Boss’s Best-Selling Pedal Gets Waza Crafted With the DS-1W Distortion
Made in Japan, this souped-up version of a modern classic offers enhanced functionality and sound
Boss has unveiled the most recent addition to their acclaimed Waza Craft line: the DS-1W Distortion (opens in new tab).
Officially described as a “complete redesigning of the original circuits by the original developers,” Waza stompboxes are refined versions of classic Boss compact pedals, representing the apex of the Japanese firm’s world-renowned ingenuity and craftsmanship.
Easily differentiated by a ‘W’ suffix and kanji logo, the Boss Waza Craft range now comprises the DS-1W Distortion; BD-2W Blues Driver (opens in new tab); SD-1W Super Overdrive (opens in new tab); DM-2W Delay (opens in new tab); CE-2W Chorus (opens in new tab); VB-2W Vibrato (opens in new tab); TU-3W Chromatic Tuner (opens in new tab); MT-2W Metal Zone (opens in new tab); DC-2W Dimension C (opens in new tab); HM-2W Heavy Metal (opens in new tab) and FZ-1W Fuzz (opens in new tab).
So what new features does the Boss DS-1W Distortion have?
Featuring a revised two-stage gain circuit this analog dirtbox now boasts two modes: Standard and Custom.
In Standard mode, the DS-1W incorporates a discrete circuit version of the original DS-1, delivering legendary tone that ranges from a light boost to heavy gain.
In Custom mode, a thicker, more midrange-focused variation can be explored – something Boss describes as “an evolution of the iconic sound that retains the essence of the DS-1.”
The original DS-1 Distortion – Boss’s first bespoke distortion pedal – was released in 1978, the year after the brand’s now iconic compact pedal format made its debut with the OD-1 Over Drive (opens in new tab), PH-1 Phaser and SP-1 Spectrum.
Over the decades since its release the DS-1 Distortion has been spotted on the pedalboards of some of the guitar world’s most influential players, including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Kurt Cobain.
Boss’s best-selling pedal of all time (over 1.5 million units and counting!) the DS-1 Distortion was superseded by the DS-2 Turbo Distortion in 1987 – itself a modern classic.
A collectible version known as the DS-1-4A Distortion was released in limited quantities in a black finish in order to commemorate the pedal’s 40th anniversary.
Visit Boss (opens in new tab) for more information.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab), Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.