Price paid: $ 69.99
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 1
I use a Fender CD160E/12. For practice I run it through a Dean M-16 practice amp. For gigging it gets run through the mixer of a Peavey Escort 2000 system. The unit is very noisy on the factory presets. The upside is that it does have a noise reduction subprogram, but it has to be set to the maximum setting (99) to be of any value. The modulation FX are weak. The chorus, phaser, and flanger settings all sound the same, a big disappointment compared to the DOD Acoustic1 unit it replaced. The only plus in the sound is the Reverse Reverb setting, which acts more like a reverse volume swell. I did not see this feature in any of the comparable units from other makers in this price range. Unfortunately, it is not enough of a plus to make this unit one I would recommend to others.
Overall Impression — 1
For lack of a better description, I lable my style "psychedelic country gospel" (think combining the Jordanaires with the Beatles and the Doobie Brothers). This isn't really a good match for the style. Better phasing/flanging would help. I have been playing guitar for over 35 years. I wished I tried other units out before I bought this one. If this were stolen, I'd thank the person Who took it off my hands and look for something else. What do I love about this unit? Nothing. What do I hate? Everything. Since buying this, I have tried the Zoom GFX 1 and the Yamaha MagicStomp. I'm wanting to try the Zoom A2.1U and will probably choose from one of those. Although the question isn't asked. Consideration also needs to be made about the customer service Alesis offers, it's non-existent. When I first started posting negative reviews on this unit on other sites, I received an e-mail from a customer service tech with Alesis Who threatened me with a defamation lawsuit for making disparaging remarks about their products, so that is the kind of assistance one can expect from Alesis.
Reliability & Durability — 1
The jacks are unreinforced inset 1/4". I would prefer plugs with the metal collar anchoring the jacks to the housing, which vastly increases the durability of the unit, especially when coupled to a metal housing. The housing on this is a cheap molded plastic that does not promise holding up unless the only use it has is practice and church on Sundays.
Ease of Use — 1
It isn't easy to get a good sound from this without a lot of adjustment. The factory presets are substandard, noisy with lots of distortion. The only good feature is that all 80 settings can be overwritten, none of this XX factory settings and XX user edits crap. The manual is poorly written on how to edit the settings. I only figured it out after a lot of trial and error.