Price paid: $ 149.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
The Overdrive on this thing is amazing. It is very well done with a sound better than just about any tube Screamer I have heard. To me it seems smoother and more versatile. I was able to dial in some good blues tones, as well as a good rhythm rock tone. The bass boost is usable, but may not me appropriate for all songs. The distortion is pretty good too. Out of the box, I found it was a little bassy and noisy (that was my opinion, you may like it). To adjust bass response and the noise gate in the pedal, you have to adjust two trim pots inside of it. There is an explanation of how to do this in the book. I had the pedal where I wanted it after a few minutes of adjusting. After the bass was set where I wanted it, I was impressed. You can really get a large range of drive. At first, I got some mild overdrive, but if you crank the Drive and scoop the mids, metal sounds great. With the two combined, the sound vesatility is pretty good. You can really rock with this pedal, but you need to know how to EQ a pedal. I tried this pedal with humbuckers and single coils and the pedal sounded good with both, but I found it was easier to dial in good tones with single coils than humbuckers, and I normally play SG's. This pedal screams with a Crybaby and some delay. I am sure if you played metal that it would sound good with flanger and phaser too.
Overall Impression — 10
I play everything, and I have been very impressed with the quality of this pedal. I tested this pedal through the following setup: Kramer Strat or Stock Epiphone G400 --> Crybaby --> Bad Monkey --> Jekyll and Hyde V2 --> DigiTech RP 90 --> Boss DD-20 --> Line Six 15 watt amp. I would buy this pedal again if given the chance. The tonal options are really good, and it works well with other pedals.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is built like a tank. Better than most Boss pedals in my opinion. The switches have been consistent and have worked without an issue. The casing is great, too. I looked at the wiring, and I was pretty impressed. The wires and everything were high quality. The solder joints were pretty good, too.
Ease of Use — 8
This pedal requires a little knowledge of basic pedal "Eq"ing and testing. Some have said that this pedal is horrible, I do not agree. After playing with the knobs and whatnot, I found several positions that I liked. You must EQ the pedal, as well as adujust the Drive and volume knobs, to get the sound you are looking for. I was easily finding Joe Satrianiish sounds with the pedal.