Price paid: $ 67
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
As I said earlier, it is difficult to get a good sound out of this pedal with no previous experience, and it is very easy to get a bad one. But once you play with it enough you can nail a plethora of different sounds. Although this is a high gain pedal, there are settings that will allow you to dial back the gain a little bit, adding more versatility. You can get great tones for all metal from Arch Enemy to Zappa with this pedal. It does have a slight oscillation, but it is barely noticeable. However it becomes very obvious if you play in an area with a lot a cell phones and other similar devices, and general noise from the pedal can also become amplified, since it is so high gain, which is why I recommend getting a noise gate. The only problem I have with the sound is when palm muted notes are played one the lower strings, they seem to lack definition. But this can be solved by ramping the volume. Another problem is very high notes. They can sound too digital if your knobs are not set up properly, or, again, if the volume from your guitar/amp is too low.
Overall Impression — 9
I play absolutely everything. When I went to buy this pedal, I thought i was only getting a pedal to play straight up metal, but while this pedal does great with metal, it'll also do well with rock, punk, and even some blues. It may be hard to achieve these settings, but its possible. It has excellent control, for those Who know how to use it, and it creates great tones. I compared this pedal to the Line 6 Uber Metal and the DigiTech Death Metal. The Line 6 was overpriced and did not have enough gain, and the Death Metal was not as versatile and too noisy, and both are not as durable as this one is. The only thing I would want for this pedal is crunchier palm muted notes, but this problem can, for the most part, be averted. This is a pedal I would take good care not to get lost or stolen, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a good distortion pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Although I haven't had my pedal for too long now, I know people who have the same pedal from the 80s which is still playing as great as it did back then. So you won't have to worry about that. This is one place Boss pedals really Shine. My cousin's DigiTech Grunge dropped four feet from his car to the sidewalk and now it sounds like a tin can. This pedal is built tough and will stay tough.
Ease of Use — 8
This pedal is not for impatient guitarists. It is probably the most versatile distortion pedal on the market, and for this reason it takes a lot of meticulous work to get the exact tone you want. With practice it becomes easy, as everything does, but this might be a difficult first pedal. Fortunately this is a Boss, and it comes with a somewhat helpful manual and an even more helpful website, both helping the process.