Price paid: $ 215
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 10
I use a modified Ibanez w/ DiMarzio pickups, and I also use a Takamine w/ a Dean Markley soundhole pickup. At home I use a Peavy Transtube 40, and at church I use a Peavy Classic 30 (not my Pick on either, but the prices were right). This unit works like a champ for both. There are some great acoustic abilities in this. However to be honest, when I got this, I was trying to get a comparably priced Korg unit, and it was backordered. Well, I needed something, and I had a finite budget, so I did some homework, and felt this was my best option. I couldn't be happier. The sound quality is much more clear and real than the particular Korg, the Korg simply did more "flashy" things. It was the classic quality vs. quantity debate. I got the quality. Sound capability-wise, in this price range, you cannot get a better unit. Period. Even with the limited amp and speaker modeling. I really don't need 50 different types of amps and stuff to choose from. I am a Vintage? Modern guy. I tweek the speaker simulation. I have what I want. I play everything from blues, prog (a-la Queensryche, King's and Dream Theater), to rock and metal. All on top of traditional and contemporary worship. This thing can handle it (except the Dream Theater, but's that's probably my ability somewhat. The only thing this thing really does not have is an expression pedal for volume/wah etc. There are many times I need it, and it's not there, but there are ways around that. And diresct recording into my Mac is absolutly ideal. It can sound like the mic is in front of thee amp (for a live sound) or direct for the studio. I would have this just for recording alone! It's that good.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 11 years, and this fits me like a glove. Like I said, it just needs to be paired with a good expression pedal. Some of the settings do not have their own master volume, that can be tricky. If it were stolen I would replace it simply for recording, for live use (and if my budget were the same) I would look around to see if there is something better yet (I believe in technology), but I would probably use it live still. In it's price range, it can't be beat for quality. If you want a great box that does the job, then this is it, if you want something big, bulky, and flashy, then this is not for you.
Reliability & Durability — 9
My resources are limited due to the priority of family and all that, so I do not have a backup system. therefor, I have to use it live week after week, and it hasn't let me down, it just keeps going and going.
Ease of Use — 9
It is extremely easy to use. I have had problems using it on the computer, but mine is the Magicstomp II, where "deep editing" can be done without my MAC. The website has some great patches to download, and all I had to do was bring up those programs, and manually edit the Magicstomp. It took a bit of patience, but really no more than most other multi-effects processing units. I feel that the layout cannot be more simple. I use it every week for worship practice and the actual service. I average about 6hrs a week on it. Zero problems so far! The only thing I dislike is a delay gap in switching between some programs. It's not super problematic, but you have gotta be dead on when to Switch. Since there are 99 patches for me, I keep 60-70 for me, and line up, in order, before a gig the rest so I just stomp, and bam! Why complicate simplicity? Otherwise, it is highly durable, portable, and user friendly.