Price paid: $ 98.8
Sound — 8
My signal chain as follows: guitar-TS7 tubescreamer, a wah pedal, SH7 smashbox - amp (set on clean). Sound very aggressive, maybe not the sound of the Boss Metalzone, but a lot more affordable, and sertainly versatile enough. Accentuates treble and bass frequencies, so however much mid you get depends on your amp. Good distortion, more towards the distorted sounds of the Cure, good for metal. including shred. In conjunction with tubescreamer you get very good lead tone that is quite smooth. A bit of noise when turned on and you're not playing, but that's not really a hindrance. Can't say it's good for emulating the sounds of a lot of different artists, but it's very likely you can get close, just experiment with the eq of amp/pedal, gain settings and sharp/smooth edge switch. Nice, healthy sound overall.
Overall Impression — 8
Ok, personally I would never have thought that I would be reviewing a distortion stompbox, lol, as I've always been an advocate of trying to find a good distortion tone with your amplifier first. However, since my footwswitch broke and I was stuck on one channel, I decided to try one out. I must say, this stompbox, aside from being fairly cheap, which was one of the major factors in the purchase, delivers a good sound as well, with features that ensure you get the bang-for-your-buck. It's durable and reliable, and it's a good match for my music, as I was looking for a heavier style of distortion than my amp could give, and also the ability to deliver that same sound at louder volumes, since at our band's first show my amp sounded like a metallica turned full-on on small speakers. crap in other words, but then again, it's only a 40-w single speaker. And this is another reason why I like this pedal, - it holds up to the volume without killing the speaker. I'd buy it again if something happened, Ibanez stuff is good for a relatively low price, so yeah otherwise I'd see if DigiTech or Boss Metalzone were available, but they are a lot more expensive, so that's a matter of budget. And since most of my stuff is Ibanez anyway, I figure you get the best sound out of an Ibanez guitar thru an Ibanez stompbox, as they are designed to work with each other right from the start. A mid frequencies EQ wouldn't hurt it, but otherwise it's a good-sounding pedal, I love the distortion, it's heavy without being intrusive. I have to say again that I'd go Boss Metalzone if I had the money, but this is more than adequate.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Assuming you have plenty of 9v batteries, there should be no hassles at all with this pedal, its simplicity and ruggedness look to that. Speaking of batteries, it holds its charge for quite a while, even with frequent use. Well, relatively speaking anyway. So the spare batteries are just a security measure, never know what's gonna happen. Can't afford a backup, but I would fully trust playing a gig without one.
Ease of Use — 10
Good sound just emanates from this stompbox, easy to use, even a baby can do it, there's a manual with basic instructions that are well written, and contains several sound settings. Plenty of features, including a basic bass and treble EQ, level and gain, a switch for the included noise gate and sharp or smooth edge.