Today I would like to talk about a particular pedal, the Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive. As the name implies, it is a pedal with two overdrive channels inside, in a single stompbox.

Definitely interesting for those who rock and need, for different needs, including those of space, of two different sounds in the same pedal, perhaps to play a rhythm part and then go out in one.

But let’s get to the point …


Well, the shape is that characteristic of the classic Boss pedals, therefore a pedal equipped with a metal chassis, knobs for adjustment at the top and a large activation button (not true-by-pass) in the center.

The power supply of the Boss SD-2 is the classic 9V battery or from a standard central negative power supply. Standards are useful… and how!

Here we are at the real characteristics: first of all the central button is responsible for both switching the pedal itself on / off, and for changing the channel. How does? The adjustment knob on the far right at the top allows you to choose between three different activation modes: CRUNCH, LEAD and CRUNCH / LEAD. The first obviously allows you to have a classic type pedal, i.e. the button activates and turns off only the crunch circuit. 

The second does the same, but activating the lead channel. The third, however, does not allow you to turn off the pedal, but only to switch between the crunch and lead channels. Normal, with just one button. It might seem uncomfortable or limiting, but eventually you get used to it. An important feature is, for those who need it, the possibility of coupling it with a pedal for remote control. Never tried.

Being composed of two circuits, the classic controls (LEVEL, TONE and DRIVE) are coaxial, with the crunch channel on the outside and the lead on the inside.


The Boss SD-2’s channels are really different, but they both have their own why. The crunch is dry, acidic, not too distorted, but VERY dynamic. The lead, on the other hand, is compressed, soft.

The crunch channel is rough, doesn’t allow for exaggerated gain levels, but it has a frightening hit. Really, it’s very dynamic. For AC / DC I find it very suitable! The only flaw is that it does not have too much body, in my opinion by raising the tone excessively it becomes too acid, better to stay in the middle and turn up the volume.

The lead channel is the opposite: soft, creamy, distorted and compressed. Tested in an A / B comparison with the Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive I noticed that the lead channel looks a lot like (ani, in my opinion it is practically the same circuit) to the latter (with Drive in full throttle and Color in half). It has drive and sustain to spare.

The two channels do not have much to do with each other, on the contrary if we want they are two types of distortion that are antipodes. One dry and the other creamy. So, if a person intends to have the same pasta in the two channels, the second just a little more pushed than the first, they are on the wrong track.

But if we want to have two different channels in the same pedalboard, completely independent, in the same pedal, to maybe be boosted downstream by another pedal, well then the Boss SD-2 could be the one for you!

In and of themselves both sounds are good, if not great, compared to more modern (and expensive) pedals. But guys, the pedal is gorgeous and really deserves consideration and maybe even a place on the pedal board ????.


Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive with self-built true-by-pass pedal

A special collector’s pedal that offers a range of sounds and remarkable possibilities. The only flaw (besides the fact that it is not true-by-pass) is that if we want to use the activation button to switch between the two channels we cannot turn off either of them. A pedal should be added to act as a general activation. I had built it together with a friend of mine, thus also solving the problem of signal degradation, by inserting a button that made it true-by-pass.

It’s been out of production for a long time now, so for sound maniacs it will be a problem finding it. However, those who, like me, do not mind looking for used items will not find it hard to find it, looking for example on the market if there are many: or As a price it is not exactly cheap, but it remains a collector’s item, and collectability is paid for … ????

Published on on: 20/03/2020.