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Boss Saturation effects pedals

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Reviews Saturation effects pedals Boss


Boss reinvents the DS distortion pedal

Review of the Boss DS-1X This year, Boss has been releasing new stompboxes at a prodigious pace: two at Winter NAMM and three at Summer NAMM. All are reinventions of older Boss pedals. The DS-1X, released along with the OD-1X in January, is a revamped digital version of the DS-1. How does it compare to its predecessor? We tested them head to head as part of this review. read more…

Review of the Boss OD-1X OverDrive

An Overdrive Pedal with a New Look and Feel The Boss OD-1X OverDrive was one of two new stompboxes the company announced at NAMM 2014 (the DS-1X Distortion was the other). It features the company’s recently developed Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP) technology and promises a superior playing experience to analog pedals. Does it deliver? read more…

User reviews on Saturation effects pedals Boss products

Great overdive! (SD-1 SUPER OverDrive)

By Jerald, 24/06/2018
Same JRC4558 chip as Tube Screamers but sound very different. Has tons of overdrive. Almost a distortion sound. Bitey OD for people that need more dixt/Hi Gain tone. As opposed to Ibanez Tube Screamers you loose some bass/low end but nothing that can't be dialed in on the amp. Great price at $50 new now!

Bringing overdrive and distortion together in harmony (OS-2 OverDrive/Distortion)

By Mythrandir1, 20/05/2015
Before I decided on buying Boss’ OS2 I spent a great deal of time researching and trying to find a good overdrive pedal that would suit my needs. I already had the DS1 at the time but that distortion pedal has its own place in my arsenal of tones and I required an overdrive pedal to achieve a pop-punk like tone (think Green Day or Blink 182). Eventually I stumbled on the OS2 which basically combines the DS1 and the OD1, Boss’ simple overdrive pedal and brings the two together amazingly well. You can use either tone from those 2 pedals by using just the OS2 but the major advantage is that you can actually find an amazing sounding sweet spot between the two, kind of like finding the fine line between overdrive and distortion. This is what attracted me most about the pedal and made me purchase it without any kind of regret or second thoughts.


Like with most if not all Boss pedals the controls are extremely easy to figure out and to fool around with until you find the sound which you desire. The case is rock solid ensuring you long lasting durability no matter how brutally you step on it or you hit it and the controls are highly reliable not to fail on you. The OS2 has 4 control knobs: Level that controls the volume, Tone which naturally makes your tone more or less bright, Drive that handles the amount of gain you want and the 4th knob called Color lets you adjust the sound between overdrive and distortion.

This Color knob is the reason I and many others love this pedal. The further you turn it clockwise you will get more distortion, making the pedal sound like the DS1 and the further back you roll the knob the more overdrive you will get like from the OD1. You can fine tune it nicely and even get the best of both worlds and find a tone area which blends the overdrive with the distortion, making it perfect for any kind of classic, hard or punk rock. In my guitar play I need overdrive and distortion most of the time and this pedal supplies both and in a much better way than the OD1 and DS1 separately. I own other pedals capable of delivering a great distorted or overdriven sound, like Digitech’s Distortion Factory, but most of the time I use the OS2 because it’s so simple to use. My Digitech pedal gives me a far better control over tone and amount of gain, but in many cases I find myself overwhelmed with far too many knobs to adjust every time I want to change the tone. For this reason I prefer Boss’ simplicity and the versatility which the OS2 gives me.

The OS2 has two basic connectors for input and output as well as a connector designed for an AC adaptor. Like with all pedals I would recommend using high quality cables. I’ve seen a couple of my own friends buying the cheapest cables possible and then losing their will to practice and play because their guitar, amp or pedals don’t sound like they should. That easily happens because of low quality cables not transmitting the signals properly and they can even cause a certain degree of feedback or background humming ruining the tone. For this reason you should look at the highest quality cables because they do indeed matter when it comes to quality of sound.

