Ease of Use: The Fender Blender, one of the most chaotic fuzz/distortion pedals ever made. It has four controls: volume, sustain (gain), tone and blend, which blends the effect with the unaffected direct guitar signal. The Blender is actually an octave fuzz, with it being very slight and subdued in its normal setting. Stomping on the Tone Boost switch, however, will kick the octave effect up dramatically and the pedal can be difficult to control at that point (at high settings)!
All in all, it's very, very easy to get a great sound out of this legendary pedal. In fact, the Fender Blender is also the best bass distortion pedal that I've ever heard. It doesn't cut any low end, if anything it adds it a lot of it. The Blend knob makes it easy to blend the sound with the direct bass, which makes it ideal for recording and live work. // 8
Sound: I use this pedal with a Diezel VH4S Halfstack and two Gibson Les Paul Customs. I have other guitars that I use with it too. Anyway, this pedal is one thick sounding pedal. It has more gain than a Big Muff, with MUCH more heft to the sound. Its a very loud pedal, and it will definetly punish your amp into oblivion on the higher settings. On the lower settings with a cleanish-sound, you can get some great clean octave effects that just scream vintage 60's tone. I'm not really into getting other people's tones, but with a Custom Shop '62 Reissue with Fralins into a '72 Marshall Superbass, I nailed Hendrix's fuzz tone with this pedal.
It was amazing, and so crystal clear, unlike anything that I've ever heard in person before. I've played clones of these pedals before, and nothing even touches the sheer warmth, volume, heft and punch that this pedal provides. It sounds paticuarly good on slightly driven non-master volume amps, and is clearer with single coil guitars (but it kicks ass with Les Pauls). This is, without a doubt, my favorite fuzz pedal ever. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Being over 30 years old, the pedal is eventually going to need a recap and maybe a replacement switch or so to keep it working. It sounds awesome now, but those parts weren't meant to last forever. It eats batteries like no other pedal that I've used, too. I've had batteries last longer in Boss Bass Synthesizer pedals. I don't feel like I could really depend on it, but I love it so much and I can't afford another, so I don't know what I would do. Right now, I use my Zvex Octane III a lot, so it will have to serve as a backup if this one ever went down for the count. // 8
Overall Impression: I play a lot of different types of music, but right now I'm doing a lot of stoner-type rock like Monster Magnet, Melvins, Crowbar and some good ol' rock and roll like Motorhead. If it were stolen, I don't know what I'd do, they're extremely expensive now when you can find one that hasn't been tampered with or isn't doa. I love the punch, balls and verocity that this pedal exhibits, but hate the battery life (power supply with 9V eliminator sounds in order). If you ever get the chance to get one, do it. They aren't going to last to much longer, and it will be one of the best fuzz pedals that you'll ever get to play in your life. // 8