Price paid: C$ 110
Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Sound — 10
I play a LTD FM-100 into the MXR Fullbore Metal then into a Randall RG75D G3 Plus. This pedal is practically noiseless up until the very highest gain settings. The pedal gives a really tight bottom end and with its high gain settings, your picking nuances still shine through. The noise gate is very helpful. It's actually pretty decent. You can control its cutoff level from inside the pedal. The "scoop" button makes the sound razor sharp by boosting the low and high frequencies. You can still control overall EQ when in "scoop" mode. At the lowest gain settings, you still get a nice thick crunch.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly rock and metal. This pedal suits my styles perfectly. If I lost it, I'd save up for another one because of it's great sound. I love the tonal varieties you can get out of this pedal, and the noise gate is awesome too. I don't care much for the "scoop" mode. I hate how the adapter input is on the side of the pedal because it's difficult to get a daisy chain to reach it on a pedal board. This pedal has several advantages in comparison with the Boss MT2 metal zone pedal: 1)True bypass, 2)Noise Gate, 3)Better tonality, 4)Smaller size. If you play metal, get this pedal. You wont regret it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The plastic buttons for the "gate" and the "scoop" worry me a bit. Other than that, I know the pedal will stay together. It's made of steel. I haven't had the pedal long enough to decide whether or not I would need a backup but from first impressions I would say no.
Ease of Use — 10
Although this pedal has 6 knobs, it is easy to get a good sound out of it. It's pretty intuitive. You just need to experiment with it for 3 minutes. The most important knob is the "Freq" knob. Use this in conjunction with your "Mid" knob to get a good sound. The manual for this product is pretty straight forward. It tells you what the knobs and buttons do, how to access and modify the noise gate and gives a list of different "ideal" presets if you have humbucking or single coil pickups.