Sound — 10
My original preferred guitar/amp combo is a clean-only Crate XK-15 with the DigiTech Metal Master Pedal and an Ibanez RG-120 tuned 2 steps down. The Metal Master has more variety than this pedal but if you are even reading this review, you, like me, are probably interested in making peoples ears bleed and thrashing your shoulder-length hair around while you play to hard-hitting drums and raw, gutteral vocals. This pedal will NOT dissapoint you in that department. I Live for Death and Melodic-Death Metal, like Nile, Necrophagist, Arch Enemy, At the Gates and so on. On the right settings, this bad boy will give you some of the most soul-crushing palm-mutes (especially down in C with some decent humbuckers), and amazingly furious Pick squeals and harmonics (especially when you use your bridge/lead/treble pickup). When not playing, I did notice a mild hum, despite my double-coil pickups, but if you aren't playing, why would you bother plugging it in anyway? Michael Amott from Arch Enemy is my hero. I can't affod his rig. This gets me pretty damn close to that incredible mixture of melody and brutality. My only real complaint is if you're ear is trained enough, you will notice that tremolo picking can be slightly slurred and masks any imperfection that, if you are a beginner, you should be attempting to eliminate. As much as all of us love our crunch, we all need to start more advanced techinques (triplets, tremolo, alternate picking) on our clean settings.
Overall Impression — 10
I Live for extreme metal. It is the only thing to me that doesn't seem to get boring. This gets me that Nile/Arch Enemy/Carpathian Forest sound. What more could I ask for? I've been playing for two years now, and in that time I've acquired an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, a Line 6 Spider II amp, and of course my Ibanez, Crate and Metal Master. This is the best distortion that I can afford at the age of 17, but it is by no means an "I'll settle for this" situation. If lost, I would probably buy the same exact thing. That is what I like about DigiTech: they like to spoil a guitarist on a budget. While less expensive than the Metal Master, I would easily prefer this one. I don't want the variety as much as I want the damn good crunch. This pedal dosen't offer the versatility that the X-Series does, but it certainly does what's it is made for far better than anything else I've heard or used.
Reliability & Durability — 10
DigiTech knows how to construct a pedal. This thing is built like a rock. I somehow managed to kick it onto and across a tile floor after tripping over my cable and chipping my precious Ibanez. Mine is used, my friend gave it to me and it doesn't even have a chip in the onyx paint. Even after that little incident I mentioned before. One thing to keep in you gig bag for shows though: 9 volt batteries. Not that this thing chews them up, but it has a nasty little habbit of cutting out in the middle of an awesome riff. Either that or invest in the AC adapter. I took this thing to my first local show and it was amazing. I have two pedals so I will always keep that Metal Master just in case, but this thing has yet to fail, or worse, embarass me.
Ease of Use — 9
This pedal is pretty damn sweet. It is very easy to tool around with the knobs and get what you want, but if you are impatient like me, drop by DigiTech.com and check out the preset sound/preset download to find the sound you are looking for. When dialed in right, these controls are all you need to twist the tone and crunch to the balance you're looking for. Awesome.