I love BOSS distortions. I think that BOSS makes too many models of distortions, but what the hell do i know about marketing?
I have gone from having a DS-1, to an HM-1 to this, and all i have to say is, you can get great heavy sounds out of this box.
Anyone who says the sound quality of this box sucks on this page is either playing the HM3 through a Crate with tuna can speakers, or some other geek/wannabe "amp" that has one or two low quality speakers in it with shakey electronics. Yes, distortion boxes are naturally noisy...it's a friggin BOOSTED signal with square wave generation thrown in, what do you expect? If all of your electronics are of high quality, shielded and grounded, you won't get unneccessary noise from this bad ass box.
This box has everything from subtle fuzz to grinding crunch. Try putting the level at 2 o'clock, the bass at 3 o'clock and the treble at noon, distortion at 1 o'clock...that's the modern rock sound.
I run this box second in line on this rig-
PRS McCarty Standard, Boss Super Shifter, HM3, Ibanez Analog delay, Akai Headrush, Marshall Vibratrem, Line6 DL-4, Ernie Ball volume pedal split stereo into a Marshall DSL401 1x12 combo and a Mesa Boogie Dual Rec w/ 4x12 cab.
I'll admit that both amps in my setup are of the "set it and forget it" type of amp that basically can't really sound crappy unless you really TRY, so maybe that's why i'm biased. But my HM3 is NOT the weak link in the sound chain by a longshot. This box is not a TS 9 transparent distortion, nor is it a raging stack of Marshalls type overkill...it's comfortably situated in the "usability" category.
If you want to make it a MONSTER, spend 60 bucks and put an MXR micro amp *line booster* in front of it...CRUSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
BOSS makes pedals that last. Anyone who tells you that they are low quality is a useless hack, and probably still lives with his mother.
I really wish Boss still made these (and the HM-2, for that matter) but it's ok...i'm keeping mine, and it will last 30 years.
My first one WAS stolen from a party, and i didn't hesitate for two hours before i went back to the store to get another, once i figured out it was gone. So, for that matter...if i wish this box had anything EXTRA on it..it would be a homing beacon so i could find the fag that stole it and crack him over the face with a DOD American Metal Pedal, or some other worthless hack distortion.
For those of you curious about this box, but can't find it for sale in any store, i have one word - EBAY.
There simply aren't any other pedals that you can get for under $100 that approach Boss quality, sound and reliability.