Price paid: $ 64
Purchased from: InTune (Manila)
Sound — 9
At first, by using the basic connections it actually reduced that annoying single coil hum and the ambient noise produced by the other gain enhancing pedals but I figured that this unit could still be optimized so I used its effects loop. I reconfigured how it's supposed to be setup so here goes my settings. I'm using a PB1000 Behringer pedal board and Behringer stompboxes too. So from the basic connection setup, I used the loop this way: Guitar > Pedalboard: In of NR100 > (SEND to Comp+Dist+Filter then RETURN to NR100) > NR100 Out to Chorus+Delay+Reverb > Pedal board Out to In of Amp. Or you if you're using your amp's own effects loop, you could also use this config with your pedals: Guitar > Pedalboard: In of NR100 > (SEND to Comp+Dist+Filter then RETURN to NR100) > NR100 Out to Pedalboard Out > direct to AMP > Amp SEND to Chorus+Delay+Reverb then RETURN to Amp By doing so, the pickup noise and the hiss produced by high gain effects are totally eliminated without muting or dampening the chain's signal and tone effects produced by the other stompboxes. By hooking it up with the amp's effects loop it also makes the modulation effects sound clearer and defined and the sounds blends well you could hear all the effects you want without worrying about unwanted noise. Like I said, the basic setup will reduce as much noise as it could, but by using the NR100's effects loop feature just like how we use the amp, it will totally eliminate the noise and muddy signal. Tweaking the Thresh and Decay knob settings would also help further optimize the noise gate effect and your connection configuration.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a lot of metal and I use Dean and Ibanez axes with high gain pickups set in the bridge position. This pedal actually completes my chain as it's simple feature actually complements the other peds. I own a lot Behringer stompboxes and for now it's my brand of choice because I was convinced by a colleague that it can deliver what it says it does. I have read reviews and did some research and I was sold. Also, price-wise it's cheap, I could easily replace it if it's lost. The price and the quality of tone matches other great brands out there, and my friends are actually convinced. Then most haters and purists would say the brand is crap because it breaks easily or the sound falls short of expectations but I say, it really depends on how you use it. Sure the box would say a lot of good things about the product but it's not really a plug and play device, you really have to do some more tweaking to get the sound you like that's why it came in with knobs and a manual. So I guess, let's not be judgmental about Behringer, though the bad stigma against it is already out there, but Hey, let's give the brand a chance. Just try one out and hear for yourself.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It's made of plastic. Behringer haters would always say it's cheap and incomparable with a Boss' metal chasis, but it has an advantage, the color won't come off because there's no paint that would chip. Use it near saltwater by the beach, it's just perfect, it's easy to wipe off clean with a cloth without using detergent or stain removers. This is my brand of choice since it's affordable, the surface doesn't corrode or oxidize although of course if you jump on it like a madman it would break for sure. My pedals haven't failed me yet in a gig though, although the feel of the knobs are kinda flimsy. Some are a little loose, some are damn tight but I'm using it without backup, and I'm not worried it would fail, just make sure it stays in the durable pedalboard and by using the right set of power supply unit (9V output). Battery? Don't bother. It will suck the juice dry in less than 6 hours of straight playing.
Ease of Use — 8
The NR100 is very easy to use, actually. It has 2 knobs (Tresh and Decay) and a switch for mute and reduction. Obviously it was cloned right after the Boss NS-2 but no complaints here. When I just got this pedal the first time, I just basically connected all of my other pedals by using the IN and Out jacks and plugged that chain directly to the input of the amp. But then I wondered, how does the SEND / RETURN jacks of this pedal work? So I did my research and then I realized they work the same way amps have effects loops. Most guitar players would put their noise gates after all the gain enhancing effects like compressors, overdrives, and distortions. But as recommended by the guitar tech at the store, I should put this at the start of my pedal chain, and so I did. Too bad the manual didn't elaborate on how to optimize the pedal's use of the Send / Return features but what the hell... We have Google for us to find that out anyway.