Price paid: $ 250
Sound — 8
I used to own a Zoom 505 and the quality of this by far puts it to shame. I remember the feedback and buzzing I got from the 05. I run my ME-30 through a Fender ultimate chorus amp, and I play either an american made Fender strat, or my Ibanez rg-270dx. I only play loud (above 90 decibals most of the time) and if i have it on the metal channel i have programmed for the most solid punch I can not play and I won't hear a sound out of the amp. It's quiet at any setting. The effects always sound clear and sharp, and the built in things like EQ help adjust for those hard to get tones. I'd say you can get a good pantera sound out of it (almost identical with a little tweaking) or you can get the sound of jimi hendrix blues... I like to use the volume pedal a lot, as well as the distortion.
Overall Impression — 8
I think it caters to my style well for now, though I hope to upgrade to a more proffessional unit when I can afford to. But I am thouroughly satisfied with the performance it has given me. I would not buy it again if it were lost, ONLY because I like to try new things. Favourite features are volume pedal, distortion, can plug a discman into it, play the discman through it and slow down the music if you need to figure a rff or lick out, easy to program and change banks, the pedal is adjustable from volume pedal to wah to Whammy pedal... I have been playing for 6 years now and it was the best had better distortion than other pedals ive owned (Boss metal zone, Boss Overdrive, Zoom 505, Ibanez tubescreamer and a few others) thouogh I like to run a crybaby wah through it, its just easier than switching banks then going to the pedal, then going back to switch banks to get it off... It is definately good if you cant afford much better. I would say skip the crappy little stomp boxed and go for this, unless you just want a distortion or one or two effects, then obviously you dont need all the stuff it has to offer. Though it is very clear... less feedback than most stompboxes. Try one out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definitely use it on a gig without backup, I would be scared of having a cracked cable wire before thinking this thing would die on me. It's been dropped and stepped on and never failed me yet. And I've had it for about 2 years now.
Ease of Use — 10
I got my Boss ME-30 as a present from my father when he went to the USA for buisness (I live in Canada). It was around 200-250USD. Once you figure out how to get everything working its a very simple pedal to operate considering the amount of effects it has. You can choose from a shredding metal pantera like sound, to a more vintage classic rock sound very easily. There are many weird effects that can be used in I think a 30 programmable bank memory. 30 programmable banks is MORE than enough for an amateur like me. Editing patches is very simple and non-time consuming. I havent needed to return to the manual for any kind of help from it, I could figure out how to do everything on my own instincts once I learned the basics. The unit has not been upgraded or tampered with in any way.