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Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive Pedal

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The Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive is a classic Boss Pedal hat's remained largely unchanged since it’s original release back in ’81.

You can use it as smooth and responsive sounding overdrive, or simply as a boost. It’s a really transparent sounding pedal that maintains your guitar’s natural tone and interacts with your amp like a great overdrive pedal should.

In the guitar pedal world, there are only a few really original overdrive designs, and the core Boss overdrive is one of them. At it’s heart the SD-1 an original OD-1 with an added tone filter. However this simple addition changes things dramatically, as any player that’s compared the two will tell you. There’s plenty written online regarding the SD-1’s asymmetrical clipping - especially compared to the Tubescreamer’s signature symmetrical tone. Regardless of the exact nature of these symmetrical/asymmetrical differences, it suffices to say that the SD-1 is an absolute giant of its genre that'll give you classic overdriven tone.

GAK's Boss SD-1 FAQs:

Q1: What’s the difference between the SD-1 and SD-1w?

A: The Boss SD-1 is the standard Super Overdrive and the one that’s been in continuous production for over 30 years. Over the years it’s received a few updates and tweaks and the SD-1w is perhaps viewed as an alternate set of updates based on the ’81 original. The SD-1 and SD-1w are intended to complement each other in the Boss range. We recommend the SD-1 if you’re looking for a really well priced classic overdrive that won’t let you down, but to check out the SD-1w if you’re looking for a little extra. Neither is better than the other as such and both are really flexible pedals, however we think the SD-1w’s Custom mode really does add something pretty special to the SD-1 format.

Q2: Is this SD-1 Made in Japan (MIJ)?

A: No, the SD-1 is currently made in taiwan. Earlier MIJ Boss SD-1s are quite highly sought after and sometimes command quite hefty prices online, but the SD-1 was one of the first Boss pedals to move production. The current range of Boss pedals maintains all the tone and build quality of their earlier counterparts, but at the kind of competitive pricing that wouldn’t be achievable with Japanese manufacturing. If you’re in the market for a Japanese original, we think you should check out the SD-1w. Although they might not quite have the battle scarred vintage vibe of an original, they’re constantly available and sound consistently great. Plus, they come with Boss’s standard 5-year warranty.

Q3: Which Boss overdrive is best for me?

A: This is a really hard question to answer and, ideally, we recommend trying a few to see how you think and feel. The SD-1 is a great place to start if you’re at the beginning of a journey of overdrive discovery though. Many players keep a back-up SD-1 handy as a general, all-purpose overdrive, they’re just so versatile. If you’re new to overdrive, the SD-1 makes a great learning tool for this very reason.

Q4: How do I use an overdrive like the SD-1 as a boost pedal instead?

A: Just hook it up as normal keep the overdrive down and push the level up. Exact settings will vary depending on your amp and settings elsewhere, but you should be able to find a sweet spot that pushes the signal up enough to get sufficient break up from you amp’s front end. If you need a little more drive than that you can then always just push the pedal gain up a little more. This kind of set-up has been used successfully by players of just about all genres, right from blues to extreme metal, and we definitely recommend trying it out.

  • Input Impedance: 470 k ohms
  • Output Impedance: 10 k ohms or greater
  • Connectors
  • -INPUT: Jack
  • -OUTPUT: Jack
  • -AC Adaptor: Jack (DC 9 V)
  • Power Supply
  • -DC 9 V: Dry Battery 9 V type (6F22/9 V)
  • AC Adaptor
  • -Current Draw 6 mA (DC 9 V)
  • Accessories
  • -Dry Battery 9 V type (6F22/9 V)
  • Option
  • -AC Adaptor (PSA-Series)



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Customer reviews

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  • Paul


    great pedal

  • Paulie B


    Stone cold classic!

  • Ian Murray


    Four stars as the difference on the gain pot between overdrive and fizzy distortion is not much. Once dialled in though I’m happy.

  • Daryl Hunt


    Does exactly what it says on the tin

  • Andrew Rich


    Excellent pedal

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