Gearank – Music Gear Information for Live Performance or Studio

Boss DS-1-4A 40th Anniversary Distortion Pedal (Discontinued)

92 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank Recommendation

The DS-1-4A appeared on our recommended list for Distortion Pedals from December 2017 until October 2019 when it was removed due to a lack of availability.

See our current recommendations in our guide to The Best Distortion Pedals.


The Boss DS-1-4A is a reproduction of the early Boss DS-1 pedals launched by the company. The main reported difference between the new and vintage versions of the pedal is that the vintage pedals (which is what this pedal is based off of) have a warmer tone when compared to the mid-range hump of the modern DS-1.

Though an unassuming pedal at first glance, the Boss DS-1-4A is a pedal that has been used on some of rock’s most famous albums. And though the pedal may seem relatively minimalistic in regard to its controls, its actually a lot more versatile than you would first assume. The pedal can range between garage rock, grunge, and hard rock with ease, as evidenced by its widespread use across countless genres.

Boss pedals are also amongst the most durable made, making them a great choice for musicians who aren’t looking for gear they have to baby. The chassis and components within are all built to last, meaning that this pedal will likely last you as long as you choose to use it.


  • Controls: Distortion, Level, Tone
  • Analog
  • Buffered Bypass
  • 9-Volt Adapter/Battery
  • Special Features: N/A
  • Used By: Kurt Cobain, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Josh Klinghoffer


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