Boss Advertisement text(2001):

Provides warm, smooth overdrive tones that respond to your picking style the way a tube amp does, even at low volume levels. Exclusive BOSS asymmetric overdrive circuitry delivers a genuine overdrive effect for a classic guitar sound.

Boss Pocket Dictionary vol.1 (1984):

By using to the fullest extent the characteristics of the guitar, the SD-1 Super Over Drive can produce the mellow and mild sounds of a fully-driven tube amplifier without changing the original tonal characteristics. The SD-1 is ideal for increasing the richness of a guitar’s sound without losing the subtle nuances of the guitar player’s picking and fingering. The SD-1 uses the same basic circuitry as the best-selling OD-1 Over Drive – the world’s standard overdrive effect pedal – to produce exciting overdrive sounds without ruining the guitar’s original harmonic overtones. The SD-1 is equipped with a Tone control which permits any desired boost or cut in the high-frequency band in order to produce more varied overdrive effects.

BOSS SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

Using the SD-1

  • Adjusting the Tone control allows you to create a wide variety of sounds, ranging from the DS-1’s distortion sounds to the OD-1’s overdrive sounds.
  • Careful use of the Tone control lets you add attractive overdrive effects to various guitar and amplifier combinations without having to worry about whether they match a particular instrument.
  • In order to produce an overdrive sound, care should be taken not to turn the Tone control fully clockwise
  • If a band in the high frequency range is boosted too much, it will produce large amounts of distortion when the Drive control is adjusted to higher levels. It is recommended that the Tone control be set at around 90 degrees (clockwise).
  • Fig. 1 (Level 4, Tone 6, Drive 2) shows the setting used to create a soft distortion effect with all the picking nuances.
  • Fig.2 (Level 4, Tone 6, Drive 10) shows the setting used to create a hard distortion effect. This effect was created by setting the Tone and Drive controls at very high levels.
BOSS SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

Boss Guitar Effects Guide Book vol.14 (1999):

The SD-1 produces the warm, smooth distortion of an overdriven tube amplifier while maintaining the subtle nuances of your picking technique. BOSS’S unique asymmetric overdrive circuitry delivers a genuine overdrive effect for a classic guitar sound. A tone control is also provided for precise tonal adjustment.

Using the SD-1

  • To produce a mild overdrive sound Set the DRIVE control at a lower level and avoid excessive TONE levels. Good for a bluesy sound. (Fig. 1: Level 6, Tone 4, Drive 4)
  • To produce a hard overdrive sound Turn DRIVE all the way up and boost the highs with the TONE control. (Fig. 2: Level 5, Tone 8, Drive 10)
  • To use as a booster Set DRIVE at a lower level and turn LEVEL all the way up. With this setting, the SD-1 functions as a gain booster, augmenting amp distortion and providing deeper, thicker sounds. (Fig. 3: Level 10, Tone 4, Drive 0)

Specifications

  • 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: PSA Series

Labels

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

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