Price paid: $ 329.99
Purchased from: G Guitars, New Haven, CT
Sound — 10
I don't use a thousand effects like the rest of you do. I use a Digidelay, Dunlop Wah, Fulltone OCD and some other funky boutique crap run into a Marshall AVT because I can't afford a JCM. Oh, and I use a Gibson SG. This pedal is ridiculously noisy sometimes, and sometimes it's whisper quiet. It's true bypass. Holy hell. Yes, I'm serious. It's a Z Vex pedal, of course it sounds great. I wouldn't call this the "end-all" fuzz pedal, but mix it with some other distortions and you can get a mean sound. Or, use it like I do and add it to your current distortion for whacked out solos and even cool space-like textures. Whatever. It's good if you take care of it. Oh, and don't be surprised if all those settings you see on the Z Vex forum boards don't sound that good. My advice is try to make your own sound. Who wants someone else's? That's laziness, friends.
Overall Impression — 10
I play weird Indie, and this is great. If you have a noise fetish like I do, you'll adore this pedal and show all your friends how it's "motion-sensored" because you don't feel like explaining what a theramin is. But christ! It's a theramin! How cool is that? Don't buy this if you are in a cover band, because it doesn't sound like anybody or anyone. I'll admit, I got pissed because I couldn't figure out how to use it in songs. Give it time. You'll love this strange little box of good.
Reliability & Durability — 9
You would think it would be fragile! I mean look at this thing! The fact is, because it's so expensive and different from anything you've ever seen in a pedal, you'll treat it extra nice. But it can take a beating. Acrylic is really tough. Maybe the knobs would break off, but jesus! It's a heavy chunk of metal and plexiglass! Oh, and I wouldn't buy a backup because it would never, ever not work. Those batteries? They last forever. And not MXR Distortion Plus 3 day battery life forever. I'm talking years. Oh, and it's too expensive to buy again.
Ease of Use — 6
This pedal is definitely for advanced players, or anyone Who has any knowledge about parameters and what each knob means. If you are just starting out, I wouldn't recommend this pedal, only because it will frustrate you, and seeing how you pay a lot of money for it, you'll cry to your mom and wish you had bought a Whammy or something nice. If you're not afraid of this pedal making some of the strangest, coolest sounds that will convince you that the price is worth it, than this pedal is for you. The manual (aka piece of paper) that comes with the pedal is concise and easy to follow. Do what Zack says and set the knobs to his setting. After this, you can fiddle with them and see what each one does. As the other guy on here said, the knobs change what they control in relation to the other knobs, and it takes at least a day to get familiar with them. At first, gate reduces hiss and noise. But fiddle with the Drive and stab, and gate does something else altogether. Dial in a velcro fuzz, and gate isn't even a gate anymore. See? Makes your head a-splode, in a good way.