Boss DS-1 vs Boss DS-2: What’s the difference?

Boss ds-1 and ds-2 pedals next to each other
(Image credit: Boss)

In spite of the similar nomenclature, the Boss DS-1 and DS-2 are two very different distortion pedals. Each has its own distinct characteristics and idiosyncrasies that make them two very different beasts to deal with. These pedals may look very similar but ultimately that's where the buck stops, as what lies beneath each of these mandarin enclosures covers very different sonic ground.

One of the original distortion stompboxes, the DS-1 has existed over multiple eras, meaning there are many different versions to contend with. On the other hand, the DS-2 has additional modes that give it more in common with the BD-2 Blues Driver than its similarly named predecessor. Both are fantastic pedals there's no doubt, but which one is right for you? Read on to find out.

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Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.