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BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive (& SD-1W) – Overrated? [REVIEW]

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boss sd-1 super overdrive sd-1w review

If you’re wondering if BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is a good guitar pedal or not, you’ve come to the right place! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that affordable pedal. It’s one of the most popular overdrive pedals in the world, but is it worth the hype?

The truth is that BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is a great sounding and affordable pedal suitable for various different styles of music. Surely, the vast majority of guitarists will benefit from adding it to their pedalboards!

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the SD-1 effect so good and so popular all around the world! Firstly, we’ll start with a quick overview of the specifications of that pedal. Additionally, we’ll compare it with the SD-1W version, which is slightly more expensive. Of course, there will be a few sound demos included as well!

Specs & Pricing


One of the most popular and most often recommended overdrive pedals of all time. See specs and compare prices below.

BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is an affordable overdrive pedal designed for the most demanding guitarists out there. This is actually one of the most popular overdrive pedals made by this brand – it was originally introduced in 1981.

What makes it so special? Well, it’s a really efficient piece of gear! It gives you access to a really smooth and warm distortion of a tube amp. Honestly, it’s really hard to go wrong with that kind of tone.

The SD-1 features a simple yellow construction with three controls: Level, Tone and Drive. It has a simple design, so it’s very easy to use. On top of that, it’s really durable, so it should last you for years to come. Even if you take it with you on a few tours with your band!

When it comes to pricing, it’s not the cheapest overdrive pedal in the world, but it’s still relatively affordable. Surely, it’s a much more affordable option than Ibanez TS9 or Ibanez TS808, which are also considered as legendary. That being said, it’s definitely worth the money!

Here’s the sound demo.

Who Is It For?

BOSS SD-1 is suitable for guitarists of all levels. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a complete amateur or a bit more advanced guitar player – you will definitely enjoy using that classic overdrive pedal.

The SD-1 is a particularly good choice for all guitarists who are searching for their first overdrive pedal.

If you haven’t used any pedals before and you don’t really know how they work and what they do, this is a fantastic pedal to start with.

At the same time, it’s a perfect choice for all guitarists who want to get access to the classic and tube-like overdrive tone. This kind of sound can be used in a lot of different genres, so whether you’re into blues, rock or country – the SD-1 Super Overdrive will be a good fit for you.

It is also worth mentioning that this is a really affordable pedal, so it’s perfect for musicians who don’t want to spend too much on new gear.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitar players will be really satisfied with the overall quality of BOSS SD-1. Honestly, there’s just not too much to complain about – it does exactly what it’s supposed to do!

Here’s an another demo.

BOSS SD-1W – Specs & Pricing


Slightly more expensive, but even more versatile. This one is recommended for those who are looking for the best possible overdrive quality.

Boss SD-1W Waza Craft Super Overdrive is a high quality overdrive pedal which exceeds all the expectations. In comparison with the original SD-1, it’s a bit more versatile and it’s made out of premium components.

The SD-1W pedal offers a switchable custom voice which makes this effect a little bit more versatile. In addition, it offers the redesigned all-analog circuitry which results with an even better clarity.

Users of that pedal can use a simple switch to choose between the standard SD-1 tone and the custom mode which adds a little bit of gain and bass. This is a particularly useful feature during the solo parts.

SD-1 vs SD-1W

As you’re already, BOSS SD-1 and SD-1W are both great sounding guitar pedals. But which one of them is actually better?

Well, it’s really difficult to give a clear answer for that question – it all depends on your budget and your own preferences.

In my opinion, the custom mode of SD-1W is really nice to have, so I’d say that this is a much better pedal. However, it’s significantly more expensive.

On the other hand, BOSS SD-1 already offers a really good quality, so I’m sure that a lot of guitarists will be already satisfied with its tone. The additional features of SD-1W are useful, but they’re not necessary. So as you can see, it’s all up to you and your own preferences!

Here’s a really good video that compares the sound of both of these pedals – feel free to check it out below.

BOSS SD-1 vs Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

A lot of guitarists who are searching for a good and reliable overdrive pedal often can’t decide whether they should get the BOSS SD-1 or Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer. And honestly, I don’t blame them!

I used both of these pedals on several occasions in the past and I can totally admit that I’m a big fan of both of these pedals. They both sound awesome, but they’re slightly different, so it all depends on your current mood.

Honestly, if you are able to take both of them at once, do it! I’m sure that you won’t regret it at all.

Here’s a really good video that compares the tone of BOSS SD-1 and Ibanez TS9 – feel free to check it out below.

Other Overdrive Pedals

If you’re not satisfied with the sound of all of these pedals, that’s not a problem! There’s still quite a lot of other fantastic overdrive pedals out there. Of course, it all depends on what exactly you’re looking for and how much are you willing to spend.

Here’s a few more overdrive and distortion pedals that you should definitely check out.

Firstly, make sure to check out the Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive. This is actually one of the cheapest overdrive pedals available on the market. Considering how inexpensive it is, it’s a real bargain. It gives you access to a really wide range of tube-like tones and it sounds surprisingly good. The only disadvantage is the fact that it’s made of cheap plastic, but I’m sure that you can live with that!

If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful, perhaps choosing a distortion pedal will be a better choice for you. I recently wrote an article about 8 Best Distortion Pedals Under $100, so if that sounds interesting to you, make sure to check it out as well.

The truth is that a good and reliable pedal doesn’t have to be overly expensive. There are some hidden gems available on the market, so there’s a high chance that your next dream pedal is somewhere on that list!


Where is BOSS SD-1 pedal made?

BOSS SD-1 is manufactured in Taiwan.

Where is BOSS SD-1W pedal made?

BOSS SD-1W is manufactured in Japan.

Are BOSS SD-1 and SD-1W pedals good for beginners?

Yes, the SD-1 and SD-1W pedals are perfect for amateur players!

Where can I find the manual to BOSS SD-1?

If you’re looking for the manual to BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive pedal, you can check it out here.

Where can I learn more about BOSS?

If you want to learn more about this legendary brand, you should definitely check out the official website of BOSS.


As you can see, BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is a really good sounding and inexpensive pedal suitable for the vast majority of guitar players. No matter whether you’re a complete beginner or a bit more advanced player, you will definitely benefit from adding it to your own pedalboard. That’s for sure!

What do you think of the SD-1 pedal? Would you get it for yourself? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful and you found what you were hoping to find. If you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: