This is a great effects box/amp emulator for the money. I doubt you will find anything better in its price range. The only drawbacks I have found are: 1 - The fact that the UP switch is very close to the expression pedal. If you catch it with your heel, you can end up in another preset far away from where you mean to be. 2 - The footswitches are embedded into the pedal so that falling debris can get lodged between the switch and the pedal making it stick (not uncommon in this price range). Either could be a bit embarrassing in the middle of a set!
Model Year: 2008
Price: $150.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
This pedal emulates 20 amplifiers, 15 speaker cabinets, and a variety of distortion and effects pedals as well as special effects like single coil-to-humbucker (and vice-versa) conversion. It has 60 factory presets and 60 user presets and many built-in tone and effects libraries. It also has a built-in drum machine with a wide variety of styles and patterns. You get the basic pedal and power cable (It does not use batteries). It has a single guitar input and two (stereo) outputs as well as headphone jack. It also has a USB port to connect to a computer and edit presets using the included software. You can also save presets on your computer or download presets from the Digitech website posted by other users. There are two footswitches for moving up and down through all 120 presets and an expression pedal that can be set be a wah or volume pedal or else to control any effects parameter. There 4 parameter knobs on the panel for adjusting various different aspects of each amp or effect. You also get a 6-character display which you can use to name your presets.
I am very happy with the range of sounds available from this pedal. You can get everything from a pretty decent acoustic guitar emulation to the most intense of metal tone. I like some pedal emulations better than others, but with usually two or more pedals to choose from for each effect, you can usually find something you are happy with. I have not used it as a pure effects box into an amp because its own sound is better than my amp. I also cannot report on its recording capability as I am not happy with my current sound card.
This pedal couldnt be easier to use. Two things make it easy to get the sound you are looking for: 1 - It has 60 factory-loaded presets (based variously on genre, band or artist) that stay in the memory and cant be erased. These can be used as a starting point for developing your own presets. 2 It has a 30 Tone and 30 Effects Libraries that can be loaded into the user preset locations for building you own sound. You chose a Tone (i.e. Rockabilly) and, if desired, an effect (i.e. Tremolo) and it dials in pre-tested settings for amp, speaker and pedals etc. for this type of sound. Sometimes it might be just what you want. Other times it gets you close, and you just have to tweak a bit. These operations can easily be done from the top panel of the unit, but the best option is to plug it into a PC where you have some more options than are available with the number of knobs on the top panel (the only drawback is if you mess with a PC preset in the field, you cant get to these options, so you may mess it up). You can also save your sounds and share them with others via the internet (check the library on the Digitech website). There are a few small code bugs (like when you load a new sound, you have to change something then change it back to actually hear the new sound), but overall it is easy to use. Once you get the sounds you want, you can switch between them using the up and down foot switches and using the display to tell you where you are. Holding the footswitches down causes them to go into a rapid mode where you can get from one end of the presets to the other quickly. This can be good or bad (see overall opinion section). The expression pedal is a volume pedal by default, and if you press it down hard (you can set the sensitivity), it will swtich to a wah pedal. Or, it can be programmed to control any parameter of any of the effect (chorus speed, delay time, effects depth, or whatever you want over any range).
Overall, it is extremely rugged. I have dropped it and kicked it around and tripped over it and everything else and it just keeps going (although the knobs can come loose eventually).