If you're not in the know about the DS-1, you're probably asking yourself, "Why on earth would I buy a kit to build a DS-1 clone when I could mosey on into any Guitar Center, and pick up a real one for $35?" The DS-1 currently in production is not the same as the original DS-1 that was produced in the 80's. Now you're probably asking yourself, "Why not just get a new DS-1 and modify it or have someone else modify it for me?" That will make it sound better, but it still won't be the same as the original DS-1. The original DS-1 used the Toshiba TA7136P chip. When this chip became obsolete, BOSS changed the circuit to accommodate dual op amps. The TA7136P was not a dual op amp. So simply "upgrading" a few parts isn't going to make a DS-1 sound as good as the original.
The BYOC Orange Distortion is a spot on recreation of the original DS-1 circuit that used the TA7136P. The kit comes with a genuine N.O.S. Toshiba TA7136P, higher quality parts than what were used in the originals, extra components to do some of the most popular DS-1 modifications, and a couple of new mods that we've come up with which are the sort of mods you can only do when you're building a pedal from the ground up.
One of these new mods is the addition of a 4th knob, the Pre-Gain knob. The DS-1 circuit has a transistor based boost at the beginning of the circuit. It acts exactly the same way as when you stick a boost pedal in front of any dirt pedal - it "gooses" the dirt pedal and gives it more distortion. This transistor based boost at the beginning of the circuit is set to full blast...all the time! This is why the DS-1 doesn't sound very good at lower gain settings. We added the Pre-Gain knob so that you can control the level of boosted signal going into the actual distortion part of the circuit. This mod makes the BYOC Orange Distortion incredibly more flexible and versatile than an original DS-1.
Another new mod is the Big Muff Mod. This transistor based boost at the beginning of the DS-1 circuit is almost identical to one of the transistor gain stages in an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi. It just needs a few extra components. This transistor based boost is also the cause for a lot of the low end flabbiness that is associated with the DS-1. The BYOC Orange Distortion kit has spaces added to the circuit board for these extra parts, and comes with the extra parts, so that you can modify the boost circuit to be identical to one of the transistor gain stages in a Big Muff. This will not make your pedal sound at all like a Big Muff, but it will give you little more gain and tighten up the low end.
The BYOC Orange Distortion kit also comes with extra parts to do many of the popular DS-1 mods such as more gain, reduction of shrill highs, and lots of extra diodes for all kinds of clipping modifications. We also took the liberty of removing all the aluminum electrolytic capacitors from the signal path and replaced them with superior metal film capacitors as a stock feature of the kit. And, like all BYOC kits, The Orange Distortion comes with true mechanical bypass, so there's no tone-suckage when you're not using it.