$60 at Mars Music in 2001; seems to go $80-100 nowadays
-more versatile than you'd think
-great metal tone and added sustain
-battery vampire (sucks em dry, it does.)
-mids can be difficult to balance
-it costs $100 nowadays???
This pedal is a ubiquitous standby of hard-rockers the world over. It's been employed by such varied artists as Danzig, The Allman Brothers and Blur (Graham Coxon used it on most of their self-titled album as well as much of "13") not to mention it's been onstage with thousands upon thousands smaller local bands over the years.
Although it's obviously geared more toward hard rock and metal, it can get more than just those tones. No, you'll never be getting kudos at a jazz club or a coffee house filled with hippies with it, but, with the right settings, guitar and amp, you can get bluesrock tones out of it and with the gain way down it gives you a nice, aggressive overdrive.
it has six knobs (the two inner knobs are concentric): Level, Low/High, Mid/Mid Frequency, and Gain. Level is the actual output of the preamp; if you want to get screaming mad loud distortion, you'd up the level. gain dictates how distorted it is; if you put the gain at 50% and the level at 25%, it will be less distorted than if the gain was at 50% and the level was at 50%. So even with these two knobs you can get a pretty good variety of tones.
These pedals are really popular with people who play with scooped mids (midrange lowered quite a bit relative to the highs/lows) because it really likes highs (you can get that metal solo screech) and lows (you can definitely get that mean, low grind here too). Not only can you adjust the level of the midrange, but you can also adjust the frequency to the amp, guitar, and size of the room you're in. This is a neat tool, it allows you to really affect the voice of your sound. It can be the difference between a modern, progressive distortion and a warm, older-sounding bitey overdrive. If you or your band wants to have a rythm guitarist (more midrange) and then wants the other guitarist to do a simple E/A string riff in the verses with some soloing in the choruses or some highs here and there, you may want to consider this pedal for the latter. it will really bring your highs and lows out. If you're the only guitarist and you want a good balance of low/mid/high, this will do it too; just up the mids a bit and mess with the fequency.
The only thing I'll say... I found out the hard way, if you leave the cables in the pedal for "just a little while" (like long enough to make/eat a quick dinner) you may come back to a dead battery. an A/C adaptor is a good investment with this bad boy.
It works much better with humbuckers than single coils; with my Strat's stock singles, it can whine if not in parallel. works just fine with P90's and other overwound singles for the most part, and sounds great with a high-output humbucker like a DiMarzio SuperDistortion or ToneZone. Not a replacement for a JCM or a Dual Recto, but, works great in front of an amp with a decent tone.
A great little pedal that most guitarists will find a use for. Wide range of harder distortions, and capable of bringing your guitar "out of the mix" if you keep getting lost in the rythm section.