Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Score: 1983 Boss DS-1 Distortion

It sounds as dirty as it looks - and as beautiful! I've been told for years that there is no contest between the original Boss DS-1 Distortion pedals made in Japan before 1988 and the ones made in Taiwan thereafter. Now I know for sure. I was fortunate enough to pick this one up at a pawn shop for $35, a very reasonable price, considering they run upwards of $180 on Ebay on a regular basis. Like most pedals from this era, it is not in the best shape cosmetically (dirty, paint-chipped, and a nice hole drilled through the back of the case), but it is fully functional, and sounds like a million bucks.

Made in 1983, this is not the first issue of the DS-1, which had silver screws, a silver thumb-screw to open the battery compartment, and a longer dash in between the 'S' and the '1', putting the 'D' underneath the 't' in Distortion, instead of the 'i'. This one has black screws, a black label, and a black thumb-screw. However, this version of the pedal uses the same Toshiba TA7136AP op-amp as the earlier versions, and, besides the appearance, is identical to the silver screw version.

So far, I've only had a chance to try this baby on a little 1-watt Fender Mini Deluxe, but I figure if it sounds good running through that (and it does, believe me!), it should sound awesome when I plug it into a real amplifier. I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. I have one from the same year and eventually had pawned it and lost it to the shop. Later I ended up buying it back and I'm glad I did what a warm distortion and sounds lovely with my Bassman 70.