Price paid: C$ 125
Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Sound — 10
I have an LTD FM-100 plugged into this pedal then into a Randall 75G3 Plus. My guitar is low quality and before I purchased this pedal, was very hard to get pinch harmonics out of. This pedal is awesome for getting harmonics in general. It adds great sustain. It adds negligible noise and your picking dynamics aren't clouded over. It is meant to boost the gain on an already overdriven amp but I bought it as a crunch pedal for my clean setting and it does a very good job. You can hear every note in every chord you strum. Staccato picking is very pronounced. You can make very percussive lines and your low end remains tight and punchy. You can make your tone go from U2 tones to Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple/Rainbow to the Who, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers etc. Sounds better than the Boss pedals because you don't get the high end fizz or the tonal colouration that's usually associated with Boss pedals. You also don't lose your bottom end which is awesome.
Overall Impression — 10
I play metal, alternative, rock, blues, classical and flamenco. This pedal is good because of the end result....the sound. It sounds great for any genre because of its smooth tone. I've been playing for 13 years, started when I was 10 and I've tried many pedals over the years. This one clearly stands out because of it's design and sound capabilities. I pretty much knew I wanted this pedal when I walked into Long & McQuade. I tried it out against 4 Boss Overdrive and distortion pedals and the Custom Shop MXR GT Overdrive which also sounded amazing(has more of a harsher tone). This pedal came out on top for me. If it were lost or stolen I would save up to buy this pedal again because it can give you a distinct voice with your guitar and for me, that's priceless. I hate the damn adapter input being on the side. Was it a ploy to sell the Dunlop brick? It sure is damn inconvenient. My favourite feature's about this pedal are it's solid construction and warm sound.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Made of steel all around. I like the push button. You have to use a considerable amount of force to activate it which means it's top notch quality. I think this pedal will last past my lifetime. I don't think I'll ever need a backup because of its top notch construction.
Ease of Use — 8
Three knobs(output, tone, gain) make it very easy to use. The manual is straightforward and to the point, although the pedal is intuitive in itself because of it's simple design. It is a pain trying to power the pedal with a DC-9 Volt adapter because the adapter input is located on the right side of the pedal. This also creates a problem with a pedal board because you have to find a right angle adapter head to fit into the input. The battery compartment, compared to a Boss pedal is a pain in the ass to try and access. You must take it off your board, flip it over, unscrew the 4 screws on the back, take off the metal plating---at which point the circuit board of the pedal is exposed, insert 9 volt battery and then reverse the process. This, combined with the adapter problem make it a pain to use live because you must purchase either a Dunlop brick(with the right angle adapter cords included) or hope that your 9 volt will last during the gig(because replacing it during a show ain't gonna happen). With these problems combined, I give it an 8.