Boss DS-1w Waza Craft VS Regular DS-1
Our pick: The DS-1w
The Waza Craft pedal makes some dramatic improvements over the DS-1, with far more versatility and an analog circuit that lends itself better to the pedal's vintage tone profile. While it can still work in conjunction with amp distortion, it does a better job on its own. It's more of a true overdrive/distortion.
It is our humble opinion that a lot of the Boss DS-1's success has been due simply to a low price tag. Back in the day we'd often find it in the $35 range. Perhaps that's not a popular opinion, but take it for what it's worth. We're just not a fan of the original, in which case the Waza Craft version is extremely interesting to us.
As with most of the Waza Craft series, the DS-1w takes the origin pedal and expands it to sound far better and be far more usable. It no longer relies on a lower price tag to keep it going.
The DS-1w is an easy choice for us, over its predecessor.
Read the full review: Boss DS-1
Compare the Boss DS-1 and DS-1w
Use the compare buttons to put the two DS-1s side by side. The table includes updated pricing as of Sun, December 03rd, 2023 and the most relevant guitar pedal specs.
DS-1w Waza Craft
Live Pricing for the Boss DS-1w and DS-1
Accurate as of Sun, December 03rd, 2023.
You get broader range of sounds with the DS-1w. Subtle tones sound particularly good, while higher gain settings don't seem quite as harsh as the DS-1, which is probably due to the newer analog circuit in the DS-1w. The DS-1w is a more controlled sound with less noise.
The DS-1 almost has more of a fuzz quality. To me, it just sounds cheaper and not as full. You get what you pay for and the DS-1w is clearly worth the additional cost.
It's pretty clear from the demos that the DS-1w sounds vastly better than the original DS-1.
Detailed Comparison Table and DS-1 Circuit Argument
I have heard over and over again that the DS-1 is actually an analog pedal, which it probably is - albeit with a much older analog circuit. There's certainly a significant difference in quality between the two pedals, so I think it's reasonable to assume the two analog circuits are not created equal.
As Aion FX puts it, "The circuit itself is a good one - it just suffers from cheaper components."
Read more: The Comet (Legacy PCB)
My guess - and I emphasize guess - is that the buffered bypass in the two pedals is also not the same.
I find all this very odd, because an analog circuit is not something a guitar pedal manufacturer would hide, even if it's a cheaper analog circuit. It's a desirable feature, which is why it's easy to spot with any of the Waza Craft pedals.
In the DS-1 there are likely some significant differences in the quality of the circuit design. The DS-1w isn't 2x the price for no reason.
Tone, level, and distortion
Tone, level, and distortion
Standard and Custom mode selector
Classic rock, blues, punk, pop, single coil pickups and humbuckers
Classic rock, blues, single coil pickups
Power supply included?
I don't love beating up on the original DS-1, because Boss is a solid brand overall and there's no questioning the DS-1's historical success. But if you're comparing pure quality between that and the DS-1w, the DS-1w is clearly the better pedal and better value, even at a higher price.
We'd recommend it for those wanting a natural-sounding flexible overdrive, with a blues and classic rock lean.
Grunge is a good fit as well.
If you have questions about our recommendation, his me in the comments section below.