Price paid: £ 17
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 10
I'm using it with a Pacifica with upgraded Iron Gear rolling mill bridge pickup > Compressor > Overdrive (GV-2) > chorus (Boss CH-1) > Amplifier (Ashdown GR20). It really makes a difference to the sustain making slow bends much better, and allowing notes to be held for longer with less vibrato than without it. Using the attack control adjusted to just take the edge of my usual playing makes variation in Pick attack much more dynamic, allowing me to go from smooth legato to twangy 50's rock'n'roll. Using the emphasis control set to lo means that rythm parts can be nice and smooth (and a little) quieter, while allowing lead to twang and ring clearly. With the compression on max little noises come through and there's a tiny bit of white noise, but that's to be expected. Otherwise the pedal introduces nothing else either on or off.
Overall Impression — 10
I play from early rock'n'roll, blues, and heavy rock and this pedal works with all those styles with the correct patch for each. I've been learning to play on and off for 25 years. And picked up guitar again 18 months ago after a long break. It's only during this 'on' period that I've got in to using effects, wish I had earlier. I like that when using it there's no impression of an effect being used, it just makes the whole sound better. Like most pedals I wish it had a two stage effect, that is two patches which could be swiched whilst playing.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Same as the rest of this range of Marshall pedals; appears to be built like a tank. A Solid Metal casing in silver grey with the knobs protected from being stood on (by the user anyway). A standard metal stomp switch for on off should last as well as any other. Nothing rattles when shaken so no loose internals. As far as gigging without a backup I can't really comment yet, I'd have to get a gig first! So far no problems, so I'll give it a 10.
Ease of Use — 10
A simple pedal to use, with attack, compression, and volume and emphasis controls. With the emphasis control the effect can be targeted to the lower or higher end of the tonal range. To set up a patch I usually start with compression high (longest sustain) and turn it down until I've got want I want. Then set Attack and emphasis. Finally set the volume for either a constant level in or /out or for a small boost. The manual gives a few suggested settings to help you get started, but better to just play with it. Like all other pedals in this range the knobs are difficult to see where they are set due them being so shiny: but it does make the pedal look nice from an owner's point of view. For serious players I suspect they'd get out the black paint and for the knobs and tip-ex in the pointer so they could see where everything was set without bending down.