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Boss SD-1: New or Elder?

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
7,843
Just wanted to jump on this a little.

The SD1 clips asymmetrically to the Tubescreamer. They sound different and the more you turn the gain up the more you hear it. They can also sound similar (level up, gain down) The SD1 also cuts less bass and adds less mids. Pretty different.

There is also quite a lot of gain in both pedals - not heavy distortion, but smooth gain for lead playing. Also, a decent amount of level available.

SD1s have hardly changed, so try it and either it'll be the right pedal or the wrong one. Don't chase down different variants if the stock one isn't doing it for you.

Also try the MXR Badass OD. Similar thing. Maybe better as an OD. Less compressed.
I think they are fairly different on paper. I just did a shoot out between my new SD-1 and a TS Mini. I was a skooch shocked at how similar they sounded. I figured the big difference would be in the feel of the pedal due to the asymmetrical/symmetrical clipping thing, but they really didn't feel that much different either.

The SD-1 has more volume and gain fer sure. Plus, the SD-1 almost rolled off as much bass as the TS. Not as much, but it was still quite noticeable. As far as mids, they seemed about the same.
 

havlma1

Member
Messages
21
The SD-1 has more volume and gain fer sure. Plus, the SD-1 almost rolled off as much bass as the TS. Not as much, but it was still quite noticeable. As far as mids, they seemed about the same.
I have seen one good hint on Internet recently - think of TS9 tone control as a tone roll-off button. When the tone is completely on the left side, it doesn't remove bass frequencies. I usually put it at 9 o'clock position which seems to be an optimal position for me. Before the pedal seemed too harsh but now it sounds much better. Anyhow TS9 buffer sucks, I use SD-1w now. Overall all Waza pedals have excellent buffer, their higher price is worth just because if it.
 

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
7,843
I have seen one good hint on Internet recently - think of TS9 tone control as a tone roll-off button. When the tone is completely on the left side, it doesn't remove bass frequencies. I usually put it at 9 o'clock position which seems to be an optimal position for me. Before the pedal seemed too harsh but now it sounds much better. Anyhow TS9 buffer sucks, I use SD-1w now. Overall all Waza pedals have excellent buffer, their higher price is worth just because if it.
I've had more time to compare the SD-1 with the TS mini and the EHX East River Drive. If I'm boosting an amp I think the SD-1 has more of a bass cut than I previously thought. It's less apparent than if I am using it to boost pedals. This is probably due to the fact that I usually run the bass low on my Fendery amps to keep things tight. So yes, I have been keeping the tone rolled down some.

I keep going back to the TS mini (it's true bypass, so it doesn't have any buffer issues while it's off). I'm probably just too used to that style of clipping. The SD-1 and East River Drive are fine alternatives though!
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,951
This used to come up a lot when manufacturing moved from Japan to Taiwan way back when. According to serious Boss fans, its sound and circuit didn't change at all.
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,635
There's two things you ought to know: 1) that the SD-1 is a Tubescreamer pedal, and 2) the circuit is very utilitarian in what it does to your amp. Namely, it cuts bass and highs, adds mids and compression and a tiny bit of gain. Any pedal that does this (any tubescreamer) will get you "there" if the main tone is coming from your amp.

Having said that, there are two ways to go about this.
  • Acknowledge the utility nature of the circuit and try a stock, new SD-1 off the shelf at your local store.
  • If you still want to get something "nice", I would urge you to look at the Fulldrive 3 by Fulltone, which is based on the SD-1/Screamer but offers more tonal possibilities (a 3 way mode, out of which one is especially meant to boost amps), along with an independent clean boost you can use to crunch your amp or for gain staging purposes. A brand new FD-3 packs packs more value, costs less, and is equally as rugged as the SD-1w.
You better be careful...if you make the claim that a TS and SD1 are the same, you will be jumped upon by people who think asymmetrical clipping is the difference between the Wright Flyer and the Concorde.

Oooops, too late.
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,635
It's my understanding that the Waza version is actually made entirely of discrete, through-hole components, meaning there are actually no IC's in there, just discrete transistors. To my knowledge, it's the only TS style pedal constructed in this manner. What effect this has on the sound at stock settings I can't say, but it's something to consider.
I'd be really surprised by this, if true. There is just no reason for it. It would take up a lot of space, and a 4558 recreated with discrete components is NOT a 4558. Any other op amp on a chip would be more of a 4558 that one made with discrete components would be. It really would be a different pedal. I doubt it's true. Someone here must have one to gut shot...
 

Orwells Ghost

Member
Messages
365
I'd be really surprised by this, if true. There is just no reason for it. It would take up a lot of space, and a 4558 recreated with discrete components is NOT a 4558. Any other op amp on a chip would be more of a 4558 that one made with discrete components would be. It really would be a different pedal. I doubt it's true. Someone here must have one to gut shot...
It's referenced here in this guitar mag article from a few years ago: http://www.theguitarmagazine.com/gear/boss-waza-craft-sd-1w-and-bd-2w-reviews/

and you can see some gut shots here: https://www.ikebe-gakki.com/web-ikebe/boss_waza-craft/index.html

This is by no means definitive evidence, it's difficult to make out all the individual components and I havent seen this PCB with my own eyes, but in regards to your observation about size and space, you can see that the Waza series is contructed using SMD parts, which are significantly smaller than their through-hole predecessors.
 

