Purchased from: Sweet Water
Ease of Use — 10
A cave man could use it. You can place this in your signal chain or effects loop depending on your liking, it is a very versatile pedal. Note: no battery compartment for 9v. This pedal is pretty much a set and forget. The box it comes in is rather large like a brick for a regular size pedal it comes with an instruction card on how to set the pedal up and warranty coverage on the backside. It also came with a cool little sticker and an adhesive pad for the backside of the pedal. This pedal is fairly new and made its debut at the 2013 summer NAMM show along with Quantum Time Modulator, Echolution and Echolution2 Deluxe. Overall the pedal is impressive and has amazing qualities for my application. You can see the demo video of the company representative demonstrating it, this way you can hear it for yourself.
Sound — 9
It suits high gain applications very well and other styles like blues, jazz etc. My gate keeper is ran through the front of my Blackstar HT-5RS > Gate Keeper > Ibanez Weeping Demon > Pitchblack+ > Tight Metal Pedal. The gate keeper IMHO is better than some of the competition out there. This gate can open and close faster that any other noise gate I have seen to include some of the rack units on the market. It has taken my Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro w/ EMG James Hetfield pups to new heights of sound.
The sound is full, noise free and very articulate, it does not color the tone from what I can tell. It does make you aware of some interesting nuisances in your playing that you may not have discovered before due to noise and other artifacts in your tone.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The Gate Keeper is built rock solid and does take a 18VDC (300mA) adapter which is included with the pedal, 1/4 input and output jacks. I am not sure how this is for a live setting, but I am sure it would perform the same. The pedal also sports a small size print where it could easily be squeezed between other pedals. The knobs are built very well and very smoothly. If you use it on a crowded pedal board and do not tape the knobs you could probably kick the knob and mess up your setting. I have not done it yet but I am sure someone could pull that off.
Overall Impression — 9
This pedal is an excellent match for the genre's of music I like playing which are thrash, metal, death metal and some nu-metal. I am sure this could suit any genre or style of music you could run through this thing. If it were stolen I would track the person down and beat them! I definitely would buy another because I believe this pedal is one of the best I own now. I compared this to the Boss NS-2 and ISP G-string to me this one sounded the best and was the fastest. I love this thing because for some reason, which I can not put my finger on, catches my ear really quickly when its on. When I tried to use my gear without the pedal I caught myself turning it back on. When my son heard me playing he asked if I bought a new amp because the noise free tone was bada-s.
One thing I think that could get on someone's nerves if not set right, the pedal will clamp your sound fast. On the min (CCW, maybe one tick) setting when adjusting it I ran a little test. From pick to release, right before center point of the note ring it closed. It takes a little bit of tweaking to your liking but you can tune in that perfect setting fast. Sound wise like I said before it could compete with a rack unit, my friend who is a band, tried it and was ready to keep it. He told me if I did not take it quick he would make it part of his arsenal! This guy has nothing but high end gear that costs in the thousands and it impressed him rather quickly.