Funny thing is I've read some harmony-central reviews of this pedal and it seems most of the reviewers say they put in a lower gain tube, typically 12at7 or 12au7 and got more headroom, much like a pickup boost and smoother, easier to dial in distortion levels. I"m wondering how much of this is a "placebo" effect. The tube is lower gain, so it must produce a milder effect. I went back and tried the 12ax7, 12at7, and a 12au7. Still the same results, no audible affect at the same settengs. Maybe the tube itself does nothing but glow to make us pureists think it will sound better.
My brother-in-law is a psychologist. Maybe he can cunduct a double-blind (double-deaf) study with this pedal compared to a solid-state pedal to see if this is just "marketing voodoo."
Regardless, I'm happy overall with it. With some minute fiddling with the overdrive pot I can dial it in for my taste. its also built like a tank. You could probably drop it from a moving vehicle and it would still work.