Boss DS-1W Distortion review

The iconic orange distortion has been on sale since 1978, but now Boss has revamped its best-selling compact pedal – with spectacular results

Boss DS-1W Distortion
(Image: © Phil Barker/Future)

Guitar World Verdict

All that familiar, classic DS-1 sound is still there, but the added mode’s rich and tactile distortion makes this version of the pedal a much more versatile proposition.


  • +

    Welcome update on a classic.

  • +

    Two very usable modes.

  • +

    Increased tactile response and more usable volume in C mode.


  • -

    Not a thing.

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Over the past few years, Boss has been introducing Waza Craft versions of some of its compact pedal series: premium versions featuring a complete redesign of the original circuits by the original developers.

Some of these have been welcome revamps of pedals that have been out of production for some time, such as the CE-2, the DM-2 and the Dimension C. But this latest is not only one of the earliest Boss compacts but one that has been continuously in the Boss catalogue since 1978 and is, in fact, its bestseller.

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Trevor Curwen

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.