A better Boss SD-1?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by D_Malone, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

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    I’ve been using a stock Boss SD-1 as a lead boost into an amp that’s just breaking up if you dig in.

    I like the bass cut, compression, and smoothness of the SD-1, but I want more clarity. The SD-1 kind of smears notes together a bit.

    I’m not interested in a Tube Screamer, or TS derivatives.

    I’m considering the MXR Modified OD and the Fulldrive 1.

    Anything else I should be looking at?
     
  2. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    I too am and SD-1 fan. I don't claim to have tried every OD. (I still have 20 or so) but, the Keely Red dirt mini has some of the quality's you're looking for. I find its a little too clean but it has plenty of choices to dial in the sound you're looking for.
    I've had the modified OD, but have not tried the FD-1 yet.
     
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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I thought the SD-1 was a TS derivative?

    So the Rt 66 is another TS that has a really nice clean boost at the bottom of the gain knob, and also a nice compressor next to it, but you don't want that so never mind.

    The XVex Distortron has a really good clarity to its lowest gain range, the SHO part is a clarity booster.
    And it has a three position subs switch that lets you tailor the bass lower or higher.

    Last I'd mention the Bluesbreaker based Prince of Tone and KoT or a clone, they maybe don't cut bass (not sure) but they are tight and not bassy, with a wide range of clear to dirty. Very much like your amp only louder. Which is why I don't use mine...
     
  4. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    The SD-1 isn’t a TS derivative pedal, it’s actually kind of the other way around. Boss came out with the OD-1 first, then Ibanez did the TS as a OD-1 derived pedal (only with a tone knob and symmetrical clipping since Boss had a patent on asymmetrical at the time). Eventually as the TS became very popular, Boss added a tone knob to the OD-1 circuit and it became the SD-1 as we know it today. Put the SD-1’s tone knob at noon and that’s exactly what an OD-1 sounds like.

    It’s one of my favorite overdrives and I’ve tried a few SD-1 derived circuits as well. The MXR Modified OD is SD-1 derived but in my experience didn’t give you any more clarity. My suggestion is the Boss Waza Craft SD-1w. With the SD-1w the circuit is refined and the op-amps in the original are created with discreet components. What you end up with overall is a similar but slightly more articulate sound. It’s the SD-1 for people who want the best most perfect SD-1 possible.
     
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    The SD-1 works very well for this. Also works really well stacked into another dirt pedal for when you want to take it over the top. (In this application,
    best to have the gain level set below 12'o'clock on both dirt pedals. I think the stock SD1 is perfect for this use--- I had a modded one once, and its
    enhanced clarity made it sound spiky and harsh to me. It's a tradeoff.

    But for what you're looking for, have you considered trying a straight up compressor pedal, ideally one with a blend option (straight signal plus compressed),
    and the ability to boost a bit above unity gain? If it has good boost capacity it also works as a clean boost pedal with the compression turned all the way down
    or the blend turned all the way to straight signal.

    A bit of compression with a little bit of volume boost can render a wonderful lead tone that also increases the dirt by pushing your amp a little harder.
    I've been using a Wampler Ego Compressor this way instead of a second dirt pedal and I think it works great. Another bonus is that when playing totally clean
    sometimes you might find yourself turning on the compressor to get better sustain. If it has a blend option you can have your cake and eat it too-- you get
    natural attack and a natural sound, but better sustain without it sounding all squashed out.
     
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  6. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Boss SD-1 Waza.

    Or stop worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter and play the gear you already have.

    Turn the level up a bit and the drive down a bit. The SD-1 is not smearing the notes. You or your settings are.
     
  7. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

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    Good stuff, all, thank you.

    Chris M., I’ve tried compressor pedals, most recently the DryBell Unit67. I’ve decided it’s not the way to go for me.

    MilwMark, thanks for the tough love. I think you’re right.

    I’ll audition the SD-1w. A local shop has one. Might be the answer.
     
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    In fairness, I did "upgrade" from the SD-1 to the SD-1w. I started using it on the Custom mode and after about 2 shows switched it back to the standard mode. D'oh! I do think the buffer/bypass might be a bit better than my old one. But that is probably rationalization on my part . . .
     
  9. jamesepowell

    jamesepowell TDPRI Member

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    Ever try the OCD? It replaced the SD1 in my box of toys. You may want to give it a listen.
     
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    If you are running humbuckers into the pedal you may want to switch to single coils or raise the screw poles on the humbucker and drop the whole pickup to get more clarity. If you have slugs on both bobbins you might need to try a higher kohm volume pot, lower uF tone cap.

    Look up the SD-1w circuit mods from the base one. The MT-2 Metal Zone Waza mod that is out there is as easy as clipping the leg off one cap (clip close to the board in case you ever want to make it stock again). I found a huge improvement on the Metal Zone, maybe similar for the SD-1.

    .
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The OCD with gain at zero does a surprisingly great job of pushing the feel of drive without losing clarity.

    Really, getting dirt is so much easier than getting clarity with the feel or impact of a dirty sound.
    A lot of that is technique too, and of course some stuff works clean but gets less distinct with any kind of dirt.
    A very light touch and more volume helps get the sort of exploding amp push while maintaining clarity, and also gets a seemingly compressed envelope without compression, by mechanically limiting the attack with RH technique

    I guess I have three sound goals, one is fat singing clean, one is flat out nasty dirt, and the hardest is the impact of dirt with the clarity of clean. #3 is hard to get, still working on that. And I recall each pedal that gets that emphatic push without grit.
     
  12. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I would suggest a Bogner Wessex pedal. The pedal has great clarity in its overdrive. Very touch sensitive pedal with an amplike feel. It can go from clean to mean with ease. The early Full Drive 2 is a decent pedal, but I would go with an OCD over a FD2. Why not get a boost pedal to use with the SD-1? A graphic EQ pedal might also get the results you're looking for. Those can be found for cheap, but a Graphic EQ pedal can do clean boosting quite well on their own. They also can further sculpt an already distorted guitar tone.
     
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  13. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    Are you using the 12, 12, 9 settings most folks use?

    Edit: Here's how mine is usually set, but this is for a bright Telecaster.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Find an old school black label MIJ SD-1 and give that a go... you may be surprised at what you hear.
     
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Wow. Do you mean noon on level and drive? That would blow up my amp and everyone in the club's ears, if I set mine that way. I get SIGNIFICANT level boost with the level and drive both in the 10-10:30 on the clock face range, on mine.
     
  16. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    No, the vol and tone at noon. Gain at 9 or below.
    I usually have the tone at 11 ish with a telecaster.
     
  17. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Keeley-modded SD-1 and it is the one pedal that Just stays with me regardless. Like everyone, I get fancy-pants stuff when I have the $$$, and am always trying new stuff, but for sound and response, it's the one. The Keeley mods are really effective, as the pedal feels fluid to play even as it sounds clearer and more hi-fi. Though it does not provide much boost, when you really want to soar you can stack it with (after) a Sunface and the sound and feel are phenomenal. Absurd as it seems, the Sunface plays second fiddle to the modded Boss. Who'd a thunk it?
     
  18. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Different strokes....I sold my Keeley modded SD1 and prefer the stock SD1....
     
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  19. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    After buying way too many overdrives, yeah I like the stock SD-1 best as well.
    I think they get flipped so often because they are not "bedroom friendly" like some of the boutique stuff.
     
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  20. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

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    Remove this cap...if I remember correctly it is a leftover from the OD-1.
    It clears it up nicely...
    SD-1 cap.jpg
     
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