Price paid: $ 30
Purchased from: Amazon
Ease of Use — 9
It comes with a manual, but it is hard to misuse a DI box anyhow. Easy as it gets. Seems like I have to add a few words, so let's talk about customer service. My experience has been good with Donner so far, they previously provided quick refund for another pedal which did not arrive. I generally received a reply in a few days notice, just be sure to resend your mails if they don't return to it. Buying from Amazon is safer in that regards, which I did this time, since delivery falls upon Amazon and Amazon being Amazon, is excellent at delivery.
Sound — 9
I haven't got the chance to test this with really long cables, but in home-environment I haven't detected any signal loss. Also I can safely say it does not color your tone, check the recordings below for a comparison. I recorded my guitar first directly through my interface (Alesis Core 1), then as guitar> DI box> interface, and you can see that the tone basically remains the same. In the third one you can hear the cab sim in work, it introduces an airy feeling and balances the extreme frequencies, without compressing or reshaping the tone too much, which is quite nice.
It also includes a 4x12 cabinet sim (no details on the exact model). I think it is fair to say it does a good job for the price, when you consider that cab sims are complicated and fairly expensive in general. I'm also including a comparison for that, first I'm running Zoom MS-50G's B-Breaker amp model and the matched cabinet, in the second one I disable Zoom's cabinet and run Donner's. You can see that Donner provides much more organic and lively tone.
Zoom with Donner Cabinet:
Reliability & Durability — 8
Chinese pedals are bashed for being unreliable, but in my experience if something is working out-of-the-box, it will stay in that condition for a long time, and most people are too lazy to return their units so the bashing continues. The pedal is well-built, sockets and switches are quite firm and nothing is loosy, except for the ground lift button which could have been a bit more sturdy. I quite like its purple finish, looks good on my board. As it does not include a footswitch, I expect this to hold out for a couple of years, but in the end I've had this only for a week, so cannot exactly comment on it. I'll gig with it for sure.
Overall Impression — 9
This is 30 bucks well spent. I'll use this to go direct in gigs, since carrying an amp is not an option here, and I've enough experience now to not to rely on venues. Just add two pedals to your board (an amp sim and a DI), and you're ready to go, and for DI, I cannot see a better option than this. Even if you do not go into mixer directly, I would still recommend buying one for backup (with a cheap amp sim like Joyo), benefits of having a DI far outweighs its costs. Of course pricier options exist and this may not hold against them, but for the price range, it deserves a solid 9.