DS-1 Distortion


Main Details
Maker Boss Brand Roland Company
Form Factor Footswitch
Signal Path Analog Hardware
Made In Japan
Date Produced 1978->
(H × W × D)
Weight 400 g
Power Source 9v Battery or AC Adapter
Notes Boss DS-1 Distortion

This is truly a classic distortion pedal. It produces a distortion sound with a hard edge and is known to have a very low noise level compared to other distortion pedals. Many people swear that the older Japan made pedals sounds better than the newer ones made in Taiwan. The DS-1 has over the years been used by a lot of great guitar players. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are just two of the players who has voiced their praise over this pedal. The DS-1 is also a favorite among modifiers. Keeley, Analogman and Stinkfoot all provide their own versions of this icon among distortion makers.

Version differences
The design of the DS-1 has changed little throughout its lifetime but the opamp the circuit is based around has changed several times. From 1978, the DS-1 was using the Toshiba TA7136AP opamp. This remained unchanged for about 16 years but in 1994 it was replaced by the Rohm BA728N. In 2000 the opamp was again changed. This time the Mitsubishi M5223AL was used. The last change came 2006 when the New Japan Radio NJM2904L opamp was introduced.

bossarea-boss-ds-1-distortion-2The DS-1 went through a few cosmetic changes in the early years of production. The first version had a clear switch, silver thumb screw and the D in DS-1 placed directly underneath the t in Distortion. This is usually referred to as the long dash version. The clear switch disappeared around serial number 8700, the silver thumb screw at serial number 0500 while the D in DS-1 ended up under the i in Distortion around serial number 14xx00 (short dash version). Since early 1982 the only changes has been to the bottom label. It changed when the production moved from Japan to Taiwan i 1988 and a silver label was introduced when the circuit was modified to accept the PSA adapter 1994.


Black – Made In Japan
Black – Made In Taiwan
Silver – Made In Taiwan
Additional Specifications
Current Draw 10 mA
Type: Check
Indication: Light
Scale: On/Off
Connector: 1/4" Phone Jack (6.35mm)
Connector: 1/4" Phone Jack (6.35mm)
Connector: Other
Parameter: Pedal Switch
Control Type: Footswitch
Parameter: Tone
Control Type: Rotary Pot
Parameter: Level
Control Type: Rotary Pot
Parameter: Dist
Control Type: Rotary Pot


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