Price paid: £ 110
Purchased from: Unknown
Sound — 10
Practically anything the Boss produces with it's pocket-size pedals is in this. It has a Compressor channel which really helps for quite overdriven sounds, and I does work for those wondering if volume stops the pedal from functioning properly. I personally try to use as few effects as possible, not because of this pedal but because I view pedals as sticky plasters. They're there to hide what's wrong with the amplifier, or to support it, but the amp is what does the job. This pedal is a very good plaster though. I'll go through the patches as thoroughly as I can. The Wah/EFX patch is where either the two Wah settings or one of many other settings can be used as the main effect input to the guitar's signal. Other settings include normal and dynamic flanger as well as normal and dynamic chorus, both with adjustable parameters, and that isn't even all the effects in there. All are of a very high quality, and any dissatisfaction with the sound for me has come from my not setting the dials correctly. The Wahs are as good as a Cry Baby pedal I've heard a friend use live; the pedal is obviously not as free moving as a Cry Baby pedal but that's because it's set to manage all the effects, and it's easily gotten used to. ZNR(zoom noise reduction). A brilliant little noisegate with three settings which are there to cater for the needs of each individual player; specifically to me it allows me to hit all the high pinched harmonics I need without getting in the way, and if it does get in the way I can turn the sensitivity down. It really does annoy you by making all the errors your fault and not the pedal's. The Drive patch has 17 different setting including a special Acoustic setting for those wanting to play house of the rising sun or stairway to heaven again and again and again. These include overdrives produced by amps and pedals, but the pedal effects are better simply because amp sounds can only be replicated by the amplifiers themselves. Trying to get a transistor to sound like a valve is not going to end well most of the time. The effects pedal effects are fantastic though. My top three would be the MZ/metal zone pedal setting, the Boss SD-1 distortion setting(fantastic 80's rock sound with far more gain than the Original pedal produced) and the Fuzz Face setting(Hendrix man! ). These are brilliant for amps with not enough gain for your liking, and if you really want can add just a bit of spice to an already on fire sound. I personally rely on my amps for overdrive, but these are good for people with not so good amps. EQ is basically all the tone setting but in the pedal as well, so pretty self explanatory, but useful. The studio/live patch is explained in the booklet, and it specifically changes setting inside the pedal to sound better for either a recording device or live performance, and it also allows for these parameters to be altered. The SFX channel is the second effects channel and has even more juicy effects including a ring modulator(weird sounding), and octave shifter, an octave chorus and pitch chorus(makes it sound like there's a second guitar playing an octave above or below you) as well as lots of other effects that can also be programmed into it, and all with adjustable settings. I use the octave chorus along with a Wah on another patch to get a really 'galactic' sound for spacey stuff, and it's superb. The effects go together like bread and butter, and although some will say the effects should all be in separate pedals, this is probably cheaper than many pedals that just do one thing. Delay patch is again self explanatory, but most amps I've played already have this in them, so I don't need it. It's there to be used though and full adjustable, even by tapping to get you desired intervals. Reverb is again unessicary for me but it is there and it does work quite well. Do what you will with it, it does work well when you set it right.
Overall Impression — 10
I play heavy rock, classic rock, classic metal, old school rock and bits of blues, funk and prog mixed in. No matter where I go this pedal follows like a translater, endlessly changing to fit what I'm trying to do. If it were stolen I would buy two so that I wouldn't be without one the next time it's nicked. I think that it is far, far too cheap for the shear amount of stuff in it, but I'm not going to complain about that, are you? If you want all the effects the professionals have with 15 pedals but only have the money for one, buy this one in my opinion.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've dropped it, accidentally kicked it, accidentally dropped it then accidentally kicked it and it's still working. It's like a little lump of titanium. I wouldn't recommend testing it to destruction though as that's wasting your money. This hasn't let me down so far though, and I have been slightly careless. It come with it's own adapter cable so battery life won't always be an issue live either. Typical battery life at continuous use should be about 7 and a half hours.
Ease of Use — 9