Price paid: $ 100
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 10
I'm using this with a modded Marshal AVT 50 combo (has much more bass and more gain than the original) and a Strat knock off with a humbucker in the bridge (the pickups are a bit hotter than what you would find on an Epiphone Les Paul). The pedal is very transperant and lets the tone of your guitar and amp shine through. The crunch channel is very bassy and won't cut through a bad setting very well, however the blues channel is very sharp and focused, perfect for leads and solos. The pop channel is good for spicing up the clean channel on yur amp with light to low-medium distorion. This pedal will not give you heavy distortion. If you want heavy distortion but still want the tone of this pedal, use it as a booster to the distortion on you amp. If you are doing this, you should definately set the noise gate on setting 2. This will not change the tone at all. If you do not put the noise gate on the amount of feedback you will get will be mind numbing. The treble and bass controls are not very responsove but they get the job done. Remember: this pedal will not give you heavy distortion. If I were rating this as a heavy distortion pedal, I would be giving it a 3, the Blues channel can get pretty nasty.
Overall Impression — 10
I play anything from blues to punk to metal. This pedal suits them all, but the only thing that it does well on its own (without using it as a gain booster on your amp) is blues. But, this may just be the holy grail of blues pedals. It can get any shade of light distortion you want. However, if you have a somewhat functioning distortion channel on your amp, this is very good as a boost pedal. Just make sure you put the noise gate on 2. My only complaint is that the Crunch channel is very muddy and bassy (which is pretty much complete bulls--t since my amp has more bass than any other amp I've ever seen). I tried the Boss Super Overdrive and it made me sick. It sounded like my stomach rumbling. No matter what I changed the knobs to I got the same sound. If I lost this pedal I would seriously think of buying it again, but the price might stop me. A cheaper alternative could be teh DigiTech Bad Monkey. If the crunch channel on this pedal was sharper and had more gain, this would be the ultimate pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The batteries will last long enough for one gig, maybe two. It will survive all the hassels of normal wear and tear and some more serious stuff as well, but don't subject it to anything you wouldn't go through personally. The outside is solid and would survive some extreme accidents, but this insides may get jostled around so much it would damage the pedal. The knobs and footswitch are strong but not undamageable.
Ease of Use — 8
Level, base, treble, and gain knobs with switches for a noise gate and type of Overdrive (blues, pop, crunch). The only help you will need from the manual is to figure out how to get the battery inside.