"Joe Satriani and Vox, two of my favorites deliver the goods!"
With all the hype around this pedal I was prepared for disappointment because when it comes to Distortion pedals I've tried them all and not one has ever impressed me as much as this one.
In short the sound is Joe Satriani's tone crammed into a box, if you like Joe's sound this is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get it. To hear what this pedal can do for yourself simply check out Joe's latest album "Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock" he used it all over that album and now as his primary distortion for live performances.
The Satchurator has a very vintage Marshall Plexi-esk tone which is perfect for shredding. Lots of high end sizzle and harmonic overtones. This pedal is not for modern drop tuned metal players who are looking for smooth highs and tight low end.
What impressed me the most about this pedal is how quiet it operates for how much gain it puts out. Speaking of gain don't be afraid to dime it, unlike other pedals I have tried the Satchurator doesn't get muddy past the 3 o'clock position on the gain knob.
I have seen some people complain that this pedal is not tweakable enough and to some extent they are correct, the "sweet spot" on the tone knob is around 11 o'clock; anything lower than that is too dark and flat sounding, no "sparkle" at all, anything higher tends to sound overly buzzy and lacking in mids.
Don't let the fact that this pedal is a one trick pony deter you from trying it though, its one heck of a trick and I'd personally rather have one outstanding tone than many which I won't use.
Just to clarify this pedal is a stand alone distortion NOT an overdrive, it is meant to be run through the clean channel of an amp (that is how Joe uses it) If you try using it on a dirty channel you will be very disappointed because you will get a lot of unwanted feedback.
I'm not going to bother typing about how the More switch works since it is pretty well explained in every description of the pedal, I will say that it is a great feature and acts very well as a solo boost with the gain dimed or as a way to make the pedal act like a two channel amp with lower gain. I have not found any use for the pad switch as I do not use many vintage pedals but it is a nice feature to have which I am sure some people will find useful.
Ease of Use:
With only 3 knobs it took me minutes to dial in a tone I loved (hint: use the positions shown in most of the pictures of it) and after that I didn't put my guitar down for hours. In short couldn't be easier.
Very solidly built, I like the "no click" switches in particular.
I've never had any problems with Vox products.
This pedal performs so well that it is like getting a new amp and for the price tag that is a great value.
It isn't surprising that the demand for this pedal is so high, not only did it live up to my expectations, it also surpassed them in just about every way. I highly recommend you check out this pedal.