Price paid: $ 29.99
Purchased from: Bob's Guitar, Cedar Falls
Sound — 9
Squier Affinity Strat - Peavy Valveking 212 100W. The pedal takes off with this set up. I turned the volume up to approx. 9 o'clock on the pedal to Drive the tubes a little bit, with the gain at halfway and the lows cranked, mids scooped, highs cranked on the clean channel. I fell in love, a solid state just doesn't do this amp justice, the lows were ass-shaking, the highs screamed and sang for hours. There is only a little noise added to the signal when the gain is cranked all the way, but that is drowned out when you turn it up. Epiphone Les Paul Standard - Fender Frontman 30W. The pedal performed admirably here, with still good tone and leaping highs and lows. The noise level, however, increased tenfold with the gain all the way up making it near impossible to distinguish any notes. I'd leave the gain down a bit on your smaller amps. Epiph Paul Standard - Epiphone Studio 15W (yes, the tiny one). It seems the smaller I go the more the tone breaks up..in short, this amp isn't powerful enough to deliver any sufficient volume or power to do this amp justice. Buy a bigger amp if you plan to use this.
Overall Impression — 9
I play everything from BB King to ZZ Top to Lamb Of God. This pedal can dial in some pretty nice blues lead tones, some killer southern rock solo riffs, and some down and dirty, ass shaking bass rhythm licks. I've been playing for a year and a half now, and I also own a Epiphone acoustic-electric, a Fender FM100 Cab for the Peavy, and I operate a home studio(and yes, the mixer output doesn't sound half bad). If lost or stolen I would indeed buy it again, as it has a unique distortion sound and is something I value.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The metal casing is plenty powerful, with a nice spring-powered hinge on the footpedal. The knobs themselves are a little bit shaky, and the volume pot is far too touchy. The hinge has buttons on either side for a 1/4" jack to pop it open in order to get to the battery compartment. Upon further inspection in the pedal, everything seems to be wired pretty cleanly. The actual engage button is set on the bottom of the pedal on the inside, with a plastic arm reaching from the actual hinged pedal part. This leads me to believe if you really really stomped on this bad boy for a few gigs you might be setting yourself up for some problems.
Ease of Use — 8
The Grunge pedal is about as simple as it gets, 4 knobs: level, bass, high, and grunge (gain). The manual provides you with some good settings to try, but they end up sounding average and mediocre. I find that using those settings as a basis for tweaking is great, mess with your amps EQ and guitar tone levels, the thing really screams when you do. There are (I believe) AnalogMan mods for this, but I have yet to get mine modded.