You know that awesome rock ‘n' roll guitar tone you get when you crank a tube amp up to 11? Well, that is very much the focal point of the Boss beast known as SD-1. As the name indicates, this stompbox creates the sound you get when you kick overdrive into high gear.
It's affordable and has all the features of standard Boss pedals, meaning sturdiness, reliability and quality tone. There's a few things to discuss about this fella, let's dive right in!
Packed in a light green casing, this item is actually quite basic. It offers only the essential controls, but still secures a lot of sonic versatility and space to maneuver your sound into a variety of directions.
As is often the case with Boss pedals, we are looking at a single In jack, one Out jack, a LED status indicator, and a large on/off foot-switch. The device can be run through a single 9V battery or via standard power adapter, none of which are included in the price.
As noted, the device packs just the essentials. However, each of the knobs is very accurate and precise, allowing you to dial in any type of tone from light drive to full-on roar. In total, we have three knobs: Level, Tone, and Drive.
Level – This knob sets the amount of overdrive effect that gets injected into your audio output. The more you crank it up, the more overdrive and less clean guitar signal you will get in the final audio mix.
Tone – This one determines the character and brightness of the OD effect. The more you dial in, the darker and more bass-driven your sound becomes; and vice-versa, lower values secure a more bright and dry tone.
Drive – This one is crucial as it adjusts the level of gain and drive. It is through this knob that you will determine whether you want just a pinch of gain or a full-blown tube OD boost.
One of the things we particularly like about this pedal is how nicely it emulates the tube vibe. For example, the level of drive can be affected by the way you pick and strum your guitar, which is exactly how tube overdrive operates. But even without those details, the tone is high-quality stuff with plenty of versatility, a great value for the listed price.
For example, we've seen church players using this device for attaining just that minimal drive effect. On the other hand, we've also seen rockers cranking this one up to 11 and rock out ion style. Within the listed price range, this is one of the champs.
Overall, this is a top-notch overdrive pedal if you need versatility and solid sound at a fair price. This is not just a beginner stompbox, it's much more than that, and we thoroughly recommend checking it out. It's easy to get a grasp of this fella's capabilities and overall vibe in a short time period, meaning you'll get a pretty clear image from the get-go on whether or not this is the pedal for you.