review: MXR M-80
I picked this up based on all the rave reviews on here, so i thought i would write my own. I'll try to be as brief but informative as possible.
USE: I am using it as a preamp into a rack eq then into a QSC power amp going to an ampeg 8x10. I play an ibanez 5 string tuned A-D-G-C-F
FEATURES: If you don't know, look them over on the net, i'm not going to waste your time listing them all. Basically a two channel clean/distortion pedal with 3 band eq, noise gate, and clean/dist blend control for the distortion channel.
-Good smooth distortion that gets mildly jagged and industrial sounding at higher settings.
-Blend control works well, but i feel it is too much of a fine line at the end of the control- the area to adjust a realistic blend of clean vs distorted seems to be all in the last 1/6 turn of the knob. Still, it's better than other pedals that don't have one at all. Basically the main reason i bought it.
-Most of the low end is retained with blend control turned to full distortion/no clean, but blending in a little clean brings the lost low end right back without a noticeable clean tone in the mix.
-Eq works reasonably well.
-Color switch effective in clean mode.
-Good headroom in clean mode.
-Parallel out works great for tuner because it's a dry signal. However, that doesn't really make it a parallel out, more of a parallel input.
-Came with a broken battery door. I sent tech support an email and pic of it and they replied about an hour later. Dunlop sent one out free and I got it two weeks later due to some sort of back order.
-Metal case and some of the markings are glow in the dark. Now, why aren't they all?
-Not quite enough volume to drive a power amp's input. I had to turn the power amp way up to compensate. This makes it hard to judge how many watts i'm putting into the cabinet. Even with my amp and pedal at max i still couldn't get the clipping light to come on, i had to compensate with my eq's output control.
-The distortion is not as over the top as a lot of people on here would describe. I heard terms like "all you'd ever need" and "more than enough". Well, it's not. It's a grindy kind of angry SVT/Geddy Lee live tone. I expected way more gain out of this thing. Unfortunately it has the most gain out of any of the preamp pedals. I'm bummed i still have to use a DS-1 in front of it to give it the extra gain i need.
-Color switch on clean channel automatically activated in distortion channel so I have to compensate with a mid boost on the eq.
-Gate doesn't work effectively. It only reduces the volume. My bass still feeds back even with the gate on. This was another reason why i bought this over the competition.
-It came with the battery door broken, the latch was missing so the door wouldn't stay on. It is a very cheap piece of plastic that the battery snaps into. I snapped the battery out of it to put on the new door and the battery snap broke too! I should have ordered two.
-Surface mount construction, so I can't modify it. That's the fun part of a pedal- bring it home, find a schematic, and modify it to my taste.
DI FUNCTION: Did not get a chance to test. Will find out at the next show. I'm not expecting any surprises... i hope!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: A pretty good unit with some flaws, but i am pretty hard to please so you have to take that into consideration. My sound was really great last night, probably the best it's been in a long time. I had some punch and low end back to my sound which really helped me stand out among the two 5150s and wild drummer. That clean blend really worked miracles. Without my rackmount eq or sonic maximizer it still would have been a decent sound. Those two really made it into a great sound, but you could say that for almost anything!
I would recommend to most anyone for the price if you're looking for a new preamp, a DI, or new distortion box. If you like your sound now but just need to get more low end back out of your distortion, i suggest a blend pedal.
I'm a weapon of mass distortion.
Last edited by runmikeyrun : 11-21-2008 at 05:39 PM.