boss ds1 pedal

Two Easy Boss DS 1 Mods

The Boss DS 1 Distortion pedal is an icon in the guitar playing world. For many of us, it was our very first effect pedal.  The sheer affordability of this pedal makes it available to just about anybody – Amazon has them for sale $49!, and the truth is, they are actually a pretty decent distortion pedal.

Yet, they can be better.

The Boss DS 1 Distortion’s simple circuitry, alongside its easy-to-understand circuit board labels, makes it a staple in the DIY effect pedal modification world. A quick Google search will yield thousands of results for various DS 1 modification guides, and many of these mods can be performed in surprisingly short amount of time (given that you have a decent understanding on soldering – if you don’t, here is a rather resourceful guide). Simply changing a few components can help bring your DS 1 up to speed with some of the world’s most sought-after boutique distortion pedals.

We wanted to share two of our favorite Boss DS 1 Distortion pedal modifications with you.

ds1 circuit board

As you can see above, the each component on the DS 1 circuit board is labeled with a letter and a number (C1, D5, R28…etc.) These will be referred to as the “location” within the guides below. The component column will by the replacement component for the respective slot.  If you need circuit board components to complete these modifications, you can find them online for pretty cheap.


Here are two easy Boss DS 1 mods that you can perform. Happy modding!

Boss DS 1 Marshall JCM Mod

As we know, the Marshall JCM’s distortion channel is an icon in the rock and roll world. Players like Tom Morello and Billy Corgan are famous for using these amps. This Boss DS 1 Distortion pedal mod will allow you to replicate the sounds that a JCM amp puts out. If spending a fortune on a new amplifier is not an option right now, this Boss DS 1 mod can help you get by.

C3 .033µF Capacitor
R17 15k Resistor
C2 1µF Capacitor
D4 1N4148 Diode connected in series to another 1N4148 diode
D5 1N4001 Diode connected in series to another 1N4148 diode
C5 & C9 1µF Capacitor

Source: Premier Guitar

Boss DS 1 Octave Fuzz Mod

This is the first modification I had ever done to a guitar pedal. It can be done in just about five minutes, using nothing but a strand of wire and a soldering iron. Essentially, this DS 1 mod will bridge a circuit within the pedal – creating some huge sounding octave fuzz tones.

octave fuzz mod boss ds1

Pictured above is the DS 1 octave fuzz mod itself, well… two options for the mod. You simply bridge the two highlighted (in red) contacts together with a length of wire. We also recommend including a small toggle switch (drilled and mounted to the front of the pedal) in order to switch this modification on and off (in blue).


Do you have any exciting DS 1 mods that you’d like to share? Let’s talk about them!