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BOSS Guitar Pedal Overview: X Series

24 years after BOSS released the ODB-3 Bass Overdrive pedal, BOSS release the X Series. Five in the current range for guitar and Bass: OD-1XDS-1XCP-1X, BB-1X, and BC-1X.

X Series is a new addition to the BOSS pedal family, most famous for the BOSS DS-1 and SD-1 Overdrive series. The X series embodies the BOSS tradition of pro guitar processing pedals. It comes with premium sound, performance and build quality.

The X series is the more expensive premium range of BOSS pedals. BOSS released the first two in the series in 2014. With the tagline: “Special Edition BOSS Pedal with premium tone”. They are both digital and feature an optical circuit. This results in a slightly warmer color to the sound. This can be found in pedals costing four times as much indicating its use across the whole range appeals to existing customers as well as newcomers. BOSS uses quality components throughout and machines for reissues of classic pedals. It increases reliability and longevity.

a guitarist using BOSS X Series effects pedal

The Story Behind the X Series

When you create a certain product, sometimes you don’t think about how it gets to the consumer. It can be a random thing, and sometimes a series of events align for the perfect storm for something to be born. This is the story of how one such perfect storm converged at BOSS Corporation with Yoshi Ikegami. 

The series' creation began in 2013. It is when Yoshi Ikegami, BOSS president, returned from the BOSS Headquarters in Germany to Japan. He had discussions about business aspects for the Europe market with a European product manager at BOSS head office. 

During Yoshi's visit to the UK, Matt (the European product manager) told him that he is a fan of BOSS. Also, he has always believed they have great design but he has been kind of drifted out lately. He said their marketing doesn't really evolve with the rest of the technology. Plus, they don't seem to be moving forward. From then, Yoshi got an idea and one project came out from it, X Series.

How does X Series Started

It was a traditional company gathering called the BOSS Summit to shape the future of BOSS. Yoshi talked about his dream, he wanted to make something big and a change. To make that happen, it would take time. So, he was asking the employee's opinion about how to get there sooner rather than later. His plan was, in fact, a revival plan for OD-1 and DS-1.

One of the most important objectives of Yoshi is to maintain a sense of history and legacy. But they also need to focus on new innovations. If they stick to old ideas, they will eventually be knocked out by more innovative brands. Thus, BOSS follows both steps simultaneously.

BOSS launched the X-Series of effects pedals in 2014. With the slogan “Premium tones special edition BOSS Pedals”. The range includes the OD-1X Overdrive and DS-1X Distortion. These are the updated versions of the original OD-1 and DS-1 that were originally released by BOSS in the early 1980s. Both have a simple three-control setup: Level, Tone, and Drive.

What’s New with the X Series?

The X Series concept is all about moving forward. Keeping BOSS legacy, and bringing it together with the latest technologies. Continuing on this legacy, BOSS designed the X Series to provide the greatest gaming immersion and realism. Whether you prefer standard or next-gen gaming.

Created for the next generation, the X Series delivers a new design aesthetic and more powerful performance.

The X Series digital guitar pedals don't follow the path of every other pedal manufacturer. Also, churn out digital copies of their analog counterparts. Rather, they are adding to their product's potential.

Digital Guitar Pedal

The X Series are the most advanced stompboxes to come along in a long time. They offer good value for money. It has solid build quality and you can see them in the rigs of many professionals worldwide. 

Analog effects are still used by some musicians today. But almost every guitar player uses digital effects pedals. What's new with the X Series? Well, it combines the reliability of an analog pedal with the flexibility of a digital one. Turning it into a hybrid of the two. It is capable of producing many delays including analog delays, tape, and spring. As well as pristine digital delays that emulate tape and analog delay units. You can select each effect by powering up or powering down individual effects from within the device itself. This allows you to save a lot of time compared to patch cables.

If you want to buy or sell your pedal – whether it be a distortiondelay, or modulator – you need to know the difference between analog and digital pedals.

An analog pedal is, as the name suggests, an electrical circuit. It is modeled on the way signals would be transferred in an analog system. This means that it has a continuous range, with no digital breaks or jumps, even when at its highest settings. The signal being modulated will vary over time like an analog signal would. A good example of this would be the setting on a guitar string when plucked. Plucking a string continually increases the force applied to the string. Until eventually it snaps and releases the signal naturally. 

Digital effects pedals use various methods to imitate aspects of analog signal processing. These include modeling the component values found in analog equivalents, discrete designs using DSP, and programmable logic devices. It depends on the accuracy and stability required by the design.

Analog pedals sound different because the signal is continuous. It is an excellent way for guitarists to craft unique tones. The sound of a well-produced digital signal is more precise than an analog one. Although often, a digital device cannot produce a similar range of sounds to an analog pedal.

