Price paid: € 39.99
Purchased from: Musik Schmidt
Sound — 7
I play through various amplifiers, but mainly Roland. I find that turning the "High" knob or the "Grunge" knob high gets you too much distortion for anything (apart from maybe Mudhoney). Think of the intro to "Touch Me I'm Sick" by Mudhoney, a Grunge anthem: the distortion is shrill, harsh, and completely Grunge. This is the kind of sound this pedal produces well, and I would strongly recommend it for you if this is what you want. With a bit less treble and a bit more bass boost, you can get sounds similar to that of Nirvana. This pedal also works well for such artists. Adjusting the treble lower still and the bass higher still, you get a more metal-based sound. Anything from Alice In Chains to Metallica. However, if you are looking for normal, plain distortion/mainstream rock distortion/professional, recording-use distortion, I would definetely not recommend this. (For that purpose, a DS-1 would do you much more good.) In short, the "High" and "Grunge" knobs are great if it's the kind of stuff you're looking for, but the "Low" knob doesn't do much, as this pedal doesn't sound any good unless you're using it for treble-based sounds. I play mostly Grunge, such as Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Bush, Seether, of course my own stuff, and the early, Grunge-based stuff from Nickelback when they first came out. This pedal works well for most of this stuff, but if you want slightly more of a professional/modern distortion sound, it wouldn't work. As for post-Grunge, it really depends as post-Grunge is a wide category. Some of Creed's material sounds alright on this, such as "My Own Prison" or "What's This Life For", but a bit more amateur. This pedal definetely works better for Live performances than recording, as it gets you the thrill and heavy distortion of a good rock performance. What was disappointing was that I can't get the sounds that match the slightly more technical bands of the Grunge era, such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden or Stone Temple Pilots. These bands use a slightly higher quality distortion which cannot be attained with this pedal. Songs such as "Once" by Pearl Jam can of course be played alright, but other sounds such as in the songs "Rearviewmirror", "Corduroy" and such cannot be found. The same goes for Soundgarden. If you want a "Black Hole Sun" or "The Day I Tried To Live" sound, this wouldn't work. It works for more of the earlier, punk/metal-based distortion as I've said earlier, mainly along the lines of Mudhoney, Green River and Nirvana. Overall, not a bad sound, but it REALLY depends on what you play.
Overall Impression — 8
If you play Grunge or anything with heavy distortion, this pedal is perfect. You can really rock with it. But if you need normal, straightforward distortion, like I said before get a DS-1. This is for Grunge, as the name suggests. I have owned it for a few months now, and if it were stolen/lost, I would most probably buy another one. I love the way it gets you a muddy, grungy sound, and the "High" knob is fantastic. However, unfortunately it does NOT get you a normal, recording-type of distortion. Overall, this is perfect for MUDDY, SHIRLL/HARSH, Grunge-BASED DISTORTION. For anything else, I wouldn't recommend it. This pedal is well-built, if it's the sound you want it is terrific, and I hope those of you Who buy it will enjoy it a lot. Rock on, Grunge forever :)
Reliability & Durability — 9
Nothing has happened to this pedal yet, and it's very solid and well-built. I doubt it would be damaged easily. The "Grunge" knob did come a little loose after a while, but it doesn't slide out of place or anything, and the sound is still as good as new. I believe that I can depend on this pedal, and as for using it on a gig without a backup, it depends on what you play. If you're paranoid, go on and take your backup, if you think it'll be fine, go out and rock. I personally trust this pedal. Very well-built.
Ease of Use — 8
As simple as it gets. You buy it, open it, plug it in, and start playing. There's four knobs. The one on the left is "Loud", which is the volume. The second and third ones from the left are the "High" and "Low" knobs. The "High" knob controls the treble, the "Low" knob controls the bass. This pedal gets you a decent range of sounds, and with more "High" you can get a crunchy, heavy sound with great distortion (think Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Bush, Seether), and more "Low" gets you a deeper sound (less of the harsh distortion the "High" gets you, and a deeper sound.) Sensible settings can get you a good mix, and you can achieve your own preferred sound, whether it's slightly more metal-based, Grunge-based or just generally shrill/heavy distortion. The knob on the very right is "Grunge", which is pretty much the gain. Overall, this pedal gets you a decent variety of sounds. It is easy to get different sounds, but it isn't easy to find one that is perfect on both the treble and the bass. I found it difficult to adjust to a sound which didn't have too much of the harsh, shrill distortion or too much of the booming bass boost. This pedal, as it's name suggests, is made more for the use of treble-based distortion, and heavier, more Grunge-based sounds. I would ONLY recommend this pedal if your playing style goes along the lines of bands with a good level or shrill distortion, such as (as previously listed) Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Bush, Seether, Green River, Rage Against The Machine and other bands along the punk/metal-based grunge/post-grunge/metal line.