Purchased from: Guitar Center
Ease of Use — 7
If you aren't a tweaker this pedal is NOT for you. Presets are going to get you no where. Take the time, read the manual, learn how to use x-edit and you will have great studio quality sounds in no time I guarantee you. One of the features that is a little bit more difficult to use is the loop function. It works just as well as any looper with 20 seconds of recording, but believe or not its kind of easy to miss the stomp switch for it, thus, some of my loops have been coming out slightly out of time.
Sound — 9
Don't be fooled by the stock presets of this unit because they will make you hurl. Seriously terrible sounding. If you wanna get the most out of this unit, hook it up to your computer and use X-EDIT to really make it shine. All the amp models sound fantastic and by mixing and matching equipment you can get pretty much any sound you want out of this unit. The EQ is especially useful in cutting out some of those nasty frequencies. Use your ear and dial it in right, you'll get just as good results of someone using the overpriced AxeFX. All my tones fit in any mix I throw them in. Besides the sound quality being way above average, there are a few unexpected features that really surprised me. There is one effect that lets you convert your humbucker into a more single-coil-ish sound which I found very useful for making sounds with a sharp pick attack. The acoustic simulator is also very good. However, my favorite feature is the balanced XLR outputs. Getting my live rig setup has never been easier. There are some cons however to this unit that I will be able to live with. The worst one is the whammy pedal. It isn't like the real one at all. The pitch shifted note is not legato and seems to go up in quarter steps which is kind of disappointing. There are few other little quirks about it, but nothing that doesn't make it well worth what I paid. I almost forgot to mention how great the Lexicon reverb is.
Reliability & Durability — 8
No issues so far so I can't really say much about the reliability. The power cable seems very sturdy and the pedal casting is mostly plastic. Some of the knobs feel kind of cheap and the expression pedal feels a little clunky as well. No real issues here as far as I can see. One problem with reliability might be very slight delays in switching times. I don't see this pedal breaking in any way any time soon. I bought it used, but it still looks brand new. If I do find any issues with it in the feature I'll be sure to post about them in the comments section.
Overall Impression — 8
Having been a lover of tube amps my whole life. I currently own a Mesa Mark III and an Orange Jim Root Terror, but I can honestly say for now on my recorded guitar sound as well as live sound will be from this pedal. If anything I will use my orange just to monitor my sound on stage while I give the XLR out of the pedal to the soundman. Another unique feature about this pedal I forgot to mention is that there is a switch next to both the XLR and unbalanced 1/4" outputs that bypasses the cabinet simulation on the pedal. I don't know why you would use this feature on the XLR, but its perfect for hearing yourself on stage without the muffled sound of cabinet simulation into another guitar amp. My advice is to run the unbalanced out into the FX loop return of your amp and just drive the poweramp. Anyway, thumbs up to DigiTech. This pedal has me totally awe stricken as I can't believe how much money I put into analog gear when I could have gotten this cheap little unit and solved all my problems. It isn't a perfect replication of the sound of legendary tube amps, but this pedal will get you in the ball park of what a good guitar sound that fits in the mix should sound like.