What is MDP

Technology is increasing dramatically. Each day we see advancements in science and technology that are changing our lives. The world has changed profoundly over the past 50 years and will likely change even more in the next 50. Regardless of this, music and guitar playing has remained one of the few constants in our lives. It’s amazing to see over 10 million guitar players who use BOSS effects pedals every day. These players generate a whole new type of music every night. 

BOSS is delighted to announce MDP an intelligent guitar pedal workstation. BOSS designed it to help guitarists become inspired by their music. No matter what genre they play, how experienced they are, or how they want to evolve as musicians.

So what is MDP? Let's start by getting our acronyms in order first. MDP stands for Multi-Dimensional Processing. It is the name given to a new guitar effects processor. This processor integrates electronics and human feeling in an all-new way.

You may think of multi-dimensional processing (MDP) as another term for “modulation effects.” In fact, MDP is so much more than these. The technology brings together over 40 years of BOSS’s powerful development capacities. Also, the valuable experience from a broad range of related fields. This includes the synthesizers, sound modeling technology, guitar amps, and rhythm machines. To bring unprecedented creative expression capabilities to guitarists everywhere.

MDP sounds like no other processor you have ever played through. It’s hard to describe the difference, but your guitar “feels right”. Like you always knew, at some level, exactly what your guitar should sound like but didn’t know how to articulate it. It seems so natural; like your guitar is “speaking your language” now.

Their music has been covered by countless fans and artists. But the main thing that has allowed BOSS to remain the go-to effects brand has been their ability to break new ground.

How Does MDP Work?

Well, it starts with our 30+ years of research. Plus, development in guitar amplifiers and effects modeling. This design heritage has helped BOSS to create a technological powerhouse. It delivers more of what guitarists love most from their gear: the sound. But there's a lot more to MDP than smart tech. It's also packed with expertly crafted amp algorithms. Including our highest-resolution speaker cabinet modeling ever found within a multi-effects processor. And true to BOSS form, there are gigabytes of finely tuned presets that were crafted by the best guitarists on the planet. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, MDP will serve as your essential partner at every stage and in every aspect of your musical journey.

MDP (Multi-Dimensional Processing) is a revolutionary FPGA solution. It emulates the guitar signal chain starting with the guitar pickup. This includes the preamp gain, amp tone, and characteristics. At the same time, MDP allows easy access to all of this complex processing by way of simple stompbox controls. Allowing you to begin exploring and tweaking your sounds literally at the flip of a switch.

Circuit board / Programming

Circuit boards are the foundation of every electronic device in use today. They come in all shapes and sizes but serve the same purpose. It transfers electrical signals from one place to another.

Yoshi asked the engineers, “Why can't you enjoy your job if you can't enjoy it? How can we provide fun to our customers?” That was a very important philosophical change at the time. It was very important for BOSS to change the way they thought about their jobs and provide fun for customers. 

With this, you’ll notice that every BOSS guitar pedal included in the X Series have a different circuit board color than its typical green board. They use circuit board colors depending on the main color of the guitar pedal. For example, they used red PCB for DS-1X and blue PCB for CP-1X.

The changes in color don’t improve nor affect the performance of the sound. Rather, it shows that BOSS engineers are designing a product with a lot of attention to detail and care. That's very important, according to Yoshi.

BOSS X Series Guitar Pedals:

Top BOSS X Series Guitar Pedal: DS-1X Distortion

product image of BOSS DS-1X

The DS-1X distorts with amazing clarity, delivering a versatile range of rich and dynamic overdrive tones that are perfect for everything from blues to heavy metal. This new-generation stompboxes combines high-gain technologies with the unmistakable sound of BOSS original equipment, an unbeatable combination that brings out the most inspiring tones in your guitar and amp. The DS-1X provides everything you need to explore a vast new world of distortion possibilities—because more is definitely more when it comes to playing guitar.

The DS-1X redefines the distortion stomp, kicking it into a new universe of dynamic response and clarity. Powered by MDP technology, this amazing pedal delivers distortion that sounds great no matter where you play on the neck, even at the highest gain settings. At every setting, you’ll enjoy tight response on the low strings and fat, singing tones on the highest notes, plus exceptional definition when playing two or more notes at a time. The sound is never muddy or boomy, while the smooth natural presence ensures that you always cut through without harshness or nasal overtones

BOSS Guitar Pedal X Series: Conclusion

The X Series is a premium line of BOSS pedals. They feature digital circuits and an optical circuit which results in a slightly warmer color to the sound. Use across the whole range appeals to existing customers as well as newcomers. Quality components are used throughout and machines for reissues of classic pedals are used, increasing reliability and longevity.

You can depend on the X Series to offer everything you expect from BOSS: premium tone, performance and build quality.

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