Price paid: $ 45
Purchased from: Music World BC PH
Ease of Use — 8
Like the Boss MT-2, this pedal is tricky in getting the right tone while it is easy to fuck it up altogether. It's not an easy pedal to work with compared to other distortion effects that only have half the knobs. But if you have enough time and patience it isn't hard at all. However, switching from one tone to another would be a lengthy task, because the knobs are pretty small and close together. Its manual is mostly technical stuff and isn't really important if you already had many pedals in your life.
Sound — 9
I play this in the spectrum of hard rock, heavy metal, metal core and thrash metal. To check it's quality I plugged it in a 20W Laney LXR, a 30W Marshall MG, 30W Cort MX using clean channels with all the Amp EQ turned 0. Note also that I used a Joyo JF-31 to clear out the hissing noise on full gain. The distortion can be set from crunchy thrash sound (i.e Megadeth, Slayer) to the harmonic octaves of metalcore (Trivium), and it is superb in delivering the distortion I need. You can also punch out good harmonics with this pedal on lead work. The problem is however, is that it only shines on heavily overdriven songs, and the quality of the pedal deteriorates in Jazz and Blues. However if you just play a lot of dirty metal music this pedal will do what it is meant to do.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The quality is debatable...the enclosure of this pedal might be metal but I have seen Boston Engineering pedals die out in a circuitry level... and that the screw area can break if abused. It would be advisable to get a backup when playing in a gig. But for a few months I didn't have any problems with it and it seems to built be built solidly from the outside. Hit or miss more like. The main selling point of these pedals are because they are just structurally built like tanks, and it would take a lot of beating to wear it's finish. It also looks pretty good once you have it in your hand.
Overall Impression — 8
The distortion can be clean and crunchy or it can be dirty and noisy, it has a wide spectrum leaning more to heavy music. It does everything I ask it to do but I don't go places that I know it won't cut it (rock and jazz for example). Possibly my favorite aspect of this pedal is that it has the same layout of the Boss Metal Zone, reducing size while still having 6 knobs to work with. It is also pretty much a clone of the Boss Metal Zone in terms of sound, very dirty. But it isn't free of cons, this pedal as far as I'm concerned is NOT TRUE BYPASS, and you have to buy its big brother the HM-200 to have it (and it is very rare). Also I would debate getting TC Dark Matter over this for more modern metal tones at pretty much the same price point