Price paid: $ 180
Ease of Use: I've been drooling on this unit for quite some while, and bought it without a second thought when I came across it. This thing is more or less plug and play, but it will take you a while to get the wanted sound. You sort of gotta know what knobs you're tweaking on, but once you get to the point of liking, you'll get a better view on the whole thing. When it comes to the manual, I didn't get it with the pedal. But it took me less than a minute to get a pdf file off the net. It describes things. // 8
Sound: For starters, this fella is loaded with two 12AX7 tubes, making it neither digital or analog, but a full tube disortion pedal. I've played this through a number of guitars and amps, but it seem to sound best through passive pickups. What surprises me the most is the sound on the "line in". For a while I was concidering to mic up my cab to get a good and "real" disortion tone (which is hard with digital effects).
Specs from the website:
-3 devices in one: tube preamp, direct recording preamp, and tube distortion pedal.
-Massive dual 12AX7 gain section with tons of class A gain.
-Studio quality opto-compressor based on a classic circuit. Dial in your dynamics simply and easily.
-Active pre and post EQ sections.
-Pre EQ boost with variable frequency control.
-Post EQ features mid scoop control and active treble control.
-Advanced all-analog speaker compensation circuit results in the best direct recording tones available with any technology. Developed with extensive analysis of a closed back 412.
-"Magic Eye" display technology responds to playing dynamics.
-Rugged, road ready metal knobs and switches.
-20dB of additional footswitchable gain via "nuclear" footswitch. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This thing is heavy and reliable, built like a tank. The only thing that's not made of metal is the "windows" covering the two tubes. This is something I would use without a backup, with no concern about that it would break. I feel that if something would go wrong, it would be dying tubes. Although I'd buy another one just for having two, since they're getting hard to find theese days. // 10
Overall Impression: I've played for roughly 6 years and had a number of effects and guitars, but so far I haven't had any better disortion PEDAL. I play most styles of metal, but also blues and rock. And with the right combination of gear this pedal will fullfill the needs of Overdrive and such. Recently used it on a Kiss coverband concert, and I've never gotten more compliments on my tune than I did that day. It just blows me, and the audience away. Just know your gear and settings and you're ready to go!
As earlier mentioned I'd buy another one just for doing so, also counts in case of stolen gear. The only thing it lacks is a on\off knob, but what the heck. Who cares! I feel this isnt much of a helpful review, since a second of sound gives more justice than thousands of words. // 9