bossarea-boss-sd-1-super-overdriveBoss SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

The SD-1 has been around for a very long time and has gone almost unchanged from its conseption back in 1981. The pedal contains an asymmetric overdrive circuit that responds very well to the player’s picking force. It produces a dynamic and smooth overdrive effect well suited to any type of rock music. The SD-1 is also poular as a booster pedal for valve amplifiers. Turn the distortion down and the level up and connect it in front of the amplifier. The higher input level will push the input valve of the amplifier harder producing more distortion from the amp itself. The SD-1 is well suited to do this because it maintains the natural tone from the guitar.

The OD-1 didn’t have a tone control so the engineers felt that the tonal range was limited because of this. As an answer to the problem they came up with the SD-1. Comparing the two circuits reveals that they are very closely related and using the exact same overdrive circuit. When comparing the sound of the two pedals side by side, it is however obvious that they’re not identical. Opinions are divided when it comes to the question, which one sounds best, but there is no doubt that they’re both legendary overdrive pedals.

  • SD-1 production moved from Japan to Taiwan early 1988 and was one of the first pedals produced in Roland’s Taiwan factory.
  • The pedal was modified for the PSA power adapter early 1997 which can be identified by the change from black to silver bottom labels.
  • The earliest SD-1s was shipped with the silver coloured thumb screw but this was changed to the current black screw only months into production.
  • A special Zakk Wylde painted SD-1 was made for Ishibashi Music in Japan 2001. These are rare and unconfirmed rumours has it that only 5 of these were made.


  • Controls: Level, Tone, Drive
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 4 mA (DC 9V) (Advertisement says 4mA, the manual says 6 mA, measurements confirmed current draw to be 3.7 mA)
  • Weight: 400g / 15 oz (including battery)
  • Nominal Input Level: -20dBu
  • Input Impedance: 470kOhm/1MOhm (Earlier Pocket Dictionary’s says 470k, later manuals says 1MOhm)
  • Nominal Output Level: -20dBu
  • Output Impedance: 1kOhm
  • Residual Noise Level: -110dBm (IHF-A Weighted, Typ.)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA series (black label) or PSA series (silver label)


  • Black – Made In Japan
  • Black – Made In Taiwan
  • Silver – Made In Taiwan

The SD-1 was sold from February 1981 to present.

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