- by Kevin Deal
As a guitar player, it is nearly impossible not to be familiar with Boss. The company has been in the effects pedal business for an extensive period of time and they are without a doubt one of my favorite manufacturers. Of course, the company’s offerings are enormous and this can make it incredibly difficult to find the right one for your individualistic situation. As a beginner, do you really need a pedal that has hundreds of settings? Below, I will provide you with an extensive breakdown of some of the best boss pedals on the market. Each pedal is judged based on a number of factors, including function, sound, reliability, durability, and ease of use.
Once you have scoured through my explorations of each, you’ll know precisely which one is right for you! The three selected pedals include the RC-3 Loop Station Pedal, Audio DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal, and Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal. Each is unique and only one will prove to be best for your specific situation. Therefore, you should follow my advice closely and use it to guide you in the right direction.
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Our Review Of The Best Boss Pedals
The BOSS DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal is capable of reproducing the dynamics of instrumental playing, distorting tones from soft to hard. It gives the musician the distortion they desire, when playing a guitar or keyboard. You can actually make it do whatever you want, even smooth Fuzz and add a completely different dynamic. The large dials offer better handling and control, so you do not need to stop amid play, just to make adjustments. Pulling the distortion all the way back, while setting the tone halfway will create a sound that is music to your ears. This is one of the best boss pedals on the market.
- Check out Best Distortion Pedal here too!
Boss has been manufacturing delay pedals for an extremely long time. The new Boss Delay DD7 is an upgraded version of the DD-3, DD-5, and DD-6 versions. Boss really took the best features and functionalities of each pedal and compiled them together into this amazing pedal. With this pedal you can receive up to 6.4 seconds of delay time, which is far more superior to the competitor model. On top of this, the hold mode will allow you to record nearly 40 seconds of input, which is fantastic for creating a loop-type performance. The pedal also features two different delay modes. The modulation delay provides sounds that replicate a chorus performance. While the DD7 offers sounds similar to the Boss DM-2, it is quite different.
The RC3 Loop Station is a powerful, yet convenient, pedal that is compact in size. The pedal is capable of storing up to 99 loops, which should be more than enough for the beginner, as well as intermediate and advanced players. The pedal offers plenty of recording storage of up to three hours. And, the pedal’s auto-recording function is very impressive. This gives the user the ability to begin playing, without physically switching on the pedal. It picks up the audio and begins recording automatically.
It is also possible to undo riffs and redo anything that needs to be touched up. Another impressive function of the RC-3 is the internal rhythm guide. This feature is very beneficial and makes it possible to keep loops tight and in rhythm easily. The pedal includes ten unique rhythms, including pop, funk, shuffle, Latin, R&B, and rock. This makes the Boss RC-3 Loop idealistic for anyone, regardless of their musical preferences.
Thanks to the RC-3’s input and outputs, you will be able to connect the pedal to various instruments and amps. Truly, the possibilities are enormous and there isn’t much this small pedal cannot do!
For those that like to fizzle out at high volumes, you will definitely appreciate this distortion pedal. The higher the volume, the more impact the pedal has on your play. Maintaining rich-full tones will not be a problem, with the Boss DS1. When utilizing this pedal, you do not need any other equipment except for your guitar. With a little practice, you will be able to unlock the DS1 maximum potential. Its sound quality and variety is far more superior to the competitor brand.
The Digital Delay DD7 will provide you with a unique sound, which cannot be obtained from the other two pedals. The sound produced will be pristine and of high quality, but it will be manipulated substantially by the delay effect. The pedal features a hold mode, which gives you the ability to combine sound on top of sound. This can produce a mind numbing sound, which will be sure to encapsulate the listener.
The pedal offers a longer delay time than many of its competitors. This will allow you to create the precise sound you’ve been looking for. At a maximum, the sound can be delayed up to 6.4 sounds. The pedal includes an analog delay mode, as well as a modulation delay mode. Although they’ll both impact your sound, the specific delay effect will be unique to each mode. And of course, the external footswitch will allow you to control the tempo and manipulate the sound as you go.
Unlike many other types of guitar pedals, the RC3 Loop Station is actually neutral. It doesn’t attempt to manipulate or alter the signal in any shape or form. When the pedal is adjusted to minimum levels, you won’t have to worry about experiencing any static or hissing. However, you will need to be careful about cranking up the volume too high, as this will result in an undesirable hissing sound. For some people, the simplicity of the Boss Loop Station RC3 will be perfect. However, others may prefer something more dynamic and interactive.
