Price paid: € 150
Purchased from: Knight Music
Ease of Use — 7
The pedal takes a while to dial in as it has a lot of controls that allow you to shape the sound to your liking. The pedal is a great tool to achieve a great tone. With a three band EQ on board it allows you to shape the distortion as you wish. With tons of gain at your disposal, it gives you a lot of possibilities. Then there is an output control that allows you to match the distortion and clean levels by compensating for the gain setting that was dialed in. The pedal also has a mid-scoop switch that I never use but it is useful to achieve the metal (Dimebag) sound. The only drawback is that it requires an 18V supply, which is packaged with the pedal. The 18V allows the pedal to have tons of gain available.
Sound — 7
The pedal, as MXR claim, is the pedal to achieve the Dimebag tone. I find it best with solid state amplifiers. To me this pedal is what I need to make a solid state amplifier sound decent. I generally use this pedal with a Fender Frontman 212R amp. Even though it is marketed as a metal distortion, I dial back the gain and I do not use the mid-scoop switch. I use the 3 band EQ to boost mids and achieve more of a rock sound. With all the controls available, the pedal has a lot of different settings one can achieve. The pedal is very silent considering it is a high gain distortion pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 9
As most MXR pedals, this is a reliable pedal. I carry this pedal around for rehearsal and jam sessions and has never failed. I use this when I do not use a valve amplifier. It has been around to a number of small gigs, particularly when I would be required to remove my gear quickly from the stage. It has always worked and it has been in a couple of incidents but it has never failed. The pedal feels very solid. The only feature that is not as nice is the mid-scoop switch. It never failed but it feels a bit rough and inaccurate.
Overall Impression — 8
I've had this pedal for a couple of years now. I find it useful. The pedal is a great piece of gear and it is a great match to my Fender Frontman 212R. This pedal brings this amp to life. The 3 band EQ on the pedal is really useful to shape the tone of the amp. In the other hand, I not not like this pedal as much when I use it with my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp. A great point about this pedal is that it is very silent compared to other pedals. The only drawback is that it required 18V supply so to place it in a pedalboard you must ensure you have 18V output.