Boss Sd-1 Super Overdrive, Any Love? I'm Kinda Blown Away

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by toomanycats, May 15, 2019.

  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7,857
    Likes Received:
    17,774
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    North Carolina


    Last week I found this pristine BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive at a pawn shop for $15. It was the lowly made in Taiwan model, not the spendy vintage MIJ variety. Strange as it sounds considering that I've been playing guitar for thirty five + years, I don't recall ever trying one of these before. I think that a negative experience with a BOSS DS-1 Distortion sometime way back put me off to the brand. But for $15 it was a no brainer.

    So I buy the thing, take it home and fool around with it all weekend, reaching a number of conclusions and raising a few questions.

    First, holy hell this thing sounds good . . . like really good. I've got boutique drive pedals, hand wired stuff and so on, so I have good standards of reference to compare the BOSS with. The SD-1 is warm and natural sounding but also detailed. It works awesome as a clean boost with the level maxed and the drive pulled way back. With the drive set just shy of 12 o'clock it has such a nice gritty snarl. It's more rude than a Tubescreamer, in a good way. I've never liked a Tubescreamer for rhythm, but this SD-1 does a great job at it.

    So my questions:

    Why in the world are these only $50 new?

    Do you guys think this one has been modified? It definitely doesn't lack low end or have that "blanket over the amp" sound many attribute to this pedal. Guess I'd have to open it up to see if anything has been altered.

    If it's not already modified, what modifications do you recommend, if any?

    I'm playing a Harley Benton Les Paul with Epiphone Probuckers through a 65 Amps London set at very mild breakup.


    Settings used on the demo for lead guitar.
    fullsizeoutput_8f9.jpeg


    Settings used on the demo for rhythm guitar.
    fullsizeoutput_8f8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    adad, RiverDog, manco53 and 9 others like this.
  2. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    18,596
    Likes Received:
    17,115
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Sweet playing!!!!! And yeah, the pedal sounds pretty darn good. I'm not a boutique pedal guy myself, so I'm glad when other people are also happy with their inexpensive pedals. :)
     
    adad, Kraftwerk and toomanycats like this.
  3. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    7,588
    Likes Received:
    6,280
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern AZ
    I like mine, don't use it much now that I have a modeling amp, but I have used it out front of my Monoprice quite a bit.

    (mostly as a boost as you noted.)

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
    toomanycats likes this.

  4. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7,857
    Likes Received:
    17,774
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    North Carolina
    One negative that you will notice on the demo is that it is somewhat noisy with the level maxed and used as a boost. But even expensive pedals can be guilty of this.
     
  5. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,831
    Likes Received:
    6,639
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    Reminded me of something that would be on Jeff Beck's 'Truth' album. Nice!

    They were cheap because they are a very simple design and easy to manufacture?
     
    tvvoodoo and toomanycats like this.
  6. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7,857
    Likes Received:
    17,774
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thanks. It's never bad to be compared to Jeff Beck. :)

    Regarding the price of the SD-1, how come the BOSS Blues Driver BD-2 costs twice as much at $99? It has three knobs, like the SD-1. It has the same enclosure. There may be more components on the board, but they probably only cost a few cents.
     
    peskypesky likes this.
  7. rmfroyd

    rmfroyd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    8,209
    Likes Received:
    15,708
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Devil's Crevice, Florida
    I have built a few SD1's. Great sounding simple circuit. Very smooth.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
    peskypesky and toomanycats like this.
  8. peskypesky

    peskypesky Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    18,596
    Likes Received:
    17,115
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    you gotta pay for that blues mojo
     
    fullonshred and toomanycats like this.
  9. zisme

    zisme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    7,203
    Likes Received:
    6,874
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    norfolk, va
    I have the waza version, and it's a swell pedal for sure. Very smooth with a healthy amount of gain in the custom setting. I prefer the angst of a rat, so I don't use it as much. Still, nice to have around
    8f2737b4c5cc88dd6c9fd13232402aaa.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
     
  10. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,831
    Likes Received:
    6,639
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    Probably a touch of what the market will bear. Blues driver is almost as simple as the SD-1, so you got a valid point.
     
    toomanycats and peskypesky like this.
  11. pirate19

    pirate19 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    2,199
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago
    Love mine--it's on my "living room" board (SD-1 --> EHX Nano Holy Grail --> Ditto Looper --> 1956 National 1220 tweed amp)
     
  12. Pratteman

    Pratteman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    5,020
    Likes Received:
    2,062
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    St. Louis, Mo
    My fav pedal. I have three including the Waza one.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
    toomanycats likes this.
  13. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,139
    Likes Received:
    3,138
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    St. Louis
    It was my first dirt pedal. Better than decent, if I recall correctly. @Pratteman how different is the waza version?
     
  14. RockYoWorld

    RockYoWorld Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    1,767
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It gives your guitar that "WASSUP!!!!" tone!

     
    Pratteman and andrewsrea like this.
  15. Flatline

    Flatline Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,659
    Likes Received:
    713
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Indiana
    I have one on my board currently.
     
  16. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7,857
    Likes Received:
    17,774
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I opened up the SD-1 to have a look inside. From what I can tell it looks like no modifications have been done. C6 has not been removed, which from what I've read is the most easy and common mod used to "remove the blanket." But as I said in the OP, I don't perceive that the pedal in its current state is lacking in detail.

    Opinions on modding the SD-1 seem to fall into three camps:

    1) Leave it alone, its great as it is.

    2) Maybe remove C6, though anything more turns it into something else, or simply isn't worth the effort and expense.

    3) This pedal is the ultimate mod platform and can be vastly improved via extensive tweaking.

    fullsizeoutput_8fa.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  17. Aullucci

    Aullucci Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    630
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I've reached the point where I believe that the price of the dirt pedal bears little relationship to how much I like it. I really like my $20 OCD knockoff. I think my Joyo US Dream sounds better than my MXR Custom Badass which cost twice as much. I also have TS808 that was like $150 new and I love that too. Had a Bad Monkey and an East River Drive and neither of them came close to the 808 to my ears. Price, like age, is just a number...

    I don't have any Boss dirt pedals (the only Boss I have is the Waza Delay), but I have no trouble believing that they sound awesome even though they're cheap. I feel like you can't play electric guitar and not own a DS-1 at some point. Might have to add SD-1 to the list. Glad you're digging yours.
     
    Kraftwerk, toomanycats and andrewsrea like this.
  18. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    23,577
    Likes Received:
    16,711
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SoCal
    Needz moar germanium
     
  19. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,831
    Likes Received:
    6,639
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    I agree. #1 rule of music: try it and use it if you like it. Everyone's tastes are different. For example, I hear guitar players make fuzz boxes sing and I totally struggle with them.

    On the other hand, put a Plexi Drive, Dirty Shirley or Danelectro OD-1 (OCD) in my signal chain and I am playing with ease.
     
    Aullucci, PsychoCid and toomanycats like this.
  20. Aullucci

    Aullucci Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    630
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    That's an interesting observation, and makes perfect sense. If there's something about my tone that isn't working for my ears, it's harder to focus on playing than it is on trying to make the bad sound stop. Once the tone is there, though, the music comes out so much more easily.
     

Share This Page