“Beloved by generations of players in every musical genre”: Boss’ sparkling 50th Anniversary series celebrates its place atop the pedal pile – and, with prices under $100, won’t put off the players that got it there

Boss 50th Anniversary pedals
(Image credit: Boss)

Stompbox stalwart Boss celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and has announced a new line of limited edition effects pedals to celebrate the milestone. 

If at this point, you’re thinking, ‘Wait, surely it's not been 10 years since we had Boss’ 40th anniversary pedals!?’ Well, you’d be right. That was six years ago, back in 2017. What’s going on, then?

Well, those units celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first compact pedal, whereas this new range is marking Boss’ very beginnings: back in 1973 as part of the Roland corporation’s guitar effects department.

The 50th Anniversary Series features three of the brand’s most iconic compacts – the DS-1 Distortion, SD-1 Super Overdrive and BD-2 Blues Driver – each of which has been finished in metallic paintwork. 

Alongside the blingy finish, you also get a few extra-luxurious appointments in the shape of gold-capped control knobs, a silver battery compartment thumb screw and a 50th anniversary logo (located on their right-hand side). 

Boss 50th Anniversary pedals

(Image credit: Boss)

“Presented in exclusive packaging and marked with unique four-digit serial numbers, these pedals deliver the same sound and circuitry that have made the standard versions so beloved by generations of players in every musical genre,” says Boss’ press release. 

As you’d expect, these have been produced in limited numbers, with 7,000 available in total. 

Obviously, with that many hitting the market, they won’t place among the pedal world’s rarest finds, but it’s arguably a more fitting tribute to the everyman spirit that has made Boss an enduringly popular choice across the past five decades. 

Similarly, we like that Boss has not used the anniversary as an excuse to jack the prices up to astronomical levels, with prices for the new limited-edition compacts starting at $82.99 for the DS-1 Distortion and SD-1 Super Overdrive – $20 more than the regular price. The BD-2, meanwhile, comes in at $109.90, just $10 more.

Essentially, they look like a testament to what Boss has always done best – which is taking great, usable tones and reliable builds and putting them in the hands of all manner of players – from beginners to (thoroughly) seasoned hands. 

Indeed, only yesterday we saw this evidenced when we spotted no less than five Boss compacts custom-mounted in Jerry Garcia’s final touring rig – and the Grateful Dead guitarist was known as a fastidious tonehound.

For more information on the 50th anniversary pedals, head to Boss.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.