Price paid: $ 23.99
Purchased from: ZZsounds.com
Sound — 7
I use this my Crate Flexwave amp and a multitude of guitars. As I stated before, I had problems setting it up but it was because I didn't put it in the right spot of my effects chain. The way I had it, it didn't reduce the humming, it reduced the initial tone I was getting from my distortion pedal. I set it up behind my distortion pedal and everything made sense then. You have to play around to get the noise reduced to a point where you don't lose tone (generally I have thresh at half and decay at max). Here's how I use it in my setup: Guitar -> Noise Reducer -> Distortion -> Amp You can't enhance your sound with this pedal, but you can bring it down if you don't set it up right.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 8 years and so far the only noise gates I've used are the ones in multi-fx pedals. This pedal, though may seem cheap, does better than those in the multi-fx pedals. I generally play metal and blues so this is really good when I want that really heavy distortion without the feedback, or a good tube Overdrive like SRV without the humming of the single coil pickups. I do wish they would at least send a little paper with at least a one sentence description of the pedal and it's options, but no complaining for the price. I love this pedal. There have been times when I would be auditioning for a metal group, and my amp would just feedback and make me sound like a Hendrix-wannabe noob. With this, I can trust that my sound will be under my control.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It is plastic, but it is reliable and seems quite sturdy. I'm not some crazy guitar monster that just throws his equipment like he has money, so I would depend on this and gig with it without a backup. However, I would not trust it with just batteries. I'd be afraid they wouldn't last the entire gig, so I'd only trust this with a power supply.
Ease of Use — 8
This is a very simple pedal to manipulate. It only has two dials, one for Thresh, and another for Decay. It also has two settings, Mute and Reduction. The difference between these two is that Mute is more like an off/on switch for your amp entirely, and reduction is used to reduce humming and feedback. I had a little trouble at first setting it up, but I got it right eventually. It takes batteries and I've read that they are hard to put in, so I bought me a wall adapter to fix that. The manual is pretty much all Chinese so you have to go on your gut with this one and just figure it out.