Plus, Paul McCartney...........
It's marketed as a guitar pedal, but, I bought this for bass, 5 string no less. And. I. Love. It!
Old School FAT, round, tones, clean or dirty. But, it's not a mud box. If you want mud, it's there for the tweaking just like any other box. If you want articulation, it's there too. If you want a more focused sound, it's there also.
All the controls are usable from just plain old flat to subtle to drastic. I tried all the controls at their maximum and minimum settings (except volume knob at zero, of course) and found them all usable through their entire range.
Do not be afraid to roll off bass, mids, or treble in pursuit of the tone you want out of this pedal. The sound of the Blonde is very round with eq flat and character and drive knobs set far counter clockwise. Which is what I was looking for and why this is my favorite pedal in the world.
The bottom does not fall out when you crank the dirt. No need for a blend knob in my opinion.
String to string response is good. Handles a B string with no problem. Good pedal for fattening a G string.
It's quiet and the bypass sound is buffered but transparent.
I have tried their VT pedal. The VT's Fat and clean sounds were limited. The VT's range is found more in the higher frequencies. It's a very mid scooped pedal with a wealth of focused or sharp sounds.
In contrast, the Blonde has more low end tones, lots of round sounds, as well as articulation or focus if you want, clean or dirty.
I'm not sure how to rate the this pedal in terms of value because I'm so happy with it and I don't see many options for this type of sound. There are less expensive pedals that have more DI features (Hartke for instance) but I have no personal experience with them and all the demos I've seen show off how much treble sculpting and distortion they provide, which is not what I'm looking for. Joyo (and maybe Berringer) produce knockoffs of this at about 1/3 to 1/4 of the price. But, I have no personal experience playing with them and they are not buffered. I like true bypass a lot. But, one good buffer is necessary if you have a lot of true bypass pedals and the Blonde's buffer is good (which saves you about ~$40+ from not having to buy yet another pedal for buffering if you're a true bypass fan with a lot of pedals). The Blonde is made in the USA so there is a premium there that is important to some people. It would be hard to tell them that they are not getting value from that.
I gave it 4 stars for features because the manufacturer mentions using it as a DI, but, as a DI, it has limited features. I use it direct into my little mixing board which has 1/4" unbalanced inputs and it works fine for me. Some people might already be using something that has more DI features (such as the more expensive Tech21 VTDI, or the less expensive Hartke pedal) and might perceive this as a loss.
Tech 21 Sansamp Character Series Blonde V2
Amp In A Box, Fender Inspired