Purchased from: reverb (dot com)
Ease of Use — 7
This pedal is easy to use, a quick turn of a knob sweeps through a large range of tones. Having said that the broad range on the controls may be wider than needed, and more difficult. I find the pedal useless with the bass/mid knob under noon; way too scooped to cut through for my liking. Same goes with the treble knob, you need it above noon, especially if you are using a darker guitar with humbuckers. [as previously stated] My biggest complaint with this pedal is the volume/gain differences when switching between the clean boost and fuzz. I would have given it a higher rating if the difference was less between the two modes.
Sound — 7
The catalyst is a very nice versatile gain pedal that belongs on everybody's pedal board. It is a clean boost and fuzz (switchable via toggle switch on pedal). It has quite a bit of gain to it, especially on the fuzz. I have been using the fuzz more than the clean boost on it, but it excels surprisingly well on both modes. The pedal is a little on the dark side, I find myself with the treble knob towards full. Also, the bass/mid knob is best suited (to me at least) at the higher settings (more mids). You can get from a nice clean boost to a nasty good fuzz with just a few knobs. It does well on its own and boosted in front of it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have several Fulltone pedals (as well a a bunch of pedals in general), and this is bulletproof like all of the others. One thing I must say I like about this pedal design is that you don't have to use a screwdriver to pop it open, there are thumbscrews on the sides. The switch is strong and gives out a nice hefty click to it when turned on. I would go without a backup on a gig, but partially because I have several other OD/fuzz pedals on my board, but I do not doubt its reliability. I honestly can't find a reasonable reason that it would fail on somebody.
Overall Impression — 8
This is an awesome pedal overall, especially for the low prices they go for used. You can get a reasonably good tone on both modes, and it covers a lot of ground. They are going for criminally low prices, I think just about anybody would benefit from adding this to their board. I am using it with mainly an Orange Dual Terror, and various Strats and Teles. Overall this pedal is spectacular, the only con being that the gain difference on the two different modes. The difference isn't a huge deal if you are using other pedals, but I don't care to tweak pedals mid show. However, I always have a timmy on my board, as well as another fuzz, and another OD or two.