Price paid: $ 70
Purchased from: Same Day Music
Sound — 9
As good a tube Overdrive sound as I have ever heard. I've been playing for o'er 40 yrs. Great overtones, sustain, and touch sensitivity. Not too raspy (I have an EH English Muffin that is a bit saw-tooth). I played a Tele through it to test her out - really gets a thicker/meaty/smoother tone with it - Robben Ford/Dumble amp tone & feel. You can get the scooped metal-like tone with the pedal if you want, and clean boost is nice & warm. A very musical pedal. Amazing bang for buck. I had trouble putting the guitar down I like it so much.
Overall Impression — 9
I think this pedal would cover most any guitar style. I'm more of a blues/jazz/country guy - Larry Carlton, Johnny A, Matt Rae, R Ford. I've had just about every kind of guitar gear ever made and I must say this Monster is one of the best unit's I have ever tried. There have only been a few pedals that I have used for years and some I wish I never got rid of. This one will be a keeper. For overdrive/distortion pedals I only like 1 footswitch -on/off. I don't like the 2-pedals in one unit's or boost Switch - too much nonesense. Functional simplicity and good sound are the keys.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I know it is well built because the shipper packed the thing horribly and it was flying around in the big box from Las Vegas to Oregon. I kicked it around a bit while I was testing it & there were no issues. It is a metal casing/FS and the tube is well protected. I always have a backup for gigs, but probably won't need one.
Ease of Use — 9
Very easy to use - laid out like a tube amp with gain & master & bass/mid/treble, on off Switch, FS. I like the noise gate feature as this will allow the pedal to be at the end of the chain o' pedals. The tone controls have a good range. The LED's are nice & bright. I haven't opened up the manual - the pedal is very intuitive to use.