Price paid: £ 10
Ease of Use: Absolutely straightforward! Plug the guitar into the RHS, lead out of the LHS. The usual DOD plastic battery door hiding an ordinary 9v, on the back, and a nice big black metal plate occupying the bottom third-or-so of the case, to Switch it on and off. 3 knobs: Level, Presence + Distortion. // 10
Sound: I've used the FX56 with my Squier Tele, a Daisy Rock, a Hamer and my Fender Precision Plus, and in all honesty, it makes everything sound the same! Into an amp, or my Zoom multi-tracker, it doesn't matter. This beastie makes massive face-melting distortion almost all the time. There is a clean-ish setting, with the distortion control turned far down; but it's quite disappointing - the noise floor is too high, so it gets quite muddy.
Level over halfway, seems to induce feedback as soon as it's turned on. Presence is useful over the upper half of its' travel - the mid-scoop effect at the bottom gets muddy. At the top end tho', it can add some real sparkle. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I have a few DODs, and they're all trustworthy units. Simple, reliable, and fixable if they ever do go wrong. Everything in there's old-skool analogue, and none of the components are hard to get.
Strong cast alloy cases, and the knobs aren't easily kicked off by a size 11 Doc, either! Metal shaft pots are tough and long lasting. // 10
Overall Impression: It only does the one thing, but it does it well. It's one of my tonal options for recording (I don't play Live much anymore), and was really bought on a whim, because a) it was cheap, and b) I'm a DOD fetishist! If it was nicked, or lost, I'd get another one for sure. // 9