makes excellent pedals, some of the best effects units. The construction is superb, I could use it as a weapon if I felt inclined to!
On 4/1/2004, Matt Wood (2844) posted:
Overall Rating:
We all know this pedal indside out. I've always hated it by itself but recently I've been using it in concunction with the gain channel of my amp and It's ok there for a more grunge sound.
Price: $50.00 aust
Features:
Sound Quality:
Ease of Use:
Durability:
On 2/19/2004, Brandon Carver (56) posted:
Overall Rating:
This is a decent effect processors, but alone it doesnt give me the sound Im looking for, but using with other pedals, it makes a difference. This isnt the best unit for me, but it might be for you if you are looking at a little distortion to add your clean playing, and at the price of a brand new one you can afford to add it to your collection without stretching the wallet.
Price: $10.00
Where Obtained: Friend
Features:
One Tone, One Level. Battery Power, and AC powered
Sound Quality:
Ive used my whole guitar collection with this, and it just doesnt have the sound Im looking for alone. Mixed with several other effects it helps to create that distorted fuzz Ive been looking for.
Ease of Use:
Just step and play dirty or step and play clean.
Durability:
Ive been stomping on it for months, and its shown no signs of stopping.
On 12/22/2003, Keith Deuser (2686) posted:
Overall Rating:
If this pedal was stolen, I wouldn't buy another one, just because it doesn't fit my particular style of playing. But if your a classic rock junkie (jimi hendrix, zeppelin, ACDC, etc.), than this pedal was made for you!
Features:
3 knobs: tone, level, and gain. You can definitely get a good sound out of this pedal with those three knobs. As long as your looking for a simple distortion sound.
Sound Quality:
For what I play (metallica, pantera, iced earth), this pedal doesn't pack enough punch for me. But if your into ACDC or Zeppelin and like that type of sound, this pedal is great. This is definitely a classic rock distortion pedal
Ease of Use:
Ummm...only three knobs...if you can't find a good sound outta this pedal, than you shouldn't be playing guitar.
Durability:
It's a Boss. enough said.
On 3/4/2003, Mike Rasmussen (360) posted:
Overall Rating:
Spend the extra money and get the keeley seeing eye mod. ds1. and you'll have a professional sounding pedal you can actually use....The stock ds1 gets a 3
Model Year: 2003
Price: $95.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Keeley Electronics
Features:
Tone , Level and drive knobs, built like a tank.
Sound Quality:
This review is for the keeley seeing eye ds1, so the sound quality is superb over a stock ds1, this pedal has No harsh high end fizz very warm and marshally with tight bottom end. The stock ds1 has none of what I just mentioned. A stock ds1 gets a 2, the seeing eye gets a 5
Ease of Use:
The keeley seeing eye ds1 is very versitile, large spectrum of sound on the drive knob. goes from subtle drive to marshall crunch..The stock ds1 gets a 3 as its not as versitile and is very ice pick harsh.
Durability:
No problems here
On 2/15/2003, Matthew Laham (4396) posted:
Overall Rating:
I chose this pedal because it gave me a great variety in tone and it has pretty good sustain.
Model Year: 1986
Price: $56.00 canadian
Features:
It has a knob that controls the level of distortion and the obvious tone and distortion knobs. It is both AC and battery-powered.
Sound Quality:
This is a great little unit. I can play pretty much any style of music from blues to heavy metal. Although if I turn up the distortion and level to the max and mix it with my amps distortion it starts sounding like... well you know that sound that comes out of the TV when its all staticy? Thats what it sounds like.
Ease of Use:
Its pretty easy to use. I dont need to do a whole lot of fiddling with it to get the sound i like.
Durability:
I have droped this thing many times in the past and its still rockin' even after 16 years.
On 10/16/2002, James O'Keefe (694) posted:
Overall Rating:
I wouldn't purchase this pedal again. It gives a really harsh distortion sound that I don't really care for. If you're a new player and you're sick of your practice amp sound, this would be a good cheap buy for you, but I wouldn't recommend this to anybody. The sound is just too sterile for my tastes. The only reason I gave this a 3 instead of a 2 was the price.
