I was looking for one that can go from barely there to an over the top amount of gain. I was looking at the Digitech Lyra, and while it's not so much of a distortion as it is a modeler, the idea seems pretty cool to me. Right now the Lyra & Line 6 M5 (the overdrive models) seem the only options to me, but I could be wrong. Trying to keep this under $200.
I have a M13, and generally dislike the drive models (except for some of the comps, which are useable...) but its an AMAZING pedal for how good everything is, nothing is completely terrible. That being said the M in the M series stands for modeling. But it models so well!

The Lyra seems to be one of those silly emulator things like the DigiTech eric clapton crossroads. If I were you, I'd spend my money elsewhere.

I'd definitely look at the Xotic effects drives like the BB Preamp, AC Booster, etc... (I really like the BB Preamp, it has a big range).

The BB Preamp isn't going to give you the extra heavy metalness that you want. Generally, you aren't going to find something that sounds great which does everything you want. You can either get 2 or 3 pedals that do each thing you want well, or compromise and go with something like the M5.

But a lot of people (myself included) dislike the overdrive/dist models on the M series, but its definitely not terrible, or even that bad. It's no tubescreamer though (it does the screamer, but next to a real one its very noticeable)

Disclaimer: it also really depends on what amp you have. If your amp isn't too great then theres no point in buying a really nice drive if you can settle with something cheaper. Make sense?
"Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by Zamorak at Apr 30, 2011,
The best way to get great distortion is to scream into your pickups....lol I have a boss overdrive stomp box and a death metal stomp box I find both of those to be good for almost anything
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I too would say go with the nova drive if you can spend a little more.....or try a Blackstar HT-distX
I run my pedals through a Blues junior & Hot rod deluxe. I've already got a TS9, so I guess I can cover the low - mid gain, but that still leaves me wanting some heavy distortion. I know the amps aren't ideal, but they aren't mine My friend lets me use them for practice/gigs which I use more often than my MG.

So I guess it's down to high gain. Won't take Boss pedals either. Can't stand the metalzone/core.