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The Boss DS-1


This is one of the first (of many!) guitar effects pedals that I got. Hearing so much about how essential this Boss effects pedal is for the modern guitarist it seemed like it was a must.

I went out to the local music store to pick one. As with most of the boss effects pedals it’s in a, quite robust, orange rectangular box. It has 3 dials on it and an LED. You press the pedal and the light comes on and you get the distortion. You press the pedal again and the light goes off – simple. The dials are for tone, volume and distortion. You can power the effects pedal either by a 9v battery or there is an input jack on the rear for plugging in a power adapter.


Unfortunately I was disappointed with my Boss DS-1. Being a long time fan of guitarists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai who both used these effects pedals, the only sound that I could achieve was similar to a wasp buzzing inside a tin can.

I then learnt the secret that every guitarist should know. There are 2 types of DS-1 pedals. In the early days Boss manufactured the guitar pedals in Japan. When they moved their factory to Taiwan they also changed teh components used. This made a big difference to the sound.

I managed to buy my Japanese Boss DS-1 from Ebay. Because not everyone knows the difference you can get them pretty cheap! I would have been prepared to pay £100 + for it but I managed to get it the same as a second hand standard Boss DS1 pedal for about £30 – what a result.

This produced a much smoother sound and I still use this effects pedal today.

Top tips here. If you are looking for a Boss DS-1 guitar pedal then always try to get the japanese version. You can identify this by the sticker on the reverse.

One Response to “The Boss DS-1”

  1. ds 1 - Says:

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