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Rating and Reviews: Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive

Get all the distortion of an overdriven tube amp with the Boss SD-1 pedal. Tweak the tone control knob to dial in some grit, or go for a smooth, round tone.

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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Great sounding overdrive" submitted October 13, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician, Hobbyist
Music Style: Worship, rock
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Sound: Very pleased with the sound. I lean more towards rock sounds - so my tone and drive are always at 3 o'clock - works well with my strat and hollowbody - especially with the humbuckers on a hollow and single-coils. Great sound. Feature: The most useful feature - ONE single tone knob! No fiddling with any High/Low knobs - one tone knob is already plenty Ease of Use: Very user-friendly Quality: Solid. Although the paint kinda chips off easily in some places. Value: Affordable. Nicely priced. Manufacturer Support: No problems so far - don't expect any anytime soon. The Wow Factor: Based on the sound, I'd say this is one great overdrive pedal - would like a Blues Driver to pair with this, though. Overall: Great for what I need and what I do
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"It is what is...perfectly" submitted March 22, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: all types of rock
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Sound: I equate overdrives like wasabi or cayenne pepper...its got no real flavor of its own until added on top of something. Although, id say the sd 1 adds a nice high mid to your tone. Lots of extra grit on tap too..im sure out there would be curious to know that. Just remember..its overdrive, not distotion. Overdrives are transparent and sit on top of a sound, thus if you play clean channels with an od on, youll still hear the clean signal clucking under it. a distortion is for masking or creating a channel. If you play a clean channel then kick on a distortion, you basically just created a dirty channel. Feature: Just perfect actually Ease of Use: a caveman can do it Quality: Its a boss...their stuff has always seen the worst and managed to keep working. Value: Considering how many idiots will spend 200 and up for something as simple and plain as an od, this is an absolute steal. It does exactly what an overdrive is meant to do. Od pedals have no business in the boutique world.its like people trying to make a gourmet french fry and charging a premium for it. at the end of the day, its still a classless french fry. An od is still an od. Manufacturer Support: Never needed it The Wow Factor: Lets say this again...its just an overdrive. It has no character on its own. Its sole purpose is simply pushing an amp Overall: all guitarists need an od at some point. So its nothing special, and these types of pedals arent supposed to be. Its job is usually done well no matter how much you spend.
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"Great price, for a great little pedal. Crank it up." submitted February 7, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Learning musician
Music Style: Rock, techno rock.
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Sound: This pedal sounds amazing. I'm using a crappy little 15w Fender Frontman 15G amp, but I can adjust my SD-1 pedal to get as decent sound as I can from the amp. I have heard this pedal on larger amps, and speaker cabs, and its simply phenomenal! Feature: When I bought the pedal it was just the pedal, I had to buy the jumper cables and what not. It came with a 9v battery in it, but the battery didnt have much charge. Once I got the PSA adaptor I didnt have to worry about batteries just yet. The pedal is stomp-proof. When I'm shredding, or rocking a rhythm, this box handles my weight at about 200lbs. I would advice standing on the thing, but me stomping on it is quite enough. Ease of Use: Quite simple. 3 knobs, and a pedal. I whack a chord or a note, and adjust the knobs to get the sound I want. darken the tone and up the drive, or about 50/50 on drive and level and get me a warm sound. The pedal came with a very simple instruction manual, and leaves room for exploration. I also forgot to say, since each pedal is color coded, it makes recognizing pedals all the easier. when your in the dark on the stage, or in broad daylight, its simple. Quality: As I said above, the quality is good, in both sound, and design. The only thing you really have to worry about are the conenctions sticking out of it that you might break. Value: Being priced at a price below 50 US dollars, it was a steal. good sound, for a good price. one of the better pedals for a low price. Manufacturer Support: I havent had to deal with the support yet. Hopefully i wont have to. So far so good. The Wow Factor: Yellow, stands out, first pedal to stomp, and with the right kind of music, anything can be sexy. its small, and looks like a brick. no gawdy stomp knobs sticking out, and the sound knobs on it already are almost lower than the stomp pedal, so you dont have to worry about steping on one. Overall: Nothing beats having an overdriven tube amp, but the Boss SD-1 pedal really makes the sound different, and better. When using a chip amp, it helps drive a cleaner sound.
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Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive Customer Review submitted August 3, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Rock, Blues
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Sound: I liked the overall sound a lot. The only real con is that, depending on the level, there is a high amount of feedback from the amp, though this could be worked on. Feature: The knobs are relatively easy to understand. High quality metal framework and no-slip rubber. Ease of Use: Small, fits on most pedalboards (I have a PB1000) and, as aforementioned, the knobs are simple enough. Quality: You could throw this thing out of a moving car and it will probably still work. Value: Besides on zZounds, I have never seen this pedal under $45-50. I think it is better to get this than to give in to a cheap pedal or maybe to even wait for a more expensive pedal. Manufacturer Support: zZounds.com was accurate in the shipping progress, and Boss was right to boast about its quality and features. The Wow Factor: It is very good-looking, unlike the EHX Big Muffs that you basically have to dedicate space to -- the rubber is no-peel, and the metal frame and construction are great. Overall: This is a very nice pedal; it delivers hi-fidelity sounds to your amp. If anything, it has a bit of feedback and, if not kept up, isa bit squeaky when pressed.
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"A superb pedal for rock musicians" submitted June 20, 2008

