Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive mods
These are brand new Boss pedals in the original box with manuals, with our various mods. Boss raised the price by $10 in late 2004, but we bought many cases of them so we could get the old price and not have to raise our prices. We finally raised them when we were running out in mid 2020.
Boss changed these to SMT (surface mount) construction in 2018 or so, but we have a few of the good ones still in stock. If you send one in for a mod, make sure it's the old style, the circuit board fills up the whole pedal on the old ones, you can see by removing the bottom plate.
We modify the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive to basically Ibanez TS-808 specs, including the chip. This is the yellow pedal, not the orange DS-1 Distortion. The yellow SD-1 has the same basic design as a Tube screamer but with asymmetrical clipping. I can leave the clipping as-is (Boss style asymmetrical clipping) if you wish, but I normally change it to the Ibanez (symmetrical) style on my standard SD-1/808 mod. Ibanez told me that Roland (Boss) has a patent on asymmetrical clipping, which gives it a bit more volume, harmonics, and crunch. With Ibanez style clipping, it sounds very much like a TS-808, but still has a touch more edge and drive available. With Boss style, it gets yet a bit more volume, edge, and harmonics. The Brown option is standard on the SD-1 as it really helps to smooth out the sound.
Our SILVER mod
is also available on the SD-1/808, by customer demand. I thought the silver mod would be too expensive for this pedal but people really like the Boss pedals (they are more reliable than the Ibanez). FROG from Elderly Instruments was the 1st, as his TS9/Silver switches were failing too often, so he requested the SD-1/808/Silver. He likes them a lot, so we have been doing more silvers for other people. We now install a super bright GREEN LED
for this FROG mod (looks cool too!!). I miss Frog, I used to hear from him every several months when his TS9 switches would die, now he never calls...
SD1/808/Push/Pull or Toggle mod
We can change the LEVEL pot to a PUSH PULL POT in order
to switch from stock asymmetrical clipping to Ibanez style
symmetrical clipping. This is a $25 additional option at time
or pedal or mod order, or $40 to later add just the push pull
pot to a pedal. When PULLED OUT, you will get the louder,
crunchier Boss asymmetrical clipping. Instead of the push/pull pot,
we can mount a mini TOGGLE switch to select the clipping. It's the same
price and may be harder to accidentally change the setting on.
Be sure to check out the sound clips of the Boss vs Ibanez mode in the
Sound Samples area from The OD Pedal Comparinator. Bypass sound improvement
Several years ago a customer pointed out to me that he
could hear a fuzzy buzzy sound in the background when
his SD1/808 pedal was OFF with the DRIVE knob was up all the way.
Listening carefully, I was able to confirm this, though I and
thousands of other people had not noticed it before.
It can be heard on any SD1 pedal, the mod did not affect it.
We found a way to kill the "bleed through" on one
of the DIY EFFECTS websites, but it was messy,
consisting of tacking a FET and other components onto the
board. It is too messy and possibly
unreliable so we did not do this bleed fix unless we got
a customer complaint (only about twice out of about 1000
SD1 pedals sold).
In 2007 we got an email from Claus Holm Jensen from pedalsite.dk
who told us he found a simple fix for this problem. I tested it
out and it was perfect! I studied the schematic and layout
and found a way to do it even easier, by moving just one component
and one wire, and it seems to work just fine.
Also it is a very reliable mod as there are no parts
floating off the board. So we will
now (October 2007 and later) do this "bleed fix" mod to all SD1 pedals
that come in for mods or repair. If we have previously
modified your SD1 and you are annoyed with the bleed through,
we can do this mod for you for $10 plus S & H.
SD1/808 R & D
I have spent weeks of research changing nearly every component
on the SD-1 and have found the ones that really make it sound better-
like pulling a blanket off the speaker cabinet! The SD-1/808 mods are the
same price as TS9 mods even though there is much more work involved
in the modification and more parts to change. Some people really
like Boss pedals, and they have much better switches than the
TS9, so this is a great choice and cheaper than a TS-9/808 if
you want a good smooth overdrive.
Also the SD-1 seems to have a bit more low end after the
mod. Our SD-1 mod improves the tone and low end even when OFF,
as we change two capacitors that are sucking tone and low end
when the pedal is ON or OFF. The silver mod improves the bypass
tone even more, we now put in New Old Stock TS-808
switching FETS to clean up the bypassed sound.
Beware modified SD1s on ebay claiming to have Analog Man Mods
but done by someone else.
From looking at the pictures, they seem to have the very 1st version of
our mod from several years ago. This mod does not sound so good,
and has popped up in a DIY diagram on the internet which
is in color and says "SD-808" on it.
Mod your pedal
See analogman.com for more info and a link to the mod form to send in your Boss pedal to mod.