Friday, January 14, 2022



 At only $49.99 the Boss Super Overdrive SD-1 is a lot of distortion pedal for a very fair price. The enclosure is typical Boss design and function while the knob layout is almost identical to the classic Ibanez Tube Screamer™. On the back side the pedal is labeled “Roland Corporation” and “Made in Malaysia”.


This pedal has been around in one form or another since the early 1980’s. It was derived from an earlier model called the OD-1. I wanted to find out what you get if you order a brand new pedal in 2022. The SD-1 on review here was ordered from and delivered by Amazon in about four days. 

The box arrived in excellent condition and the pedal inside was beautifully made. The yellow painted finish on the outside of the pedal enclosure is flawless. The 9-volt battery compartment is contained below the on-off treadle in typical Boss fashion. A single LED indicates when the pedal is ON. The input jack is on the right side and the output jack is on the left side. An external 9-volt DC power inlet jack is provided, it is wired with (-) polarity on the inner tip connection and (+) on the external barrel, just like all Boss pedals. 


Three knobs labled “Level”, “Tone” and “Drive” provide user adjustments. Overall the pedal has a hefty and quality feel. I know people who have had these kicking around for 20+ years and their pedals are still going. 

Personally I was never a big fan of solid-state distortion. I was much more of an old-school pushed-tube amp kind of guy and made my living in the 80’s running a music store that was known for having used Hiwatt and Marshall amplifiers.


Today I have a wide variety of amplifiers to choose from in my studio, the Marshall 20-watt Origin Combo is a personal favorite for testing distortion pedals. This compact combo has the classic Marshall tone without much gain on tap so a pedal like the SD-1 is needed to create a pushed rock lead sound. 

The SD-1 does not disappoint in the gain department, it is capable of creating crunchy tones that are very satisfying when combined with a basic tube amp like the Marshall Origin.

The Level knob sets the volume when the SD-1 is switched ON. The Tone knob makes the sound brighter when turned clockwise and darker when turned the other way. The Drive knob sets the amount of distortion you’ll get when the pedal is ON, it ranges from mild to wild as you twist the knob to louder positions. 

The SD-1 sound-effect will clean up a bit when you back down the volume on your guitar although it never completely gets out of your way (or your tone). 



The Boss Super Overdrive has been around for a long time because it sounds good, it’s reliable and it is one of the most affordable pedals in the Boss line-up of stomp boxes. You can use it to push a tube amp to distort or you can flood a tube amp with distortion created by the pedal, it’s your choice.

If you’re looking for a bargain stomp box to rock your guitar world the Boss SD-1 is a great place to begin your journey.

Good Music To You!

©2022 by Mark King, it is not OK to copy or quote without written permission.

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