Price paid: C$ 113
Purchased from: Metro Sound & Music
Ease of Use — 10
The Knockout Attack Equalizer has three knobs on it: Low, Dry and High. I'm using a Les Paul Standard alongside a Zoom G5 and a Line 6 Spider IV amp. The Les Paul has a warm but sometimes muddy tone so I started by dialing back the Low knob around 9 o' clock then most of the work started with fiddling with the Dry and High knob. The Dry knob regulates how much of the original guitar's tone will pass through and how much of the new tone will be added. The high knob is where I find most of the magic happens and I adjust it just a little past 12 o' clock as this guy is very sensitive and it's easy to hurt your ears with it.
Sound — 8
This guy sounds amazing. I can't say how it effects single coil guitars but it gave my Les Paul Standard's humbuckers a professional studio sound, drastically more clear and also allowed me to come very darn close to the sound of a stratocaster/telecaster. I will say however that the telecaster sound is quiet a jump for a dark Les Paul and it was quiet a bit difficult getting an authentic tone without fatiguing the ear with a bunch of unnatural high frequency notes (especially when strumming). Maybe it's easier moving from a Stratocaster to a Telecaster than a Les Paul to a Telecaster with this pedal. Anyways, it does take a bit experimentation to dial in a natural tone but when you hit the sweet spot, you'll never want to let go. I also gave it a shot on a Squire P Bass and it improved the tone too. The only reason I won't give it a 10 is that it makes the sound a bit thin and just doesn't have much impact past a little overdrive/crunch (but most tone goes away anyways when you go high gain) so when I go for some rock I turn up the dry signal on it or just turn the unit off. It also will obviously hiss if you turn up the high knob to unnatural levels.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Seems fairly solid, I have no qualms about any of it's design, it's not very big or heavy. It's powered by a 9V power supply that is sold separately and seems like it could handle a Hiroshima or two. No jiggling or anything from the jacks and I'm not sure what else to say - it's a box for crying out loud and most of Electro-Harmonix's stuff are very solid and it's manufactured in New York not China. It runs without the power supply plugged in but I haven't tried or seen how long it can go for. I played a bit with it unplugged and after a bit it's red LED light started fading but I noticed no drop in volume or tone.
Overall Impression — 9
I play adult contemporary, pop punk, pop rock, post grunge and some folk and have been playing for two years now. Overall, I can't live without this pedal anymore. It totally breathed new life into my Les Paul allowing me to have the clarity, sparkle and spank of single coils and also experiment with new tones. It's simply incredible and makes me feel like I bought a completely brand new guitar. At it's worst, it will improve the tone of your guitar, at it's best it will replicate another guitar like a stratocaster or telecaster in my experience.