GUITAR PEDAL GIVEAWAY! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

068 | BOSS SD-1: A Closer Look at this Super Overdrive Pedal | Transcript

Transcript

Back to Episode Homepage

Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 68 of the Sonic Renegades Podcast. We're exploring Renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. For today's discussion, we're going to be taking a look at an iconic pedal. This is the Boss Super OverDrive SD-1. The circuit has an amazing history and we're excited to talk about it on the other side. Everybody, Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you are having an amazing day. Today, we're going to be talking about the Boss Super OverDrive SD-1. This pedal has been around since 1981. It's got an amazing history behind it, it's got a legendary circuit. Yeah. So we're excited to unpack this, just fantastic pedal in our episode today.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I'm really excited to talk about this one. I mean, I haven't really played this one much other than this morning, but yeah, it's just overall, it's a great pedal, it's super popular, really affordable. So, yeah, excited to talk about this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, speaking of affordable, this thing will only set you back by 50 bucks. So for $50, you're getting the reputation of Boss, you're getting a pedal that's built like a tank and you're getting an iconic circuit. So, really can't complain for 50 bucks.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, for sure. And it really does nail that Tube Screamer S tone that a lot of people are looking for. So, if you can nail that tone for less than you would pay for a Tube Screamer, then I don't see why not.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, exactly. So, if you guys are new to this circuit or don't know much about the SD-1, as we mentioned earlier, this pedal actually first came into existence in February of 1981. So it's been around for quite some time and obviously still exists today. There've been a few different variations of it. I know in the early '80s, there was a Japanese version. I think from '89 to '03, another version. All the way up until now, I mean, you've got the standard one that we're talking about today, that's definitely mass produced, hence the lower price tag. But yeah, it's been around for decades, and for good reason, obviously it's got a circuit that's loved and admired by a lot of folks, a lot of famous musicians, a lot of regular players. So yeah, lots to be said about this great pedal.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I mean, I was just looking down the list of artists and different people that have played this thing, and it's just super long. Just not even time to even get into it, but there's a ton of people who have or still do use this pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, like you mentioned, the list is forever long, but for those that are just slightly curious, I mean, we're talking names like David Gilmour, John Paul Jones, Bruce Springsteen, the Edge, John 5. It goes on and on and on.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. Actually, something really interesting about the SD-1 that I found is when I was just looking up different history about it and things like that, I found this weird version that Boss did. I guess they did a short run of them, but it was like a Zakk Wylde Signature and it had his guitar design on it, which I thought was super strange just because Boss doesn't seem to do that.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It is very interesting to see Boss do something like that. I know that's very not typical of a company like Boss to do. So, yeah. The crazy partnership or collaboration there, for sure. Well, if you guys aren't familiar with what makes this circuit so legendary, as we've mentioned, it's been around for decades, where you can get into a little bit of debate and kind of he said, she said. We'll just put the facts on the table and you can make your own decision on it. But this circuit is actually based on the bestselling OD-1 OverDrive circuit which Boss created. That thing has its own reputation. And then a little circuit called the Tube Screamer came along, which basically took that OD-1 circuit and added a tone control option and clipping option. And from there, the rest is history. That is the beginning foundation of the Tube Screamer and all the other iterations of the Tube Screamer that have come since then.

So again, going back to that original OD-1 circuit, Boss responded by adding the tone control like the Tube Screamer and hence it became the SD-1. So it was the Super OverDrive inspired by the original OD-1 OverDrive. They did not add the clipping option. And so all that to say, OD-1 with tone control became the SD-1, which is what we're talking about today. OD-1 with tone control and some metrical clipping became the Tube Screamer. So, could you say this is a Tube Screamer? Could you say this is copying the Tube Screamer or the Tube Screamer is copying it? We'll leave that up for discussion, but that is the history behind it, and that within itself is what makes this such an iconic story.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And I think it's better to look at it as a Tube Screamer alternative rather than a direct replica of anything, or if the Tube Screamer is a direct replica of this or whatever. But I feel like it's one of those where it's like you have two circuits in the same vein and it's just picking which one is going to better serve you as a guitarist.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. There are differences between them and yeah, I mean, really, at the end of the day, it's for the person to decide. But again, that's just the history behind it, so you can be the judge on what you think is what, and ultimately, we're all chasing tone, so choose circuit that's going to best fit what you're looking for.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. I think for 50 bucks or whatever it is new, I really don't think you can go wrong with it. I mean, I was playing it this morning and it's like, "I could make this work. It might not be my first choice, but I could work with this."

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, it's solid and again, it's a Boss pedal, so it's built like a tank, so it's going to last forever and it sounds good. I mean, to be expected from any Boss product. So on that note, let's go and talk about some of the things that really stand out to us and maybe things that don't stand out quite as much. I know for this one, depending on the type of guitar that you have, maybe humbuckers or single-coils, I know some people have complained that maybe it could be a bit thin at times, and maybe even slightly, a little bit too bright, but generally speaking, you're going to find more positive reviews and positive feedback regarding this pedal.

