Price paid: A$ 300
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
I'm currently using this with a variety of Basses, including an Ibanez GSR200, Squier Vintage Modified Fretless Jazz Bass, and a Traben Phoenix 5. The effects probably work best with the Jazz and the Ibanez, probably because they both have passive electronics, and the distortion settings on the Zoom don't work so well (I assume it's this pedal, because the Russian Big Muff I use with active electronics is fine). My amplifier is a Fender Rumble 100, and works just fine with the pedal. The sounds of most of the simpler settings (like flanger, chorus, delay, auto-wah etc) are comparable to any other pedal I've tested (and I have spent hours in music stores just testing out different pedals, stompboxes etc). Where it falls down a bit is in the more complex settings, like synth, pitch shifter and octave can be a bit weak. Some of the disortion settings also have weakness issues; they can sound empty, or mushy, or just noise. With a few tweaks you can get something halfway decent, but they're nothing compared to the higher end products. Once again, however, for this price you can't go wrong, especially if you're a beginner.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a very eclectic range of music, from metal to jazz to funk and back again. In the end, I can almost always get the sound I want, or something very close to it. I was a beginner when I bought it, but I still use it for gigs now, several years later. I recently bought a Russian Big Muff, which works well with this Zoom. If it were stolen, I would do my best to get it back, to get back the patches I've spent hours tweaking to my own personal taste, otherwise I would probably just save up a little more till I could get the Zoom B9. For a beginner, or even if you are just a little short on cash, look no further than this baby.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Never had a single problem with this in terms of durability. It's been through hell and back, without a scratch. It does not look like breaking anytime soon either. Solid as a brick. Its got proctective rubber sides, with a metal casing, and in my case, spends a lot of time getting bumped around in cars, and in all the time I have had it, it has never shown any problems whatsoever. Although, make sure you get a power supply for it, because it eats up batteries like you wouldn't believe.
Ease of Use — 9
It's funny how many of these pedals I've seen around at local underground gigs. They're great value for price, and as far as sound quality, nothing compares, until you start spending megabucks. It is quite easy to use, there are no extraneous or difficult controls. Editing patches is simple, and the factory setting patches that are locked in are pretty good too. The manual makes it simple as pie. Again, you'll probably find there are certain features that can be beaten by higher end products (i.e., the "fuzz"setting might not be as good as a Big Muff) but for the price and wide variety of sounds this gets the scores.