Price paid: $ 385
Purchased from: USED
Sound — 8
I am using this stompbox with a Fender American Standard Strat and a Vox AC4TV. This pedal works best with powerful amps on clean channel (I think amps like Fender Blues Junior or Vox AC30 would be perfect to be paired with it). Most users of this pedal say that it is one of the noisiest pedals ever created. However, my pedal becomes really noisy only on the highest gain setting, so I haven't had any real problems with it yet. This Overdrive is often called a "SLO-100 in a box". Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to play a real SLO-100, but this pedal sounds like a real amp thanks to a pair of 12AX7 tubes and increased energy consumption. The gain knob has a great range. At the lowest setting it acts like a boost, and when dimed it delivers enough gain for metal. Solos sound especially great: crystal clear yet fat and creamy. And the dynamic response is amazing, too. It is easy to get EVH and George Lynch tones, especially if you have enough skill and the right amp. However, there are some sounds I can't get with it: for example, Grunge (Nirvana) and progressive metal like Dream Theater just don't sound right.
Overall Impression — 8
I am very impressed by this pedal. It is great for soloing and rhythm playing, and it is extremely versatile for a pedal with only 3 knobs. It sounds like a real amplifier. I've also tried OD/Dist pedals like Ibanez TS-9, TC Electronic Dark Matter Dist, MXR Distortion+, modded BOSS DS-1 and many others and I think that this Soldano Overdrive is much better than any other pedal I've ever tried. The only reason I don't give it a 10 is simple: it is one of the most expensive pedals on the market. Prices vary from 300$ to 700$. I love absolutely everything about it, but for most guitar players this Overdrive is just not worth the money. But if you are looking for that Soldano tone, look no further an give this pedal a try.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Looks and feels solid and well-built. Tubes are protected by a massive metal grill and the whole casing is made of metal. Because it is made of metal, this thing is very heavy. In fact, it is heavier and bigger than my POD HD (Desktop version), so it is sometimes impossible just to put it into your bag or a backpack. However, I noticed that one of the pots is noisy and makes crackling noises. That's why I give it a 9 of 10.
Ease of Use — 9
This Overdrive pedal has very simple controls: Gain, Tone and Output. Basically, you can get good sounds for different purposes in a few seconds. This pedal is great for those who don't like to tweak controls for hours.