Gibson SG Special into it and a lot of other effects, but usually I use the Gonkulator by itself, maybe with some compression before, or delay or vibrato after. Pedal seems a bit noisier than other DOD pedals by itself. Obviously the distortion (the Grunge circuit, I believe), is noisy, especially with the gain set high.
Here's the thing about this pedal, the inimitable thing about it: it's a PARALLEL distortion and ringmod. Just like the DOD buzz box is a parallel sub-octave and distortion. When you play into it, it processes your tone through two different effects then let's you blend both new tones together. What else does this with a ring mod? Perhaps there's something out there but I don't know what it is. As I see it, your closest other option is to get a ring mod and a distortion pedal and get either distorted ring mod sounds, or ring modded distortions, both of which have their places, but aren't as interesting as the Gonkulator imho.
Yes, the ring mod in this thing is fixed at one "pitch" (not sure if thart's the correct term, but you know what I mean), and while I'd like to have more control there, but as I said, it's not like there are a lot of other options, and you've got to take the good with the bad.
Bottom line, if you are at all into abrasive guitar music like Helmet, Unwound, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mr. Bungle, or any of that wacky weird sh1t, I just can't see you not grinning the first time you hear the right blend between the distorted (tonal) dry guitar signal, and the (atonal) ring mod. It's like the ultimate distortion in a way, because the ring part is just so psychotic and unpredictable. With the right blend (this is what the effect is all about), it's just so deep, with all the frequencies bleating about together.
Hard to say. I found a second one recently, "brand new" in a store (it had just sat there all these years), paid 50 bucks for it (thought i was getting a great deal), got it home and it was broken. These things are obviously all about the same age. So far no problems with my primary unit though I must say, nor with my Buzz Box.
Everyone knows the battery covers are crap, of course, but you can make it work.
I am trying to craft pop music ultimately out of disparate influences, in the philosophical tradition of say mr. bungle, king crimson, or radiohead. For this, the pedal will have its uses.
I have been playing music for ten years next month (my how time flies), when I turn 24. Mostly music for me is FOR FUN. (It's interesting people say, "serious about music"; heck I almost typed that about myself; it's weird, there's a duality there. I suppose this is the conflict with this pedal; if every purchase "matters" towards building something, this is an inessential piece assuming limited resources--if on the other hand we want to have fun creating different sounds for ourselves, you could do a lot worse than this pedal).
That said, if this were lost or stolen, I'd probably not buy another one as I've been on a pragmatic kick and there is too much stuff I still "need" to buy. It would be a loss though.