NPD: Boss Adaptive Distortion DA-2, its like eating a sour patch kid.

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    This is an interesting pedal. It sounds good, but it doesn't. What I mean is it sounds like a good distortion, almost perfect, but thats the problem - its missing something organic about it in how it sounds. Because it sounds like a distortion that doesn't sound like other distortions, its kinda like turning the wheel to the right and the car starts to move left - things are happening but not at all how you would expect or how you are so accustomed to.

    At first glance, it might be better suited to high-gain metal or more modern music - could easily see it coping Rage Against the Machine, Foo Fighters but maybe not Pearl Jam, whose sound is more organic in a sense, at least how I think about it as I write this. Metal all day long I suppose.

    I like the blues and organic pedals. My favorite is probably the Marshall Guv'nor. I am not a fan in any way of digitally sounding pedals, but there is something about this pedal I like...and I don't. Perhaps it's the musical equivalent of eating a sour patch kid. You think why did I do that and then you want another. This pedal might be like that.

    I generally don't even like Boss overdrives, although I find myself now with 3 presently on my board: SD-1w, SD-2, and now the DA-2, which for the moment is doing Marshall GV-2 duty. They are not alike but the DA-2 has a nice whoomp to it that you get from a Marshall stack.

    So we will see how this goes - not sure if it will stay or if it will go, but since I first heard one back in 2015, I have wanted to get one and try it.

    fullsizeoutput_3d0.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
    emisilly and hemingway like this.
  2. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    6,232
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    At least you didn't think it was like eating a Warhead. Man those things are sour!
    I have a old issue of Guitar Player magazine that has a review of the DA-2 in it when the pedal was first released. The writer had the exact same impression as you. He thought it sounded processed, like something you would hear on a well produced recording but not organic. Hope you find a way to make it work for you.
     
    emisilly and hemingway like this.
  3. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    I was able to get more time with it last night, after waxing poetic above - perhaps I should not attempt a review when I am tired and punchy, although the pedal does take one off guard when first using it.

    I went back and forth between the GV-2 and the DA-2 and found that I actually like the DA-2 better. The GV-2 sounds dark/dull comparatively but the DA-2 sounds quite open, even though distorted. I don't think I would go so far as to say the DA-2 is a MIAB, but it can do it pretty decently, especially when it comes to the low end.

    The low control lets you get that low-end marshall whoomp that I mentioned above, which I like. About how I have the dials set in the picture above, I have settled on for now. I didn't really play with it much with low below noon, but I imagine you can roll off that low end just fine for some mids push.

    The high control with the "a-dist" turned up can get really harsh. I think keeping both below noon is where this pedal will tend to do its best.

    The pedal doesn't sound bad at all, just different from what one might be used to in a distortion.
     
    hemingway and RetroTeleRod like this.
  4. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,412
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Boggo Road
    Put aside what you expect for a dirt box and you will find that the DA-2 is quite useful. Try complex chords - add 9s, 13s, etc and you will see that this pedal will shine. It is not just distorting a band of frequencies with the same dirt - rather it is distorting in waves and summing the output. This pedal slays in a fusion setting.
     
    RetroTeleRod and D_Malone like this.
  5. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    Oh I bet it does. It's probably complaining that I am just doing simple blues through it...
     
  6. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Location:
    Delaware
    I also have a love/hate relationship with my pedals. It's awesome to find a new setting or stacking combo that pushes it out of the same old, same old.
     
  7. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Location:
    Ferndale, MI
    I used, and enjoyed, the OD-1x for a while. It’s basically a newer version of the DA-2. The “MDP” technology really works well. Low end stays focused, high end stays clear, regardless of how much you crank the gain. The lack of character and modern sound made me move on to other things, but if they would apply the technology to something with more of a classic sound I’d give it a whirl.
     
    bluesholyman likes this.
  8. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,909
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    These high-tech attempts by BOSS at OD/distortion are usually a swing and a miss. Remember the DN-2 Dyna Drive? Very similar complaints about that one, too. I REALLY wanted to like that one.

