I understand the frustration but also think I have a work around! I bought this pedal about a month or so ago for my bass rig and had the same initial thoughts after trying the presets.
There’s a couple things you can do in your rig to make an immediate fix before you move to the pedal. If you have an EQ on your amp, it’s best to turn it all the way down if unity still has a hum. I’ll usually turn each EQ band up slightly from 0 just to give it a bit of the amp’s character. Really though you want to run this pedal through your amp’s send and return effects (usually in the back of the amp). That way, the pedal bypasses your amp’s gain. I particularly like this for matching volume with the pedal on/off.
Now for the pedal itself!
I’ve spent time redialing all 8 presets and I am very pleased with the results! The easiest way is to switch the pedal into manual mode and just start dialing until you find what you like, EQ is your best friend here! It definitely helps to read the manual to understand how to save presets and readjust after the fact (I can explain here but would take up an equally large post of it’s own )
I was amazed at what a different tone I could get with the Mid Freq sweep and Mid EQ knobs alone. I will admit that I have wildly different gain, level, and EQ settings for all 8 tones. While dialing each in I found 2-3 more flavors I liked within each tone, it’s just a matter of playing around with it to find what works for you.
My only complaint is the saturation level, some of the distorted tones overwhelm my envelope filter pedal. For jamming, I have a compressor pedal that slams the envelope filter to help compensate, but for a live rig I prefer to run it as an FX send to allow some dry/wet capability.
Whew, hope that wasn’t too long and happy tone hunting!