Price paid: € 140
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 8
Now to my favorite part of the review: the sound! First of all what I use is a Richwood Les Paul copy, with stock pickups made splittable to single coils. After that comes a Boss SD 1, the Fulldrive 2 and a Boss EQ copy. How I use this pedal: First channel, volume about one o'clock, OD on eleven o'clock switch to FM and tone set to three o'clock. Boost all the way up, and set on mosfet. The strange thing is, you can't use the boost mode out of conjunction of using the first channel. Flipping it on wont do anything if the first channel isn't active. For some gigs however, I do flip on the boost without the first channel engaged. Why? That way, when you press the first channel on, you get instant hard rock crunch instead of tapdancing your way to it. What I then do to for solo, is push on the Boss SD 1 and that will give me more gain and a bit of midrange hump as well as a bit of a volume boost. That setup is great for hardrock a la Guns, Zeppelin, etc. If I want more MAyer-y or Hendrixy sounds, I simply knock the Overdrive knob back, split my Pick ups, leave the rest the same and use the boost on the pedal for solos instead of the SD 1. The reason the last set up works so well for me I think, is because the pedal is so transparent. If you really love just straight on good tone, the Fulltone definitely is an option to consider. The tone control really makes your crunch sing, as it produces wonderful harmonics. So to conclude: this pedal wont win you over with its tonal versatility, but rather with the job it does damn good when it comes to tone if you are into blues to classic rock.
Overall Impression — 9
So to conclude this long review: get this pedal if you can find yourself in anything said above. If you like blues, classic rock, from The Who, to Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Guns, from Muddy Waters to Hendrix, SRV, Mayer, and if you use another ovedrive I could mention Eric Johnson as well, take this pedal for a spin. Like I said, for those who love tone more than versatility, this one may be the one for you.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I haven't gigged or have been in the position to throw this thing to bricks, the way it is built with its steel encasing makes me believe this is a pedal worth a long while if you treat it with respect. The design seems durable enough to gig with it without backup. I can't really rate this simply because time will tell, so I give it a seven in the meantime.
Ease of Use — 8
What we have got here is an Overdrive with a decent amount of tonal options. The pedal has two channels, first one giving you more of clean type sound to some light crunch, and you got a boost mode which pushes the pedal itself to medium gain territorries. Although the switches may seem confusing, the manual definitely clears up on this. You got your volume knob, a tone knob, a gain knob and a boost knob that gives you more Overdrive as well as a bit more volume. All these are self explanatory except that the tone knob rather gives you upper harmonics and a brighter sound while leaving the rest intact, then really morphing your sound into more of this or more of that. In addition you got two mini toggles switches with one letting you choose between compcut, fm, and vintage, which affects the first channel. The other lets you choose between mosfet and standard, which affects the boost channel. Ill explain what each mode does. Compcut: This setting gives you an instant volume increase and is the loudest of the modes on this switch. This setting can be used if you want to give your amp an extra hump or to boost your clean sound to be audible. Switch on the boost, and it will enter light crunch. This is good if you want Mayer-y or maybe Froosh" cleans out of it. Your clean will sound anyhow just a bit more tastier. This is mostly a clean boost and you wont get any Overdrive depending if the amp is breaking up or if you stomped the boost on. FM: Or "flat mids" as described by the Fulltone manual. This is the transparent Overdrive on the pedal. Once again you got your first channel which this time, has more OD but less of a volume boost, though that can be compensated for with the volume knob if you switch between compcut and other modes. The boost mode gives you more saturation and a little more volume but stays transparent. Vintage: Same as FM except the fact its voicing is more middy, more of a tubescreamer feel though it doesn't eat the bass up as much, still fairly transparent. Then the other switch: Mosfet: This gives the boost mode a more aggressive, more hard rock kind of feel, will make the Overdrive sound bigger, more full in this mode. It is less transparent, but it makes up with it for great tone. Standard: This gives the boost mode no coloring and is ideal if you liked the first channel and just wanna boost it more, for more gain etc. All in all are most of these switches giving you not amazing versatility, but rather refinements of the tone you personally want and what Fulltone seems to be going for is just that.