A better Boss SD-1?

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

  1. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    The circuit itself hasn’t undergone any changes over the years (the recent move to SMT tech is a change I guess, but not to the tone or values of the components) so the only sonic differences would be due to component tolerances being different. There’s no reason to seek out a vintage SD-1, Boss has never changed any of the parts inside in any way that would actually affect how it sounds.
     
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  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's a more elaborate SD1 mod.

    https://www.premierguitar.com/artic...-perfect-your-ibanez-ts9-and-boss-sd-1?page=5

    Here's some more ideas:

    https://reverb.com/news/simple-boss-pedal-mods-changing-from-stock-to-rock

    From the earlier post by NWinther, I think that's removing C6, as shown here in the schematic from Brian Wampler:

    https://modyourownpedal.com/blogs/news/a-few-easy-boss-sd-1-super-overdrive-mods

    I've heard that just removing or clipping C6 and doing nothing else is a fairly popular mod.

    Here's a thread on what C6 removal does-- basically restores some highs which some describe as "taking the blanket off".

    Depending on your application C6 removal may or may not be preferred. Some guys run it through a DPDT miniswitch so
    they can put it in or take it out of the circuit at will.
     
  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Many of the boutique changes-- "upgrading" to metal film caps instead of ceramic, changing op amps, make zero or a very
    miniscule change to the sound. Changing actual values or removing components such as C6 removal will have a much bigger
    impact on the sound than changing the material. Op amp changes probably won't do much either given how they function
    in this pedal.
     
  4. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

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    ^Running it with a good amp and guitar, plus alot of woodshedding practising playing is recommended... ;)
    The SD-1 sounds very good through most stuff....I just like the C6 removed...the tone knob cuts plenty on its own...
     
  5. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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  6. Sean Mac

    Sean Mac Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    SD1 into a Marshall 1987/1959 or 2204/2203 is a classic combination.

    They're easy to find and not expensive.

    They get lonely on their own I've heard :rolleyes:

    Pick up a second one and send it to 11 Gauge

    :)
     
  7. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    I modded one to make use of my hrd drive channel. I'm ok-ish with the job I did ... probably going to get the clipping arrangement just the way I want it and call it good
     
  8. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is a big advantage of diy pedal mods. If you diy, you can often accept ok results. When you are on the tone quest pedal buying obsession you’re never satisfied.
     
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  9. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    As I understand it, the SD-1 doesn’t pass through a clean signal like the TS does, and it uses asymmetrical clipping which is a bit less “smooth” sounding than the TS’s symmetrical clipping.

    These differences might have something to with it sounding “blurrier” to your ears, especially the lack of the clean signal being passed through.

    I prefer the SD-1 because it sounds more amp like to me.
     
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  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    C6 is part of a low pass filter, that removes treble at 6dB/octave slope, above a (somewhat low, IMO) corner frequency of ~1.6KHz. At higher gain/drive settings, it's possibly helpful, but otherwise, there's no disputing that it's rolling off more top end than is probably preferable.

    IMO, there's really nothing to lose by removing C6. You basically end up with a tone circuit that's the "same difference" as a TS. If things seem a little too bright, just roll the tone knob back a little bit more counterclockwise (after all, it's what the tone control is there for).
     
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  11. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I’m genuinely surprised anyone would find the SD1 lacking in highs. To my ear it’s a bright pedal inherently. I use it only for leads but my tone knob is always left if center. We all hear differently I guess.
     
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  12. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

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    Clarity....is great....
     
  13. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I find a stock SD-1 or TS to sound bright simply because they have all the low end rolled off.

    I think probably the most complaints come from those who might use the SD-1 as a faux boost, with the drive set really low, or at minimum. You could argue that there are better pedals for the task, but removing C6 will most likely fix the problem.
     
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  14. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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  15. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the only other issue it really has is the buzzy bypass artifacts ... which you could solve by swapping r1 and c1 (it worked for me) ... then it becomes how you want it modified
     
  16. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I've mainly been an SD-1 guy for the past five years or so. If you turn up the level for a bit more headroom and turn down your guitar a little, you might get a better result. All pickups are not created equal and different player's picking technique will vary as well, so I'm skeptical that somebody else's settings will help you. It's something you'll need to play around with on your own.

    Here are some mods I'm using on one of my SD-1's

    Remove C6.

    Change R6 to 6k8. This will move the HP filter threshold from 720 hz to around 500hz for stronger low mids.

    Passive tone control. I borrowed this one from 11 Gauge's "SD-1 to Zen Drive conversion" thread, posted elsewhere here. Sounds more natural to me.

    On the back of the board, put a 100pf cap across D4. Another nod to the Zen Drive. A TS uses a 51pf in this role. The stock SD-1 doesn't have it.

    If you're interested in a different pedal, I'd recommend a no-frills Blues Breaker v1 clone. I've got the $50 Chicago Stompworks bare box version. It sits next to the SD-1 and gets a lot of play, particularly with my tele. If you can solder, there are a couple of resistor swaps that some of us think will improve it.
     
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  17. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe a TS style pedal with the 3 clipping modes like the Landgraff TS. The Biyang OD-10 Mad Driver is a good solid option on the cheap...then you'll have the best of all worlds. Also an AC or RC Boost or Spark Boost might be an option to try. You can find some nice mini clones. I just got a Donner Boost Killer which is supposedly a clone of the RC. $30 and I like it better than my TS or any SD-1 I've used, and I'm a fan of the SD-1. It's not something I would use as a standalone OD, but for a boost it's been great.
     
  18. j5jarod777

    j5jarod777 Tele-Meister

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    Maybe an FD2 Mosfet??
     
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don't think the OP would probably want anything Fulldrive-based, because they have a lot more bass than a SD-1.

    I think this really is a case of not fixing what isn't broken, and there shouldn't be a need to really resort to anything that's not a SD-1.

    IMO, step one should either be to pull C6 in an existing SD-1, or get a second one, and have C6 pulled from it.
     
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  20. dezb1

    dezb1 Tele-Holic

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    After years of swapping overdrives I returned to the SD-1 a few years ago and realised I got it right when I was 16... just my amp was garbage back then.
     
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