Price paid: $ 100
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
The guitar I used for this was my Epiphone Les Paul Standard, which is Mahogany with a Maple top and Rosewood fingerboard. I have a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates in the Bridge and a Seymour Duncan AlNiCo II Pro in the Neck. I've tried this with a Peavey Rage 158, a Marshall MG30DFX, and run direct into my computer. It actually sounded great through all 3. I was shocked at the sound i got with it through my Marshall, as I haven't ever been able to get a good sound out of it that wasn't clean. The most surprising thing by far was that when I flipped the Marshall over to it's Overdrive channel (with the gain at about 20%), it actually sounded like a Marshall should! (or at least pretty damn close). The voicing on the OD channel flavored the TL-2 to sound pretty Marshall. Through the Peavey, it sounded pretty much the same as direct. In all situations, it had a lot of life and responded very well to Pick dynamics and changes in the Volume knob on my Les Paul. It has some slight buzz going on (which increased a bit when on the Marshall OD channel, but that is to be expected...) but only when engaged, as it is True Bypass. I could get any Metal sound anyone could possibly dream of out of this pedal. Withing the first 30 minutes of toying with it, I managed to get: Pantera, Killswitch Engage, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Guns N Roses, Ozzy, Black Label Society, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Bullet For My Valentine, Priestess, Slipknot, System of a Down, Seether, Rob Zombie, Rammstein, Motorhead, Motley Crue, Lamb Of God, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Green Day, Dethklok, Velvet Revolver, Dream Theater, and with enough Control Tweaking, it's possible to get a similar sound to: Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Jet, Kiss, and Van Halen.
Overall Impression — 10
I play pretty much everything. I play: a little bit of country when jamming with family, southern rock, blues, blues rock, classic rock, classic metal, hard rock, heavy metal, metalcore, nu metal, alternative, alt metal, punk, death metal, progressive metal, thrash metal, hair metal, and grunge. I've been playing for about 13 years now and I've owned a Line 6 POD, a Zoom 505 MulitFX, and a Danelectro DD-1 Fab Tone, but none of them can size up to the TL-2. If this were stolen, there would be a dead man in the news the next day, and it would not be me. However, if he got away, I would head directly to Guitar Center and grab a new one. I love the Frequency control. It really adds versatility to the pedal that a lot of other Metal pedals lack. It's basically lets you choose your own voicing for it. The only thing that I hate is that the booklet that came with it didn't include some example settings in it to help you understand the frequency knob a bit better. The only feature that I'm not really sure about yet is the tight/loose switch. I haven't really got a sound that inspires me on the loose setting yet, but I haven't really played with it much yet. I compared this with quite a few other pedals, including: EHX Metal Muff, MI Audio Crunchbox, Keeley Modded SD-1, Blackstar HT-DistX, Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9DX, Wampler Super Plextortion, and Rocktron Third Angel, but ultimately decided on the TL-2 because it seemed to be the most versatile and the best sound and features for the money. I was not disappointed. If I could add anything to the pedal it would be a foot-switchable boost, and if I could add anything to what came with the pedal, it would be a Power Adapter and some Example Settings.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is pretty damn durable. The only part that I could ever foresee breaking would be the actual part you step on since it is the only plastic part, but it's damn thick plastic. I'm a pretty big guy (6'3" and 220lbs) and I'm not worried about giving this thing a good stop to get it on or off. The cover that comes with it to cover the knobs so your settings don't get messed up while traveling or in use is made of really thick rubber that isn't gonna be failing anyone anytime soon. I will definitely gig with this without a backup, but will probably be using a Power Adapter, as I don't trust batteries in a live situation. I don't see where reliability should ever be an issue with this beast.
Ease of Use — 9
This is a very straightforward pedal. The only knob that you might not be familiar with is the Frequency knob. Other than that, it has a 3 band EQ (Bass, Middle, Treble), Level, and Gain knobs, plus a tight/loose switch. With the Knobs at 12 o'clock it sounded pretty good. While playing with it, I easily dialed in anything from a heavy-hitting, thumping metal sound to a crunchy, hard metal sound, to a searing, screaming metal sound. If you know how to work your guitar's volume/tone knobs, it's also possible to get some classic rock sounds out of this pedal. They still have a modern voicing to them, but if this is all you've got, it's still possible.