Price paid: $ 100
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 10
As it is just an op amp, it doesn't make a sound per se, but rather preserves the high end of the sound you're already making. I find the effect very nice.
Overall Impression — 8
There is nothing this device is incompatible with, unless you like the muddying effect that a long effects chain or post-chain cord has on your sound. I have a lot of pedals, and keeping my signal clear used to be a problem, but now the only problem is going broke from all the new pedals I can add. However, if I lost it, I would probably either get a smaller Buffer box that could be clipped to my belt or strap, or have the Buffer itself installed in my guitar, before the instrument cable. I use a high-end Mogami cable, but no loss is still better than not much loss. Custom Audio Electronics makes very good unity gain buffers, and there are many good powered pedal boards out there.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The Fryette V1 is built like a tank, and I never worry about it. It uses tubes and fuses which are easy to replace if they blow out.
Ease of Use — 10
Strictly speaking, this is not an effect, but an operational amplifier. It combines the features of a pedal power source with a tube-powered unity gain buffer, which is a device that lowers the impedance of your instrument's signal through cables and effects chains. What this means is that you don't lose any high end between the V1 and the amp, no matter how many effects you put between them, clearing up a common problem for musicians who use a lot of effects. After all, true bypass only works when the effects are off, and many great pedals are not true bypass anyway. There is nothing to using the V1 at all. You just plug it in, plug in your input cord and one or two outputs to run through your pedals to your amps, plug your pedals into its power source, and play with a lot better sound, wet or dry. It can power up to three 9V effects and one 12V.