Positive being a lot of people think it really does capture that warm, tube-driven sound, plays nice with others, basically works great with other pedals. Yeah. And they love that it responds well to picking dynamics and everything else. So, definitely more on the positive side, but there have been a few negative reviews and thoughts out there. Yeah. What about you, Eric? Have you seen anything or you have your own personal two cents on it?

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, I think the biggest thing that I've noticed, especially when people are debating like the SD-1 of the Tube Screamer, is that typically people who run a brighter amp like a Vox amp or something along those lines, don't like the SD-1 because that's when it gets really thin and trill. But if people are running more of an American style and maybe a darker amp with more of a full body blowing kind of thing, then people tend to gravitate towards it more because it'll cut a little bit better. So, I feel like it all depends on context, the guitar you're using, the amp you're using, kind of the whole thing. So, yeah. Again, it comes back to that which one fits your needs, because the Tube Screamer has a giant mid hump and it's all mids all the time, so maybe if you're running a brighter amp, that can help you out.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. Yeah, you made a great point. I mean, there are so many different variables and that goes for really any pedal. But yeah, definitely, in relation to this one, those are definitely factors to consider. So, assuming you're just middle of the road, again, this should be a great addition to any pedal boarder, any collection. For me, I don't think I'll actually run this on my board, but I'm glad that I own it. I mean, it's just nice to own a little bit of guitar pedal history by ... Again, 50 bucks isn't going to set you back too much. So, it's great just to have it because it's, again, used by so many great musicians and it's a circuit that's been around forever. So, it was nice to own a little bit of that history.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And even if, let's say you buy the SD-1 and you decide that, "Yeah, I really like this, but I want something a little bit nicer, something that has a little bit more." Boss also has now released the SD-1W, the Waza Craft, which I'm assuming pays tribute to the older main Japan circuit that was so popular and is so popular. And that one runs about 149. So for 100 bucks more, you get the, "Nicer one with a switchable switch between a stock and the custom circuit."

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I'm glad you brought that up, because those Japanese ones, and I believe the dates on those, I think they were produced from '81 to '88. So, I was on reverb this morning and I saw a few from 1984. As you mentioned, Eric, they're running for 100 plus, 150, in that price range. So yeah. I mean, those are other solid versions of this that are great to have. And if you really want to own the history, like you said, that's a good one to pick up.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. And honestly, all of Bosses, the Waza Craft pedals that they've done are really great. I mean, I've gotten a chance to try. I've tried the delay and I tried the SD-1 at one point and they both sound really nice. So, I think those are pedals to look into if you're just looking for something to add to your board.

Scott Schwertly:
Absolutely. And I know they've got several great ones coming out this year and that have come out. So, yeah, that's always a great direction to go, especially if you're a Boss enthusiast, so why not just go with the Waza Craft versions of them? All right. Well, let's go and talk about the controls a little bit. Pretty easy pedal to use, pretty straightforward, dealing with three knobs here, a level, tone and drive. Eric, anything special you wanted to highlight with those?

Eric Wilson:
No. I mean, it's pretty straightforward. There's not much to misunderstand about this one. The one thing I will say is when you do run the tone control past noon, it does get a little harsh.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I've noticed that as well. So let's go and take this thing for a test drive. We're going to get things set up here and give you guys a taste of what it's all about. Eric, what guitar are you going to go for this one?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go ahead and use the Tele for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. We're going to get the setup guys and as always, we'll see you on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That's the Boss SD-1, a great OverDrive, especially for 50 bucks. So, definitely check it out.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It's a good one. Again, you can own a little piece of guitar pedal history for $50. Not too bad. Or less than that. 30 or 40 bucks if you can find it used. So, there you have it guys. That is the BOSS SuperDrive, Overdrive SD-1. An iconic pedal used by many famous artists. And if you're new to the world of guitar pedals, this is a good one to start with if you're just wanting to have a solid overDrive. All right guys, well, join us next time. We are going to be talking about, we're going to go from a inexpensive pedal to a more pricey pedal. [Remy 00:13:30] talking about the Browne Amplification, Protein Dual OverDrive. So this thing actually has a Bluesbreaker circuit in it, as well as the famous Nobels ODR-1. So two things baked in one. It's a fantastic pedal from a really small company, I believe based out of Kansas City, if I'm correct. So, join us next time as we unpack that pedal. Should be a fun conversation.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely excited about that one. I've owned two of those now and I would not be surprised if I own a third at some point. So-

Scott Schwertly:
I didn't know you own two of them. That's crazy.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I bought one when they first came out and then I sold it, and then I bought another one and then I sold it. And here we are. So, depending on how this goes, I may end up buying a third. So, who knows, but definitely excited to dive into that one.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh, yeah. It's a good one. I've enjoyed it. So, yeah, you'll probably open up your wallet again, I'm sure, based on how that goes. So, we'll get there. We're excited to cover that one in the next episode. We hope you can join us. Until then, have a great day, have a great week. And we'll catch you in the next one.

Close (esc)

Get Our Free eBook!

Do you love dirt as much as we do? Learn the rich history behind all the overdrive and distortion pedals you know and love. Download our free ebook, The History of Guitar Distortion.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now