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As you might have heard, 2014 marks MXR’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate, we’ve been releasing blog and video content—see the end of this post for the latest MXR mini doc release—providing players with an informative, inside look at one of the most iconic stompbox brands in history. As part of this celebration, we tracked down each of MXR’s four original core pedals in vintage form, and we’ll be giving one away each month for the next four months. We’re kicking off this sweet giveaway with the Distortion+.


First released in 1972 along with the Phase 90, the Dyna Comp Compressor, and the Blue Box Octave Fuzz, the Distortion+ is powered by germanium transistors which create a warm sound famous for its diverse range—at lower settings, it serves up thick, tubey overdrive, but when cranked, you can take it to the frontiers of fuzz land. Just listen to hit records from the Grateful Dead, Iron Maiden, early Ozzy Osbourne, and Radiohead among many others that testify to the Distortion+’s versatility.


Want to get your hands on a genuine 1976 specimen? The one pictured below? Go on, get a good look at it. It could be yours.


This particular pedal has been inspected, tested, and approved by Dunlop New Electronics Director and Way Huge founder Jeorge Tripps. He dated the pedal using the serial numbers inscribed on its potentiometers. It’s in proper working condition, and you’ll get an inspection card signed by the man himself for verification. We took a few shots of the inspection process, which included the removal of decades old foam on the inside of the bottom plate.









Getting your hands on this piece of history is as simple as answering three questions in the comment section below. You see, we recently asked many of our official Dunlop Artists about their connections, as players and creators of music, to MXR and its effects. We also want to hear about your connection to MXR. All you have to do is answer the following three questions, and we’ll choose one of you at random to receive this pedal. We will also use our favorite responses in an upcoming blog post.


Now for the questions…


When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on?


What was your first MXR effect?


What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?


Use the comments section below to answer these three questions. Again, we’ll include our favorite answers in an upcoming blog post, and choose one winner at random to win this vintage 1976 MXR Distortion+! We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, April 30th.


And while you’re thinking about your answers, check out the first installment of our MXR mini documentary series below, featuring original MXR employee Ron Wilkerson.












Comments (148)


Category: MXR

  • JP

    I think I was probably 15 when I was listening to Led Zeppelin with a friend when he told me it was a Blue Box that Pagey was playing on Fool in the Rain.
    My first MXR effect was five of them (or six, depending on how you count): the Omni multi-effects rack unit.
    My fave MXR effect is the analog delay in the Omni. I have tape delay and all sorts of digital delays and nothing quite gets the sounds it does.

  • Max Stephens

    First time I heard a song and came to find that an MXR effect was being used on it was probably on Husker Dü’s “Punch Drunk” off their first record. Loved the sound of Mould’s guitar through a Distortion +. I remember thinking “Now that is how guitar should sound!”
    My first MXR Pedal was a carbon copy delay. I love the sound of a good delay, and man, that one does it!
    My favorite MXR Pedal would have to be the Micro Chorus. It’s simple, easy, and yet it just sounds phenomenal and exactly the way a chorus should sound!

  • Scott Coutts

    Eddie Van Halen on Van Halen I with the phase 90 or the flanger on Unchained as what I now know was an MXR pedal.
    My first MXR pedal was a Zakk Wylde “Black Label Chorus” and a Fullbore Metal (same time).
    Hard to pick as I buy pedals for a reason, like the Black Label Chorus is awesome for what it does, whereas I can replicate the Metallica “Black Album” sound, the noise clamp does exactly what I wanted and the Custom Badass ’78 gives that classic distortion. If I had to pick one…. I’d say the Fullbore Metal.

  • Osvy Torres

    I never knew how a MXR pedal sound before, but I saw many of my guitar idols using MXR Pedals: Eddie Van Halen, Slash,and many others. There was something providing great sound, tone, and realibility there.

    After needing a new reliable, hard working and great sounding OD pedal, my first pedal was a 78′ Distortion pedal. A MXR Analog Chorus was purchased soon after.

    I love both pedals the same, but the 78′ distortion is my favorite. It makes my clean ‘dirty”, clear, pristine, and powerful in a good way. If I crank my guitar volume on clean, I can get a kinda fuzzy sound with it.
    While using it on top of my overdrive channel, that rises my guitar power to heaven. Very powerful, strong, big sounding. You don’t have to envy anyone! (Only using a 40w tube amp).

  • Siorne John

    I heard about the distortion plus when reading about the gear that Randy Rhoads used, and the D+ always came up as his pedal so in finding this out,

    The first pedalmInbought was a brand new D+

    My favorite effect from MXR would have to be the blue box, been looking for a used old one for a while now, very underused but awesome effect.

  • Ratan Prasad

    I was searching about the gear which Led Zeppelin was using in some of it’s song. I read that it was MRX Blue box. I searched for its tone/sound and review in youtube and was impressed with it.
    My first MXR Pedal is a carbon copy delay. I liked the sound of a this good delay.
    I think my favourite MXR Pedal would be Micro Chorus. It’s simple, easy, and yet it just sounds phenomenal.

