Boss pedal effects advice please


Hi friends, it's been a while. I don't own an electromatic anymore as I prefered to get the deluxe stratocaster sound. I'd like to buy some Boss pedals but maybe some of them have similarities. the ones I have in mind are:

Boss FDR-1 Fender Deluxe Reverb
Boss OD-3 OverDrive
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
Boss TR-2 Tremolo
Boss DD-3 Delay
Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer

what I noticed watching some samples of them is that the vibrato on the FDR sounds like the tremolo pedal and that the overdrive pedal sounds a little bit like the blues drive pedal. Which ones should I leave aside in your opinion?? the sound i'm trying to get is more like Mark Knopfler's in case someone knows about him thanks a lot, Ale


I use Boss pedals in the following configuration from left to right on my pedal board:

RC-2 Looper

OC-2 Super Octave

BD-2 Blues Driver

TR-2 Tremelo

DD-3 Digital Delay

TU-2 Chromatic Tuner

They are well constructed and work and sound great to me. I run them through a Fender Blues Junior NOS which is also where I apply reverb if needed.

It has been good set-up for me.


thanks a lot buddy i'll get the delay for sure and see what to do with the others Ale


thanks Brian


I'll pick the OD3 over the BD2 unless the BD2 is modded. The highs are harsh. A stock OD3 is fat, think of it like a flat EQ. The BD2 has raised highs and lows, a bit scooped sounding to my ears.

DD3 rocks. No complaints on that. TR2 is awesome too.

Plus Boss pedals are made to outlive you.


thanks jetbunny!


which one of these three would you take?

Boss FBM-1 Fender '59 Bassman, Boss FRV-1 Fender '63 Reverb, Boss FDR-1 Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb



Ale, I don't know anything about the Boss amp simulator pedals. I'll be curious to see if anyone else has one and chimes in ...

Jetbunny, I think that's a fair observation about the BD-2 pedal. As I have become more comfortable finding the sweet spoint of tube distortion on my Blues Jr amp, I find myself using the BD-2 less and less and just using my master volume on guitar to go back and forth between clean and overdrive FXs.


I have 6 Boss pedals on my board.

LS-2 Line Selector CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer BD-2 Blues Driver CH-1 Chorus TR-2 Tremolo DD-3 Digital Delay

I've been very happy with the BD-2 and the DD-3. The CS-3 can be a little noisy in my opinion.

Using a FDR-1 as a replacement for for both overdrive and tremolo is something that never occurred to me. I always figured it's primary use would be for plugging directly into a PA and still having "tone". If you go that route, let me know how it works out...

Boss FBM-1 Fender '59 Bassman, Boss FRV-1 Fender '63 Reverb, Boss FDR-1 Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

I have the FBM and FDR and quite like them both - but they are quite different. The FBM is brighter and tighter, and the FDR is warmer and thicker. There's plenty of overdrive available with either pedal. With a 5129 through the FBM, a pretty good approximation of a clean'50's Chet Atkins tone is available (plus lots of overdrive); the FBM provides a much thicker, bluesier sound. I think that these amp sims are also available on some Roland Cube amps.

I often use a JangleBox compressor in the front (guitar > JangleBox > volume pedal > amp sim > delay > amp or DI). I think it works pretty well.

Lots of analog Boss pedals, in particular the compressors and overdrives, can be significantly improved with 3rd party kits (skilled assembly required). I don't know if this applies to the digital pedals like the amp sims.

For me the key thing is that if I remove everything between the guitar and the amp, except for the cord, it already sounds good. If you've got that, I'd say first go for a time effect - a good-sounding delay.

Delays do not all sound alike, some are warm and round while others are brittle and sharp. You should spend a little time with some - see if you can borrow or rent some for a weekend.

As to the 'vibrato' on the FDR - it is the same effect as an amp's tremolo or the tremolo pedal, but I don't particularly find it very easy to use. Leo Fender kind of swapped the definitions of "tremolo" and "Vibrato" at whim, so yes, the terminology is confusing.

HTH -pk


thank you all for your help. Ale


How hard is it to adjust the tremolo on that FDR-1?


There is a knob for the "Depth". There is a default speed, but you can change it by tapping the pedal at the speed you want.


Hey Brian_66,

My BD2 is Monte Allums modded. It removed the shrilling highs and the farting lows. A lot better than stock.

My amp is a Blues Junior too. USA. The carpet sounding one! Stock everything. Except I put on new JJ tubes recently.

I got hold of DODFX90 analog delay for a bargain. It has the same MN3005 BBD chip like the DM2. It's all here.

To my ears, it's near my RE20 only it's 1/4th the price!

But for giggin' purposes, nothing beats BOSS pedals. Built tough. The DOD pedal went dead after a couple weeks using them. But it's now working fine. And I haven't gig it yet.


It's a bit tricky. You got to hold the switch for a few seconds until the led starts blinking, then tap it in an interval which will be set as the volume pulse. Takes some practice.

The tremolo isn't all that good really on this pedal, as is the reverb.


I have a boss compressor and it does what it's supposed to do. How does the janglebox compare? I was thinking of picking up a janglebox 2 to put in front of a vox ac8tv4.


Are you playing bass? If not, I see no reason for a compression pedal. Compression takes away dynamic range. If you use a tube amp, dynamic range allows you to play soft and get clean, or play hard and get crunchy.


Paul Pigat uses a compressor and when I read that I started to use one for a while also. Goin from the fingers to a pic it helped level it out on low settings.

the phase only lasted for a month or so but I now see where some guys want it.

How hard is it to adjust the tremolo on that FDR-1?

There are two controls, one is the knob and the other is the pedal. First you step on the pedal for long enough to shift the unit into "trem speed" mode, then you tap it to set the speed. You'd have to practice with this to be changing speeds at a gig.

For convenience, a separate trem /vibrato pedal with a rate knob is easier to use.

Sounds OK, and I do like the pedal overall (it does sound good), but the trem function doesn't really meet my expectations for usability.

HTH -pk

I have a boss compressor and it does what it's supposed to do. How does the janglebox compare?

I don't have the Boss so I can't compare, but the Janglebox sounds good EXCEPT that the one I have, I think has a small issue with a periodic snap (reistor-cap discharge?) when the tone switch is in the BRIGHT position. I'll get around to sending it back or fixing it. Part of the reason I chose it is that Roger McGuinn uses them, and I liked that sound. And it does sound good with my gear and my hands, which do not sound like Mr. McGuinn.

I don't use the compressor all the time, and yes of course it impacts dynamics, but that's not always a bad thing. There are subtler settings that don't totally control dynamics, but rather influence them.



That Boss Fender pedal screws with your tone and the CS-3 is really noisy and kind of too thin. DD-3 is a great all around pedal but the DD-5 has tap tempo jack..yet the DD-2 is the warmest sounding of all of them. same deal with the boss compressor.. the CS-2 is a really really great box.

I think the OD-3 will work very well with the gretsch because it uses Asymmetrical clipping instead of symmetrical clipping like a tubescreamer.. your low E and A strings stay cleaner.

here's a reference chart for mark knopfler's stuff (right clic to open it up fully in a new window)


The lights on Boss pedals are so dim I can't see them when playing outdoor shows in broad daylight.


If you're going to buy all those pedals at once, you should just get a programmable effects board, less space and probably a lot less money over individual pedals.

I have only one boss pedal the 7band eq. The boss dd3 delay is thin sounding and limited imo. Delay pedals to me are one of the primary pedals on the board. I opted to get a really good one instead of settling. I got the strymon brigadier. but its pricey.

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