Boss DS-1 – The Keeley Modification

Boss DS-1

Boss DS-1, innocently waiting to be torn apart. The controls in this configuration sound terrible, by the way.

This weekend I finally got to play more with my new tube amp, and that included plugging in my Boss DS-1. I have to admit, it was somewhat disappointing:

  • It won’t do “clean boost” or even “slightly dirty boost”, which means its not so hot at driving a tube amp cleanly.
  • The tone control is close to useless. It has a really narrow usable range at about 8 o’clock on the dial. Anything above sounds fizzy and thin, anything below sounds muddy.
  • When you get it in the sweet spot though, it does sound good for lead tones.

So I thought I’d look around for modification ideas. I’d read about plenty of them, but never with a mind to actually performing them myself. I’d read about the Analogman modded DS-1, which apparently gets good reviews from Steve Vai (among others), whom I admire.

Also there’s the Robert Keeley modifications (a review). Now remember I am lazy and new to this, so it’s not like I’m going to analyise the circuits myself and come up with anything just yet, so I searched around for practical guides to these modifications, and found this Instructable on doing the Keeley Mod which seemed nice and easy.

The next step is to get the parts lined up, so I used the Instructable documentation to create a project on the Mouser web site. Try this link to my Keeley DS-1 mod “project” which is just a parts list really, but it makes ordering easy. Anyway, parts are on their way, so I’ll post more when I actually perform the mod 🙂

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