BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal Review

Nick Bowcott presents the BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal. Simply put, the BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal is a modern classic. For the better part of 30 years, you’ve heard this orange box put through its paces on countless top rock recordings – from Kurt Cobain’s “Nevermind”-era grunge to the renowned distorted tones of Steve Vai. The DS-1 is affordable, it’s incredible sounding, and it’s a rock pedalboard staple — the perfect first distortion stompbox and one that may well be your last.

Buy the BOSS DS-1 here:


Majd Shufani says:

You can’t call this a review is you have a 12 minute video with only one minute sound samples combined that is. I’ve never done a review but here’s what I think it should be: Hello, everything at noon, drive at 9, drive all the way down, drive at 3, drive all the way up. same for tone and level.

Peter Lintrup says:

“If you want to shoot – shoot! Don’t talk…” Tuco (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).

Simon Groot says:


Gerry Blue says:

This guy is great, but even that doesn’t help that pedal, it has always sounded crappy

Just J says:

It’s a shame Boss didn’t look at traditional aniversaries…A traditional 40th anniversary gift is “ruby.” It would have been cool to see them do this pedal in a Ruby Red metalic color with accent knobs…

Ibanez did an aniversarie addition in metalic green to honor their TS-9

Shame Boss didn’t one up them instead of making it in black which is a poor representation of 40 years…Think next time before it goes to production…

Aniversarie for 40 years is Ruby…Red color.

David Chase-Lopes says:

täp into America

Eintrachtminecrafter says:

Matthias Jabs of the Scorpions uses a DS 1 too.

GimmeGear says:

In my opinion this pedal sounds better when you lower the hi’s on the amp and lowering the guitar gain can give it a more versatile sound.

Bruce Johnson says:

You had me at “flanger.”

Bredo Myrvang says:

Nick work, or used to work for Marshall……………….. if memory serves me right……… And the guitarist of Grim Reaper 😉

Gustavo Silva says:

Don Carr where are you?:(

JJ Collins says:

Nick Bowcott is the man! : ) Fantastic video and review. I personally own the 40th anniversary DS1 and its a fantastic pedal.
I also have to add that I LOVE the grim reaper roadcases in the video : )

DzB says:

watching a lefty play makes me uncomfortable

Michael Brown says:

I avoided this pedal for years because of the negative press it got over the years. i can tell you it outdoes a lot of distortion pedals three times it’s price. All i do is use the sample settings in the manual and i’m satisfied. Sounds great with the Bf-2 of 3!

Benjamin Fralick says:

Great Review

Mike Hydropneumatic says:

Boss pedals are also popular amongst synth players.

BTW the DS-1 is a serious pedal 🙂

KnapfordMaster98 says:

The spinal tap reference was wonderful

F Kelly says:

it’s not a review if you’re selling it.

ArielsSmartyPants says:

Here’s an Idea, when you’re showing us how clean the amp is, hit a freakin power chord like you mean it, not gently barely pluck some harmonics. No disrespect but those tactics smell of snake oil. I actually like this pedal, but not the apparent deception 🙂

Miguel Pessanha says:

Here’s my two cents

1. LED and DC connector is standard to every single pedal, don’t bother mention as an extra feature, makes it sound dumb.
2. The reason why this pedal sold out so much is its price accessibility and the fact that it is a reliable scooped heavy distortion
3. No, this pedal has far from a tight sound, in fact his biggest problem is having a very flubby and compressed low end.
4. The best way to get a good sound about the stock ones is having an amp slightly breaking up with a lot of powerful mids like a marshall, and crancking the volume, not maxing out the the distortion fully and having the tone around 10/11 oclock to kill those buzzy bees. Bright guitars work better with it as the pedal as a very scooped sound. Funny enough the bridge pickup of my strat works better than the one from my epi les paul.

Having said this I thing it is a great little circuit, and with mods can be much much better.

Babette LeBlanc says:

He plays at 5:50

Weyllandin says:

it even has an LED and a power supply jack?! no way! i need one ASAP

Gummmibaer says:

it sits on my shelf because it was my first Pedal but it will never see my pedalboard again. But I guess with the right amp it may sound okay…

Kevys Rc & Music says:

and some people say i talk to much LOL

Billy Shears says:

I had one of these in the late 70’s – early 80’s. I’ve never cared for any kind of distortion pedal and haven’t used one since I got rid of this one in 1983. It’s all in the amp for me. That’s one (or more) less pedals to power, as well.

Randolph Sutherland says:

wheres yuh teet?

Michael Chatterton says:

Great Pedal

H Kay says:

BOSS get snobs criticising…but BOSS is great.Prince used them and that was enough for me.He was the opposite of snobbery and at the pinnacle of music.Nick nails it every time.

S Paul Guitars says:

Lol… The Englishman always puts a smile on a face. He is quite the character. His statement of Boss selling over 10 million is not a surprise. They would have sold over a hundred million but their pedals transcend time. They don’t break or wear out!!! You only have to buy it once… They make great gear! As I’m sitting here watching this video fed ex just delivered a package to me from Sweetwater. I’m eating the 6 pieces of bit o honey, the Laffy taffy and the sweet tarts , excuse me , “Smarties” as I watch this video. Now excuse me gentlemen but I must try out my new Flashback delay and Ditto looper from TC Electronic. Lol. Could not make something like that up…. lol.. Boss does make great stuff!!!

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