Best Boss Distortion Pedal: Complete Guide

Boss distortion pedal

Boss has been known for making some of the highest quality guitar pedals available, but with so many choices available it might be difficult to choose the best Boss distortion pedal. Don’t you worry, we are here to help. 

Today we will go over the most important Boss distortion pedals available and see the differences between each model. This way, you can easily choose the best Boss distortion pedal for your needs.

Boss DS-1

The Boss DS-1 is the most iconic Boss distortion pedal in existence. It has been featured in countless records, and it is one of the best-sounding and affordable Boss distortion pedals available.

On top of that, the Boss DS-1 allows you to easily modify it, and tweak the sound of the distortion to your liking.

Keeley mod is one of the most common DS-1 mods.

You can either try to do it yourself, or you can easily find someone that can modify your Boss DS-1, with the Keeley mod.

The Boss DS-1 is an extremely versatile distortion pedal, that allows you can get a ton of sounds out of the same pedal. It is also affordable 

There are countless famous guitar players that have used a Boss DS-1.

The list includes Kurt Cobain, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Gary Moore, among others.

You cannot go wrong with the Boss DS-1, for $54.99 it is one of the best distortion guitar pedals available for the price. Perhaps the only disadvantage of the Boss DS-1 is that for leading guitar or soloing there are better options out there, like the Super OverDrive.

Boss SD-1

The Boss Super OverDrive is among the most used overdrive pedals in the market today. Extremely well built, as all of the Boss pedals are. It is the perfect choice for solo guitar or lead guitarists. The range of sounds is great, and it will allow you to play anything from fusion, to heavy metal. 

The Boss SD-1 is an iconic overdrive pedal that has also been used as extensively in well-known records as the Boss DS-1. The SD-1 is a great choice to use with a clean tone amp. You will easily be able to tweak the pedal to a tone of your liking. It remains one of the most iconic Boss pedals and continues to be used for recording and live performances.

Some of the most well-known musicians have used the SD-1, like Eddie Van Halen, Prince, Radiohead, and Daft Punk.

The Boss SD-1 costs $69.99 and it is a great value for the money. A reliable and versatile overdrive that will make your solos shine.

Boss DS-2

The Boss Turbo Distortion or DS-2 is the updated version of the classic Boss DS-1. This has become one of the best-selling Boss distortion pedals because it offers more than the DS-1. 

It is extremely versatile, even more than the classic DS-1 due to its turbo knob. This allows guitarists to take their sound to the next level. While on the normal mode the DS-2 allows you to play blues, and even some rock. With the twist of the turbo knob, you will get a lot more gain. This is ideal if you intend to play different styles while sounding great.

The Boss Turbo Distortion has 2 different modes. The Turbo Mode 1 has a more mellow and warmer tone, ideal for heavy rock, and classic rock. While the turbo mode 2 has more gain, and sustain, it is the perfect choice for any solo.

The Boss DS-2 comes in at $99.99, and considering how versatile it is no wonder so many of them are sold each year.

Boss BD-2

The Boss Blues Driver or BD-2 is another iconic boss pedal aimed at blues guitarists. It is among the most well-known and used models. It offers a mellower distortion that will work great whether you are soloing or playing chord progressions.

It is not one of the most versatile Boss distortion pedals out there, but if play blues then this is a Boss distortion pedal you should consider. It is not the cheapest pedal also, the Boss Blues Driver costs $102.89, but for blues players, this is definitely worth it.

Boss FZ-5

Let’s get fuzzier with the Boss Fuzz! The Boss Fuzz or FZ-5 is also a classic choice among guitarists. It is a great way to get those fuzzy distortion tones well known from the ’60s and ’70s. You will be able to mimic the likes of Jimmy Hendrix, Keith Richards, or Pete Townshend.

The Boss FZ-5 is inspired by the most iconic fuzz pedals of the time. Like the Big Muff Pi, and the Fuzz Face. Allowing you to get the same tone out of a much more reliable and sturdy Boss pedal.

