Price paid: C$ 170
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Sound — 9
This is my main OD pedal, it produces a nice creamy OD on the clean channel of my 15W Marshall Haze that just DESTROYS the amps Drive channel, it is ALWAYS plugged into my amp. Either a Gibson Explorer or Epi Les Paul Plustop Pro FX plugged into it, the LP with lower output pickups can't scream as much as the Explorer, but that's a given. The OD side is a modded version of the good old TS-808 and is the side I use the most as I can turn the Drive down for some sweet blues or crank it all the way and get a really driven sound, good example is some early Metallica like "Kill 'Em All". OD has controls from Drive, Tone, Volume and Bass Boost. The Distortion side from what I have heard is a totally tricked out version of a TS-808, and is certainly voiced differently then the OD so there is no worry of having two pedals that sound the same. Works great for newer metal and up. Having controls for Drive, Highs, Mids, Volume and Sharp Distortion you can get high gain lead stuff right to scooped mids metal. I am not going to BS you this wont make you sound like Satch, Vai or any other guitar god, but it can certainly get you pretty authentic sounding Drive out of either side that can closely mimic your favorite artist, I mean the TubeScreamer is almost on every performers pedal board at some point. This was the first Visual Sound pedal I tired, I was a little uneasy because of the price, but after testing it in the store and owning it for a few months I am pleased. Another thing I really liked was the dynamics of the pedal, changes to your guitars volume and tone will make a very noticeable difference in the tone. It can be noisy once you crank up the gain on the Distortion side and/or start stacking both drives in the pedal. Visual Sound has built a noise gate in the Distortion side that really quiets things down to the point it shouldn't be a bother, I run with it off and it still sounds great, a little hum with high output pickups but certainly not enough to Drive you nuts. 9/10: Hands down awesome, I have gone through a couple OD pedals and only one other distortion pedal. I no longer own any of the other OD pedals and the distortion pedal was an MXR Fullbore and well it doesn't even compare to this pedal.
Overall Impression — 8
I play anything but Jazz (only because I suck at it! ) and this pedal suits it all, plug in my HOT Explorer to get that hard rock or heavy metal sound or plus in the PAF Les Paul for that Classic rock tone. The OD channel with my 57 classic neck coil split gets deadly Jimmy Page tones. I actually did a lot of question asking about this pedal before I purchased it and luckily enough the guy I was talking to had one at home himself and already knew all the goods on it. If it were lost or stolen I would certainly replace it, its become a pretty crucial part in getting my tone out of my little Marshall. Though with how little I use the Distortion side I would even consider there OD/Compressor pedal since its the same OD circuit. The only thing I hate about it is the size, it can take up a good chunk of real estate on your pedal board which could be a downside if you are limited by that, otherwise its pretty flawless. 8/10: I am going to rate this low for one reason only, and that's to even out the average score a bit. My overall impression of this pedal is actually 10/10 as it fit my bill perfectly; however the size, price and how quickly it can kill batteries may put some people off. Plus also I didn't want a review that made it look perfect cause we all know nothing is really perfect.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I thought MXR pedals were built like a tank, and if that's the case this thing is built like a nuclear shelter! Solid Metal casing it can take stomps, kicks or drops no problem. Nice thick rubber back on the pedal so it doesn't move around if you don't use it on a pedal board. The stomp switches were one of the things I was concerned about but Visual Sound guarantees them for a million stomps (not a joke) so that made me feel better. And TBH they are a soft switch which I have come to like cause you can easily tap it on or off. The placement of the switches is perfect I can turn them both on with my averagely large foot! Oh yeah and its got a battery door for easy battery swaps a piece of cake. Would certainly gig this unit without a back up, heck I think you could almost use it as a hammer and a pedal its that solid. 10/10: Bomb proof, spilled some liquids on it and its fine, solid paint job, knobs that don't fall off, switches that actually work, can't ask for more then that!
Ease of Use — 9
This is a simple to use effect but can go into great tone detail. Standard true bypass and able to run off a 9V battery, which amazingly actually lasts quite some time provided you don't leave it plugged in, if you do it draws enough current in bypass mode to kill a battery overnight; however this is the same for a lot of pedal not just the double pedals. No Patches to edit or add. Comes with a nice sheet that gives you TONS of starting tones that you can tweak to suit your needs, everything from just OD settings and just Distortion settings to both pedals combined. I have a first edition of this pedal so since they have upgraded the knobs to be a little more visible in on stage settings and have changed the Rocker switches to what I find to be a crappier DPDT switch, to me they look uglier then the rockers. 9/10: Ease of use is amazing, each knob is labelled for its purpose and does it's job well. You can twist them pretty much randomly and still get a decent sound out of it. Certainly nowhere near as daunting as something like an Empress Effects pedal.