Price paid: $ 162.87
Sound — 10
I play an Epiphone Les Paul with standard Gibson designed pups which is quite a dark and mellow sounding guitar or a Kramer Focus 6000 with single coils that sounds really trebly. They both sound really lush and warm with the settings pretty much anywhere. Literally. From low end break up to screaming hot bluesy valve drive. It does the lot, well. It's not as gainy as the some other models in the range, I tried a HT-DISTX but it was far too gainy for me, it sounds more like a single channel valve amp with a similar level of grittiness. It's good for any electric bluesy stuff like Hendrix or SRV and will push even up to some slash or Aerosmith style sustain/compressed type blues/rock.
Overall Impression — 10
I like and play anything from supergrass style britpop through Hendrix and peter green via slash and some brian may and even some punk. Nothing too heavy, no nu metal or anything-core. I've been playing for 18 months now and have an Epiphone Les Paul and a Kramer Focus 6000 a Boss DS-1 which is retiring for a while as this pedal is so good and a Boss GE-7 graphic equaliser fed off a power bank to save on batteries which I put before the pedal to boost the signal into the valve a bit. All this runs through a Roland VS-840 8 track disc recording mini studio and then out to my computer for various software recording and manipulation options. If it were lost or stolen I would go and get another one straight away. I really like the way it's built it's smooth and solid. You can see the valve glowing through some bars on the top which is reassuring. I did try a HT-DIST in the shop and bought a HT-DISTX home to try but they were just too gainy for me. I found I was using the gain between 0 and 1 so I went back and swapped for the Overdrive. This one just makes my LP sound creamy and it sings like slash in full swing mid solo bending and sliding away, well it would if I played a bit better. The tone is there though.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Well. I have only had the pedal a few days but it's built like a tank. It's quite big, maybe 2 and a half times the size of a single Boss pedal as a frame of reference. And appears to be made of a fairly light metal so it's heavy but not back breaking. Very well put together and I would definitely rely on it for a gig. Not that I am likely to gig in the near future.
Ease of Use — 8
This pedal is fantastic. It's really easy to use and has great tone. There is a manual with a couple of suggested settings for valve boost/classic drive/hot drive but there are three knobs! How hard can it be? Every twist of every knob gives new valve driven delight.