Price paid: $ 160
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I put this between my American Standard Tele and '74 Twin Reverb, set the knobs to noon (mid voicing switch to middle) and instantly was transported to Van Halen land. This thing seriously rips. It does the Marshall-in-a-box thing well, but in a way that is very adjustable and is the size of an MXR pedal. It's got a ton of gain on tap, so you get a wide range of possible sounds, and the tone control is very good for going from a lot of bite to a mellower sound.
Overall Impression — 10
I do lots of Rock, prog, blues, jazz (not really applicable here but still), and this pedal does well in all of them but really excels at hard riffing, soaring leads, and anything else needing the brown sound or a similar killer rock tone. I have a large selection of drives and distortions that all serve their purpose in different scenarios, but this one could probably be used in all those situations successfully. It's like a more amp-like RAT the way I have both of those set up, and while the RAT would be superior for EJ emulation, the Riot takes the cake for EVH, Zeppelin, all 80s hair, and most other things played through a cranked Marshall.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is an extremely well built pedal. I don't see it breaking any time soon. The housing is really strong (and looks great!), the switch well made, the LED VERY bright, and the knobs high quality. It's just a wonderful pedal that is built to be as durable as it is great-sounding.
Ease of Use — 10
This pedal has Distortion, Tone, and Level knobs as well as a 3-way switch for different midrange voicings. It's very easy to get a good sound, and with a little tweaking from there you get a great sound. This pedal has some system for turning it on and off remotely, but I haven't messed with that (I use a Rocktron switching system so I don't need the pedal to do it).