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
7,843
I'd be really surprised by this, if true. There is just no reason for it. It would take up a lot of space, and a 4558 recreated with discrete components is NOT a 4558. Any other op amp on a chip would be more of a 4558 that one made with discrete components would be. It really would be a different pedal. I doubt it's true. Someone here must have one to gut shot...

See post #15 in this thread. Someone already posted a gut shot.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,951
You better be careful...if you make the claim that a TS and SD1 are the same, you will be jumped upon by people who think asymmetrical clipping is the difference between the Wright Flyer and the Concorde.

Oooops, too late.
Well, there's not much question that they sound different, is there? Besides, some sources say that when Nisshin designed the first Tube Screamer (based on a Boss OD-1) they planned to copy the asymmetrical clipping but couldn't because Roland owned the patent.
 

Johndh

Member
Messages
390
It's referenced here in this guitar mag article from a few years ago: http://www.theguitarmagazine.com/gear/boss-waza-craft-sd-1w-and-bd-2w-reviews/

and you can see some gut shots here: https://www.ikebe-gakki.com/web-ikebe/boss_waza-craft/index.html

This is by no means definitive evidence, it's difficult to make out all the individual components and I havent seen this PCB with my own eyes, but in regards to your observation about size and space, you can see that the Waza series is contructed using SMD parts, which are significantly smaller than their through-hole predecessors.
If you zoom in on the Sd-1w gut shot, the nearest corner shows a tiny 8-legged smd opamp chip. And its called 'IC4', suggesting it is not alone.....
 

Orwells Ghost

Member
Messages
365
If you zoom in on the Sd-1w gut shot, the nearest corner shows a tiny 8-legged smd opamp chip. And its called 'IC4', suggesting it is not alone.....
Yep, that is so. It still doesn't settle the matter definitely, as one then has to ask, if the original SD-1 has one IC, why does the Waza have at least four, and what are they for?
 

tbader

Member
Messages
854
This used to come up a lot when manufacturing moved from Japan to Taiwan way back when. According to serious Boss fans, its sound and circuit didn't change at all.
Interesting.

Production moved to Taiwan in 1988, so I am very surprised anyone even cared or noticed back then. Lol

I think there are definite differences in tone, volume, and aggression between all releases. Overall, they are very similar and do their thing well.

I have a silver screw March 1981, and a black screw June 1981, both with the NEC c4558c opamp. IMO, they have a bit more attack than the later JRC variants, and sound very full and clear with chords.

I also have two early JRC4558DD versions, an ‘82 and an ‘83. These are very very similar to the NEC-chipped versions, but seem a bit rounder overall—perfect for single lead lines.

Next, I have 3 Taiwanese SD-1s, a ‘90, ‘96, and an ‘03 Analogman 808:

The volume difference and aggression with the old MIJ ones and the ‘90 and ‘96 is surprising. I can’t twist the knobs to get them to sound the same, and they have less output. With these two in particular, the tone control gets harsh and raspy above noon, whereas my MIJ ones seem to focus in a more middy freq and sound great at any setting.

The ‘03 Analogman 808 is similar, but has obviously been altered to be like its TS-808 cousins. It’s also very good, though I still prefer the earliest ones.

My favorite is my ‘82. It sounds mean as hell and compares favorably with any similar boutique drive I own.

It’s just my experience, though. I’ve had them all basically side by side (but not chained together).


(Not pictured: March 1981, 0400)
 

El Phaco

Member
Messages
895
A SD-1 and a 4104 were made for each other, more or less. Awesomeness with NO hoity-toity booteeky aura necessary. Really, this combination kills.

Buddy of mine had a Reeves booteeky-Marshall and a silver Klon. Amp sounded tubby and fizzy, Klon didn't do much for the tone. I went over his house with the old Marshall and SD-1. Night and day.
So right. I have a Friedman Small Box like amp, and used to push it with a KTR. Bought a 30 bucks used SD-1 just to try... and i'm now selling the KTR. Great match with Marshall style amps !
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,635
Well, there's not much question that they sound different, is there? Besides, some sources say that when Nisshin designed the first Tube Screamer (based on a Boss OD-1) they planned to copy the asymmetrical clipping but couldn't because Roland owned the patent.
Well that's rediculous. There is no patent on asymmetrical clipping and I'm sure there never was. If such a thing could be patented, we wouldn't have most of the electronics circuits that have ever existed. Besides, it's just not that big of a deal.
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,635
It's referenced here in this guitar mag article from a few years ago: http://www.theguitarmagazine.com/gear/boss-waza-craft-sd-1w-and-bd-2w-reviews/

and you can see some gut shots here: https://www.ikebe-gakki.com/web-ikebe/boss_waza-craft/index.html

This is by no means definitive evidence, it's difficult to make out all the individual components and I havent seen this PCB with my own eyes, but in regards to your observation about size and space, you can see that the Waza series is contructed using SMD parts, which are significantly smaller than their through-hole predecessors.
See post #15 in this thread. Someone already posted a gut shot.
Well, whatever Boss says, I still don't believe it. There is just no reason to do it. It wouldn't necessarily make it sound better, it would definitely change it though. Part of the way these things do what they do is opamp dependent.

Plus, I have yet to see ANY gut shot of this thing that is both clear, and doesn't clearly show an IC on the board. (As the one on that Japanese site does).

Surely someone here has one of these and can answer the question for us.
 




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