Price paid: £ 80
Purchased from: gumtree
Sound — 9
I'm using this pedal as my primary gain for my setup, going though a LTD MH 103QM with DiMarzio pups fitted and a PRS SE Tremonti, the Dist X is before my Boss GT8 (used for delays/modulations) into my Kustom Quad stack. With this setup it produces a great metal tone ala lamb of god and classic metal, depending on how you are using the ISF. Roll back the distortion to 9 o clock and the tube saturated classic rock/ blues tones become readily available. One feature that I like is that this pedal really responds to the volume control and cleans up surprisingly well considering its primary a metal pedal. However, this pedal does rely on the pickups allot, my LTD with a Dimarizo breed with its high output suits this pedal allot better then the more medium output pickups in my PRS. This has great clarity for a metal pedal, great string separation even at high gain.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this pedal suits my style very well and is great for NWOAHM type bands. I have owned a Behringer Ultra-Metal pedal, EHX Metal Muff and the various distortions of the Boss COSM range. I'd say this is probably the closest to a Tube amp type tone out of a pedal, that I have got in my 4 years of playing. If this pedal was stolen I'd be saving up for another one or the HT Dule. I have to say my favorite feature has got to be how this pedal is more than a metal pedal and gives an authentic tone. Though the fact that this pedal gets warm means you don't want to be leaving this plugged in all day, I think maybe if it have a standby or off Switch to resolve this. Overall this is a premium distortion pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The Blackstar Dist X is very reliable, having a Solid Metal casing. The grill while it lets you see the tube, it has some sort of plastic sheet behind it, this is very useful (I've spilled beer on it) and this pedal keeps on going, you can drop it and this pedal will carry on, I gig this with out a backup (cant really afford 2 of these) nevertheless I wouldn't need a spare, I think the only downfall of this live could be that it can't be powered by a battery and the lead is a little flimsy.
Ease of Use — 9
This pedal with its its simple but effective EQ that uses the standard bass/mid/treble knobs makes this pedal incredibly easy to shape the tone to a required taste. Also its has the normal gain and volume control with the added feature or the ISF (infinite shape feature), I think the best way to I'd describe it as left is you more Marshall Drive tone and right leaning towards a more Messa Recti tone. The manual does give you most of this information anyway. I haven't used the emulated output some I can't really make a fair comment on it.