Price paid: $ 99
Purchased from: Sweetwater
Sound — 8
I am running this through a Fender Mustang II and a Gibson SG Special with Seymour Duncan '59 pickups. The pedal is somewhat noisy on higher output and gain settings, but not in such a way that it is noticeable, and my amp may be the problem here. The 100 Hz knob only sounds good when it is turned more than half way. Any lower than that it seems to really make your tone muddy, no matter what you have the tone knob or EQ set to. The tone knob is very effective, and it can really change the sound of the pedal. The gain sounds good at any level, but its tone is limited. It really shines with a mid to high gain setting, as it has a nice creamy and slightly crunchy sound. I can get a high-gain, trebly Led Zeppelin or AC/DC-type tone, as well as a lower level, Hendrix-type distortion. I would not use this pedal for any genre other than classic /hard rock and maybe some Taking Back Sunday-style punk. Overall, the tone of this pedal is quite outstanding, however limited.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, if this pedal is used with the right style of music, it can and will sound fantastic. If this were stolen or lost I would probably buy a new one, but I might try out some others as well, mainly because I have not truly explored the massive world of Overdrive pedals. It works really well in a hard rock or classic rock style, which is perfect for me, but probably not for any death metal stuff. I love it's powerful, creamy and gritty tone. I hate the lack of usefulness in the 100 Hz knob, but it wouldn't keep me from buying the pedal again. The lack of versatility can sometimes get in the way of playing Van Halen-like music, but it can still be done. It really can do most styles of rock, but its best at Classic and Hard Rock.
Reliability & Durability — 9
No questions here, this thing feels like a brick of steel, I don't expect this thing to dent or break easily. The knobs are very secure, and it runs on an AC adaptor, so batteries are not a problem (although it can run on battery). The metal it is made of is about 1/8 of an inch thick. So far, I have experienced no problems with it cutting out or anything like that. I would definitely use it in a gig without a back up.
Ease of Use — 8
This Overdrive pedal has four knobs, Tone, 100 Hz, Output, and Gain. It also has a "Bump" button that changes the EQ to one that boosts lows and mids. The tone knob makes it very easy to dial in on a good tone, simply turn it one way or another to go from rumbling lows to screaming highs. The 100 Hz knob helps shape the tone by making it beefier the farther it goes. The output controls the volume. It is very stable and consistent, no problems there. I don't think I need to explain the gain knob. The manual is simple, but includes a description of each control, explains the power source, and has adequate directions on how to use the pedal. The manual also contains specs and three sample settings.