Sound — 7
I use this with an Ibanez S470, a Boss ODB-3 (a bass Overdrive but I like the guitar tone I get with it), a DigiTech Whammy and a fairly old (20 years? ) solid state amp, 15 watts, manufacturer unknown. It only produces noise when engaged, as it has (from what I can tell) true bypass with no change to the signal. I have the guitar going to this pedal, then to the Whammy, then the Overdrive, then the amp. I only like the sound with the 'Q' set near or on the highest value, with a shallow sweep I find that it gives too abrupt a tone change, and not a particularly nice one. I can't really judge how well it reproduces the sounds of some of my favourite artists Who use wah (Kyuss era Josh Homme, Tom Morello), as, due to my amp and Overdrive, I can't really get tones similar to theirs (especially Homme's). I have seen it's distortion-handling capabilities criticised, but I think it actually sounds better with a bit of overdrive/distortion. When playing clean I find the high end a bit too piercing, and the low end not well defined (probably partially due to the crap stock pickups on my Ibanez). This is disappointing, but by changing the Q setting (the great thing about this as opposed to the regular Crybaby) and being careful about foot movement, this can be overcome fairly easily. In combination with the Whammy, it can sound bad, but with careful use of both it can make really nice sounds. With the octave up on the Whammy, for instance, as long as you avoid very high pitched notes, it sounds great.
Overall Impression — 7
I play pop-rock/post punk/alt. rock with my bands, and jazz, blues, hard rock (like RATM/Audioslave, not really very similar but they're both rock-y), ska and reggae, and other things sometimes. This wah suits all these genres for me, because with the Q control which changes the sweep, it can produce a wide variety of sounds. I have been playing for either 4 or 5 years (I actually don't know). I also own the pedals, amp and guitar I mentioned earlier, along with an Ibanez PT-5 multi effects unit, a Fender BG-29 acoustic bass, a cheap Stagg bass and a cheap strat copy guitar. I was bought this as a gift, but if I had bought it myself, I would have tried out other wahs as well as this, and possibly bought something else. I don't know, though, as I have never tried any other wah pedals. If it were stolen or I lost it, I would try out other wah pedals, and I might choose this, or I might not. Having tried only this and an Original Crybaby, I would definitely buy a pedal which didn't have a Switch to turn the effect on (maybe not this one, but that is the one essential feature of a wah for me after owning this pedal), because that feature makes playing a small amount of wah in the middle of a song so much easier. My favourite feature, which I absolutely love, is the lack of a Switch; the fact that the pedal is always ready, as I only ever use wah in small amounts during a song, and am very active when playing (even when practicing) so I don't normally have the time to press a Switch, and I don't want to have to remember whether the wah is on or not. There is nothing I hate about the pedal; as I said before, I don't like the sound when the Q is set low, but I never have to set it like that, so it isn't a problem at all. I wouldn't add anything to this pedal. It would just become too complicated, when the best things about the pedal as it is are the simplicity and ease of use.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've never actually played a gig with it (the first time I will use it live is this friday), but so far it seems solid. I am a little concerned by the battery compartment, which doesn't seem completely solid, but I never use batteries in pedals anyway because of the risk of them running out. Still, it could potentially cause a little bit of damage to the wiring if this was broken. However, I will use it at my next gig without a backup, as it seems that with normal use (no dropping it or other careless things) it will be fine.
Ease of Use — 8
Like most wah pedals, it is fairly easy to make it work: plug it in and manipulate the pedal using your foot. Without any tweaking at all it sounds ok, but it took a bit more work playing around with amp settings, the settings on this and other pedals, to get a sound I was happy with. I wasn't truly satisfied until I adjusted the height of my pickups as well. However, if you aren't that bothered about a particular tone, that isn't really necessary, as it sounds ok anyway. Unlike many wah pedals, there is no Switch to turn it on, it simply engages the wah whenever you press your foot down, and stops the wah when you lift your foot. I find this an amazingly useful feature. There is also a volume boost, which is quite useful and very easy to set up/use. The manual tells you how to set up the pedal and how to use it, and is very comprehensive. It has exactly as much instruction as is necessary for this simple pedal.