Purchased from: Sam Ash NYC
Ease of Use — 8
As someone who has played for a long time and is obsessed with tone, it is possible to get good sound from this pedal, but it requires a good deal of time listening to subtle nuances and readjusting levels as you go. I don't know that most guitarists would have the patience for this process. If I didn't have the instruction manual to understand how the acronyms work, I'd be totally lost. I wouldn't buy this pedal used without an instruction manual. The firmware is not upgradable which is a downside. What you see is what you get as long as you play with this pedal.
Sound — 9
This pedal perfectly suits a cover band situation. The band I use this pedal for plays primarily classic rock but also dance music and top 40. I've used it with several amps like the Fender Mini Twin, the Fender Twin Reverb (75 watt?), and even run it directly into an M-Audio Fast Track Pro for recording/comparing patches with the original artist. I should also mention I own separate analog volume pedals, distortion pedals, reverb pedals, etc. This one pedal saves me having to bring all of those pedals to practice or gigs. The sound is bright and pretty full/loud. I haven't found it to be hissy or noisy either, but I haven't explored all of the various distortions and amp simulators yet. Those more than likely will have some hiss and noise. It does tend to be heavier in the mid and high frequencies. Between the patch volume levels, the booster, the compressor and the master level you can get quite a bit of volume from this pedal. There's also a 3 band EQ you can adjust for each customizable patch but I wouldn't advise boosting or lowering any of the bands too drastically as this will cause feedback when it's combined w your amplifiers EQ. The sounds are fully customizable so you can make just about any sound you can imagine though you are limited to the number of effects you can use at 1 time.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The pedal is made of durable plastic. I haven't had mine for long, but it feels like it could take a beating and bounce right back. Buttons and casing seem solidly constructed. The Value button seems like it could fall off if you dropped the pedal too many times. It would stand up to a live performance situation. I would use it at a gig without a backup but the point that I would make to anyone about this pedal is that I would never use it as the only pedal in a setup. It'd be too hard during performance to turn on and off the specific effects while playing.
Overall Impression — 8
For cover bands, if you want to take the time to customize a patch (or two) per song this pedal is a perfect fit. I initially bought this pedal as a reverb pedal and found that the reverbs, delay and the expression pedal to adjust effects parameters to be hugely helpful. I use this pedal specifically for it's modulation capability but I use it with several other effects pedals (some digital, some analog). The expression pedal is a little too sensitive for my taste, but the wah emulation, octafuzz and volume expression work well enough. I've been playing for a long time and just got really into effects pedals. If this pedal is coupled w another multi effects pedal or a few stomp box pedals the possibilities could be limitless. My only complaint w this pedal is the tuner and accessing the tuner. Having to hit both the up and down buttons to put the pedal in tuning mode is harder than it'd seem. I also have a Korg multi effects unit with similar capabilities (and a nice spring loaded expression pedal) but if you can't use the expression pedal to adjust volume, reverb or delays. Also, since it's spring loaded you can't push it part of the way down without keeping constant pressure on the spring. The fact that this pedal can't be set partially up or down and left in that state is a great feature. If this pedal were lost or stolen, I probably would buy another. The only features I would have loved this pedal to have are a aux/line in for connecting to an MP3 player and separate right and left outputs for running to two different amplifiers (as the stereo effects on this unit are quite good). The rhythm tracks are complicated to adjust, but as most multi effects pedals don't give you any rhythm tracks, it's nice to have.