Price: $25.00
Where Obtained: Music-Go-Round
Features:
Features? Tone, Level, and Distortion knob. Tank like chassis.
Sound Quality:
This beast is a little too harsh for me. While it gets good distortion and sustain for really harsh metal or punk-like sounds, This isn't going to get you that slightly over-driven sound. Then again, what should I expect for $25?
Durability:
Someone has said it before... After nuclear holocaust, only cockroaches and boss pedals will be left.
On 5/26/2002, Bernardo Pires (4599) posted:
Overall Rating:
It's a classic. Everyone should play with this little orange box at least once...
Price: $49.00 (new)
Features:
Only three knobs. Ac powered or battery powered. Nice pedal.
Sound Quality:
I play instrumental rock and blues. This pedal is a great purchase. I play this with my stratocaster and other effect boxes (OC-2, DD-3). Nice fat lead tone, this pedal reproduces all the nuances of your playing dynamics. Great for Rock and Hard Rock. Metal players should try the Boss Metalzone or Zoom Tri-Metal.
Ease of Use:
Its user-friendly, great distortion. Very easy to use...
Durability:
Its a Boss...
On 5/10/2002, Santiago Sosa (234) posted:
Overall Rating:
It is a nice pedal for the price, I am happy with it but if I have to buy it again I would think about it 2 times.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $31.00
Where Obtained: ebay
Features:
It comes without ac-adaptor but just with one battery you might keep playing for long time. Also has a tone, distortion and level controls that change from hard distortion to a soft one.
Sound Quality:
I use my boss with a yamaha eg-112, i play mostly punk and rock with it and it works nice. I just would like it to suspend a little bit the not when you play it in total distortion.
Ease of Use:
It is the easiest thing to program. I think a baby can do it.
Durability:
It is a boss box, it could resist anything you do with it.
On 5/8/2002, Ryan Sequeira (7665) posted:
Overall Rating:
I love it. I get good sounds, and it doesn't quit.
Price: $65.99 Canadian (new)
Where Obtained: The Arts Music Store
Features:
Volume, distortion, tone knobs. uses a 9V battery that lasts forever. you can use an AC adapter as well, but it has to be a BOSS adapter. It is a purely solid state pedal. has stereo output...i think
Sound Quality:
I can get some nice tones out of it and I play mostly thrash metal and blues. but the operation of the switch is a little noisy (you can hear it through your amp)
Ease of Use:
DEAD EASY to configure (you turn the knobs until you find a sound you like!) and even easier to use...hit it once;it's on. hit it again; it's off. it doesn't get any easier.
Durability:
Built like a tank...on steroids. Use it as a weapon if you want, it won't break.
On 12/22/2001, Larry Magri (3259) posted:
Overall Rating:
I have used BOSS efx since the early 80's and still have every one I perchased, and they all work. I just brought this one again, because after almost 20 years, I was supprised that it is still available. How many other companys can say that about there products.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $39.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Music Land
Features:
Has what it was made for, "Rocking Down The House" Tone, Level, Distortion. Batt. powered, and opt. AC adaptor.
Sound Quality:
This is the classic that started all the rave back in the 80s. Plug this thing into a few Marshall Stacks, & a Charvel w/ Duncan Distortion p/u's and your ready to thunder across the heavens.
Ease of Use:
Its a BOSS STOMP BOX!!!!!!! it don't get any easier
Durability:
I used this unit as well as a BOSS OD-1 all throught the 80's. This is a Roadie Proof efx. BOSS efx will never die
On 8/23/2001, Paul Connolly (1092) posted:
Overall Rating:
I have used Mt-1 , and even though i dont like a real metal sound , i can tweek it to sound like a marshall distortion (like on the JCM 2000). The marsahll guv'nor is also a better buy.
Model Year: 1996
Where Obtained: Gift
Features:
It's got tone, level and distortion knobs, Not much really. An larger equalizer might have saved this pedal.
