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MXR Distortion Pedals by Dunlop Product Reviews

Updated on April 22, 2017
Jesse Drzal profile image

I enjoy all kinds of music gear from vintage to modern. As a guitar player, it is rewarding learning and trying new effects.

MXR + | Source

History of MXR

MXR Innovations was founded in Rochester, New York in 1972 by Keith Barr and Terry Sherwood who were high school pals. The Phase 90 was the first effects pedal that was produced and remains in production today. Along with the Phase 90, the Blue Box and Distortion Plus followed and they went on to produce many effect products, including the Dynacomp.

In 1987, MXR was bought by the world famous Jim Dunlop company, who had developed a wide array of music products including capos, picks, and effects units as well. The Dunlop company still produces many of the original MXR products to this day.

Distortion +

MXR debuted this pedal in full-scale production in 1974, and the Plus is one of the most copied and cloned distortion pedals in the industry, most notably being the DOD 250 overdrive. This is an amazingly basic and easy pedal to use and features just two knobs, output and distortion.

Setting the distortion control low and the output on high will produce a warm, vintage tube amp type overdrive, and this was a favorite of Randy Rhoads during his days as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and Dave Murray of Iron Maiden. This pedal has germanium powered diodes which have been used in many vintage pedals, and pedals of today. Germanium diodes are known for having a unique harmonic profile, with richer feedback and more variations of tone.

Video with the MXR Distortion +

Fullbore Metal

The Fullbore Metal is an ultra high gain pedal used for metal styles such as thrash, grind, metalcore and everything in the realm of heavy. This pedal has a 3 band EQ with midrange sweep and allows great flexibility to either mimic existing guitar tones such Pantera and Slayer or to find your tone that you like. The Fullbore also features a noise gate with sensitivity control.

A noise gate can greatly improve the precision of guitar parts as it takes out high gain buzz and hum. One of the great advantages of this pedal is versatility, as in having an all in one unit to produce a wide array of sounds and tones that musicians demand in a high gain setting.

Video with the MXR Fullbore Metal

Super Badass and Custom Badass '78

Arguably the most versatile distortion pedal in the MXR arsenal is the Super Badass. Like the Distortion Plus, this unit has output and distortion settings, but the biggest difference is the powerful bass, mid and treble eq, to provide clipped midrange distortion tones and everything in between to suit many overdrive tastes and needs.

Want to change it up a little and dial up some classic rock leads? No problem. Want screaming metal distortions? The Super can dial up those as well, no sweat. Another pedal in the Badass line is the Custom 78, with a more tube based blues and classic rock tone, users have raved about the versatility of this pedal as well, offering boutique style tones at an affordable price.

MXR Super Badass Distortion
MXR Super Badass Distortion | Source

Classic 108 Fuzz

Want that authentic late 60's tube amp sound of Hendrix and Clapton? Do you emulate the sounds of early Jeff Beck? Look no further than the Classic 108 Fuzz, which has a warm and very deep analog tone reminiscent of these elite rock gods. This also has a buffer switch to eliminate oscillation when a wah-wah effects pedal is used before the unit.

The shape is also more ergonomic, with a design to better fit pedal board setups. Once again, very straight forward display with two knobs, volume and fuzz, and the buffer switch as well.

Classic 108 Fuzz
Classic 108 Fuzz | Source

Try Some MXR Distortion Pedals

New distortion pedals are a great way to find new tones, and spice up your playing. New sounds can really inspire, and also have a way of making the user experiment with playing that they might not have thought up before.

Creativity is a must in playing music, and distortion pedals can go a long way in facilitating this. I recommend going to your local music store and trying MXR products out, and more often than not the sales staff is more than happy to help.


Which MXR Pedal Would You Buy?

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