Price paid: $ 80
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I use a long chain of effects where some are buffered and some are bypass with guitars that use single coil pups. From that alone I'm sure you can tell that set-up generates a lot of sound. The guitars I work with are a Fender Mexican Stratocaster, a Fender Jaguar MIJ (12 years old) and I have a Martin 000-15 that I modded with a passive Pick-up that I play sometimes. Let me just say the Jag feedbacks highly when the distortion especially during old practices before I shifted my amp further away (room was Rem-modeled with more space)the noise gate said to hell with that and not a spec of noise came through until I played. I play out of a Fender Deluxe 90 and a Vox AD100VT combo amp I have to say this thing did it's job.
Overall Impression — 9
I play many many styles but if you had to concise it down or give it a label it would be progressive experimental funk rock, but I also do a solo acoustic work as well. If you want to hear it check my profile. I've been playing 9 years going on 10 and my list of gear is just too long to run through. The noise gate is nice and small and after having an NS-2 Noise Suppressor I strongly prefer the noise gate as it alters tone a lot less. My complaint about it is that it still alters tone a bit, but since I got a Sonic Stomp maximizer (review coming soon) it hasn't been a problem. Just to give a heads up please remember it's a noise gate so just like a gate when you strum your guitar some of that noise is going to come flooding back in. It's just a matter of getting the right trigger level. If it were lost or stolen or walked away I'd feel bad, but I'd either buy another one or look for the next one like a noise eliminator (very expensive).
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's built heavily and I would gig without a backup.
Ease of Use — 10
The smart gate is a noise gate with one trigger level knob, 3 range modes (hiss, mid, and full), and a hi-trigger button just in case something is super noisy. There really isn't much to figure out, and that's what I like.