  • voiceofthesoul

    I found many of my most influential artist Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Van Halen, Billy Gibson the list goes on and on but definitely back in my teen days circa 90’s I always was curious to what pedal Eddie was using on Unchained after pulling up the http://www.datebase on yahoo most likely I found that the MXR Phaser 90 was the culprit.

    The first MXR I purchased was a carbon copy delay and never turned back, after that chorus an EQ and one of my favorite one’s of all the Custom Badass Modified Overdrive combo that thing with any distortion to get some meaty crunch or bump it up on it’s own for some good old OD. With that said I really would be soaring with that Distortion +

  • RM

    The MXR Effect that made me go, “Yo what is that?!?” Was Jimmy Page’s solo on “Fool in the Rain”. There’s nothing else like it. The Blue Box is so rich on that track and Jimmy kills it. So that was my first MXR pedal. It’s a great pedal that you can write a lot of songs with. As for my favorite MXR pedal I have to go with the Delay. It’s crystal clear, full and lush. I love it! Peace, I’m out!

  • I actually can’t think when I first heard one.
    My first was the Carbon Copy
    My favourite is the carbon copy, nothing sounds like it, it inspires me

  • Tyler Herbst

    First heard an MXR Distortion+ on Ozzy’s Blizzard of Ozz, specifically “I Don’t Know”, featuring Randy Rhoads of course. My first MXR pedal was a block letter Phase 90. And my favorite MXR pedal is my EVH Phase 90 because it’s awesome.

  • Ken

    The first I heard would be the Phase 90 Eddie Van Halen used, classic.
    Unfortunately, my effect budget is lacking, so I’ve yet to buy my first MXR.
    My current favorite is the FET Driver though. I tried one that belongs to friend and just felt inspired.

  • Phil smith

    Van Halen phase 90 on lots if things! Ain’t talkin about love was the first though I think. I was all “I gotta get me one of these!

    First MXR pedal as a result, was a phase 100, which I still have and still use. Never been off my pedal board! 🙂

    My favourite pedal is the carbon copy, because it’s versatile as anything and better than everything! True bypass analogue delay which sounds great and is prices well. It’s my favourite at the minute… About to buy a super comp and the univibe so potential it might get knocked off the top spot!

  • Axel

    Dave Murray in The Number of the Beast with his Phase 90. Amazing guitar intro. The MXR modulation gives an unique touch.

    My first MXR was a Phase 90 block logo that I modded with a switch to be like the EVH one. It’s still my favorite pedal on my pedalboard after many years.

    I could say my favorite pedal is the Phase 90, but I’ll be different and say I love the CAE Boost/Line Driver. It’s without a doubt the most useful pedal I ever had.

  • Ed Barajas

    Van Halen, amazing sounds, Ain’t Talking About Love, Eruption… all that songs.

    My First MXR was an Custom Badass Modified Overdrive, one of the best I have.

    My favorite MXR pedal is EVH117 Flanger.

  • Robert Harrison Jr.

    Randy Rhoads using a Distortion+ on Crazy Train. Which is still one of my favorite tones.

    My first MXR effect was a Distortion+, because of Randy.

    My favorite MXR effect is Phase 90. I love the chewy, swirly depth it delivers.

  • Kieran Ball

    When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on? It was me playing Breaking the Law by Judas Priest.

    What was your first MXR effect?
    This distortion pedal.

    What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?
    The MXR Distortion because it sounds genuine and is simple to use.

  • Thomas

    Probably some Van Halen song for the first. But more importantly, I found out this Killer example of Bruce Springsteen’s guitar playing comes from a couple Distortion + of the same age as the one being given away.

    My first MXR was a Classic 108 Fuzz, which was my very first pedal.

    My favorite MXR is that same 108 Fuzz, which after years of using mostly maxed with the buffer on, I’ve determined has a really sweet sound with single coils, both knobs at 1:00 and no buffer. Discovering that sound has totally changed the way I play my Strat!

  • Somnif

    First I heard was in this old music shop in my home town, someone was playing the Mario Brother’s theme through a Blue Box, and I just had to know how he was getting THAT sound from a squire strat.

    My first MXR pedal was either a blue box clone I built myself in electronics class, or a distortion+ I got on ebay, depending on your definition. I still use the D+ too, some 10 years later.

    My favorite is the Carbon Copy, im a delay geek and I just love the clean bucket brigade tone and decay you can get from that little green block. (and as a close second the Dyna comp, tones secret weapon!)

