Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion Review
- Pros: Versatile and very easy to use.
- Cons: This pedal is not your best option if you want to play anything but power chords and lead.
- Overall: Powerful distortion with two turbo modes.
The Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion pedal is so user-friendly that you don’t even need the manual. It contains three main controls: Level, Tone, and Distortion, and an additional “Turbo” knob that functions as a switch between Turbo Mode I and Turbo Mode II. The pedal’s twin Turbo modes essentially give you two distortion sounds in a single box. Turbo Mode I produces light and mellow, but powerful distortion because of the turbo circuit. Even when the sound is extremely distorted, the distortion circuits prevent the emission of a high-pitched sound. Turbo Mode II produces an explosive sound and, besides riffs, is great for solos. The possibility to switch between a turbo and normal mode by connecting the Boss FS-5L footswitch to the Remote Jack is really useful for this pedal.
The sound of the DS-2 Turbo Distortion is vibrant and rich in sustain, although it might produce a little bit of noise. When playing in Turbo Mode I, you create light distortion by turning the Dist knob down. Even if you turn down the volume knob, the sound doesn’t get muffled. When soloing, you can produce a smooth blues overdrive that is even a bit fuzzy, which is one of this pedal’s characteristics that I truly appreciate. Turbo Mode II is slightly louder and produces more high tones and distortion. If you turn the Dist knob fully clockwise you create a sticky distortion with unique characteristic in middle range sound.
The DS-2 is really good if you play classic rock, grunge, punk, hardcore or heavy metal. If you use a single coil pickup, the sound can be sort of weak, while with a humbucker it is massive and strong. Furthermore, this pedal makes it possible to achieve a nice chunky distortion and heavy overtones with average settings in Turbo Mode I. By the way, Kurt Cobain used the DS-2 Turbo Distortion while recording and touring for In Utero.
When actively used, the battery life is up to ten hours, but make sure that you always have spare batteries or AC adapter at hand. As the battery weakens, so does the volume of your sound. When you finish playing, unplug the jacks, otherwise the battery will run down overnight.
The DS-2 Turbo Distortion is quite versatile and easy to adjust. Because of its simplicity, it’s an excellent distortion pedal for beginners and any guitarists who needs a stronger, more distorted sound. As with all Boss pedals, the DS-2 has a very sturdy metal construction. No matter how many times you jump on it, kick it or drop it, only the knobs might suffer the consequences. Since it creates a very powerful and aggressive distortion, however, the DS-2 is probably not the right choice for those who prefer a softer overdrive and fuzz.