As you know Keeley has been pumping out some great pedals, but they’re very well known for modifying existing pedals and improving their performance. Today, I wanted to talk about the Keeley Modded Boss DS-1 Ultra Distortion pedal. Here Keeley takes a stock Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal (normally $39.99 at Musician’s Friend) and replaces parts with high quality parts (ie: metal film resistors, poly capacitors) additionally the behavior of the pedal has been altered, going from symmetrical to asymmetrical distortion clipping. In the end, this pedal is WAY better than the original.
Here is the description of the modifications:
The Boss DS-1 has a very heavy metal timbre to start with. Keeley’s many modifications take the distortion pedal to a full metal jacket sound. Every component changed or added is of the highest-quality. Metal film resistors are used for a low noise floor; this is essential for a high-gain pedal.
The Keeley modded DS-1 distortion pedal has a lower noise level than the stock pedal. Metal film and poly capacitors are used in the coupling sections to provide the true midrange and high frequency transparency your guitar tone needs while increasing the bass response.
It goes without saying that the note definition has been improved. The final result is an awesome distortion pedal that provides more gain and volume while losing no note definition. Perfect for driving Marshall stacks and other high-powered gear. The DS-1 effect pedal has been modified to have asymmetrical clipping, which gives you second-order harmonic distortion. In addition to lending a very musical sound, the Boss distortion pedal produces an octave-type effect at very high saturation levels.
The Boss distortion pedal has been modified to have the Seeing Eye LED. There is an LED located in the “O” of the word Tone. This LED is not just a visual effect. It’s part of the circuit that clips the signal and gives it that full, distorted sound. The heavier you play, the brighter the LED illuminates, providing more distortion. The Extra LED increases the volume output of the pedal a bit, great for using the Boss DS-1 as a preamp to push the amp or to fine tune a low distortion sound on the DS-1 pedal.
The Boss DS-1 distortion pedal’s ultra mode has an even fatter, more robust tone. This is designed to give you the “Wall of Marshall Amplifiers” tone. This is perfect for beefing up a Strat or pushing an amp hard so that you get more natural tube amp distortion.
This Boss distortion pedal has a mode switch to dictate the different tones you use. With the switch positioned up, you have the Seeing Eye operation mode. With the DS-1 distortion pedal’s switch down you have the Ultra mode.
But how does it compare to a stock Boss DS-1? Well, I found a head to head comparison video by McKinoza. The pedal on the left is the Keeley modified DS-1:
Remember, if you like reading about these pedals and seeing videos reviews from others, please subscribe to the RSS feed and get notified via email when there are new postings!