Sound Quality:
With the distortion turned theres a nice overdrive type sound, but i have found it thin and uninspiring, i've had to constantly tweek my amp to get it sounding anything like the way i want it. It's way too fuzzy, what i need is more bass for a fatter sound. Even on a Gibson the humbukers don't improve it much.
Ease of Use:
Very easy to use, very hard to get a real fulfilling distortion sound,
Durability:
Hasn't *failed me yet (*except in the fact i was expecting more)
On 4/18/2001, Neil Marriott (121) posted:
Overall Rating:
I like it. It does exactly what it says and that is give a good range of distortion. Nothing more, nothing less.
Features:
Everything you need. Tone, Distortion and Level control to get the sound you want. And battery-powered which is obviously helpful.
Sound Quality:
Good range of sound from a natural gain to full-on crunch distortion.
Ease of Use:
If you can't use this you need to be put away somewhere to save yourself from getting hurt.
Durability:
Er... It's a Boss pedal. If the world blew up we'd still have Boss pedals floating around in space.
On 3/15/2001, Mitchell Mitchell (417) posted:
Overall Rating:
Its pretty good, serves a purpose and it was cheap
Model Year: 2000
Price: $39.99 (new)
Where Obtained: Mars
Features:
Tone, distortion, level. 9v batter w/ ac option. solid state.
Ease of Use:
Durability:
Solid as a rock.
On 9/2/2000, Mal Illidge (57) posted:
Overall Rating:
Get a big muff instead this pedel isn't full enough
Model Year: 2000
Where Obtained: Dawsons
Features:
Level, Distotion, Tone knobs and a check light.
Sound Quality:
Good but it dosn't have enough mid tone its not creamy enough
Ease of Use:
A f---ing monkey could do it
Durability:
No chance of damage
On 7/13/2000, Matt Adams (227) posted:
Overall Rating:
Its okay, i wouldn't buy it again, ive already sold. I liked the distrotion on my amp better, the pedal is to weak. I wish i had bought and ibanez sm-7 instead, ohwell
Model Year: 1999
Price: $40.00 (new)
Where Obtained: guitar center
Features:
Not much features three knobs TONE DISTORTION AND LEVEL easy to figure out
Sound Quality:
I use this with and ibanez rg270 into a marshall vs30r I play punk and light metal, this pedal cant do metal it is to trebly and kinda fuzzy sound 2.5
Ease of Use:
It realy easy the tone takes awhile to figure out though
Durability:
Its tough, its a boss
On 7/6/2000, KJ Leichman (1446) posted:
Overall Rating:
This pedal is, in the words of a teacher I once had, a "jack of all trades, a master of none." Its incredible versatility allows you to get a decent sound no matter what you want to play. But as Microsoft can tell you, when a product tries to satisfy a large spectrum, it won't be exceptionally good at any one thing. Overall, I'm happy with it.
Price: $49.00 (new)
Where Obtained: O. DiBella Music
Features:
It's got 3 knobs: Gain, Tone, and Level. It also allows you to plug it in to an AC adaptor, but Boss makes it quite clear that you'll go directly to jail without collecting $200 if you even think about using anything but their proprietary AC adaptor.
Sound Quality:
I play through a kind-of-Fat-Strat-copy and a lousy amp. Even still, I can get almost any kind of rock or bluesy sound I want from this pedal, from classic rock to the heavy Creed stuff. However, this pedal doesn't have the balls to give you a heavy metal sound, so if that's what you're after, get a Metal Zone.
Ease of Use:
Unless you have a disorder where you can't control where your foot moves, or if you can't bend over to adjust the knobs, this pedal is a piece of cake.
Durability:
If nuclear war strikes us, we can rest assured that 3 things will always be around: cockroaches (it's true!), Entenmann's desserts (just read what's in them!), and Boss effect pedals. I should also add the the battery life is very good under regular moderate use.
