Price paid: € 89
Purchased from: Keuringsdienst van Snaren
Ease of Use — 7
This is where it gets marked down. The only thing I really don't like is the wiring schematic. The mode has to be selected by hand, which can be annoying during a gig. I can live with this, but something else really bothers me: the expression pedal uses the same output. This means it's physically impossible to use it as an expression pedal for one song and as a wah/volume for the next. So please, Hotone, if you're reading: wire it like a Morley (on = wah, off = volume) and add an extra switch (preferably a big button that can be pushed using your feet) to switch it to expression mode. Also, this needs to switch to an EXTRA jack output so you don't have to take it out of your chain and wire it up to the pedal you're using it with (a DD7 for me). If this flaw is fixed, it's hands down the best wah on the market imho, at an idiotic price.
Sound — 9
The sound is awesome. It has a switch inside that lets you choose from three different wah sounds, so pick whichever one you like. Hotone say it is based on a Crybaby but I like this one even better. It has a very clear top end and a chuggy bass. The volume pedal is just a very straight forward volume pedal. I use it in front of a 20W Jet City (Soldano based) and it works terrific. It has seen several other amps and works well with all of them. It is quite quiet; it just applies the wah effect to any hum already present.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's a quality product. The solid metal casing is very sturdy and will withstand any abuse you'll throw at it. The finish is fine, hasn't got a single scratch yet (though it has only been sitting on my pedalboard really). Definitely doesn't need a backup. It's ideal for live playing if you just use one feature (or wah and volume if you have time to switch). I elaborately rant about this below.
Overall Impression — 9
I play anything from clean stuff to some serious metal. It handles everything from bluesy solos to Hendrix to Metallica solos very well. Have been playing for about ten years, and I really like this better than the wah's I've owned before (morley and different crybabies). The small size is a big plus: it's one of the few wahs available that will fit on my Pedaltrain Mini. I chose this over the Mini Crybaby because of the volume/expression options and because I liked the sound just a little better.