Price paid: $ 199
Purchased from: Guitar Center used
Sound — 9
I'm using this pedal with a Jackson DKMG with active EMG 81/85s, an '87 Charvel with upgraded Seymour Duncan Hotstack and Quarter Pounder pickups, and a Fender Telecaster. I'll eliminate the Tele from the review straight away because it's just not what you're going to be playing when you use this pedal. Don't get me wrong. It sounds fine, but I typically don't grab the Tele when I want to get down and dirty and crunchy. Now to the nitty gritty... This pedal sounds incredible. No other words can describe it. I honestly believe my search for a distortion pedal is over. This thing nails the Boogie Triple Rectifier sound. You'll be hard pressed to get a better hard rock/classic metal sound from a pedal. It has awesome power when cranked through an amp. I'm using it on a Vox AC15C1 and a Fender Twin. It sounds ridiculous on both. With the gain maxed out there is a little noise, but nothing noticeable when you're playing. Only when you stop and mute the strings. In a full band setup I doubt anyone would even notice. Probably the best sound comparison would be Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Dream Theater, etc. Heavy crunch with a very tight bottom end. No flubby bass here unless you engage the Boost function and dial it toward "cream". This is the alter ego of this pedal. The Boost/Crunch/Cream. You can go from a boost which thickens the sound and adds a ton of sustain with the dial on the "crunch" end to a thick warm fuzz on the "Cream" end of the dial. Setting it at about 80% Crunch/20% Cream almost gets you a neck pickup sound out of your bridge for a fat warm sound on solos. It's definitely a fun feature to play with. There are a ton of different tones in there to be discovered.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said above, I honestly think my search for the ultimate distortion pedal is over. I'm pretty firmly rooted in 80s and 90s hard rock and metal, and this baby just absolutely nails that sound. It's a fun pedal to tweak on because the controls are so responsive, and you can get an awesome sound very minimal effort. It's a little pricey new, with a tag of $269, but it's worth it. I consider myself lucky to find it used for $199. You don't see very many used because anyone who buys it doesn't want to part with it!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This pedal is built like a brick. All metal casing and big knobs. I will warn that it is huge in comparison to other pedals. I don't use a pedalboard personally, but this thing will take up a big chunk of real estate if you do. It's literally twice the size of your average pedal all around. I'm not kidding. It's massive.
Ease of Use — 9
This pedal has the standard bass, mids, treble controls. If you've ever owned a Wampler pedal you'll already know that these controls are extremely sensitive. A little turn goes a long way. I got one of the early versions, but as far as I know there hasn't been any changes in the newer versions other than the graphics and label on the pedal itself. Getting a good sound is as easy as setting everything to noon and plugging in. I'm fairly certain there's not a bad sound in this box.