BOSS DS-1 Distortion

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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.

The DS-1 went through a few cosmetical 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 underneat 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.


  • Controls: Tone, Level, Dist
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 4 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400 g (15 oz.)
  • Nominal Input Level: -20dBu
  • Input Impedance: 470kOhm
  • Nominal Output Level: -20dBu
  • Output Impedance: 1kohm
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA or PSA Series (depending on production year)


  • Black - Made In Japan
  • Black - Made In Taiwan
  • Silver - Made In Taiwan
The DS-1 was sold from June 1978 to present.