Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I play on a very cheap, small practice amp with weak distortion. However, with the pedal, I get a thicker, heavier, crunchier distortion. The Tone setting is going to be the most used setting, I can tell you that. The 2 main sounds you can get from this knob are a well distorted, universal distorion, and the other is a very crunchy, Metallica/Pantera-esque sound. A flaw is, though, the gain and feedback. If the gain is set any higher than stationary, there will be massive feedback. If you play with in 6 feet of your amp, there will almost always be heavy feedback if your hands are not on the strings. This problem is solved by simply muting the strings with a hand.
Overall Impression — 9
For the most part, my guitar styles and playing vary from modern "emo" or alternative (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday), to progressive (Rush, Coheed And Cambria) and some modern metal (All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder), so this pedal is very very handy. I've been playing for around 9-10 months, but I know what I'm doing, and this pedal can increase the power of any small budget amp. I have attempted to use it on a friends larger amp, but it causes a lot of fuzz and feedback. Overall, this is a very cheap (cheap only in the sense of the price), some what sturdy appliance that really does it's job well. The only drawbacks are that you may as well end up paying double, since you might rather not want to spend money on constant batteries, but on an AC adaptor, and the massive amounts of feedback you will get; this however, may suit you, depending on Who you are. Don't let the price fool you; the Danelectro Fab Metal pedal is a great peripheral for any guitarist looking to get the best out of a smaller amp.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The Fab Metal pedal, being an excellent addition to an average guitar players set up, is not the most durable piece of work. it's very lightweight, which is either good or bad, depending on your playing style. As for me, I rarely need to change the effects or turn off the pedal, so this doesnt't really apply to me but; I can tell from changing the battery, the shell isnt too strong. A good stomp could pretty much end this things life. Also speaking of the battery, this thing drains 'em. At playing for around 3 hours a day, one 9 volt battery lasted me about 5 days. You will be better off shelling out $20 or so for an AC adaptor then wasting 4 bucks on a battery.
Ease of Use — 9
Danelectro's Fab Metal Pedal is an extremely handy device. It's very small, lightweight, and produces a great range of heavily distorted sound. It's a very simple interface; volume, tone, and gain, all 3 knobs located convienently on the 'back' of the unit. I personally think it's directed to the casual guitarist, the kind who either sits or stands in a room and plays, as opposed to someone who likes to jump around or play gigs. I, personally, rarely step on the pedal to turn it on or off, but it will vary with the user.