    Stick with the tried and true BD-2, OD-3, DS-1, or SD-1 and all will be well. :cool:
     
  9. Telewielder

    Telewielder TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2020
    Location:
    Brazil
    Is it really? I've got the OD-1X and love it. I've been meaning to grab the DA-2 because the demos are great, but if I've already got a pedal that does what it does, well, that'd be pointless.
     
  10. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    464
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Location:
    Ferndale, MI
    I shouldn’t have said ‘“newer version of the DA-2” because I don’t know that for a fact, but it utilizes the same technology, and is newer. ;)
     
    Telewielder likes this.
  11. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    I found a fairly new (this year) review of the Dyna Drive by 60 Cycle hum. My opinion of that guy is he pulls no punches so I would expect his reviews to be informative, if not fair.

    The Dyna Drive does not sound too bad :D

     
    RetroTeleRod likes this.
  12. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    It is similar in that is it probably using the same or very similar DSP chip to do the processing. They almost certainly changed the programming of that chip to provide a different "response" for the OD-1x than the DA-2.

    Consider that the Tera Echo, Adaptive Distortion, and Multi-Overtone all use the same chip with different algorithms to create the effects. The sky is the limit. It is a reasonable assumption its the same chip given that using different DSP chips across 3 different pedals is a big waste of R&D funds and resources - could happen, but unlikely.

    So while the OD-1x and the DA-2 are both dirt boxes using the same technology, saying one is a newer version of the other would be like saying the Tera Echo and the DA-2 are versions of each other - at a hardware level, yes, generally speaking, but the programming could be anything.

    You would have to put them (od-1x and DA-2) side by side to hear the difference and I suspect they will sound different enough.
     
    Telewielder likes this.
  13. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,909
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    Not a fan of that guy/show, but I'll give it a watch.
     
  14. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    After a couple days of playing around with the DA-2, I like it... I like it a lot - I may even like it better than....gasp....The Rat.... :oops:

    It seems with other distortion pedals, the amount of distortion varies with the frequency (string/note), depending on the circuit. With the DA-2 every note has the same amount/kind of distortion, regardless of the string. Not really an epiphany given thats what the marketing talks about, but having my ears understand that is pretty cool.

    It is a little on the bright side....kinda like how the DS-1 is a little on the bright side (according to my ears/taste) but I like it and just need to figure out how to work with it.
     
    Telewielder and RetroTeleRod like this.
  15. Telewielder

    Telewielder TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2020
    Location:
    Brazil
    Nice! I'd still love to hear from someone who's a/b-ed it against the OD-1X.
     
  16. Telewielder

    Telewielder TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2020
    Location:
    Brazil
    Bump
     
  17. Tornado

    Tornado Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    311
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I took a look at it because it was said that just like the Source audio multiwave distortion you can play complex chords with good note separation. What I hear on youtube videos it is not bad but the multiwave is a bit better when it comes to that I think.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
    artdecade likes this.
  18. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,022
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    First impressions of gear can be like that - pedals especially, maybe even more so than amps.

    I'm an SD1 fan, but I recently bought a Soul Food on a whim.

    First impressions: so what?

    The next day I plugged it in again and it was one of those hallelujah moments. A total revelation.

    I still love the SD1, but it's not my number one any more.
     
    bluesholyman likes this.
  19. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,951
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    Yeah, one day I think a pedal is IT and the next day I wonder why I liked it so much - funny, the SD-1 happens to be one of these, although I pretty much understand what I like about that pedal and when to use it now and also what can replace it if that pedal isn't on the board.

    My foxcatcher and klone (Aluminum Falcon) have pretty much taken up permanent residence now that they are the dynamic duo on my board (see other post, Bluesbreaker -> Klon) I have never not liked these pedals.

    The DA-2 will be "special purpose" I suspect and not a staple of the board...it is unique and a bit more difficult to dial-in, but has its place.
     
    hemingway likes this.
  20. Telewielder

    Telewielder TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2020
    Location:
    Brazil
    I finally got mine. Man this thing rocks. It's so fun to play intricate chords and hear them clearly even with a lot of dirt! There's something a bit "percussive" about the attack, too, which is different but very cool. Ah this pedal's fat! Lots of bottom end.
     
    RetroTeleRod likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.