Price paid: $ 45
Purchased from: Yahoo Auctions Hong Kong
Sound — 8
Both distortion sounds are above average, nothing fancy or over the top. Just crunchy and strong distortion with a quick decay. Mode 1 dist is more subtle than Turbo; apparently Kurt Cobain of Nirvana used this setting during his Nevermind tours, by pushing the volume all the way up as well as the distortion knob- whilst keeping the tone at 12 o'clock. Turbo is more ferocious but still tamed. Setbacks- There is an input that allows a remote foot Switch (from Boss) to plug into; allowing the Switch between Mode 1 and 2 possible without actually bending down to twist the knobs. However, there is a noticeable flaw; the different volume levels between 1 and 2 are very apparent. Switching from 2 to 1 for example will cause the sound to become really quiet. Perhaps the reduction of volume will work well for you but it definitely did not work for me.
Overall Impression — 8
I play mostly rock. Stuff like Pink Floyd, AC/DC etc. It is the first effects pedal I got and for the past 6 months it has been a joy to play my instrument through it. However I felt the distortion didn't have enough oomph and sustain to it, thus I got myself a Vintage DOD Death Metal Distortion FX86 instead and replaced it. However, that being said. This is a nearly-all purpose distortion pedal. It can be extremely subtle and crunchy or loud with a large bite to it. I do recommend this pedal to beginners and professionals alike. I guess the only genre you can't play is metal, so metal-heads stay away from this one. I have recently sold this pedal to a good friend of mine, who will definitely put this lovely hardware into better use than I have. Don't think I will get another one yet...until I have more cash at hand and nothing else to invest in. If you are thinking of getting it, please do!
Reliability & Durability — 8
It is built like a tank and has a 9V power supple input. However I found the battery compartment extremely annoying and difficult. Before I got the power supply, I had to place/remove the battery every single time I was using it. Unscrewing/screwing was just a chore (maybe it wouldn't be for you) plus trying to fit that battery in a compartment so small it was simply too much of a hassle. If you are getting this pedal, get the power supply. Despite there are people saying "battery tone is better". Its still worth getting the adapter. No backup is needed, however it is better to be safe than sorry!
Ease of Use — 10
Very straight forward. 1 Tone, Distortion and Volume knob plus a Mode knob to Switch between turbo mode and normal. Easy to use. Mine came with a manual, it had setup suggestions as well as blank rubrics to put down memorable tone settings and was useful.