Price paid: $ 169
Purchased from: ProGuitarShop.com
Sound — 9
I'm running this pedal through my 80's Carvin VTR 2800 2x12 combo and my guitar is a Warmoth telecaster with a single HighOrder Pickups T-top replica humbucker in the bridge wired straight to the output jack. My exact signal path is as follows: guitar, cable, CMATMODS buffer, cable, Stone Grey, cable, Creepy Fingers Fuzzbud, cable, amp. If clarity is your game, this little dirt box will oblige you quite effectively. No matter if the gain is all the way down (which to my ears, is a little anemic) or all the way up (which yields a very satisfying crunch without being fizzy) you can hear every note. This pedal shines when the gain is between halfway and three quarters. From halfway to about two o'clock you get a great medium Overdrive with a good amount of "knock" if your amp and guitar have the quality. After two o'clock you start getting some wonderful saturation. This pedal isn't super-high gain, just high gain. But that helps with the clarity. It's just enough to give you a good... For lack of a better term... Cardboard crunch, but it's not so much that it drowns out the dynamics of your guitar and amp. The pedal doesn't add any bass (to my ears) to your signal, staying even-keeled and fairly transparent. If your amp is already cold and a bit lifeless then that will still Shine through; but if your amp is a bit warmer and fatter the pedal will sound better IMHO. It certainly won't hide any mistakes. This pedal isn't perfect, it could stand to have a three band EQ, but the tone makes up for it in my opinion. I'd like to give this pedal an 8.7, because that just sounds right to me, but unfortunately round numbers are my only option.
Overall Impression — 9
I play whatever sounds fun at the time, from blues to folk to crazy-jazz-esque stuff and hard rock and metal. This pedal sits firmly in the hard rock and early metal vein IMHO. It does do hardcore, but it's not saturated enough for most of that stuff. I think it's a great pedal, a solid tone. Not mind-bendingly awesome, but great. I'd definitely replace it, but I hope I never have to.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Not once have I had any issues with it, nor have I ever heard anything negative about any of MP's stuff. That doesn't mean it's indestructible, just that the pedals they build are built to last. I have no worries. I definitely understand why Bobby D is so obsessed with these little boxes.
Ease of Use — 10
This is MP's newest addition to their line, and it ONLY comes as a PCB model (sorry if you prefer hand-wired). As the manual (which is a high-speed looking little booklet) says it's designed to have wonderful clarity at all gain levels, with all guitars and at any tuning you can think of. It has your standard volume, tone and gain knobs which all do exactly what they're labeled to do. It's true-bypass and tiny. Easy to use, easy to fit on a board and much cheaper than MP's hand-wired offerings.