The BOSS DS-1w Distortion was an expected update to what’s in all likelihood the best-selling pedal ever, launched by the Japanese builder in 1978. Like other models in the Waza Craft, the DS-1w offers a new, Custom mode, next to the Standard one replicating the sound of the original circuit, with its hard-edged attack and smooth sustain.
However popular, the original DS-1 was starting to sound a little passé to many guitarists due to its weak dynamic response and tendency to sound thin, which makes it less than ideal for blues, for example.
The new Custom mode is here to fix that: it’s presented as a distortion with a “thick, mid-focused character” delivering a bigger sound and more input sensitivity. The Tone control changes behavior in this mode, tuned to boost mids and presence at once, while the level is increased by 6 dB, providing a wider range of gain boost for driving amps and pedals.
Have a listen to it in the videos below.
BOSS DS-1W Distortion, Builder’s Notes
The Classic BOSS Distortion, Enhanced with Waza Craftsmanship
Introduced in 1978 among the earliest models in the BOSS compact series, the orange DS-1 redefined the sound of distortion and remains as influential today as ever. Its hard-edged attack and smooth sustain have made it the best-selling compact effect to date, and its distinctive tone is behind the signature sounds of a long list of rock and alternative icons. With the DS-1W, this legendary stomp joins other BOSS classics in the Waza Craft series, fusing the look and character of the original with a newly revised discrete all-analog circuit for expanded range and versatility.
- Special edition Waza Craft pedal for the ultimate BOSS tone experience
- Newly revised two-stage gain circuit with discrete analog components
- Standard mode delivers the legendary sound of the original DS-1
- Custom mode provides fatter distortion tones with focused midrange and increased touch response
- Versatile Tone knob provides wide-ranging frequency control fine-tuned for each mode
- Two modes offer increased versatility when the pedal is used as a gain booster
- Premium buffer for clean and clear tone when bypassed
- BOSS five-year warranty
The DS-1 instantly impacted the guitar world when launched, introducing a fresh new high-gain sound with aggressive, well-defined distortion rich in harmonic overtones. Over four-plus decades, leading players in hard rock, metal, grunge, and fusion genres have adopted the pedal for their core sounds. The classic edge of the DS-1 can be heard on countless famous tracks, both as a prime distortion for clean amp platforms and a boost to drive gained-up tube amps into controlled mayhem.
Two Modes, More Tonal Range
With its two modes and discrete all-analog circuit design, the DS-1W expands the DS-1 experience for a broader range of styles and applications. Call up Standard mode and play with the tight, hard-edged tone and singing sustain of the original pedal. Or switch on Custom mode for a bold new sound that takes the unmistakable DS-1 character to the next dimension.
Standard Mode: Classic DS-1 Sound
Standard mode on the DS-1W delivers the authentic sound of the original in every way. Its innovative two-stage gain circuit is a critical part of the fullness and definition that so many guitarists love about the DS-1. The versatile tone control affects low and high frequencies, simultaneously boosting and cutting each end of the frequency spectrum as the knob is turned. This lets you precisely dial in the sound for any application, from sharp rhythms and searing solos to maintaining low-end clarity when boosting amps and other drive pedals.
Custom Mode: Rich, Fat, and Dynamic
Custom mode presents a unique new distortion voice while retaining the singular DS-1 personality and edge. A thick, mid-focused character provides more fatness and cut to make your sound stand out in the mix, and the tone control is tuned to maximize the mode’s richness and presence. The available level has been increased by 6 dB, providing a wider range of gain boost for driving amps and pedals. And with more input sensitivity, you can conjure up all sorts of distortion colors with picking dynamics and volume control adjustments on the guitar.
Waza Craft: The Art of Superior Tone
Since the beginning, the engineers at BOSS have been committed to achieving the finest guitar tones using any technology necessary, from old-school analog circuits to high-tech DSP. This enthusiastic spirit continues with the Waza Craft series, bringing you exceptional tone and touch response through carefully selected analog components, refined circuitry, and meticulous attention to detail. In Japan, “Waza” is the term for art and technique, and these special edition pedals proudly carry the Waza symbol to represent the pinnacle of BOSS design and craftsmanship.