Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use — 10
If you take a little to understand the controls they are pretty simple actually but give you a ton of tonal shaping possibilities. All the knobs might intimidate some but they are easy to conquer and I can not imagine more dirty bang for the buck then this, even at the new price. It came used in the original box but no manual, I found it online though via PDF and it was very helpful. It features frequency graphs of the 11 diode and depth selections to show their variations which is really cool.
Sound — 10
I play mainly guitar and some bass/keys. Mostly in the rock/jazz range. This pedal can do so much for the price of 100$ new. For what I paid it is an insane deal! I play through a Bugera 333XL combo for guitar and a Carvin BR510 for bass though lately I have been using both for guitar! This pedal can go from an incredibly transparent articulate clean boost to a searing OD and even decently distorted in some settings! It can be a bit noisy when cranked but is very quiet when set at a semi reasonable volume.
The controls are absolutely amazing for the price! Depth and Tone is an interactive low/high EQ of sorts. Depth being an 11 knob selector that control the bass response and the tone finely rolling off/adding high end without messing up the mids at all. It works great with bass too, even with the depth halfway it has plenty of thump! Haven't tried it yet but I imagine it is great for keys too! The coolest feature is the selector control which has 11 positions, 10 clipping diode settings and a bypassed clean boost!
If you look around you can find a list of all the diodes in this baby! It has silicon germanium and a ton of LEDs including purple red and infared! Also features some new diode clipping combos never before tried!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I bought it used and just got it but the built seems reliable to me! Everything feels really solid aside from the mini voltage control on the back which is not quite as sturdy as the rest. Should be fine though. If you get past all the controls this pedal would make a killer live or studio asset as it has a ton of tonal variety. It is made in China but so is my Bugera amp which has held up over the years great. Plenty of crap gets made in America so I think it's more important to look at the details then the brand and location.
Overall Impression — 10
This pedal is great for everything aside from really heavy rock/metal and even then it might be enough for some people! Through the clean channel of my amp it gets pretty damn smokin so I imagine through a higher gain amp it would really scream! I have been playing for years and owned my fair share of dirt pedals from cheaper ones to a few more expensive ones like a Bogner Ectasy Red which this may just replace! Not sure yet but it has plenty of gain for me at 1/3rd the price new and used! If it is stolen or I have to sell it for any reason I will almost definitely get another. In fact one day I might even want 2 just as a backup or to run simultaneously for different instruments or even stacked!