The BOSS DS-2 TURBO Distortion pedal is an updated version of the BOSS DS-1 with an additional “Turbo” knob that provides a “heavier” distortion level. This distortion pedal provides a range of tones from blues-rock to heavy metal to lead solos. The pedal has classic tones of the DS-1 with additional “turbo modes.”
Picture of the BOSS DS-2
History of the BOSS DS-2
The Boss DS-2 was released in 1992. The pedal has been used by guitar players such as Kurt Cobain from Nirvana and Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day.
Features of the BOSS DS-2
The BOSS DS-2 has Distortion, Level and Tone controls which are the same as the DS-1. THE DS-2 is basically a DS-1 with a turbo knob and a remote input. The turbo knob is actually a rotary switch disguised as a knob which switches from non-turbo to turbo mode. The turbo setting yields a heavier distortion which, from a marketing perspective, was due to the demand for highly distorted guitar tones of heavy metal and grunge of the early 1990s. By comparing the Boss DS-1 schematic and the Boss DS-2 schematic, it is apparent that the DS-2 is a much more advanced design than the earlier first generation DS-1. The The pedal is switched between clean and distorted sounds by pressing on the pedal with your foot which engages the switch. The pedal also features standard 1/4″ input and output jacks which are standard for modern electric guitar gear. The pedal also includes a 9V DC AC Adapter jack. The pedal is powered by a 9v battery or a PSA-series AC Adapter which is sold separately. It also has a remote jack for connecting an option foot switch to control the turbo setting.
Sound Quality of the BOSS DS-2
This distortion pedal has a decidedly very scooped sound especially when the tone knob is turned up. Unlike the DS-1, which I find to be very suited for punk rock type music, I find the DS-2 lends itself more towards heavy metal and grunge. The turbo setting gives it a much “heavier” sound and is great for playing slower de-tuned rhythms. Think Kurt Cobain at his best. When the turbo mode is not activated, the pedal produces a tone very similar to the DS-1…shrill and harsh with a lot of high end depending on how much you have turned the Tone knob. The turbo mode produces much more mid-range with a more “in-your-face” distortion. As far as distortion pedals go, the DS-2 is a great pedal. It mimics the classic tone of the DS-1 but also adds many more sound options and can basically do everything the original version could and more. If you are looking for a great sounding pedal that has a classic tone with versatility, the DS-2 is a great choice especially if you play heavier music or a lot of guitar leads.
Specs and Dimensions
The DS-1 is 73mm wide x 129mm deep x 59mm. It weighs 15 ounces.
The Boss DS-2 Distortion pedal comes with a five year manufacturer’s warranty.