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist/Recording
Music Style: Rock (U2, Coldplay), Alternative (Green Day, Sum 41), Blues (SRV)
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Sound: I would give this a 10, but if you crank the drive you can sometimes get a little hum. Other than that this pedal is INSANE! You can get a clean, boosted sound with this or you can get a really dirty grunge sound. (Oh yeah, and everything in between!) Minus the minor hum, you almost always get an incredibly crisp sound. It's fantastic! Feature: It's got a LEVEL, TONE, and DRIVE knob. That's really all you need for this. Adjust the DRIVE to crank the intensity and the TONE to decide whether you want to play the highs or the lows. Ease of Use: It's really easy to use. You can read the manual, which is helpful. But I really just enjoyed opening it, sitting down with it, and messing with all the knobs. Turning them this way and that, I was able to get the sounds that I desired with little or no trouble at all. Quality: This is a BOSS pedal. These things wouldn't break if we had a nuclear war. You don't have to worry about it breaking, IT WON'T. Just be sure to only the right type of power supply (9V battery or BOSS AC jack). Mine came with the AC power supply free. Value: $50 bucks for an overdrive pedal isn't bad at all. You really get what you paid for. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to deal with them and I don't anticipate I will have to. The Wow Factor: I don't really care what it looks like, but I wanted it pretty badly. I had listened to demos of it and knew it was what I was looking for. Overall: I probably won't replace it. Even if I become a professional musician, I don't think I'll ever have to replace this pedal (or want to for that matter).
11 of 12 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Boss SD-1" submitted April 3, 2012

By Anthony Fucci in Long Island, NY
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Musical Background: pro/semi pro
Music Style: most styles but mainly blues
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Overall: A well made good solid OD pedal for the money but not what I was looking for. I found it hard to dial in my tone. The SD1 had a little to much edge for me as I was looking for a warmer, smoother OD and ultimately exchanged it for a TS9 tube screamer which I'm very happy with.
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"Great and cheap pedal" submitted January 25, 2007

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: 16 years playing hobbyst and profesional
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: Excellent sound. Very useful like smooth overdrive or light distortion. Gives an increase in the medium frequencies. The only drawback of this pedal is that it sucks part of the low end response. Good if you want to increase the guitar volume for solos. Feature: Everything you need is there. Ease of Use: Only 3 knobs... Quality: BOSS: Best pedal construction. Value: Excelent sound for the money. Manufacturer Support: Never had to contact BOSS. The Wow Factor: Perfect. Overall: Excelent.
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"BUY IT FOR WHAT IT IS INTENDED TO BE" submitted January 17, 2005

