Purchased from: Salvation Army Family Store
Ease of Use — 9
It is not hard to get the EVH sound out of this pedal with some tweaking. The presence control has a large amount of influence over the entirety of this pedal's sound. Getting tones other than EVH's tone becomes somewhat tricky, and requires a lot of tweaking on the pedal, and on the amplifier. The trim pots inside the pedal make a big difference in the versatility of this pedal, but they are hard to reach unless you have a very tiny phillips-head screwdriver. The manual is small and not much to write home about besides going over in little detail what I described in the "sound" category.
Sound — 7
This pedal was designed to emulate the "Brown" sound made popular by Eddie Van Halen in the 1980's, it does this by combining a JCM style overdrive tone with reverb in one package. The owner's manual explicitly states that this pedal should be run through a clean amplifier. I ran this pedal through a Blackstar HT-40 on the clean channel, and I used a PRS Singlecut and a Fender Stratocaster to test it with.
The pedal has four controls, "Reverb," "Brown," "Level," and do exactly what they sound like they do. The "Brown" control increases the amount of distorted overtones that are produced. If this control is turned to the max, tapping licks and whammy bar dive bombs become very clear with a slight overtone, if it is turned to the minimum, the pedal becomes somewhat dark and muddy. The pedal overall is loud and bright. The level control has to be turned down to 2/10 for the pedal tone to match my clean amplifier tone. This pedal can be tweaked to run bluesy leads as well as the brown sound. I ran my strat through this pedal and was able to achieve some saturated, slightly fuzzy blues tones through the single-coil pickups. This pedal isn't a one-trick pony at all. The pedal has two internal trim pots to control the reverb time, and the overall tone of the pedal, bass < > treble.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This pedal is very well built and it is not heavy. The knobs and jacks are very tightly secured. I do not expect this pedal to break at all. The finish is very well made and has not scratched or worn off. There are no internal parts that sound like they are being rattled around when I shake the pedal. I bought two originally. One to sell, one to keep, but I wouldn't bring a backup pedal to a gig; nothing is going to happen to it. This pedal can be powered with both a 9 volt battery or a 9 volt power adapter. The battery that was in mine was dead when I got it. Thanks Mad Professor.
Overall Impression — 7
I legitimately play all styles of music. Having said that, I wasn't expecting to like this pedal because I am not continuously searching for the Eddie Van Halen signature tone. But, this pedal was cheap and it looked interesting. I was pleasantly surprised that this pedal could do more than what it was advertised for, and it does was it was advertised for very well. I must say, if it was stolen or lost I would not replace it. There are two main reasons for this. First, this pedal does not have true bypass, and it noticeably sucks a little bit of tone out of my amp. Second, it is because I already have a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet that really brings out the great distortion tones of my amp, and it sounds twice as good as this pedal. If you have an amp that has a really solid distortion channel, this pedal probably won't wind up on your board. But, if you really want that EVH sound and you just want to boost your clean amp, this is for you.