  • Akamatsu Soujiro

    for 1st question…
    it was my teacher, on that time he play Deliver Us by Andy Timmons

    my first pedal was 6 Band Eq

    my fav. up until now are 6 band EQ and black Label chorus
    cuz 6 band EQ has something unique in it and for me it’s not only change character of my distorsion, but also being a 1st booster
    and for black label chorus…
    when i play it with a clean channel i feel like this pedal sent me to another dimension hahahaha

  • Chris Barry

    Randy Rhoads on the Blizzard of Ozz Album, the Distortion + notably but the majority of his effects were MXR.

    My first effect was a big box mains powered Analog Delay which i bought in 1989 and i still have today.

    My favourite is probably the Dyna Comp, i think it’s the ultimate compressor.

  • Thomas Freeman

    Jimmy Page’s solo in Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in The Rain” was pretty distinct when I first heard it. Since I was just starting out on electric guitar at the time, I looked up how he got that tone, and sure enough, the MXR Blue Box came up…
    My first (and favourite) MXR pedal is the Custom Badass Modified O.D. This pedal sounded incredible in comparison to my previous overdrive (which had a very weak low-end), and the 100 Hz pot and Bump switch let my strat and tele compete with humbuckers.

  • Luka

    First time i heard a MXR pedal was probably when i first heard Randy Rhoads playing Crazy train.

    My first MXR pedal was the Custom 78 distortion, which is still my favourite MXR pedal, because i really like the sound of that classic distortion!

  • Tyler McCall

    The first time I heard a MXR pedal was Randy Rhoads playing Crazy Train through his Distortion+
    Unfortunately I’ve never been able to get a MXR pedal due to being a poor college student lol
    My favorite MXR pedal is kind of a tie between the Fullbore Metal, Univibe, La Machine and Dime Distortion, can’t choose just one they’re all soooooooo good.

  • Marco

    I first heard the MXR Phase 90 with Pink Floyd and Van Halen. The liquid sound of this iconic phaser really intrigued me, so I bought it: it was my first MXR pedal.
    Now I am waiting for the limited edition of the Jimi Hendrix UniVibe.
    I really like the Carbon Copy. Maybe it will be the next purchase 🙂
    The Phase 90 remains my favourite MXR pedal.

  • James Wallace

    David Gilmour using a dyna comp that, iconic smoothness.
    After I heard that I just had to get one.

    My favorite would be the 10 band EQ perfect for sculpting crazy tones

  • guitarzFlorida

    First heard the MXR Phase 90 on Eruption / EVH.
    My first MXR effect was the Distortion+.
    Phase 90 Script is my favorite MXR effect – it’s just perfect phasing. Just the right amount mixed with the original signal – it never overwhelms it.

  • SStewart

    The first song I heard that knew was using an MXR effect was either Some Girls or Shattered by the Stones. The effect is either the Phase 90 or 100.

    My first MXR was a Carbon Copy and still find new useful settings after years of operation!

    My favorite MXR is the Phase 90 and I’m hoping to lay hands on a Phase 99 soon.

  • Andrew

    The first MXR pedal I heard was probably a Distortion+ being utilized by Randy Rhoads on Blizzard Of Oz or an MXR Phase 90 used on many classic songs from Pink Floyd to Van Halen. I believe the first MXR effect I bought was a EVH Phase 90 which sounded incredible. My favorite pedal however, is another beast entirely; the carbon copy delay. I have never been disappointed by array of sounds I can get out of it and honestly out of all the delay pedals that I’ve owned or played it is hands down the best for what I use my delays for.

  • Tyler

    First time I knowingly heard an mxr effect was on the song Jilly’s on Smack by Primus. It was during Larry Lalaonde’s intro part of the song, he used a Carbon Copy Analog Delay. Not long after hearing that I went out and bought one. It’s still my favorite pedal that I own, mainly because it’s simple and I can get any delay sound I’d ever use out of it.

  • Matt

    The first time I heard an MXR effect was Crazy Train, off of the Tribute album though. I needed to know what Randy was playing to get that tone. Sure enough my dad had a 1980 block logo Distortion Plus from when he used to play, so that was the first pedal I ever played through. My favorite MXR effect is my 80’s Flanger because of the range you can get from chorusing, to out of this world noise coming out of your amp. Nothing else is built like an MXR, especially the vintage pedals!

  • Alien

    First Mxr effect I’ve heared was phase 90, played by EVH. My first MXR effect was a phase 90. However my favorite one is the Carbon copy.

  • MattS

    Van Halen’s use of the Phase 90 jumps out at me as an early experience of hearing an MXR effect. Maybe it was on Eruption, I’m not sure. My first MXR pedal was a Dyna Comp, which I still use. But I’ve a soft spot for the Carbon Copy.

  • lupegaru

    The first MXR pedal I can remember hearing, like a lot of others was the Phase 90 on Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. I was a kid living on base in Italy, and American music was slow getting over. Van Halen was pretty quick getting there. My first MXR pedal was a used Distortion+ similar to the one pictured, and it’s still my favorite, though it was clipped many years ago!