By a customer from aol .com
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: country and rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The SD-1 is a controversial pedal in the sense that most people buy it for the wrong reasons. I myself fell into that catagory once upon a time. I would read in my favorite guitar mags about my heroes using it in their setup. You know, guys like Zakk Wylde and Eddie Van Halen who are world renown for great tone have this same yellow box on their pedalboards, so I thought this is the key to achieving great tone. This wasn't the case. The SD-1 on its own, with all the controls maxed, is not a high gain affair. So in that aspect I shelved the thing for years. As time went by though I changed my musical tastes a bit, now I lean more towards the classic country sounds of the late 60's, guitarists like Don Rich and Roy Nichols and modern day guys like Pete Anderson and Marty Stuart. Now suddenly I find this pedal to be the cream of the crop. With the drive set at around 9 o clock or less it adds the right amount of grit to a clean Fender Tube amp. Low end licks stand out in the mix much better and it adds a good amount of sustain and clarity for pedal steel licks as well. If rockabilly and roadhouse blues are your thing or if you are looking for a touch of natural sounding overdrive this is the pedal for you. Barn burners need to pass this on by though. No high gain here. Feature: I give it a nine because it is simple, not a lot of features, just the right ones. Quality: I have owned it 10 years without any worries, can't say that about the rest of my equipment. Value: Great tone at half the price of Ibanez TS9. Why shell out the dough? Save it for strings. Manufacturer Support: Never had to deal with the company but I have heard good things. The Wow Factor: The all metal case is the most appealing. I have owned plastic pedals that have basically been destroyed by use or accidents. Never let the drummer help you load your equipment! Overall: Like I said earlier, most people buy the SD-1 for all the wrong reasons. If you want high gain distortion pass this up, otherwise you will submit a report of unsatisfaction. If you want to boost your amp a little without over the top gain look no further. I will also mention that this isn't a cure for lacking tone. You need to establish a decent tone without the pedal first, then the SD-1 will accentuate that. I have tried this pedal on solidstate amps with disappointing results,works best with tube amps, in my opinion anyway.
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Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive Customer Review submitted January 22, 2006

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Sound
Features
Quality
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Sound: This is the best pedal you could ever own. It sounds so good! Put it into a high-powered amp and just let go! I have all the settings on the pedal to about 2 o'clock Feature: IT doesn't have a lot of features but it doesn't need many its an OVerdrive pedal and it is the best there is. Quality: It is a boss, it will still be around long after i'm gone. Value: Wasn't very expensive at all. The technology isn't cutting edge but it doesn't need to be. This is a brilliant overdrive pedal. It lets you rock HUGE while given a lot of transparency so all the little details of your playing, what makes you, you, is still there. It isn't muddled up by the overdrive. Manufacturer Support: never had to deal with them don't know. The Wow Factor: BUY IT! YOU WON"T REGRET IT. Overall: As i said before brilliant pedal, it wasn't alot of money and it sounds incredible!
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"something every guitarist needs" submitted March 22, 2007

