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The first Boss product ever released wasn't a Boss product at all. The Beckman Musical Instruments B-100 'The Boss' was an acoustic guitar pickup and preamp developed for Roland Corporation. So catchy was the name that it stuck, and the company was founded in 1973 as a division of Roland to serve a growing demand for devices geared towards guitarists.

The CE-1 Chorus Ensemble followed in 1976, which was the chorus/vibrato from the Roland JC-120 in a standalone pedal. 1977 saw the release of the first 'compact' pedals, including the OD-1 Overdrive, SP-1 Spectrum, and PH-1 Phaser. The DS-1 Distortion, one of the most popular pedals ever, dropped in 1978, and the SG-1 Slow Gear, a volume swell effect which is now an eye-wateringly-expensive collector's item, came the year after.

The DR-55 Dr. Rhythm was released in 1980, and brought affordable drum programming to many guitarists and home recordists for whom usable drum sounds had been previously out-of-reach. With a comprehensive product range that covers guitar/vocal effects, tuners, amplifiers, rhythm machines and phrase loopers, the company's devices are an endless source of inspiration for modern guitarists and bassists.

Photo credit: Henrik Hjortshøj

Lieup of Boss pedals.
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