Ease Of Use
If you happen to be new to guitar pedals, you may have formed the misconception that a distortion pedal would be too complicated for you. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The DS1 Pedal is designed with ease of use in mind. Each component of the pedal is clearly labeled. This includes the inputs, outputs, and all knobs. In total, there are just three knobs and a single check LED light. Connecting the pedal to your guitar and amp will prove to be very easy. Using the pedal to add a little distortion to your music couldn’t be easier.
Just take note that this is a distortion pedal and these varieties can take a little practice and experience to master. Of course, one of the best aspects of distortion is having the freedom to manipulate your music as much as you desire, until you’ve found the exact tone you’ve been after.
Initially, you may believe that the Delay DD7 will be difficult to use. Although some pedals are complex, the Delay DD7 is designed for simplicity. Even if you’ve never used an effects pedal before, you shouldn’t have a bit of trouble getting the DD-7 setup and running. All outputs and inputs are clearly labels. The knobs and each of the modes are also listed. This makes utilization of the DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal very simple. The only thing that may be of concern is the internal battery. A CHECK indicator will keep you aware of the battery’s level at all times. Be sure to change out the battery, when necessary so you aren’t forced to stop halfway through your jamming session.
Since the pedal weighs just 1 pound, you won’t have a bit of difficulty lugging it around where you want to go. If your pockets are big enough, you might even be able to slide it right inside of one of them. All in all, the Boss Delay DD7 delivers extensive ease of use and is more than suitable for all guitar players, regardless of skill level.
Utilization of the Boss RC-3 Loop Station Pedal couldn’t be easier. This pedal is very innovative, but hooking it up won’t take more than a few minutes. All inputs and outputs are clearly labeled, so you’ll be able to plug in the associated cords in the right slots easily. And, it is also possible to connect the RC-3 directly to your computer, by utilizing a standard USB cord. This will make it possible to backup all recordings to your computer. This is highly recommended!
LED lights will let you know what the pedal is doing at any point in time, so you’ll know when the pedal is recording and vice versa. If you’re a beginner, the RC-3 could very well be the best bet for you. It is simple, yet very powerful.
Reliability & Durability
When picking up the Boss DS1, you’ll quickly realize that the pedal is fairly bulky. It has a little bit of weight to it and that is a good thing. It isn’t a fragile piece of plastic and can definitely survive a little wear and tear. The knobs, outputs and inputs are all well-made and very durable. No matter how often you utilize the DS-1, it will deliver an optimum performance for the duration. And of course, BOSS protects the pedal for a duration of 5-years!
It should also be noted that the Boss DS-1 is equipped with heavy-duty inputs and outputs. Many pedals have trouble in this area and these connectors may become wobbly. When this happens, an unwanted static sound may be produced. This will not be a problem with the Boss DS-1. The Distortion Pedal will provide you with many years of amazing, rock and roll riffs that Slash would be proud of!
The DD-7 design is similar to nearly every other version of the Boss Pedal. The electronics utilize the most reliable components, enveloped into a durable metal casing. You can even drop the pedal or kick it a reasonable amount of times, without damaging the essential components. The only complaint that you will find with this pedal is the battery runtime, which is simply lacking. Always make sure to unplug the input connection when you are done using it, otherwise you are going to run out of battery life. If you were going to use this pedal during a live performance, it would be best to plug the power adapter into a nearby receptacle. Other than this you can truly depend on this pedal to get you through any live performance or studio recording session.
The Boss RC-3 Loop Station is undeniably very reliable and incredibly durable, just like many of Boss’ other pedals. The company knows how to design and manufacture pedals, which will withstand the test of time. The RC-3 Loop Station will do just that, as long as you treat it with care. And, the pedal is protected by a 5-year warranty, which should provide you with the reassurance that you deserve. Each component of the pedal has been manufactured with the highest quality materials. This includes the inputs, outputs, DC connector, USB slot, and everything else.
The RC-3 Loop can survive a few minor drops and will maintain its pristine sound over a lengthy duration.
When it comes down to it, the Boss Audio DS1 Distortion Pedal, Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal, and the Boss RC-3 Loop Station Pedal are similar, but also very unique. Despite resembling one another aesthetically, the pedals behave differently and offer different functions. While the delay and distortion pedals will change the sound of your guitar, the Loop Station will not. Therefore, you will need to figure out precisely what you want, before attempting to find the best pedal for your exact needs.
All three pedals are very reliable and all of them will last you more than a few years. If you’re looking to jam out like Jimi Hendrix, the Boss Audio DS1 Distortion Pedal may very well be your best bet. However, if you’re only interested in recording in perfect harmony, the Boss RC-3 Loop Station Pedal is well worth the consideration. Those that want to replicate the masterpieces of John Martyn will want to examine the Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal. It is impossible to lose, as long as you choose the pedal that will provide you with the results you desire!
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