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Sound: excellent, the idle humming is barley noticebale Feature: none needed...its a pedal Ease of Use: 3 knobs, could it get easier? pedal goes down easy Quality: sturdy, everything is great Value: cheappppp Manufacturer Support: good deal The Wow Factor: everyone should have this, its a good base sound
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"I would strongly recommend this this to every guitar player." submitted July 7, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, / Active Musician
Music Style: rock / funk / jazz and gospel
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Sound: Sounds very cool, but has a little bit to much high frequency Manufacturer Support: No support needed. If broken, I'll buy a new one. Cost only $50.00
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"A stellar pedal for a stellar price" submitted April 15, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Progressive Metal
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Sound: I originally came into my local music store two/three weeks agolooking for the SD1 - after buying Digitech's Bad Monkey, returning it and finding the SD1 newly in stock, I quickly returned the bad monkey and scooped it up - and how glad was I! The tone is miles ahead of the shrilly digital sound of the Digi overdrive - whereas three simple knobs can make such a difference. It took a few days of tweaking and experimentation, but just recently I dialed in the perfect tone on my Crate Flexwave 120FW - and the sound I get when I stomp the boss is so pleasing I'm scared to touch the solo knobs! Overall, with a little tweaking, this pedal has enough. Feature: This pedal lacks features for one reason: it doesn't need alot of features to do its job. I didn't find this as a displeasing at all, but rather better. I gave it a 7 as it's not a completely flashy pedal. I don't wish it had anything more. Ease of Use: With three knobs, how could you go wrong? My justification for buying this pedal was I didn't really want to be swooned to spend $100 dollars on a Tubescreamer when that in itself could buy a new pickup if need be. For $50 and less in some places (in my case, as it was $45), and with Boss, I knew I had to atleast check it out. All in all, you don't have to be a good guitarist to get any type of moderate distortion you want. Quality: I love Boss pedals after I first bought the MD2 - which later turned out to be not so amazing after I discovered palm muting sounded awful on it - but after my slight experience with the way it was built like a tank, I expected no less, and no less were my expectations correct. It feels rock solid, the dials have a very unique quality to them, the finish & color is very recognizable (and that's a Boss thing; and I love it), and the sound, last but certainly not least, is better than my amp's overdrive channel in that is sounds very deep, resonant and natural. Suffice to say, it's very pleasing to have the SD1 in my loop. Value: I find it extremely - amazingly - worth the price at any retailer. The price I paid was modest and still kept close to the retail value, and I would pay just about anything close if I had to buy it again. Manufacturer Support: I have never dealt with Boss at all, but the stamp of approval on its' 5 year warranty on the box practically speaks for itself in matters of support. The Wow Factor: If I didn't have this pedal I would be working myself to death trying to get money for pickups, then I might decide they don't make my guitar sound any better and I go out in search of a pedal, but I can't because I'm broke as I just bought new pickups. Needless to say, I now thrive on this pedal simply because it gave me an amazing shortcut in my tone, altogether with the price I paid for it, I feel like I got my money's worth, and plenty more than that. Overall: I have never tried another overdrive (beside the Bad Monkey); and although this is no original vintage TS808 or TS9, I'll give it a 9 because it isn't the best overdrive in the world. If I had to replace it, I wouldn't think of buying anything else unless I had to, and I could afford it. Because It feels like it could withstand nuclear war, this pedal isn't going anywhere out of my possession.
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"Gods Gift To Guitarists" submitted January 12, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Composer, Recorder, Engineer, All Amateur and getting a few small gigs in the local sceene
Music Style: Punk, Rock, Ska, Alternative anything interesting ... Little bit a jazz/blues and a touch of lite and regular Metal
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Sound: A lot of control over the Overdrive... Tone level and drive what more do you need? and the most important part of the sound... its made by BOSS Feature: Simple and to the point... twist the nob and your set Ease of Use: Come on? You hit it with yoour Foot and it turns on... Quality: Its BOSS... Well built, perfect for stage and im in a Punk Band!!! Value: I picked it up for 38 Pounds stg and thats a steal $50? thats 25-30 Pounds Manufacturer Support: Never Had To Deal Wiith Them... The Wow Factor: Im a fan of BOSS pedals for cosmetics durability reputation and most of all sound... Overall: Well its an add on not the last piece before success but well it covers youe overdrive i twin it with a custom distortion on a VOX AD30VT i have total Control
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"Like a hammer. Simple and effective." submitted August 2, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: 10+ year Hobbyist
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Sound: Great Sound. It can however suck a bit of the lower end. This pedal has a smooth classic sound. Feature: Volume Tone Drive. would be nice if you could boost some of the frequencies (namely the bass.) Ease of Use: 3 knobs, but a lot of combinations for sound. Quite easy to use. Quality: I got this pedal used. And then I beat the crap out of it. This pedal might be indestructible. Value: Great Value Manufacturer Support: I haven't dealt with them about this pedal, but I did have ask Roland (Who owns boss) a couple questions about my 20+ year old JC-120 amp. They got back to me right away. The Wow Factor: Looks like a Boss pedal. Which if you know boss pedals, you would assume that it's a decent well built pedal. It's like buying a hammer. You know it's going to get the job done. Overall: This pedal has never failed me. What it does it does well. It has that classic sound, and can take a beating. It isn't the right sound for all applications, but it does work for a good many. I'd rather have this pedal than some others with much higher prices.
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"One of the the best dynamic, yet subtle/explosive pedals ever designed!" submitted October 16, 2005

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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: I have used this overdrive pedal for more than twenty years. This pedal allows you to take the original tone with on/off pedal pedal comparisons and increase the gain to the point that your amp will naturally follow. Feature: 3 knobs, that is all. Each one is truly usable. Quality: Over twenty years of use without a single problem or "scratchy" pot...'nuff said! Value: Value!!! I paid more for this pedal ($60 US) in the early 1980's. The industry has certainly changed! The Wow Factor: This pedal has a lot of good settings. If someone does not like this pedal, it is likely that they do not like their original tone. This pedal adds layers of great overdrive. If you have a weak solid-state "bedroom amp", you may not like this pedal. If you want a distortion pedal that sustains tones for days, this pedal is not for you. I got lucky over twenty years ago to find a pedal that does not "clamp"(compress) and merely "fuzz" like Electro Harmonix Big Muff, and not add notchy/cheap/feedback riddled tones like other offerings by Boss/MXR/DOD(Digitech). Overall: This pedal has little is integral of my sound. I use it with my 1974 all-tube Sunn Model T, and a Gibson electric guitar. The tone I shoot for is Black Sabbath/ Corrosion of Conformity/ Black Flag/ Down/ Down II.
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