  • Jason Burak

    1. Flanger and Phase 90 on multiple Van Halen songs,
    2. First MXR pedal was a Carbon Copy
    3. My favorate MXR pedal would be my Custom Badass ’78 Distortion with my Custom Badass Modified O.D. they both complete me.

  • Agustin Rezk

    Well the first time I heard an MXR effect when I had 5 years old and I was listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers album Californication, and I was at Track nº2: “Parallel Universe”… that track solo exploded into my ears, the really big sound bursting with a high loud distortion and the most particular effect wich was a phaser, that special sound moved me. I had to search what was that, and looking into magazines and as well internet I found some Interview to John Frusciante in the Californication recording era, and he said: “I borrowed from some other band that was at the recording studio next door an MXR PHASE 100…”, then I found out by pictures he at his live rig used an MXR PHASE 90 as well…
    My First MXR pedal is yet to come (Here pedals turn out to be expensive and I dont have much money), I have some pedals, and my goal this year is to buy an MXR PHASE 90 to add to my rig, cause I love to apply some phaser effects to some song of my band as im planning to do for the record…
    Well you can see Im in love with the sound of the PHASE 90 it just moves me like hell!!! and is pretty funky 🙂
    (If you could please send me an MXR PHASE 90 I would totally be the happiest person on earth 🙂 )

  • Dean Donn

    1. The Flanger on VH’s “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love”

    2. Phase 90

    3. Really hard question but I’ll leave the classics out, even if I love them and use ’em all the time, and go with the “Carbon Copy” which I love sooo much. What I like most about it is its dark saturated tone that feels like a tape echo and glues so well with overdriven and distortion sounds when playing in front of a plexi. It’s an amazing pedal. Many double priced boutique delays can’t go near this baby..

  • Fabian Schalupp

    I think the Distortion+ too, Crazy Train used by Randy Rhoads. My first one was the M193 GT-OD Overdrive. My favourite is the Carbon Copy and the Stereo Chorus, but i don´t have enough money to buy them 🙁 I like them because they sound so deep 3dimensional, analogue warm sound, and the modulation sound at all it´s the best on the market!

  • Alex Plant

    Blue Oyster Cult used the Distortion+ pretty heavily in the early 70s… I know it’s not the most prominent example but it’s definitely my favorite! One hell of a unique tone stuck halfway between fuzz and screaming tube overdrive. My personal favorite is the Blue Box though… first MXR pedal I bought and still my favorite. Only used it at extreme settings – all synth or all gnarly, gated fuzz. Should never have sold it.

  • James Corradino

    The earliest I remember hearing MXR effects was Van Halen with the MXR Phase 90 and MXR Flanger. When I first heard the MXR distortion+ was on Blizzard of Ozz with Randy Rhoads playing and knew I had to have one. It was my first effects pedal. The Distortion+ is still my favorite pedal for the massive distortion it had. It just cuts through the mix. I put the insides in my guitar instead of a preamp with all the phase in/out switching. Later I put it back in it original casing and it didn’t work. Dunlop had me send it to some guy who they recommended. He was some old timer musician and did repairs. His shop burned down and I corresponded with him for a couple years hoping I’d get my pedal back but lost touch eventually. He got ill and I never heard from him.

  • Damon OBrien

    Well i am a huge Jerry Garcia fan, and i found out he used a dist+ script…… of corse i could not afford a a script version so my 1st pedal i went out and bought was a new dist+ ,,, (if you give me this one, don’t worry i have a friend who would gladly take mine from me 🙂 ) .. this will always be my favorite goto pedal….

  • Ismael Egues

    When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on?

    The first time I knew about MXR wasin the middle nineties by seing a guitar magazine add starred by the great Dimebag Darrell (Rest in Peace). Seing MXR associated to Dimebag was a sinonimous of greatness
    so I knew that it was a good brand I repeated the plate years later when learned that Zakk Wylde was huge into Jim Dunlop and MXR he used to play with the Chorus pedal
    now has all his line with MXR (distortion, chorus and phase)….2 of the bestest proof that MXR was the best in their business as well so it was no brainer.
    That first pedal I saw was Dime Distortion……but the very first I heard an MXR being played without knowing it until many decades later was the Phase 90 played by
    Eddie Van Halen when I was a kid!

    What was your first MXR effect?

    My very first was the MXR ZW38 or better known as the Black Label Chorus….reasons? (read previous question).

    What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?

    My favorite effect is the Phase 90 cause it turns the distortion signal into a rocket swirl…at least to my ears…..Gotta have it!

  • Ruff Lee

    When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on? When I first heard Van Halen’s “Unchained,” I said “What the hell is THAT??” I’d heard other flangers, but when I found out it was an MXR I wanted to know about everything they made.

    What was your first MXR effect? I had a Phase90 like a lot of people. But I never set it for a slow whoosh, I set mine at noon for “Bridge Of Sighs” style swirl.

