Price paid: $ 20
Purchased from: craigslist
Sound — 8
I have an ION guitar with a practice ION 10w or 15w amp (not sure). I have to say, with single coil pickups this pedal will make some buzzing noises, but I used the 5-way selector on the guitar to find a setup that reduces much of the buzzing. This pedal makes a great sound, especially when switching from clean to distorted, the sound is amazing. The only problem that I've had with this pedal is it doesn't sound too good with 4 or 5 string chords, and it doesn't have enough distortion to it (if your looking to play heavy metal). But you can get really amazing sound if your looking to play some hard rock like Black Sabbath. I've managed to nearly clone the sound of the song Paranoid with this pedal. Palm muting sounds great on this pedal, which is something that I love.
Overall Impression — 9
I like to play heavy metal stuff like Lamb Of God. This pedal does a good job amplifing the pinch hamonics and stuff, but it doesn't quite have enough distortion in the Grunge knob to create that heavy metal sound. But if I'm not in a heavy metal mood, I will occasonally play Black Sabbath and simialar music, and it is an exellent match for that. I also have tried playing Metallica (Seek and Destroy) and it just doesn't have enough "crunch" in the palm muted E notes that I desire for that song. I am kinda a noob to distortion pedals, and guitar gear overall since I've only been playing for about 7 months. I still have very beginner gear and just can't afford to upgrade quite yet. I thought that if I got a distortion pedal I could sound a lot better out of my little amp, and this pedal greatly improved the sound. If it was stolen, I would probably get a DigiTech Death Metal pedal since it suits my music style (although I have never actually used one). And if you do buy this pedal, be sure to figure out what kind of a power cord you need since I highly doubt you want to be buying 4 9v batteries every other week.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't played a gig or anything, but I'm sure this hunk of metal can withstand a lot of damage. I've heard that the knobs get loose after awhile, but I treat mine with care and the knobs are great on mine. So I would say that a backup wouldn't really be necesary. The only problem is batter life, since those damn 9v batteries get expensive. And don't leave this thing plugged in overnight, or else the whole battery life will be wasted. I would recommend getting a AC adapter, except I don't know the voltage that it needs. I have tried various power cords through out my house, such as a 14v cord, and a Voltage selector (which has many different voltage settings from 12v to 1.5v) and none of them work. I don't know if it is just my pedal but I just can't find one that works. If someone could help me out with this that would be great!
Ease of Use — 10
I bought this by itself, without manual or cords. It is so easy to use that you don't even need a manual, but I did look it up on the internet and it did help a little with the preset effects. Basically you just plug the guitar into the pedal. Plug the pedal into the amp and your ready. Just make sure before you turn on the amp the volume is all the way down because it'll be loud! It is pretty easy to get a good sound out of it.