Price paid: $ 55
Purchased from: Online Store
Ease of Use — 9
There's no way to go wrong with this pedal if you know what you want to sound like. If you want clean boost, its easy to get. If you want sweet valve-like overdrive, you get it. If you want dirty fuzzy distortion, you get. All is in the way you move the knobs and the switch. The manual is very helpful but you get all the sounds just playing it. So, i think it's not complicated. As i said before, the thing is you must know what is you want to sound with this pedal. I say this because just moving the knobs/switches maybe don't help too much since there's a wide range of sound on this pedal.
Sound — 10
This pedal has a wide range of sound inside of it. You can go from a sweet bluesy tone to a fuzzy distortion. It also allows you to use it as a clean boost. It has three knobs (volume, tone, gain) and two switches (shift and power selector). With volume and gain knobs you can transform your sound, the tone is... a tone knobs. This knob does not make any difference in the pedal as the others knobs. Just adjust to taste. With the switches is another history. The shift switch modifies the mids and adds a noticeable amount of volume to the signal, perfect to kick in solo. If you are using this pedal as a clean boost and don`t want go dirty, just keep this switch on while the volume knob is full and gain knob is almost 0. The power selection switch allows you to get a richer sound adjusting the power input from 9v to 18v (this is internal. The power always is 9v). So you can get even warmer valve-like sounds by adjusting this. I always keep it in 18v. I use it in front of a clean solid state amp and before a Metal Muff with gain (in MM) almost 0. This config allows you to get a really dirty dark metal sound while keeping the dynamics. When go full gain, it is not noisy which very nice.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It comes from EHX, so its guarantee it will last for sure. It has a aluminum cast and the knobs aren't loose, so there's no risk to move accidentally the knobs when playing. I've using it for more than a year and its performance is always good. One recommendation is to use it with power adapter, because it is a battery eater (and more if you are in the 18v configuration). I think there's no backup need. This thing is sturdy and at least you don´t play it in water, you can stomp it like an elephant and it will work well.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said before, I use it to play metal. But I can get some cool stoner tones and as a clean boost it's very useful. As I run it though humbuckers, the clean sounds is better than my amp's. The only bad thing on this pedal is that the power selector switch is inside so you need o remove the bottom plate to adjust it. I see this wrong because if this switch was located in the surface, it would give the pedal more autonomy and you could personalize your sound even more. About the rest, everything is ok. If stolen I would get another one of course.