Price paid: $ 69
Purchased from: AMS
Ease of Use — 8
There are tons of presets so you could just use them but it takes some time getting used to the controls to tweak the sounds. Not hard to learn but as with all multi-effects units it has a learning curve. Having the program switches on the floor is inconvenient, but this can be overcome by programming your own effects and grouping these on a single switch. Sounds you create can be saved as 20 user programs. The patches are easy to edit once you figure it out. The manual is okay. I do not know the firmware version number or if it can be upgraded. It can not be connected to a computer so I doubt it can be upgraded.
After a little time to adapt editing sounds and effects is intuitive. The controls are indexed accurate. The two knobs allow quick adjustment. As I stated before the manual is quite basic and setting amps poorly explained but after understanding the adjustments are fast and accurate.
Sound — 9
I couldn't believe my ears for this price. I'm rating this pedal at its price point. For $70 this pedal is well worth it. I had to plug into my Line 6 HD500 to make sure I wasn't crazy. I am not saying you can't tweek the pod a lot to get your sound, but this Vox sounds great without tweaking. I don't know exactly what amps they are supposed to emulate (they don't say). But the sounds of the amps and cabs sound awesome. And the effects are great too. No wonder Guitar Player raved about this pedal. You can't tweak your sound like more expensive multi-effects, but the sounds are great so you may not have to.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Looks device looks sturdy. It has a metal casing so it should stand up to normal usage. The buttons are also metal so I would think they will stand up to normal usage as well. The knobs are plastic but do not feel like cheap plastic knobs. I think it will last me for several years as I am not one to abuse my equipment. I don't know how well it will last for someone that throws their pedals around. It has the metal casing but it is still small. It is about the size of my two button foot-switch.
Overall Impression — 10
I play in a weekend cover band so the music we play is all over the place. One weekend we may play a gig of '80s hair metal and the next could be country/southern rock. I wanted something small to fit my pedal board that I could also use to cover just about anything. I have a Vox ToneLab and love it for practice but it is too big for my pedal board so I gave this a try. It can be a little noisy but you can tweak it and get rid of most of the noise. I have never had a small muti-effects unit that would compare to this one. It is the best out there for the money.