    What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why? I just can’t get enough of my Distortion+. I love germanium circuits because they’re touch and volume- control sensitive. I can get anything from vintage singing tones to modern grainy grit with it.

  • BJG

    I think what made me get my first MXR Distortion+ was hearing Randy Rhoads in 1980 doing the song “I Don’t Know.” I found out his sound was basically a Les Paul into an MXR Dist+ into a cranked Marshall miked up with two mics one at the cabinet and one down the hall from where the amp was. I immediately went out and bought my own MXR Dist+ (orange with block lettering) and plugged it into my 50w JCM 800 half stack and was amazed how easily & faithfully I was able to duplicate the Randy Rhoads sound. I use a couple different MXR effects but the Distortion+ is undoubtedly my favorite. The Distortion+ is the backbone of so many classic (and newer) rock guitar sounds I find it hard to fathom how any self respecting guitarist could not have one in their guitar to amp signal path.

  • alex

    First was van halen eruption. Second stereo chorus. Third bad ass distortion

  • zedthewizard

    1. Eddie Van Halen Phase 90
    2. I believe it was a logo script reissue phase 45, if that’s correctly what it was called
    3. Carbon Copy because I saw it on Jeff Beck’s pedal board

  • Tom Lusted

    -I owe my discovery of MXR to mostly Jimmy Page’s guitar rig — surprisingly, I noticed the Blue Box he used in just one song (“Fool in the Rain”) more than the Phase 90 he uses in various songs (although “Ten Years Gone” has to be my favorite application of a phaser ever).
    -The first MXR effect I bought was a Carbon Copy delay, because it got good reviews and was at an affordable price point, which I appreciate. Which leads me to my favorite MXR effect…
    -…THE CARBON COPY. It does everything I need to do, in terms of delay times, and sounds good with clean or distorted guitar. I’ve never been too gimmicky with features of a delay, and this one has all the controls I need (the internal trimpots for the modulation don’t bother me because I don’t use the modulation setting). It’s the one pedal I’ve never worried about replacing because it has consistently performed well and still continues to sound good.

  • Ben Douglas

    1>Have to say probably Van Halen for the Phase 90/ MXR Flanger he used on some classic tunes
    2>The only MXR pedal I’ve owned was a Distortion 3 and that was traded off because it was too “tube screamer” sounding……
    3>My fav MXR pedal I’ve heard so far would be either the new Uni-Vibe pedal(which I’m probably going to buy) or the La Machine(which I might get, if I get back into fuzz again).

  • heebhammer70

    My first experience with an MXR effect would have to be Eddie Van Halen on Unchained.
    The first MXR pedal I bought was a reissue Micro Chorus, but as I am a bass player it sadly didn’t work well enough with my rig.
    My favorite MXR pedal is the bass compressor. It’s perfect to smooth out the changes in volume since I rarely play with a pick, and my plucking strength can vary in songs.

  • Lockheed_Tvr

    I first became aware of MXR through Van Halen – The Phase 90. I’d seen the brand in magazines but this was the first time I was aware of a specific artist using one.

    My first MXR pedal was the Distortion+. I “upgraded” to a more powerful amp but quickly found out that this amp really only had a clean tone. I now deeply regret GIVING away my first amp, a Silvertone. Oh well. I tried out a number of distortion/overdrives at my local store and I liked the Distortion+ the best. I used it for about 15 years before it broke (or more accurately, I dropped it one too many times, possibly out a second story window). I lost the box sometime after that but I still had the knobs and the rubber sleeves that fit over them. When I needed a knob for a project guitar I was working on that was sitting in my parts drawer. So it in now the tone knob of a project guitar that I turned from a junker into a customized special that is still a junker but one that I love.

    My favorite MXR is most likely the reissue Distortion+ that I bought a few years ago when I was missing my old one. It is permanently in my signal chain and I can always go to it for that little something extra! Though I have to say, a close second is my Ten Band EQ because it always allows me to dial in my sound no matter what I’m playing through. It’s a subtle thing but incredibly useful and the MXR EQ is more full featured than most of their competitors.

    Thanks for all the great effects and another big thanks to Dunlop for having the good sense to rescue and reissue the brand and all these great boxes!

  • Michael Lee Scott

    I heard Fool In The Rain by Led Zeppelin and I heard the MXR Blue Box in the solo. I love how it sounded and I kept listening for more MXR effects after that. My first MXR effect was the Carbon Copy, I loved how the warm delays sounded. As of now my favorite MXR effect is the KFK 10 Band eq. It looks awesome and I love what it does to my sound.

  • Ned Ward

    1980; Fool in the Rain by Led Zeppelin; MXR Blue Box; Jimmy Page playing the solo and guitars.
    MXR Distortion II, followed by MXR 10 Band Graphic EQ (both with the AC plugs attached).
    MXR Distortion II – with the tone sculpting controls, nothing like it since.

