Price paid: $ 30
Purchased from: Yahoo Auctions Hong Kong
Sound — 10
As I said before. I have the original: Made in USA. Now I have heard rumors that the newer version (B) that is made in China has a significant difference in sound when compared with the original. I can't vouch for that, as tone is a matter of personal taste; so you might prefer the MIC over the MIA. However, personally I strongly recommend the MIA. Here is why: The distortion, despite no knob for it. IS IMMENSELY HUGE AND AGGRESSIVE. Is unbelievable, and simply thick and...well not exactly "smooth" but it definitely flows. Turning up the High knob literally makes it scream with feedback. The sustain is so long. Turning up the Bass just makes it extra thick. Tweak the middle to get variation for tone. Its just so heavy. So metal. I can go on and on. But it wouldn't matter. Its a brilliant metal pedal. You need to try it to know. It makes my Squier sound like a monster. Too good to be true. Try it!
Overall Impression — 9
Metal, Metal and more Metal! Sure, I play Pink Floyd and Fountains of Wayne. Its not metal. BUT. This is such a versatile pedal. With a twist of the knob(s). I can get tube Overdrive sounds quite easily. Coupled with my chorus (also DOD), I can still play pop rock. Matched with the phase 90; singing lead tones as well. HOWEVER. What I cannot do with my other distortion pedals, is to rip the distortion knob clean off... ...and with the FX86; there is no dist knob! And trust me, you can't get another tone from any pedal out there with that immensely distorted, fat low ended sound. No pedal. You don't need the blooming dist knob. Its designed to make you ears bleed. The only thing I hate is the battery cover. I hate it. But I love the rest of it. Best of the best so far! Okay quick comparison. I'm so sure there will be people who will use the infamous DigiTech Death Metal to compare. Digitech acquired DOD's design for their present Death Metal. It is simply an updated version. By all means, its a very decent and economically friendly pedal with a better battery compartment and power supply input. However. FX86 is still the Original and personally; I prefer something that was made to last forever, over today's built quality. But please. Give it a try. Its worth it!
Reliability & Durability — 7
Well. The usual DOD backlashes. Battery cover was poor. Ancient 3.5mm power input. What can I say? ...other than once you hear that thundering sound coming out of your amp. You'll forget everything that is bad about it. Its an old pedal. C'mon, what do you expect? However if you are one of those people who really care about cosmetics and would cry if a speck of dust is on your guitar pick. This pedal may not be for you...well unless you can find one that is in mint condition. (Which is rare) A backup wouldn't be necessary. But its always to be safe than sorry!
Ease of Use — 9
Okay. It wasn't too hard to figure. As long as you know that there is NO distortion knob. Its just: Low (Guts), Middle (Pain), High (Scream). Along with the Volume/Level (RIP). You're on your way to metal heaven. Manual can be found online easily, however that is for the FX86B (the one in the picture above). Despite the extra 'B' it doesn't make any difference whatsoever setting up the pedal, as both have the same control knobs. So don't sweat if you have the Original (like me!)