UM100 Ultra Metal review by Behringer

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  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (44 votes)
Behringer: UM100 Ultra Metal
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Purchased from: Yard sale

Ease of Use — 10
Just plug it in and start playing. Adjust to taste. Just like any other stompboxes as far as that goes. For someone who is accustomed to 3-knob boxes like the DS-1 this may be a bit of a shock, but the knobs explain themselves pretty well. Maybe if someone were to do a mod that includes some better pots it would be more adjustable. Either way, unless you plan on parking an aircraft carrier on your board you should get some good use for this pedal.

Here's my rundown:

Pros:
- good sound
- easy to adjust
- pretty durable
- cheap

Cons:
- noisy, use with a noise gate
- not enough headroom in the EQ.

Sound — 9
This is the second Behringer pedal on my board, the other being a tuner. I have played in several bands over the years and have 30+ years of playing experience. The last four years have been spent playing professionally, so I know what I'm talking about when it cones to gear. I currently play a mix of modern country rock mixed with some blues, funk, and some hard rock and metal tossed in for good measure. As the rhythm guitarist and frontman of my band I find that I like the versatility of having a few pedals in front of me so I can tailor my sound for whatever I'm playing.

Here's my rig in order of appearance:

  • Ibanez/Dean/Schecter/Fender/Epiphone/ Peavey/ Randy Jackson guitar
  • Behringer tuner
  • Boss OC-3 octave
  • Line 6 Otto Filter
  • Ernie Ball 6185 wah
  • UM-100 distortion
  • EH booster
  • TS10 Tube Screamer
  • Line 6 Liqua Flange
  • DOD Ice Box chorus
  • Boss AC-2 acoustic modeler
  • Line 6 short board on CAT-5
  • Line 6 Spider III 2x12 combo @ 150 watts
Lots of flangers, choruses, volumes, phasers, and a Keeley DS-1 in a junk box, unused.

I have tried several distortion a over the years, including the Uber Metal and Metal Zone. This pedal seemed to have a little more adjustment for the drive than most except the Uber. Controls are pretty simple; just plug it in, give it a generic setting, and look for a nice tone that you like.

The sound is pretty decent, albeit a little on the high side. The EQ is pretty nice but doesn't have a lot of headroom, but crank the gain and you will get some nice saturated distortion. I rarely run the gain above about 4 simply because its just too much for what I do. Of course, it's very noisy just like any other distortion pedal with the gain cranked. That's the beauty of the Uber, it has a built-in noise gate.

People ask why I even have a distortion if I already have a Tube Screamer. They are different animals, like comparing earthworms to lions. I use the TS-10 for most applications, but when I want some real dirt I use the UM-100.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Even though this box is made from plastic it seems pretty durable. I'm not a huge fan of plastic onstage, but I gig with this pedal on my board about every other weekend. I don't baby my equipment, but I don't abuse it either. I've never had an issue with either of my Behringers as far as function or durability. I'm sure over time that the switches will give out, but I have a modded DS-1 that had that happen. It's still a steal for the 5 bucks I paid for it.

I think I can depend on it and have for awhile as I don't use it for every song. Occasionally someone requests something like "Man in the Box" and I kick it in and crank the gain. For most other applications I use my TS-10 and booster. It's one of those pedals that I like to have on hand if I need it.

If someone stole it I would probably hunt them down and rip their arms off for stealing from me. If I got it back in working order I would put it back on my board and get back to work. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't pay the $100 for a new one. I would just bring the Uber Metal out of mothballs or put a new switch in the Keeley DS-1.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a decent pedal for the money. I play modern country rock, blues, funk, and some occasional metal, so I don't use it often. However, when I do kick it in it turns heads. Nice tone, easy to use, and although adjustability leaves something to be desired its still pretty nice. I gig about every other weekend and have never had any problems with it... so far. As we all know all man-made things eventually fail, but I think this will last awhile with a decent amount of care. Don't drive your truck over it or Jo on it like a gorilla and it should be fine.

The only reason I'm giving it an "8" is because the EQ isn't as good as some others out there.

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