Sound — 5
Insane amounts of gain. Lots of compression through the unit which bugs me, I have to put a TS-9 after to uncompress and really get the Marshall to sound angry. Mine has a glitch where I kick it on and the unit mutes, and swells to full volume after a couple of seconds. Not a detrimental effect if used sparingly, but still annoying when trying to switch between clean parts and whatnot. I use a custom built Pine Telecaster with a Seymour Duncan Lil' 59 and it's paired up with a TS-9 and Dunlop 535Q. As I said before, the bass is pretty overwhelming but this pedal is extreme and will not hesitate to mimic the sound of a paraplegic penguin in a KFC processing plant. If the unit was new I would give it a higher score.
Overall Impression — 8
I play lots of metal, but range in everything. Obviously, the name of the pedal speaks for itself. I can and will use this pedal to rip some nasty blues leads, but not in a high class tux club. The metal is great for metal. I play mostly originals but cover Lamb Of God, Pantera, old school Metallica, and some random others. Since before getting this I only had a TS-9 cranked up, this pedal has helped free up a lot of sonic space in my sound, letting me dial back the TS-9 for a variety of sounds, and the boost of the 535Q can simply Drive everyone out of the house at 3 AM. If I had this stolen from me, they'd bloody hell better return it, the pedal is a tank and they'd probably get beaten with it. This pedal also sounds good through my Jackson Rhodes w/ FR, Peavey Raptor w/ Floyd, and Ibanez ARX350, but through the Vintage Marshall cab is just an Overdrive machine, except for the annoying compression. Only thing I wish this pedal had was a groupie switch.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I can depend on this pedal to give me a tight angry distortion. Through cheaper amps it's brittle, but through a Marshall it's sound is powerful, just really compressed. The thing is built like a tank, the knobs seem brittle but probably the last thing I'm worried about breaking in the jam basement. Used this pedal at several house parties and it never fails, except for the obnoxious volume swell. I'd probably have to buy a new unit if I used it live.
Ease of Use — 7
Not too difficult to get a decent sound. Through a Vintage Marshall cab the bass can be extremely overwhelming, but some adjustments through the PA can make up for it. Didn't receive any manual or anything like that, one of my friends broke a string and felt bad so he gave it to me. Enough bass, enough scoop, and a bit of treble and its good to go. If you crank everything to 10 you literally have to stand in another room.