Another thing to keep in mind is the pedal’s power source. When you purchase it, it comes without an AC adaptor and it gives you only the option of using it with a battery. If you are inexperienced with pedals you might think that it doesn’t sound so bad and that batteries aren’t something expensive. Well, in the case of most pedals, if not all of them, the batter will be drained in an hour of use at best, at least in my experience. My battery draining record was 28 minutes of constant use of one of my distortion pedals… that would make a tremendous amount of batteries if you practice several hours daily and for this reason you should look for an AC adaptor as soon as possible. If you are planning to use other pedals together with the OS2 it would be a good idea to look into an AC adaptor capable of feeding them all so that you won’t have to later on buy more adaptors for each pedal.


Mainly I use this pedal with my Fender Strat or with my Les Paul and my practice tube amp, Bugera’s V5. This amplifier has no high gain channel and I can’t naturally send the tubes into overdrive in my apartment without raising the volume to the max and forcing the entire block to “enjoy” my practice sessions. For this reason I looked into overdrive and distortion pedals in order to get the sound I need for the kinds of music I enjoy playing. I love that I can go anywhere from a slight use of overdrive making my humbuckers sound like bringing out the subtle nuances of a single coil pickup, to full blown humbucker distortion bringing out pure, raw energy. My music taste ranges greatly and I need to be able to go anywhere from my amps natural clean sound to an engaging overdriven or distorted tone. When it comes to the overdrive I love the fact that it actually sounds natural, it sounds like a tube amp naturally distorted and not like some digital effect.

Versatility in sound, quality of tone and control simplicity is what made me purchase this pedal. The OS2 offers the natural sounding overdrive and distortion modes which you can further control with the Drive knob which adjusts the amount of gain you want. After fooling around for a while with all the knobs you will find out that any subtle change you make will bring you closer and closer to the tone you desire. Personally I can get close enough to about any overdriven tone when I play my favourite pop punk songs especially and I simply love this pedal that I can easily switch its sound/tone from song to song in just a minute without shooting in the dark. As mentioned before, I have other distortion/overdrive pedals but with far too many control knobs. That does give me other advantages over the OS2, but it is also incredibly annoying to switch from one song to a different one without finding yourself tweaking the pedal for half an hour.

Less is more in many cases and the OS2 is one such case.
This pedal can take you anywhere from Pink Floyd to Pantera with just a few seconds of tweaking. Incredibly versatile, I love it because it gives me overdrive and distortion in one package, without separating the two. Using them and shaping them separately is easy and fun, but bringing those two worlds together to create a beautiful sound is another. Finding the sweet spot between overdrive and distortion may take a bit of experimenting at first but once it is accomplished, you are rewarded with a rich sound perfect both for powerful rhythms as well as vibrant soloes with plenty of sustain.

Reliability and durability

There’s not much to talk about when it comes to Boss and durability. In my personal opinion we should have ‘Boss’ in the dictionary as a synonym for durability. I own several Boss pedals, 1 of them is around 15 years old, and I banged them, dropped them, aggressively stomped them and even dropped one from the second story of a building on concrete… They all still work in perfect condition without even a dent. The worse that happened was chipping away a bit of paint and that is all. The knobs never came off or stopped working for me, all of my Boss pedals are at 100% capability and I would always trust them to work at any gig without being worried that they might break down. The OS2 is no exception and it certainly does justice to Boss’ famous reputation.

Overall Impression

Out of all my overdrive and/or distortion pedals this one is probably my favourite because of having a wide versatility while also maintaining simplicity. In my experience if you want more versatility, you get more and more controls that you need to tweak and adjust each single time. Tweaking the controls for half an hour in order to play a 3 minute song isn’t quite my idea of fun and for this reason the simplicity given by the OS2 and its richness in tones made me buy it without looking back. Nowadays I use the OS2 for most of my practice and recording sessions while my other tubescreamers are used on occasion when I want to switch between tones. I have found no flaw or disadvantages with the OS2 and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile overdrive/distortion pedal that as an added bonus can even blend in the two together and give you a whole new tone to play with.


News Saturation effects pedals Boss

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Published on 07/19/14
MIke, our US chief editor, visited the Boss team at Summer NAMM 2014 to listen to the new Waza effect pedals.

[NAMM] 3 new Boss guitar pedals

Published on 07/15/14

[NAMM][VIDEO] Boss DS-1X and OD-1X

Published on 01/25/14

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