  • jutsushine

    Led Zeppelin really inspired me to experiment with effects and pedals. While doing research I found out that Jimmy Page used a Phase 90 on Achilles Last Stand, so soon enough I had one of my own. It had the softness of a breezy autumn day and the chaos of a tornado. My first MXR pedal and first pedal period. My favorite today is the Bass Innovations Compressor. It’s the secret ingredient to my clean tone.

  • Gregory Bodish

    I can`t remember who I saw using MXR stuff first,Ive been playing as long as MXR has been in existence or longer.My first MXR pedal was the original Dynacomp-still have it too.Love the squish,great pedal

  • Kevin L. Gibbs

    I was never really sure what band’s were using for effects but I’m sure Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and late 70’s rock were on my radar back then. I don’t currently have an MXR anything but I’m interested in getting a MXR carbon copy. Love the delay.

  • Stephen Heil

    I first heard an MXR Phasor at a music gear show in Cherry Hill, NJ in either 1976 or 1977. The Phase 90 was my first and favorite because it was nice and thick sounding and easy to dial in a great sound. I also found it more flexible than my Maestro Phasor.

  • rodo_musik

    The first time was when I heard the MXR Blue Box in the solo of Fool In The Rain by Led Zeppelin.
    My first MXR effect was the Phase 90, and my favorite is the Carbon Copy, because the analog delay sound is warm and fabulous !

  • Jeremiah Lind

    Man, I can’t remember of when I became aware of MXR, but if I remember correctly, it was when I was trying to figure out Cowboys from Hell because Dime used the MXR Flanger on that after checking out his rigs. My first MXR was a Distortion + that I had when I was learning some of the late great RR. It was VERY used, and only lasted a few months. Wish I still had it becasue now I could probably fix it. My favorite is the Super Bad Ass distortion. It has such a great sound. Have gotten the chance to lay it a few times, though it is still not mine because I currently cannot afford to purchase any pedals. 🙁

  • Dennis M.

    The first time I heard an MXR pedal was by me in 1976-77 when I bought the 6 band Graphic-EQ pedal. I was trying to get a sound more like Steve Miller out of my ’65 SG for a song we did in our bar band. I’d have to say this was my favorite effect for changing tones on the fly. Worked fine for me back in the day. I still have it, along with the original box, and still use it from time to time.

  • andyb24

    Probably EVH and the Phase 90 was the first one. My first one? A Custom Badass Modified OD, which is awesome. Out of all though, the La Machine is one I would love to add–it really fits with my overall playing style.

  • Josh D

    The first time I ever knew of a MXR effect on a song was ‘Eruption’ by Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen used a MXR Phase 90. I unfortunately do not own a MXR effects pedal but have been hoping to get one, one day. My favourite MXR effect pedal is the EVH117 Flanger by MXR. It is my favourite pedal out of all the MXR range because the first time I heard the song ‘Unchained’ by Van Halen I feel in love the flanger effect. The swooping and whoossing sound out of the pedal is unbeatable.

  • Daniel

    First heard MXR on the Iron Maiden album Killers when I was 7. Starting guitar later, I found out that it was the Micro Amp, 10band EQ, Phase 90 and Distortion+ that provided the sounds that made me pickup a guitar.
    MXR Distortion+ obviously was the go to pedal for me.
    It’s also my favorite because, apart from adding it’s flavour of saturation and slight fuzziness to my Marshall, it always reminds me instantly of the experience of really starting to love music.

  • David Blake

    First heard an MXR effect on Eruption on Van Halen . Eddie Van Halen using what else, an MXR Phase 90. Didnt know what it was at the time but I just knew that effect was awesome.

    My first MXR effect was the Phase 90 Script Logo long since lost in a move.

    My favorite MXR effect is the Custom Badass Overdrive because it makes me sound like an Arena Rock God in my bedroom.

  • Bruce Gregori

    Ok Here are my three
    1. It was 1979 or so and I went to see RUSH. In the tour booklet ALEX LIFESON mentioned he used a MXR D+. So of course I went out got one and its still on my board today!
    2. The D+ was my first
    3. Gotta go phase 90……best ever effect!

  • NotSoFast

    1) Jimmy Page playing a Blue Box on Fool in the Rain, was the first time I knew *that’s* an MXR effect.
    2) I don’t have one, yet! I’ve got a CAE 404 wah coming to me, will be my closest yet, since it has a 401 boost in it, but a Phase 90 is next on my to-acquire list.
    3) I’ll say the Phase 90, given its versatility.

  • Mickey Thomas

    1. The Rover – Led Zepellin
    2. My first-Phase 90
    3. Favorite- Carbon Copy

  • Ben Roy

    …well….. I don’t have an MXR!!!!! YET……..

    ….I have a pog 2, a DL4, a twin looper, a lexicon reverb (vintage), a compressor, an effects modulator, a kaoss pad, a Zoom r8 hardware recorder, a drum machine, midi controllers, a korg synth, studio VST’s, several amps, a mixing board, a boss line selector…. it goes on and on…..

