MXR Pedals

Brian Hoover

Hey guys, Brian here again with World Music Supply, and I’m back with another dose of gear and guitar reviews. Today might have been aslightly slower day, as we’re getting ready to head off to NAMM, and find sometasty new treats for all of you gear lovers, as such I didn’t have a ton oftime to sit down and review something super complicated for you all, but what Idid certainly have an appeal all their own. Today I got to look at two classicsfrom our friends over at MXR. First up to bat today, is a personal favorite,the MXR Dyna-Comp.

The Dyna-Comp is one of the simplest, most straight forwardcompressors ever made. You get two knobs, output, and sensitivity. Outputincreases the over all volume and clean gain of the pedal, and the sensitivityallows you to adjust just how much squash you get out of this guy. Today we aregoing back to our normal test amp, the Marshall DSL40C, and with good reason,one of the first things I do when trying out a compressor, is to test and seeif it can copy a trick I learned from watching old Paul Gilbert videos. Thebasic idea is to get a good sounding dirty tone from your amp, and set theoutput of the compressor low, and the sensitivity high. This allows you to go from a growlingdistortion tone, to a bold, 80’s style clean with the touch of a button, andthe MXR passed with flying colors.

The second thing I always try and do, is dial in a goodcountry tone, which with its two knob simplicity, I was able to dial in asnappy chicken pickin’ tone lighting fast. Volume swells had a violin likequality now, as it deleted the attack. Finger picking had a very even, veryclean quality, and the tone of the guitar was brightened up, and made far morepresent. I personally love the tone of the MXR, with its quick sudden squash,and its slightly brighter quality, that’s why I keep one on my board. I know itmight seem biased, but with a pedal this simple, that does everything you couldever want from a compressor, the MXR Dyna-Comp earns itself a well earned 10out of 10.

Next up is the MXR Blue Box. I always loved the name of theblue box, because in my minds eye it was named after the old gadget they usedto "hack" telephones back in the 70’s to get free long distance, because theyboth make really computer-y sounding bleeps and boops. That is the best way todescribe what the Blue Box does, it in all actuality is a complex Fuzz circuit,that creates a synth like lower octave below the guitar, which can be blendedin to create glitchy computer noises.

Turning the pedal on, you are instantly greeted with a verythick, rich analog fuzz. If you have it set just about noon on both knobs youget almost Nintendo sounding growls, with a grumbly two octave bass line belowyour psychedelic fuzzed out guitar. Be careful as this second octave is oldschool analog, and as such can sometimes be a little glitchy, but in a goodway, as it allows the pitch to waver between two points and sometimes seem todisappear altogether. It works better on single lines for this reason, but itcan take smaller chords as well.

Sure as a stand alone Fuzz, it’s a smooth and rich, and itseasily an A+ Fuzz. But as an effect, or a color pedal, the Blue Box is great,as it’s like having an old school keyboard instead of a guitar, and reallywhose music couldn’t use more glitchy vintage keyboard style tones? Its noteverybodies bag of tricks, but it certainly deserves to be tried out by anyonewho plays heavy music, and wants a Fuzz box that does more than usual, the MXR Blue box might just be your right choice. Solid 9 out of 10.

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