Price paid: $ 79
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I'm using the pedal between a practice amp, my Fender 25R frontman, a Dunlop crybaby wah, and my mid-90s mexican strat. The best sound comes when you have modulation effects, like wah, closer in series to the guitar than the distortion pedal. The presence of a 3-band EQ allows for a myriad variation of sounds, and if you play with it long enough, you'll discover that the adjustable midrange band is an invaluable Tool in tuning the "mood: of the distortion. At zero gain, the pedal produces a smooth blues tone. At middle gain, it'll give you a crunchy 80s-metal type of distortion. At the 3/4 to full gain mark, it producs an overwhelming lead distortion that'll melt faces during a solo. If you play with the settings long enough, I guarantee that you'll find a tone that works for you. This is the most versatile distortion pedal I've ever used.
Overall Impression — 10
I mainly play blues, jazz, and metal. I started playing about 6 years ago, and I picked this product when I felt that I'd outgrown the Boss DS-1 a couple of years ago. It replaced the bland distortion on my Line6 Spider, and I've never looked back. If you try this pedal in the store and don't understand why you would possibly need an EQ on a disortion pedal, go for a simpler pedal. The Metal Zone is a highly versatile pedal, but you have to understand how it works. I would replace the MT-2 if stolen because it does everything I could ever ask of a distortion pedal. I love the fact that I no longer need multiple distortion effects to play different genres of music, and that it produces a full band of sound without clipping the midrange like many distortion pedals do. I only wish that there were a way to lock the dials in place so that they couldn't get turned while the pedal is being transported in a case or inside of an amp. Otherwise, this is the simplest way to accomplish a difficult task: providing the most possible distortion tones, in the best possible quality of each of those tones, with the most useability onstage possible.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Like all Boss pedals, it's built like a rock. I think if I droppedit off a 10-foot ledge and plugged it back in, it wouldn't even scratch. The only thing that could use some improvement is the battery life. At 1/4-to-half gain level and 1/4 volume, the pedal will give me playtime for about 50 hours. That's a decent number, but the problem is that the red indicator light doesn't begin to dim (alerting you to replace the battery soon) until you're in that 50th hour of playing. The sound quality doesn't diminish significantly until the pedal is 99.99% ready to run out of power.
Ease of Use — 8
I am the second owner of my MT-2 Metal Zone, and the first owner did not pass along the manual to me with the pedal itself. There are 6 knobs total on the face of the pedal, which seems intimidating at first. In order to get the most out of the pedal, you have to have a good grasp of how equalizers can affect your sound, and how to set up equalizers in other parts of your rig as well. That being said, the pedal is very flexible, but it has a steep learning curve. You'll Pick up on a few settings that you really like, and stick with those, and probably not move the dials around after that.