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 is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating 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 (opens in new tab).