Boss’ SD-1-4A Super Overdrive

Black Magic
Boss’ SD-1-4A Super Overdrive
Price: $59.99

Boss’ SD-1 has 40 candles on its cake and the company is celebrating with the SD-1-4A, a new Super Overdrive has a swank finish plus those three knobs you’ve come to love.

There aren’t many features, but that’s the beauty – it’s all about tone. Aside from Level, Drive, and Tone, the box offers buffered bypass (for longer cable runs), 9-volt adapter jack, and a battery compartment.

The SD-1-4A’s mission is to achieve a realistic tube tone, which Boss says is the result of unique asymmetrical clipping in the circuit, something it patented in 1977. The sound is warm and midrange-focused, with rich harmonics, sag, and ghostly overtones. Naturally, putting this box before the preamp of a tube amp yields the best results. Using a 15-watt Vox clone and semi-hollowbody, the Super Overdrive delivered sweet gain, from just-breaking-up (think Rolling Stones) to thick plexi honk (a la Aerosmith).

You can use the SD-1-4A to improve the overdrive of a solid-state or modeling amp, or pair it with other distortions, fuzzes, and overdrives to develop your own crunch. Many deploy it as a booster for solos.

Ultimately, this pedal does what it’s supposed to do – give a more tube-like attack, no matter the amp. Better yet, the SD-1-4A Super Overdrive is super-affordable. And that’s all the dirt you need.

This article originally appeared in VG’s November 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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