Price paid: $ 167.37
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 7
I've used it with a B.C. Rich Metal Master Warlock, and a Schecter C-1 Standard with a Line 6 Uber Metal running into the tonelab and out to my B-52 100W Tri-Channel head into a 4x12 cabinet with Celestion speakers and a small Drive 35W combo. The sound is good as long as you have the correct output set, there are 4 outputs for a line channel, a cabinet amp, a combo amp, and a Vox amp. The pedal can easily make your amp crackle with treble, and it can get pretty noisy. You have to really be on-point with this pedal to get exactly what you want. Some of the distortion effects are weak, but as I said this pedal is very specific and you have to find your perfect spot to get what you like. The reverb is kind of stale, and the treble boost is something I just stay away from. This pedal, however, can mimic quite a few artists. Nirvana's lumpy chorus, Van Halen's signature phaser, it can handle it all. I'd say all of the effects except the reverb and distortions are as top-notch as you'll get for a multi-effects pedal in this price range, plus it all runs through a 12AX7 tube which if anything should be the cherry on top. The tube significantly warms the tone and does make quite a bit of difference. Oh, and it has an on-board tuner. For how sweet it can sound for this price range.
Overall Impression — 7
I play anything from ska to metal, and this thing is perfect. It has every kind of amp model, cabinet model or effect I could want. I've been playing for 5 years, and I own this among a Line 6 Uber Metal distortion, a B.C. Rich Metal Master Warlock and a Schecter C-1 Standard. The only thing I wish I would've asked is how big is the expression pedal, because for a big-footed person it's a tad small, but not annoying. If it were stolen or lost, I'd buy a higher end Vox multi-effects just because this one is quality. I love the fact that it offers so much, yet I hate the fact that it offers so much. This thing has a lot to it therefore to truly get the power out of it you have to invest time into it, and that can be bothersome if you just want to play. My favorite feature has to be the amount of tones you can get out of this pedal. I shopped around the Line-6 multi effects line (of this price range) and the DigiTech line but this one won me over with the tube. The only thing I wish it had was stomp buttons with banked effects so there was no cycling. Overall, I think it deserves a 7 for the price and the amount of tone and effect combinations available.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This thing comes in a really sturdy shell, it seems like some form of thick metal. The only thing I have beef with is the fact that my drunk brother managed to step on one of the knobs to the effects and now the knob is popped off. I can still turn it, but I have to super glue the mother back on. But this s.o.b. has taken a few whacks from falling objects and didn't even have a mark on it. I'd use one these things without a backup, but I wouldn't feel comfortable because the tube could crap out at the wrong time. This is a pretty sturdy pedal.
Ease of Use — 6
This multi-effects pedal is a monster for the price. To get a good sound out of it you really have to sit down, read the manual a couple times, and be ready to tinker with all the different settings. It has 8 knobs and an expression pedal, which include gain, treble, middle, bass, volume, pedal effects, modulation effects, and reverb. Because of all these knobs (and amp + cabinet simulation) you can get a ridiculous amount of tones out of this thing, making it pretty hard to use. You really have to get your ear ready for the seemingly infinite amount of possibilities in this pedal. The only downside to these possibilities is that there are only two stomp buttons, so you have to cycle your effects, so you'd have to have your effects in a cycle and ready before the gig. The manual clearly explains everything you'd need to know, and editing is as easy as a knob turn and two button pushes. I'm not sure on my firmware revision number, but I bought this pedal about a year and a half ago and been keeping it updated with its software, so it should be upgraded. This section is going to get a 6 because of the long learning curve but it sounds really sweet, but it only has two stomp buttons.