    Artist: Jimi Hendrix Fuzz face, what more can I say?

    This obsession all started when my best friend passed away and I was left with a Dunlop crybaby! Obviously the only thing I’m missing is AN MXR DISTORTION PEDAL! hahah but seriously…. I’d save the best for last and I’ve been eyeing the MXR pedals for quite some time. They all look good and I honestly do not own a distortion pedal….YET!! hahah


  • Drewskee

    The first MXR effect I heard was The Who on the original Quadrophenia tour from the 4th row where Pete was running his Les Paul into a Dyna Comp and then into a huge stack of Hiwatt’s. He’d turn it on as both a boost and comp….an AMAZING sound in 1973! Then of course there is Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter’s blistering dual guitars intro to Sweet Jane with beautiful Phase 90 swirl on Lou Reed’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal…one of the most notworthy use of the Phase 90 ever.
    I bought a Script Phase 90 in 1974 which lasted almost forever.
    My favorite MXR pedal still remains the Phase 90 which set the bar for a beautiful, usefull effect in a compact bullet proof product with cool packinging to boot. Second would be the Dyna Comp. I mean Lowell George’s work on Feats Don’t Fail Me Now with his dual Dyna Comp’s and Phase 90 took those two pedals to another level all together!!!

  • Greczi

    Ain’t Talkin Bout Love was my first exposure to the mighty Phase 90 which appropriately was my first MXR PEDAL. Though I now have many MXR pedals on my board now, the Carbon Copy is my favorite.

  • Udi

    1. When I first heard “Have a Cigar” and the (3rd) solo on “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, I was hypnotized by Gilmour’s Phase 90 sounds. I had to find out what it was and get one!
    2. my original 1975 MXR Phase 90 of course 🙂
    3. I like (and own) many MXR pedals, but for me the Phase 90 is the one. it’s a masterpiece.

  • Mike Miller

    Has to be Crazy Train and Mr. Randy Rhoads!
    Phase 90
    My Uni Vibe never leaves my board!!

  • Keith Yamamoto

    First time I heard an Mxr was ozzy/randy rhoads “mr Crowley”. Where you can hear the distortion plus and chorus pedal on the bridge. My first was a phase 90. My fav is the distortion plus. There’s such a fat fuzzy distortion with clarity. The sound is unmistakable!

  • John

    Crazy Train featuring the Great RR.
    First MXR Pedal that I bought was a Fullbore Metal.
    My Custom Badass 78 is my main distortion on my single channel amp. I also keep a 10 Band perpetually on rather than EQing the amp.

  • James Thomas

    The first MXR effect I heard was when I tested and bought one back in 1975 at a music store in San Francisco. It was a Phase 90 and soon after I bought the Distortion +. Love em both. The first time I saw someone else using an MXR was at a Van Halen sound check at the Whiskey. Eddie was using the Phase 90 along with his echoplex and that bomb setup. Picking a favorite is hard but I guess it would be the Distortion + because it is the most essential to my tone.

  • Rick Rice

    I first heard the MXR Distortion+ around 1980 used by my friend Chuck. When he finished his tour with the USMC and returned home, he had become one of the best guitar players I had ever heard. He must have spent a lot of time practicing while stationed in the Phillipines and Japan! He was a few years older than me and a mentor and used the Distortion+ as his primary OD/distortion tone. I was using an Electro-Harmonix BM Pi at the time and was totally blown away by the MXR. Needless to say, I had to have an MXR, but, being a poor teenager, had to settle for the budget model Commande Overdrive as my first MXR pedal. It was actually a great sounding pedal that served me well for several years. My favorite MXR of all time would have to be the Phase 90. I prefer the more subtle sound of the 4-stage script logo versions as heard to great effect on the early VanHalen albums. It really does a nice job thickening out your tone so your leads really stand out

  • Stevenh69

    For me the first time I heard an MXR pedal was the Phase 90 on Runnin’ With The Devil from Van Halen.
    My first MXR pedal was a Distortion+ so I could get that Randy Rhoads tone. It’s the secret for his tone.
    My favorite MXR pedal is my Dyna Comp. Keeps my signal strong, and just gives me that level in tone that doesn’t go away. It’s my secret weapon.

  • Igor Memisevic

    I guess it could be a mighty Jimmy Page with his Blue box-octave pedal.Anyway the first MXR pedal I bought was a DYNA COMP-compressor.To go back to the first question the song called ,,Fool in the rain,,3 rd question the most difficult one “cause they all are good,awesome sound,solid built,not too expensive either but as we have to choose our”s favourite one I would go for phase 90 eVh-MXR thank you.CHEERS

  • Adrienz

    The first time i heard the MXR was at a jack white concert, it was an MXR Micro Amp, he used it to boost his signal. He inspired me to buy my own MXR MIcro Amp and it has been my favorite pedal ever since

  • Kristian Hills

    Mybe Kirk Hammett using the Cry Baby in Enter Sandman or Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love
    Blue Box which has to be repaired
    Distortion + because I have that as my main distortion aswell as the amp distortion.

