Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: Dorsey Music
Sound — 8
I'm running this pedal with a Fender FM65 DSP combo amp, and a Dunlop GCB-95 Original Wah pedal. I play a modded cheap Strat copy, which can actually sound decent thanks to this pedal. You can control the volume, so you can tweak it to where there's no difference in volume between clean and distorted sound, which I like. The effect is always powerful, as I mentioned. I can get the sounds I want out of it, which are anywhere from Grunge to heavy, high gain metal. I play Soundgarden through it all the time, and it handled Slipknot the other day just fine. I even play a little heavy blues off it once in a while.
Overall Impression — 9
I play most genres blues-rock to metal, but mainly post-grunge alt metal. This is th eperfect distortion pedal for that range, because it's not too in-your-face if you don't want it to be, but it still has the power to do as heavy as I've ever wanted it to. I've been playing for, like, four years(?), and had this pedal since December of 2010. I did some pretty extensive research before buying this effect, so no regrets. If it were stolen, I'd find the guy and beat him senseless with that very pedal. Because I really like it. A lot. And it's heavy enough to be a good club. I love the simple controls and range of tones you can get from it. Less time wasted dialing in tones is always nice, so simplicity is a virtue for me. i compared this pedal to a whole rack full of effects in the store (on multiple occasions), and this was definitely my favorite. I played all the other DigiTech effects, and I wanted something between the HOT Rod and a Death Metal, so I ended up with this. I do, most of all, wish that this pedal had a midrange EQ knob. That would really open up the tone for me. Just preference, I suppose.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is a freakin' brick. I could drop it out a second story window onto pavement and still gig with it backup-free. One thing that I really like about this pedal is that it has recessed knobs, which means that I'm not constantly messing up the settings when I hit the switch. This makes it more gig-friendly. A new feature that must be a recent addition was the top-loading battery. The footswitch pops off by using a cable end, and you can just replace the battery. I read other reviews, and this was one of the main issues people had with its predecessors. Problem solved!
Ease of Use — 9
The controls are pretty straightforward, with just volume, high, low, and "Grunge". "Grunge" is basically just gain. Within the manual, there are several suggested settings to get you started, but it's really not hard to figure it out. The pedal is for mid/heavy distortion, and it's difficult to get a light Overdrive tone (takes a lot of monkeying around on the guitar/amp, etc.). However, if you want anything from rock distortion to metal and mean leads, it's good to go. Also, even with my modeling amp, I can't get the kind of tones/level of distortion I get from this stomp without it sounding aweful and overly muddy.