Price paid: $ 379.24
Purchased from: Wellington Rockshop
Sound — 10
I use this with a range of amps, both tube and solid state. I am a fan of active pickups as well but do use passive pickups for the less 'agressive' styles of music I play. It's not a bit noisy and if you let your amp do the work, you dont need to worry about it at high volumes. Saying that I cranked it through a ten watt scrap amp and I was suprised how nice and defined it sounded before I blew the tiny speaker in the amp. I love the effects and happen to think they rival, if not in most cases better their analogue counterparts. I particularily love the stereo chorus and the OD2 setting. I am predominantly a metal player, but my clean sound and lead sound are just as crucial as my heavily distorted rythym sound. This unit covers most bases regarding signature sounds. Here are a few of my favourites. Edge (U2): compressor, mod reverb, pan delay, vibrato, and noise gate on. metallica justice: comp, slight hall reverb, noise gate, slight stereo chorus, and the gain cranked on the guvnor setting. I find that the guvnor setting is probably the most workable distortion setting, and has way more useable gain than the metal settings. I love the rat for '60s sounds, the OD2 for classic rock songs, and lead work. Overall the sounds are great. I rate them over most analogue effects, full stop. The fact that this unit is so cheap adds to its appeal.
Overall Impression — 10
I'm a metal player, who likes to experiment with many styles of music. I love rock and funk and even rap. This unit covers all the ordinary effects you could want to explore, with an extraordinary quality and clarity which more than satisfies me. I waited for this pedal to arrive in new zealand for 9 months and bought it within 5 minutes of playing it. I knew it was the right one, and for someone who is looking to get into effects, this really is in my opinion the benchmark. You will find if you buy this unit, what effects are essential to your signature sound, and will have a multitude of others at your toes if you get the itch for something different. I continue to use this unit heavily and with my other expensive analogue effects. I use this pedal exclusively for my 'clean' amplification. I saved 3 patches which I like to use for clean, as well as having the manual mode set to a very light Overdrive so with the tap of the 2 first pedals, I have a different sound still. I have 1 clean with thick stereo chorus. I have 1 clean with vibrato (my favourite) and the pickup sim set to hum-single. And 1 clean with the above with the digital panning delay set to around 400ms, or 220ish if I'm using another delay pedal with it for that quintissential EDGE sound. It's great. I don't regret buying this unit a bit. I researched this effect heavily before I bought it. It's like any effect, if you know what it is and and what it does best, you won't be disappointed when you buy it. Totally reccommended. I am not being paid by Boss either, or bloody sponsored.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a Boss pedal. To an educated guitarist no more needs to be said. For those moving away from DigiTech plastic crap and Zoom doorstops, Boss is the way to go. They offer the best near studio quality effects at an inexpensive price, which is within reach of almost any guitarist. It's made of metal, and all the parts are durable enough. Like any piece of valuable equipment it should be stored in a proper carrying case, and cleaned regularily (I use slightly damp cotton ear buds). Like any Boss unit it is bomb broof and will probably serve me, and outlive me.
Ease of Use — 10
It's easier than easy. You don't even have to have a decent grip on the English language to get familiar with this unit. It's very organic, no menus, just twist the butons and experiment. The manual is good, and you have the option of using it as a row of stompboxes (manual mode) rather than saving patches, which you can also do. Editing patches is easy, but I only ever use this thing in front of the amp, as a row of stompboxes, which is what it does best, and is what it was designed for.