I am not 'into' boutique pedals, but then again I am also not into 'cheap and cheerful' pedals, but the quality of this pedals makes the price gap between the two even bigger.
Since this is now being sold at 1/3 of the price which originally came out as, the pedal is bargain. The distortion goes from a slight overdrive to an all out distortion, but not clipping to take it into fuzz.
The bass and treble controls give a wide range of tones, and the switch, I now is supposed to be subtle, but to my ears it is so subtle I personally can't hear the difference (maybe also due to years of blasting my ear drums with similar pedals).
Based on the price, you will find pedals which are 3 to 4 times the price of this, but will not sound significantly any better. I don't think it would be my only distortion pedal but for a beginner it is a great starter into the word of distortion, or a player who only dips now and again into the 'dark' world then also a nice to have.
It is very well built, as I have found all of the TC pedals are and are made to last.
But as I say for the price, drop it in the gig bag and one day you might be surprised and find you use it quite a bit for fun. Anyway, it is a common fact that you cannot have too many overdrive or distortion pedals!
I bought this pedal after buying two pedals from the T.C. Electronics' range - a Flashback delay and a Hall of Fame reverb pedal - because I wanted to add some dirt to my growing collection. I was so impressed by the first two pedals that I had no problem opting for this one, even though TC wouldn't generally be the first name one hears when it comes to overdrive and distortion. As I was a bit skint, I opted for the Dark Matter option, and I have to say, it was a perfect choice. The only drawback is that when recording, the click of the on/off switch is audible, whereas on the other two pedals it is not. I was a bit taken aback by this and wondered if it was just the one I was sold, however, I pursued it no further.
As far as quality and build are concerned, there is absolutely no issue with this pedal and the sounds are just right for me - I was looking for fuzzy, Dave Gilmour-type sounds amongst others for the purposes of some shoe-gaze, endless, ambient guitar compositions and to be honest, I was very impressed. Definitely wonderful for seventies style Marshall sounding drives. At that price, there is not much to be expected, but prepare to be very pleasantly surprised! Highly recommended.
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