PL5 Powerlead review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (8 votes)
Ibanez: PL5 Powerlead

Price paid: $ 44.1

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
I am using the PL5 on a Strat copy plugged to a "Fender Frontman" combo. In clean-mode (gain simply turned to zero) it sounds a little bit "muddy" and unnatural. But that should be ok as long as you use the pedal for distorted leads. The distorion sounds great and powerful but will get noisy and "interfered" in the higher gain-levels. I think it's good for some metal stuff but especially street-punk or something like this. Short: if you want to get loud dirty distortion.

Overall Impression — 8
It's a little bit too dirty for most of the stuff I play (mostly classic metal). For punk it should fit well. It's loud, makes a powerful sound and can generate high levels of distortion. Would be nice if there were more controls for manipulating the sound. It don't think that it completely doesn't fit to me, so I like it anyway and wouldn't give it away.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I bought it second-hand and it still works fine after months of playing. So I guess it's stable and well built. I would use it on a gig without backup but, like almost every "landmine" you should use an AC adaptor because it's sucking the batteries out in ~2 hours.

Ease of Use — 8
I got this "landmine" from eBay for ~35 EUR. I don't believe that it's still beeing offered anywhere in new condition but you still can find second-hand ones at eBay. The effect's controls are easy-to-use. There are three controls for "DC," "tone" and "gain." "DC" is something like the volume level, but it affects distortion as well. The gain-control is for fading the sound from crispy to distorted. "Tone" should be clear. As you would expect, the pedal has a foot-switch for turning it on/off and there's an input for an AC-adapter. It's all easy to use and there will be no misunderstanding.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    One of the most stupid things I did was selling this pedal. That was in a time I moved to another town and stopped playing in bands. But now I started playing guitar again and playing in bands. And now I try to find this Ibanez Powerlead, cause I love the high gain sounds of it.
    I "got" this cheap peace of junk and played it with a bc rich warlock and a 10w amp and it sounded great. The "boss metal zone" rivalises with this one, only Ibanez was cheaper. It's a saturation pedal, a little too high on the high tones, but the nastiest sustain/lead you can buy for not much.