On 5/22/2000, Erik Shilling (112) posted:
Overall Rating:
Great value for the money. Great versatility. Would buy again in a second. I have seen several varied musicians use this pedal in several varied applications.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $39.95 (new)
Where Obtained: http://www.zzounds.com/
Features:
What else can you ask for? A tone, distortion, and level control to shape it to your liking.
Sound Quality:
Good sound quality for such a cheap box. This stompbox creates a wide range of distortions for varied applications. I have used it to give extra punch to some blues stuff, but I have also used it to drive hard-rock songs. Great Versatility.
Ease of Use:
How heard can it be to turn a knob? Turn it, hear the difference, adjust to your liking. Very simple.
Durability:
Like all Bosses, this thing was built like a tank, never had a problem.
On 4/4/2000, Ward Moeller (4849) posted:
Overall Rating:
guess it depends on what you want it for. its cheap enough. probably a good starter box. but it covers one of my sound needs, so it works. i use it in conjunction with my amps gain. i use the amp gain more for bluesy drive, and the DS1 for the thicker yet smooth violin-like distortion.
Price: $40.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Sam Ash
Features:
how simple can it get? tone, distortion, volume. step on it - it goes. a light indicates pedal is on. uses 9v battery or adapter.
Sound Quality:
i guess this box is somewhat limited, and the distortion is rather strong (maybe too much for some). but i have found a sweet spot, and thats what i use it for. i adjust the tone just at about 11-12:00 on the dial (which is slightly towards the bassy side)..and distortion around 1:00. this combo gives me a nice smooth violin-like distortion a la Santana or Satriani. if you hit too many notes of a chord, or play the lower strings though, the sound can get kinda muffled/garbled.
Ease of Use:
the tone allows you to go from a more bassy tone to a screetching treble tone. the distortion knob obviously dials-in the amount of distortion. and the volume adjusts output. you will have to re-adjust the knobs when you change your playing output level.
Durability:
solid. i use the 9v adapter.
On 3/16/2000, Hugo One (63) posted:
Overall Rating:
Excellent distortion for the price and versitile in many ways, from blues to hard rock.
Model Year: 1998
Price: $40.00 (new)
Where Obtained: guitar center
Features:
Great distortion for beginners and shred masters.
Sound Quality:
Sounds like a distortion pedal. Better than tube screamers.
Ease of Use:
Easy. Very easy.
Durability:
Indestructable.
On 2/11/2000, Chris Johnson (77) posted:
Overall Rating:
one of the best distortion pedals ive ever used
Model Year: 2000
Price: $50.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Fazio's Frets and Friends; St Louis
Features:
i can get more sounds out of this than any other pedal ive played
Sound Quality:
one of the best-sounding pedals ive ever played
Ease of Use:
very wasy to use
Durability:
dropped it out of a car doing 30.,....and it works fine
On 11/7/1999, Jes Tan (86) posted:
Overall Rating:
I won't get one for myself. But beginners on a tight budget who wants better sound than zoom 505 can consider it. :>
Features:
All Boss Stompboxes will last even yokozuna's weight. If you wanna play punk, get it. Cos tone is not your main consider. Turbo Overdrive might suits a better guitarist's needs.
Sound Quality:
Not very pleasing tone if you want to get a tube driven tone.
Ease of Use:
It's a Boss stompbox...
Durability:
It's built for soldiers who guards the minefield.
On 11/3/1999, Jason Reich (1765) posted:
Overall Rating:
Definetly better than anything DOD makes in this price range, but don't pay more than $50 for it. When you wanna step up, get a metal zone.
Price: $39.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Victors House of Music
Features:
Its got a tone control, gain control and level control. Its also got a power LED and a strong metal casing.
Sound Quality:
Not that versatile. Even the lowest gain setting sounds like screaming metal. The tone control is not centered well, the neutral posistion has way too much treble, and the full treble posistion will hurt your ears.
Ease of Use:
Plug in, step on pedal, step on pedal again.
Durability:
Also doubles as a hammer, cannon projectile, and doorstop. Will not break.