Price paid: £ 58
Sound — 9
I use an Epiphone SG and a Peavey Rage 258, and it sounds great, and my amp is crap. I've tried it on a Vox AD30VT and it blew me away. The distortion has a great bottom-end crunch to it and sounds very full. I found it at first to be quite hard to get a good sound out of, but eventually got there. It can easily sound too trebley or bassy. I normally have my bass at 3 oclock, my mids at 10, and my treb at 2. You have to be careful when adjusting your settings, as it can mess up your whole sound. But when you get that sound, the Metal Muff screams. It is absolute bliss to any thrash metal player's ears that are worth their salt. The effects can sound bad if you're not sure how to set the EQ knobs, but sounds great when you get it. There is always the constant buzz in the background but it doesn't bother me. Many metal players like to scoop their mids real low, but I think it sounds better with them up. It is one of the best distortion sounds I have seen come out of a pedal for this price. You can get lots of metal artists sound, I think you can get a great Tallica tone out of it.
Overall Impression — 10
I play thrash stuff, Metallica and Megadeth, but also lighter stuff like Pearl Jam. It suit's them both beautifully, like it was made to your specifications. I've been playing guitar for about five years, and the is the best distortion pedal I have seen yet. I also own a POD Studio UX1, which I can plug the Muff into, and record my desired sound easily, and a George Dennis Wah, which sounds great with it. I think it is probably the best 60 quid I have invested in anything ever. If someone stole it, I would track them them down, tie them up, bash them around with the a as a weapon, then go and make sweet, sweet love to it. Alternately, I would buy it again. I love it's flexibility and it's ability to get your desired tone, but which that the EQ knobs weren't so sensitive, and the Top Boost wasn't so ear piercing, although this is one of my favourite features if used at a low setting. I think it knocks out all the other 'metal' pedals out at the moment, Metal Zone, Metal Master, etc. I would definetely recommend it to anyone who is into thrash metal, or even punk and hard rock. It is quite hard to push it as far is it can go if you are a beginner, but great for intermediate or advanced players.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Three words. Hard as nails. I seriously don't think that there is much, bar opening it up and messing with the electronics inside, that you could do that would harm it any way. It has a very sturdy-feeling metal case, as well as switches and knobs. I would definetely gig with it, but not without an A/C adapter, as the battery can give way at any time. It doesn't eat through a decent battery by any means though, I've had one in for about 3-4 months, using it every night. I've had mine about 7 months, and there isn't a nick or scratch on it. It is definetely a reliable pedal, and has never stopped working or anything like that.
Ease of Use — 7
I took it out of the box, plugged it in, put all the knobs up to 12 o clock, and started playing. I thought the sound was amazing. Soon afterwards, not so amazing. It sounded weak. I started messing around with the settings on my amp and the pedal, and eventually got a great metal sound. When I got it outh the next time, some of the knobs had moved position, and the sound was lost. The EQ knobs are very sensitive, especially the bass. I now right down my settings. It has two foot switches, which are very strong, the obvious bypass Switch, turning the effect on and off, and also the top boost Switch. This cool little feature puts up the treble, so you can cut through like during solos, etc. It is very good, but if turned up, is utterly ear-piercing, so keep it diald down! It also has a volume knob, a tob boost knob, distortion, Treble, Mid and Bass. There isn't much of a manual with it, it would have been nice if they had given you some better ones. It also comes with a DVD, showing you some of Electro-Harmonix's other fine pedals.