The Boss Fuzz costs $179.56, which is sort of pricey. So for that reason, you should really consider whether you will be using it frequently. If not, you might want to choose another Boss distortion pedal that suits your playing and tone better.

Boss MD-2

The Boss Mega Distortion or MD-2 is ideal for guitarists looking for a heavy metal and heavy distortion sound. It is not as versatile as some of the pedals mentioned on this list. However, it has a heavy gain sound geared towards heavy rock, metal, and heavy metal guitarists.

The MD-2 is the right Boss distortion pedal for guitarists that want a more exotic heavy distortion. Its tone can be pushed to extreme levels of gain, and the pedal works very well with distorted amps, or even with a clean amp.

If you want a distinctive heavy distortion Boss pedal consider the Boss MD-2 at $95.99. A great sounding pedal for heavier distortion tones.

Boss  MT-2

The Boss MT-2 or Metal Zone is one of the most popular metal distortion pedals available to guitarists. If you want to get some metal tones, this is an affordable and sturdy pedal that you should consider. The Boss Metal Zone is also one of the best-selling guitar pedals ever to be made. 

Since it was released in the early 90s, there countless guitarists using the pedal, both live and in the studio. It packs some of the best-sounding rhythm metal sounds all in an affordable and reliable pedal.

The Boss Metal Zone costs $105.99 and considering the price and the tones it is capable of producing, you can’t go wrong with the Boss MT-2.

Boss ML-2

Well if the Boss Metal Zone does not have enough gain for you, there is always the Boss Metal Core or ML-2. This is the right choice for heavy metal guitarists, that want a very powerful Boss distortion pedal. 

It is ideal for heavier genres of music, and it will give you enough distortion and gain for any rhythm you need to play. The Boss ML-2 is the same price as the Metal Zone, however, it packs a lot more distortion. It costs $105.99, and it is the right choice for heavier tones.

Boss OD-3

The Boss Overdrive or OD-3 is an excellent choice for soloing. This is one of the most popular Boss distortion pedals, due to its versatility. You can use it in front of a clean amp, or combine it with other distortion pedals to give you an extra boost when it’s time for you to take the lead.

The Boss OD-3 has plenty of different tones and plenty of sustain. Allowing to easily solo over any track or any band. It has a natural tone to it, which really shines. Considering the overdrive pedals that Boss makes, this is by far one of the favorites.

The Boss OD-3 starts at $129.99 and considering it is one of the best overdrive pedals available it is an affordable price for such a good-sounding Boss distortion pedal.

Boss OS-2

The Boss Overdrive/Distortion or OS-2 is a versatile Boss distortion pedal, for those looking to get a distortion pedal and an overdrive without having to buy 2 different pedals. This is one of the reasons why the Boss OS-2 is so popular. As it allows you to get 2 different tones while using the same pedal.

The Boss OS-2 is a great alternative if you are considering the Boss DS-1 or SD-1. This is essentially two pedals inside the same pedal. Allowing you to also combine the sound of distortion and overdrive, to achieve the tone you want.

The Boss OS-2 costs $105.61, and you might want to consider getting it instead of buying the SD-1 and the DS-1.

Boss ST-2

The Boss Power Stack or ST-2 has a unique crunchy high gain sound, that is characteristic of some of the most popular tube amps. The Boss ST-2 tries to create a unique tube amp sound, that can be tweaked to your liking. It is a higher gain pedal, and for that reason, it might not be the best solution if you want to play blues.

The sound of the ST-2 is great, and it allows you to sound like you are using a tube amp with just a pedal. It also gives you a lot of headroom on the distortion size.

The Boss ST-2 costs $156.19 but considering the price of a brand new tube amp, this might seem like a good alternative.

Here is a great video comparing some of the Boss distortion pedals on this list:

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