Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 9
I play a Mexican Stratocaster with a humbucker in the bridge through this and into a Fender Blues Junior. One detail I love about the pedal is that no matter the setting, it's built in noise gate keeps it from generating any bad noise. I only hum when using my single coils, but it's hardly any more than when the pedal is off. Then when I switch to my humbucker it's dead quiet unless the gain on both sides of the pedal is cranked, and even then it just creates feedback which can be used in a creative way. Both sides of this pedal take to my amp very well. One of my favorite uses for this pedal is to use the jekyll side with the gain up and the tone on my amp low which gives me a smooth and warm andy timmons like tone. I also play a fair amount of metal and the hyde side cranked allows me to achieve that as well. The only disappointment I have with the sound is that I wish the hyde distortion had a little more gain. Maybe I have a low quality humbucker, but with hyde cranked it comes just short of enough gain for a thick metal tone.
Overall Impression — 9
I play all sorts of music; really just whatever inspires me at the time. With this pedal and my current setup, I can achieve almost any tone that I desire. My Fender gives me that essential pure clean tone, and this pedal gives me any tones above and beyond that. I use this with my H20 pedal (also from Visual Sound) and I feel like I'll never have to upgrade my rig. (at least not for several years) If it were stolen/lost, I would definitely buy it again. While it may lack the heavyness of a pedal focused on metal tones, it's ability to do everything else is such a convenience.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This pedal is quite sturdy and I have no fear of it breaking on me. Nonetheless, anything I pay this much for I take good care of and I don't foresee myself having any problems. I use the Visual Sound one spot to power my pedals, so batteries are also no concern. Particularly, I like how Visual Sound designed the pedal casing. It's design protects the knobs in case the pedal is dropped front first. Overall I'm sure it'll last me as long as I need it too.
Ease of Use — 9
I own the V2 series edition of the pedal and it is fairly simple to use. For those Who don't know, the unit is essentially two pedals: a tubescreamer clone and a very versatile distortion pedal. These can be used both together and individually, allowing for all sorts of possibilities. The manual that comes with the pedal gives some basic settings to start out with that cover genres from blues to metal. Pleasantly, I've found all the presets to be very accurate. The only nuisance is that the bass and noise gate controls are inside the pedal and you have to unscrew it to change them. However, I'll still give this category a 9 because I never need these controls; the tone's you can get will easily satisfy you without having to change these.