Boss DS-1 Tube Driver Mod from PedalDoc

| December 1, 2010 | 1 Comment

The Boss DS-1 distortion pedal has been made by the Roland Corporation under the brand name Boss since 1978. Given its longevity and simplicity it is one of the more common pedals in the guitar community. With one tone knob, one level knob, and one distortion knob it can produce distortion from thin, light and snappy up to heavy and harsh.

The DS-1 uses a very simple circuit with a single op-amp as the central device. The distortion is created with diodes shorting the output to ground to produce hard clipping of the input waveform similar to the ProCo Rat distortion pedal. The distortion stage is then followed by a passive tone filter and volume control. The tone control is scooped in the midrange, similar to the Big Muff. It consists of a simple fixed -6dB per octave low-pass filter and a simple fixed -6dB per octave high-pass filter using a potentiometer to mix the two signals.

With the DS-1 in production for so long it stands to reason that it has many loyal followers. However many guitarists feel that the DS-1 produces a harsh “transistor sounding” distortion which is often compared with the distortion offered by the low-quality solid state amplifiers. Let’s give a listen to this video with a basic demonstration of the DS-1:

There are many options for modding this pedal. In this article we cover the Tube Driver Modification sold by PedalDoc of Burgos, Spain. PedalDoc specializes in the production of kits to convert standard guitar pedals into boutique-tone stomp boxes, in most cases just by changing a few components. Mods come with instructions, all needed components, solder and de-soldering braid. The mods are designed so they can be installed by the average guitar or bass player without any previous knowledge of electronics. The kit builder will only need and hour or two, a soldering iron and some basic tools to install the modification.

All components that need to be changed are shown on pictures or diagrams. You will need to know how to use a soldering iron, and we highly recommend that you practice soldering and de-soldering before beginning a modificaiton. PedalDoc will supply you with a free solding guide if requested. All PedalDoc mods can be undone in case you donĀ“t like the sound of the modified pedal.

The Tube Driver kit is for those who find their DS-1 to be very harsh and would like to give their pedal the sound of fat, tube-like assymetric distortion. PedalDoc’s goal was to produce tones similar to those heard on the first Black Sabbath alubms, or similar to early Marshall amplifiers.

Let’s give a listen to a video demonstrating the modded DS-1.

The Tube Driver Mode currently sells for 18 Euros (about $23.50) and can be purchased by contacting PedalDoc.

Category: Pedal & Effects

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  1. avatar Dan says:

    Got a few pedals modified by Pedaldoc. Bought the kits in Ebay and modified the pedals myself. Nice guys and good service.

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