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Alternatives to MXR M81?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Makoa Johnson, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. Makoa Johnson

    Makoa Johnson Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2010
    First off I have nothing against the M81 and it absolutely meets my needs, but before I pulled the trigger on one I just wanted to double check if there were any other pedals that I should be looking at. I've done some research myself but I figured the collective knowledge of the forum means there might be some cool options I am missing.

    Here are my requirements for the pedal:

    -XLR Output
    -Basic EQ functionality
    -Small size (and I mean small! even a sansamp style box would be too big in this instance)
    -Able to be powered by a one-spot

    Like I said the M81 ticks all those boxes, and is at a nice price too! But I'm still curious if there are any other similar pedals that I should investigate.
    Thanks for any tips y'all!
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I don't think there are any other pedals like the M81!
    Bo0tsy likes this.
  3. Bassmaster55


    Dec 17, 2016
    The Aguilar Tone Hammer is really nice. Would that still be too big for your board?
  4. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto

    Jan 11, 2016
    I use this and love it, but it's big and requires an 18v power supply.
    Makoa Johnson likes this.
  5. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    The MXR M81 is like a Sadowsky Pre with a Mid Control or Tone Hammer without the AGS

    I own it - it's stellar - not sexy but then we get into dumb stuff with sexy pedals
    Makoa Johnson and Driven Crane like this.
  6. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    You didn't list price range, but if money isn't an issue, go for a Noble pre/DI... I promise you won't regret it..
    Small(fits on a PT Nano), simplicity at its finest(two knobs amd a switch), Tube awesomeness, has built in power for other pedals (no One Spot, or other power needed)
    Sounds absolutely amazing no matter where the knobs are..
    Can run it just as straight DI,

    Or.. into any head to get its amazing sound to your cab while getting the same sound you're hearing to FOH

    Or... Its powerful enough to run into a power amp of choice with your cabs, again.. what you hear at your cabs is what FOH gets.. which is amazing ..

    I've used it all of these ways and it's just perfect.. Pricey yes...I'll admit, I was skeptical at first because of it.. but I have zero regrets, it has proved to be more than worrh it. ...Buy it right just once, right ;)

    Several vids on YouTube, or their site(use good headphones or speakers to truly hear and appreciate)... plus check out the Noble thread on here.. tons of info there
    Hope this helps, good luck!
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009

    Might want to check the OP's original post for his requirements. That Noble is literally 3 times bigger than the MXR and requires 120v power.
    pcake and Makoa Johnson like this.
  8. Makoa Johnson

    Makoa Johnson Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2010
    Yeah that noble is seriously cool, and I could spend a bit more than the MXR, but not *that* much more. Hah!
  9. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    Yeah, I debated long and hard, that's why I mentioned it. But its definitely worth every penny and then some...
    Read through the reviews on there site, and the thread here..
    It definitely doesn't disappoint
  10. jasmangan


    Jul 13, 2008
    The best feature on the Mxr 81 IMO is the sweepable mids. I can't think of any other pedal that has that at the same price range.
    Bo0tsy, Makoa Johnson and veryvery like this.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    @Makoa Johnson : FYI - there's one currently for sale in the classifieds here. :thumbsup:
    Makoa Johnson and veryvery like this.
  12. Ews Tri-logic3.

    You gain better mid control, but lose xlr. I can't stand pedals that only sweep to 1k. I would love if the M81 went to 3K like the Ews.
    Frank_Raider likes this.
  13. Tokonuk


    Jul 4, 2016
    I'm in the exact same boat as the OP. I need a DI with basic eq to replace my Behringer BDI21 (cheap plastic sansamp copy) as I NEVER use the tube simulation part (although it doesn't sound bad) but my B3K would benefit more from a DI with a midrange control.

    What I'm curious about is how the MXR m81 compares to the old m80. It's tempting because it's cheaper than the m81, but the distortion circuit would be useless to me. I just wonder why the simpler pedal is cheaper.

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