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 did just that tonight with good results. Level at 1:00, tone around noon, and drive at 9:00. Thanks for the suggestion. I’m diggin it.
     
  2. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    I'd have to agree with the guy who posted that. I had the same experience with an MIJ SD-1. I was told it was due to different diodes being used in the later SD-1. That could be wrong, but the MIJ SD was definitely different than the later post MIJ SD.
     
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  3. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    Any perceived sonic difference can only be due to the difference from parts tolerances between individual pedals or a placebo effect. The circuit itself hasn’t changed in any way since 1981. AnalogMike confirmed this on TGP and the Boss Area page has also confirmed no circuit changes beyond changing the power adapter in the 1990’s. Testing one MIJ vs. one MIT unit might reveal some kind of sonic differences, but those same differences could be found between any two SD-1s. It’s not due to any actual circuit change.

    See for yourself:

    http://www.bossarea.com/boss-sd-1-super-overdrive/
     
  4. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Going all the way back to the OD-1, the clipping diodes should be similar across all OD-1s & SD-1s. The early 808s and DS-1s have quite different clipping diodes that did make for an audible difference, but not the OD-1 or SD-1, TTBOMK.

    I think the most likely difference is probably due to pots - their tolerances vary as it is. I'd imagine Boss has probably used more than one manufacturer of pots over the years, and that could make a difference, too. The drive pot is a 1 megohm unit - say that the manufacturer of the MIJ SD-1s supplied a pot that generally spec'ed out at ~880K ohms. Now say that the manufacturer of the MIT SD-1s are supplying a pot that generally specs out at 1.12 megohms. The MITs are going to probably "seem gainier" in comparison.
     
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    The nice thing about pot variance is for most applications all you need to do is move the pot a few degrees and everything is equal again.
    Unless you're putting the pot at zero or max, that is. When people are comparing two different pedals of slightly different manufacture and
    noting how one "sounds gainier" than the other, rather than put them at the same settings and noting the difference, I think it is more instructive
    to see if they can get the two pedals to sound EXACTLY the same with some minor tuning of the controls. If one has the gain at 9 o'clock and the
    other has the gain at 11:00 in order to get a perfect match, well than what's the diff, really?

    You can't do that when we're talking about a fixed resistor somewhere else in the circuit.
     
  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    The thing is, there's no difference - you've just dialed in the same amount of resistance on both pedals.

    Something else of importance when "matching knob settings" is that the drive pot in the SD-1 is not only "big" (2X the value of what a TS has), but it's also a linear taper, vs. the much more common "log" taper in many other drive pedals (including the TS). The gain/drive in the SD-1 will "ramp up" much faster, and actually matching the same resistance for any two SD-1s is probably a little more difficult than one might realize.
     
  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yes, but . . . Confirmation Bias.

    It must be better. I paid 2x as much (3x? 4x?). And it says "Japan".

    So there.
     
  8. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll see your Confirmation Bias and raise you Collector's Bias.
     
  9. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    Lol. That’s the beauty of the SD-1, it’s a wonderfully classic sound, and it’s $50 brand new all day long. No vintage mojo, no circuit variations, just the same great thing for almost 40 years, available pretty much anywhere. That’s pretty cool of Boss to keep it priced that low, if you ask me. It’s truly a “pedal for the people” in that sense.
     
  10. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i find the filter knob on a RAT to be the most precise pedal adjustment for where the EQ needs to be combined with the DIST & then using Vol to how hard to hit. from more of to lil break to big break. Being able to put my break or gain how & where. The manipulation of those 3 knobs really works well on my Fenders.I have all the typical TS & DS1 pedals but find my precise setting in the RAT. Also works as a great boost. The filter seems to allow placement where a tone knob just colors. I use my amp for the tone/color.
     
  11. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    It remains a mystery, but there was something different, that's all that can be said according to this observer.
     
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  12. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Meister

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    I have one of these and have always asked myself why it sounds different than all other newer SD-1s I've heard. I even thought mine was damaged or has some kind of problem. It sounds like an SD-1 but it's way more sinister, has a darker tonal color, I don't know it that makes sense. It probably doesn't. It's just how I perceive the difference.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  13. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    I hear ya bro. Other folks' results, impressions and/or opinions may differ tho IME the older 80's MIJ Boss pedals sound heaps better to my ears. Much less noisy too. About 15 years ago, a buddy of mine scored a metal screw (first run) Boss DS-1 at a Guitar Show super cheap... ($30 or $35) and that thing sounded AMAZING. Completely stock. We plugged it in at my table and played it thru a SF champ and folks were stunned at how great it sounded. He later sold it for ~$350. Regardless whether the circuits, components and/or values have or haven't changed, I find the older MIJ versions far superior to the later MIT and currently made ones.
     
  14. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    The DS-1 has had some circuit changes over the years, so early ones do sound different. That’s fairly well documented. As far as the alleged vintage SD-1 sonic differences go, could some of that tonal difference be due to using an older 12v ASA pedal with modern power supplies? Just a thought.
     
  15. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Although I've never owned a vintage SD-1, it's a good question. Electrolytic caps degrade over time. I wonder if that could contribute to a different sound and feel. It seems to hold true with vintage amps.
     
  16. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    If you're pushing an amp that's breaking up with an SD-1, would you actually hear the difference between a MIJ and MIT? I can't imagine distinguishing the subtleties.
     
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  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've only personally experienced issues with degraded electros in the signal path with a couple of pedals, namely a DD-2 and DD-3. You basically lose your effected signal when that happens.

    In the case of some drive boxes, you'll sometimes find that they use electrolytics on the semiconductors' outputs that are bipolar or non-polar. Since those are typically two polarized caps in series (within the canister), I've read that there's a greater likelihood for failures and "audible issues," but I have to say that I've never experienced that myself.

    One thing that I've never personally experienced is using some kind of "superior grade" cap and experiencing some kind of incredible audible high performance, as a result. If you consider that many "holy grail specimens" of whatever type of drive pedal were typically mass produced with cheap components, then it makes the whole high performance component thing pretty much a moot point.
     
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  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    IMO, they'd have to be much more than just subtleties.

    Given that the circuits and components in all of the SD-1s are equivalents, it doesn't even make it plausible that any one of them could somehow make significantly more harmonic content than another, unless one of two things (among possibly others) were happening:
    1. component malfunction
    2. assembly error at factory (e.g. wrong value for a resistor, wrong type of diode, etc.)
     
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  19. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Possibly. I think it has more to do with the downgrading the component quality to maximise profit but that's just my take on it.
     
  20. Mase

    Mase Tele-Meister

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    This interests me as its been suggested I could use a SD-1 for a boost in another thread.
    I have never done any work on pedals, but I have wired up my own guitars, could you suggest a link with a good "how to" ?
     
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