Price paid: $ 60
Purchased from: Bought Used
Sound — 10
This little guy usually sits in front of my Mesa DC5 head with Marshall closed back 212 cab or my Rivera R55112 combo. My primary guitar is a Les Paul, though I also play it with a Tele, Strat, Ibanez USA Custom, and Vintage LPJr. The sound with the gain cranked is great... a gritty, raw Overdrive sound which is just what I was looking for. Think Replacements or Clash. Very un-tube screamer, which is fine with me. Running a nice mid-gain crunch through the Mesa head, this pedal drives it up to a raw growl that can't be beat... very different from the lead channel on the Mesa, which is somewhat more balanced and smooth, the pedal makes for a ruder and more aggressive sound, which is what I was after.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is a great pedal. Built to the highest quality specs - Simple to use, barebones. Not for real knob tweakers, but for people who want a basic gritty, great sounding OD pedal, it can't be beat. If it were stolen, I'd probably get another one.. I compared it head to head with a good number of pedals in this shop (mostly used). Many Boss and DOD, Guyatone and other misc. This was by far the best at nailing the sound I was looking for. I experimented with it as a boost pedal today, just trying to use it to boost the volume and gain of the lead channel on my Mesa, but it didn't do the trick (not that it's supposed to). It gave a bit of gain boost, but no noticeable volume. That's just as an aside though, I'd use an MXR Micro Amp or something for a boost if I really wanted it. Regarding the light, I guess it would be nice to have it on there, though it's just another thing to use battery power and to introduce unnecessary interference noise into the circuit. I can tell when it's on most always.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've only had it for a few months but it's been great and reliable. if my other Voodoo Lab pedals (tremolo, analog chorus, pedal power) are any indicator, it should last a long time and be very durable. I've gigged with it several times - no problems. I don't bring a backup.
Ease of Use — 10
This pedal, as everyone else has illustrated, is easy as pie to use. Two knobs, volume and gain. Some have complained about the battery - you have to remove 4 screws to replace it. Well, I play with a Voodoo Lab pedal power unit at home and practice, so batteries are really only a concern for me at gigs. I test my batteries now and then and it hasn't been an issue. I'd take this assembly over the cheap plastic battery cover found on DOD pedals any day. The Boss pedals provide an OK battery setup, I suppose. I bought this pedal used and didn't get a manual with it, though I don't think I'd ever need one.