It is a brown pedal 30% larger than a standard Boss pedal. Besides the input, output and 9v jacks, it has three knobs (volume, tone, gain), 3-way switch with different styles of distortion (compact, power and open) and a push/pull button for enabling/disabling the pedal.
I have been playing for 13 years and despite writing songs, singing and playing guitar, I am yet to join a real band. I enjoy warm/organic/vintage sounds and atmosphere. I love the Beatles and Nirvana. In addition, I enjoy playing metal, though I do not write metal songs. I practice Metallica and Megadeth riffs from the 80's and early 90's.
There is a luthier in my city who sells brand new equipment. So, I traded a Boss CS3 and a Boss DS2 for the Brownie. Just like a surfer searches for the perfect wave, I search for the perfect distortion. I am not truly satisfied with the distortion I get from Boss, so it was the time for changing.
The Brownie is all analog and it is true-bypass. The circuitry is built inside a very sturdy lustrous chassis painted brown. The pedal is stable when on floor for its weight and larger-than-a-Boss dimensions. It looks less hi-tech than a Boss. The tone knob really dumps and clears the sound.
The sound is very organic and articulate. It reminds me of Marshall combined with a Peavey.
Nice AC/DC sound! It is true-bypass, which means it dos not alter the guitar sound when it is disabled.
The notes sound fat when I want them to sound thinny. I tried the pedal with a Fender TexMex, an EMG S1 and a DiMarzio AirZone.
The gain becomes too muddy when it is at max level. This pedal does not do slight overdrive, in fact, I think it is built for hard rock as Glenn Hughes.
The 3-way switch sounded meaningless to me. I never caught the difference between those three options available. Even when the gain is on 3 or 4, I cannot identify each of the notes when I play a chord through a single coil.
It fits the bill perfectly for hard rock players of the 60's and 70's for its tonal character regarding the organic timbre and ful sound. It is amazing for humbucker pickups.