Price paid: £ 10
Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use — 9
It was totally straightforward to use and is comparable in that respect to pretty much any other effects pedal going. You just plug your guitar in one side, come out the other side of it to the amp, and step on it when you want it to operate. Simple. So as far as how it operates there's no problem, it's just that I found it to add a lot of background hiss to the signal and found the various controls to be rather dull and basically useless. I play acoustic guitars as well as electric and basically you could do whatever the AM100 claims to do with a simple five band EQ, which I have often done on recordings to give an electric guitar an acoustic feel, which works very well if you know what you're doing. But the AM100 doesn't have the scope or the practicality of a simple EQ pedal.
Sound — 1
I already have a Behringer Acoustic ADI21 which is supposed to be an amp modeller and it has been a great bit of kit with many uses. However with the AM100 I was seriously disappointed. It's touted as a device to make an electric guitar sound somewhat acoustic but it fails miserably. I don't mind that it's plastic, you expect that from a cheaper make of pedal, but the moment I plugged it in there was unacceptable hiss in the signal. I found the controls to be fairly useless too. I tried it with three different guitars, all with different kind of pickups, and three different amps and it was clear that the AM100 just made a stupidly unacceptable level of background hiss when operated.
Also, I could get a better and quicker to dial in effect right at the amp by adjusting my tone and gain controls there than I could get out of the AM100. It just seems like a complication I can do without in a live setting.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Even though it's got a plastic body it would probably stand up reasonably well to live use. It's not like it's badly designed or anything. I've had plastic bodied pedals in the past that stood up to terrible abuse onstage so I wouldn't be too bothered by the ugly brown plastic body. It will do what it's designed to do so long as you don't get stupid with it. To be honest I can't remember having ever broken a plastic bodied effects pedal in normal use. If it aids in keeping the production cost down then I don't see a problem with the body of any effects unit being made of plastic as opposed to some monkey metal.
Overall Impression — 1
My overall impression is that it's a not very convincing trick for trying to get a more acoustic sound from an electric guitar, which to be fair is a fairly rubbish concept anyway. But I've never tried any other similar acoustic effects box so I thought it was worth a shot. It had the same background hiss when using either an adapter or battery. I couldn't really see much usefulness to the rather vague controls which each seemed to do nothing much like what their function was supposed to be apart from the "Level" knob which did in fact raise or lower the volume of the pedal, but also the volume of the background hiss as well.