Aaron Young Abbotsford
DS-1 Mod

DIY Boss Distortion DS-1 Mod

I encourage you to play around with different components - breadboard it if you have the means to.


Step 1
Take inventory to ensure that all your pieces have been shipped to you.
Step 2
Acquire your pedal, then proceed to remove the four screws securing the rear plate. Place all your pieces in the small dish so you do not lose anything.
Step 3
Take your flathead screwdriver and pop the three knobs off the front. Then using the small crescentwrench, remove the three nuts and washers from underneath.
Step 4
Next, remove the nuts and washers from the input and output jacks. Using the Phillips screwdriver, also remove the single screw holding the LED board in place.
Step 5
Open the battery compartment and remove the foot switch then desolder the purple and black wires. Remove the battery connector through the switch hole.
Step 6
Mark out which components you plan to switch out. Although you don't have to to do this step, I generally mark the top and the corresponding solders on the bottom - it just makes it easier to see which components you are removing.
Step 7
Begin removing components one by one and setting them aside - this is where the block of wood comes in handy. Use your desoldering cord by placing it over the solder and pressing the iron into it. Once it becomes full of solder, snip off a half cm with the side cuttersrevealing an untouched section.
Step 8
Start replacing the components one by one. Refer to the table on the right for some examples of which parts to swap out. Make sure to put polarized components back the correct way - e.g. electrolytic capacitors and diodes.
Step 9
Reassembly. Basically, just reverse your steps you took to disassemble the DS-1. For a couple parts it may be easier to have a second pair of hands - like refitting the LED and getting the screw in it's hole. If you can do it on your own, even better. Add some different knobs for a more personalized look.

What You Will Need

  • Boss DS-1 Pedal
  • Soldering Station
  • Solder
  • Desoldering Cord
  • Side Cutters
  • Utility Knife
  • Phillips & Flathead Screwdriver
  • Needle Nose Surgical Pliers
  • Permanent Marker
  • Safety Glasses
  • Block of Wood
  • Small Dish

Component List

Vintage Distortion:
  • C2, 8, 9, 14: 1.0uF Capacitor
  • C1, 3, 5, 12, 13: 0.1uF Capacitor
  • C11: 0.047uF Capacitor
  • C7: 220pF Mica Capacitor
  • R13: 2.4k 1/4W Resistor
  • R39: 20.0k 1/4W Resistor
  • R14: 1.5k 1/4W Resistor
  • LED: 3mm Blue