In celebration of four decades of compact pedal innovation and the support of millions of worldwide users, BOSS is pleased to offer the Compact Pedal 40th Anniversary Box Set. This special limited-edition commemorative package features one-time-only reissues of the OD-1 Over Drive, PH-1 Phaser, and SP-1 Spectrum, the original three BOSS compact pedal models. Only 1500 box sets will be produced, and each comes in a deluxe presentation box with the BOSS 40th Anniversary logo and a numbered message card.
Forty years ago, the OD-1 introduced the now-familiar concept of the overdrive pedal to world. During its development, BOSS engineers were looking for a more natural sound than the typical fuzz units of the day. To this end, they used an asymmetric clipping circuit that produces lots of even-order harmonics. The resulting design produces a warm, pleasing tone that’s similar to the natural breakup of a cranked-up tube amp, but with its own unique character and response. Today, the original OD-1 lives on in a slightly enhanced and more versatile form as the SD-1 Super OverDrive, a pedal that’s been in continuous production since 1981.
In 1977, phaser pedals had been around for a while, and there were a few popular competing models on the market. For the PH-1, BOSS engineers worked to create an improved design with better clarity and a deeper modulation range. In comparison to other four-stage phasers of the era, the PH-1 has a more natural and mild sound, with a richer low-end response. In addition, there’s a minimal level difference when the effect is turned on, thanks to its integrated output boost circuit.
In the long history of BOSS compacts, the SP-1 stands out as one of the most unique pedals. Derived from an effect built into some early Roland guitar and bass amps, the SP-1 is basically a single-band parametric equalizer with a fixed level boost. The Spectrum knob allows you to sweep the center frequency from 500 Hz to 5 kHz, while the Balance knob adjusts the mix of the direct and effect sounds while keeping the overall level consistent.
When used with guitar, the SP-1 produces a sound similar to a wah pedal set at a fixed position, but with a more focused boost at the center frequency. However, the SP-1 was most often used by bassists, who found it to be a great tool for cutting through the mix on stage. In either application, the Balance knob is very useful for filling out the sound with a bit of direct tone as needed.