Price paid: $ 12
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 2
This thing shows up in every "Worst pedals of all time" list, without fail. It's loud, noisy, muddy, awful and distorted beyond any possible usefulness and destroys all string definition, so it naturally held wild appeal for every middle-school kid with a new Chinese axe and fuzzy 10W practice amp for about ten years. When DigiTech absorbed DOD and converted some of the most popular DOD pedals to SMT, the Grunge stayed in the lineup. No, Cobain *never* used this pedal. It's a total myth, duh. I give it a 2 because, incredibly, there really are a couple of distortion stomps out there that are even worse, such as the immortal, horrifying DOD FX86B.
Overall Impression — 2
I've been using stompboxes for over forty years and I can't really think of a single use for this thing. I got it as a joke and because I always found DOD circuits to be interesting and complex. I can't really imagine why they went to the effort to design this -- but they sold a huge number of them to someone, presumably purely on the goofy presentation and then-faddish name.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm told that there are people Who have actually broken these, but I'm at a loss to imagine how. The plastic stomp plate is more rugged than it looks and the potmetal case is nearly bulletproof. The steel bottom plate is robust and well-secured. The pots and jacks are box-mounted and the through-mount printed circuit board is well-executed. The battery is properly secured with a decent clip. Despite the circuit's complexity, I have not nown of one of these to fail.
Ease of Use — 8
"How easy is it to get a good sound out of it?" Impossible, I'd say... but any nitwit can make it work, and with the final models he can't even easily lose the battery cover, which was the big gripe with earlier DOD pedals. At unity gain, the gregious noise is not as bad, so fiddling about with the two outer knobs may get you a clean enough signal to use for something.