Price paid: $ 15
Purchased from: Pawnderosa of Little Rock, AR
Sound — 10
I'm using this with my bass rig and with a guitar. It doesn't seem to be noisy at all. There's really not much to this thing as far as sound... all it does is modify the amplitude of the signal being passed through it. The actual tone of the instrument is completely unaffected. The sound is like any other tremolo... I assume that if another artist used one, I could make this one sound like it. Again, there is no specific tone associated with this effect. I can see no problems with how it functions.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall it seems like a decent pedal for the price I paid. I play most forms of rock and it's deviants, and some jazz and blues on occasion. I'm mainly a bassist. This is more suited to 50's style music like Les Paul used to play, but I've found some uses for it. I knew pretty much what I was getting when I bought it... no surprises there. I bought this mainly to play with, and because it was being sold at a very low price. If it were lost or stolen, I probably wouldn't buy it again. It's not that it's a bad product, but it's really not very useful to me. My favorite thing about it is that it is so easy to use. The controls are very straightforward and easy to manipulate. What I don't like is that it's somewhat cheaply made. I didn't really compare it to anything when I bought it, because it was the only effect in the pawn shop at the time. True bypass would be nice to have, but the pedal costs $50 new... I'm not complaining. Overall, it's a cheap, simple pedal that does exactly what it's supposed to do.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I believe that I can depend on it, but it does seem a bit less durable than most other pedals I've used. The casing is made of thick plastic, as are the knobs, with a metal toggle Switch and a steel plate for the bottom. I wouldn't jump on it or anything, and dropping it onto concrete would probably leave a battle scar or even break a knob, but it seems like it will hold up to "normal" use. I would gig it without a backup. I can't see such a simple circuit failing any time soon, and the battery lasts quite a while.
Ease of Use — 10
It's very easy to get the sound I want from this, mainly because it's such a simple effect. One knob, "speed", changes the speed at which the effect cycles, the other, "depth", changes how drastic the volume cut is on the low end of the cycle. The Switch toggles between "hard" and "soft" mode. Soft functions like a normal tremolo, altering the volume in a triangle-wave type pattern. Hard mode changes this to a square wave-type. The volume is either fully on, or off completely. The "depth" knob does not have a function in this mode.