What happens when you cross a Boss DS-1 with a Klon Centaur?

Boss Klon DS-1 Centaur
(Image credit: KDH / YouTube)

Launched in 1978, the Boss DS-1 remains the longest production-run guitar pedal in history, and one of the best-selling, too. These accolades are owed to both its affordability and availability – you can pick one up for around $50 from most guitar stores with a pedal department.

But do these titles earn it respect amongst the guitar community? YouTuber KDH doesn't seem to think so.

As he explains in his latest video: “I think this little guitar deserves a lot of respect, but sadly, not everyone agrees. There seems to be a little bit of snobbery in the guitar pedal world, and when it comes to a mass-produced, cheaply-priced and easy-to-get-your-hands-on pedal like this, that just doesn't tick any of their boxes.

“The air of exclusivity with this demographic is a big seller, and this doesn't have any of that. I'm talking about the guys who would spend five grand on a pedal because of its supposed tone.”

So how does one inject a little exclusivity into such a readily available distortion pedal? Why, combine it with one of the most sought-after, of course: the Klon Centaur.

Designed in the 1990s by Bill Finnegan, the Centaur quickly gained an almost mythical reputation amongst pedal enthusiasts for its dynamic, midrange-rich drive, however it was discontinued in 2009.

“I think we've figured out what our target demographic want,” KDH says. “They like exclusivity – limited numbers – mystery in what components are used, and a nice paint job. I think we can do that.”

Using a replica Klon Centaur housing, the YouTuber gets to work reinventing the DS-1. He begins by giving the chassis a brand-new bright orange paint job, before inserting the DS-1 circuitry and adding some Boss knobs. 

Finally, he adds the rubber footswitch pad from his now-empty DS-1, before adorning the Frankenstein pedal with some fresh 'Distortion DS-1' lettering.

And just like that, the Boss Klon DS-1 Centaur is born. “Admittedly, it's not as pristine as it could be, but it does what it set out to do,” KDH explains. “It's the only one in existence – it's rare.”

Whether KDH will go on to sell the pedal remains to be seen, but it'll have to go some way to beat the $2,000+ prices currently fetched by Boss's recently launched TB-2W Tone Bender

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.