Price paid: $ 122
Purchased from: gitarhuset.no
Sound — 10
As I said, I run it through an Engl Screamer 50w Combo, and it sounds GREAT. The more you increase the "Boost" knob, the warmer the sound gets and more gain is added. Increasing the "Bass" as well will give a heavy fuzz-like sound. I use it on the Lo Gain channel on my Engl, with the gain knob (amp) at about 9 o'clock, and the "Boost" knob (HT-Boost pedal) at about 11 o'clock. I'm playing a Fender American Std Strat 2009, and I prefer it with the neck pickup, which is the stock Fender pickups. I also like it for some nice lead sounds for rock and softer metal through my bridge pickup which is a Seymour Duncan HOT Rails. My biggest influence is David Gilmour, because I just love his passion for guitartone and his guitarplaying. With this Blackstar pedal, my Strat gets this fuzzy and warm tone, which reminds me a lot about Gilmour.
Overall Impression — 9
I play everything from Metallica to Pink Floyd to imrpovised blues solos and licks, and this pedal just makes my sound much warmer and brighter. The only minus I would say is that it's very big and that little FX-Loop-In front of amp problem with the clean channel. You just need to be a bit cautious when you're switching to the clean channel when you have it on front of the amp. I've been playing for about 5-6 years now, and I actually just bought this pedal because it was on sale. Got it for almost half the original prize. Thought I just had to try it out. Didn't find much of sound demos and stuff on the internet, but I took the risk and I have to say I don't regret it a second! I would definitely buy another one if it were stolen. I recommend this pedal to all of you guys who just wants that little warm edge on the top of your sound. In fact - in front of the amp, it works more like a overdrive/distortion pedal with a extra tube added to your amplifier.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Is it reliable? Is it reli...?!? As all the other Blackstar pedals, this pedal is built like e tank. It's huge, which can be a little minus for some people. Therefore I can't give it full score. It's made of hard and Solid Metal which makes it very reliable. I would definitely bring this out on the road because it can stand a lot of beating and damage because it's built like a tank. You wouldn't need a backup - or maybe an extra tube if you want to be 100% sure, but not necessary IMO.
Ease of Use — 10
I bought this pedal a couple of weeks ago, and I was very excited because it was a boost pedal. What I wanted was a pedal that gave my sound that little extra, that little edge! I was afraid that this was only going to raise my volume, but it did exactly what I wanted it to do. BUT I had a problem when I first tried it though. I run it in front of an Engl Screamer, and it adds an extra amount of gain and some warmth from the extra tube, to my Lo and High Gain channel, but no volume increase. As for the clean channel and the Crunch channel, the volume gets REALLY loud, and I couldn't figure out why, so I threw it in the FX Loop. While in the Loop it increased the overall volume on all my channels, but didn't add any gain or warmth at all, so I put it back in front of the amp. It has three knobs, so you don't need to study science to understand it. It has a "Boost", a "Bass" and a "Treble" knob, where the "Boost" knob adjust the volume for your boost (FX-Loop) or gain and warmth (in front of amp). The "Bass" and "Treble" knobs is there for either adding or cutting the Bass/Treble frequency. For instance, when the knob is at 12 o'clock, it is on 0. If you dial it to the left, you will cut the frequency, and if you turn it to the right, you adding to the frequency. Very easy to get a good sound with. It includes a small manual with a couple of recommended presets. One for a kind of tube overdrive, and one for a sort of distortion setting.