  • Sandy Aphid

    Why does the article say it’s powered with germanium transistors, when there are no transistors on the board? Doesn’t matter, Dunlop / MXR still makes the best stuff.

  • Lars

    The first time I heard Eddie Van Halen playing, he had those phase and flanget effects and my first thouhts was it is a MXR pedal
    My very first MXR effect was Fullbore metal
    My favorite MXR pedal is Fuzz Unit

  • Tommy

    MXR phase 90 on multiple Van Halen tracks.
    MXR Carbon Copy.
    My favorite MXR that I own is the Carbon Copy because It’s dark lo-fi repeats add something special to my guitar solos.

  • Calin Hess

    First time I knew what I was hearing was an MXR had to be the Phase 90 on any number Van Halen songs.

    Dyna Comp, everyone needs a no nonsense compressor.

    Changes all the time, but I’m really digging the Custom Badass Modified O.D. right now.

  • eddiedepaola

    Loved the distortion that Randy Rhoads got on the 2 BOO albums, and I saw in an interview that he used a Distortion+. Had to have one!
    I found one (Distortion+) for sale in a local paper in 1982 for $25! I still remember the guy bringing it to my house & selling it to me.
    I’d have to say that the Distortion+ is STILL my favorite pedal!

  • Christopher Preece

    I can’t say when I first “knew” an effect was an MXR effect. I can say that there were a great many sounds and players that either influenced me, or got me to pick up the guitar. Based on past Internet gear searches there was an MXR product behind it. For years I was deep into multi effects units. Up until the release of the Carbon copy. That one pedal, and the drive on my Mesa Express are what caused me to realize less IS more. My playing and appreciation for what makes good tone has continued to evolve steadily from that point on. Thank you MXR, and Happy 40th.

  • Studio 139

    The first MXR pedal I was aware of was the Dyna-Comp used by Andy Summers, although the first time I audibly identified the sound of a pedal was the Phase 90 used by Eddie Van Halen. My first MXR purchase was a Dyna-Comp. If noticed there were so many software versions of it, that I should try the actual pedal. My favorite pedal has to be the Custom Badass ’78 Distortion. It really moves the sound out in front of the cabinet, pushes the preamp in both my amps in a really pleasing way and inspires me to play. It makes any amp sound like itself, but better.

  • Răzvan Lazea-Postelnicu

    1. Shine on you crazy diamond – Pink Floyd/ Gilmour/ phase90
    2. Bass Crybaby
    3. Carbon Copy Delay – great bang for the buck

  • dsc101

    1. Jimi Hendrix : CryBaby : voodoo child
    2. Smart Gate
    3. Smart Gate : because when i stop playing it makes sure its quiet.

  • efrnhernndez

    Mi primera vez fue escuchando a Eddie Van Halen con su Phase 90 en el balance, yo era de preocsadores y hasta que lo vendi y empece con pedales el phase 90 fue el primero hasta ahora tengo el 78 distotion M78 el Modified OD M77 Carbon Copy M169 y el Phase 90 101 y mi Cry Baby From Hell de jim dunlop y el favorito es mi carbon copy

  • Todd Blackburn

    When I heard Van Halen Ain’t talkin bout Love!
    I had to have that sound!

    Phase 90

    The Micro chorus! I wrote alot of songs during
    the 80’s with it! It sounded great with my rig!

  • Mike Laurie

    The First MXR pedal I heard was the phase 90 on Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love. My first MXR pedal was the GT-OD overdrive. My favorite pedal has to be my MXR GT-OD because it was my first pedal and it sounds great providing smooth overdrive that no other pedal can replicate. I was drawn to this pedal because of it’s sound as well as the rugged enclosure and color.

  • Travis

    The first time I heard an MXR Blue Box was Jimmy Page’s use of it on Fool In The Rain’s solo. I was 11. It freaked me out because I had never heard something so seemingly ugly by itself sound perfect within a band context. My first and always favorite MXR pedal is the Micro Flange because it sounds better than another flange I’ve heard. The fact of the matter is that MXR pedals always sounded great, no matter what circuit it was and that is why they are the industry standard stompbox. Period.

  • Marco Schuurkamp

    About 3 years ago I heard Juan Alderette demo the Phase 100
    my first was the Phase 90
    my favorite is still the Phase 90(on bass by the way)

  • Brad Peddle

    1. It was in 1995 Van Halen had released their album Balance and I was hooked. I got ended up buy all their albums and of course Van Halen’s self titled release from 78 just stood out… That iconic brown sound of Mr. EVH. … The MXR phase 90 on Eruption is just one example of MXR goodness on that album, that made me a huge fan of the MXR line of pedals.

    2. My 1st MXR pedal was a block logo Phase 90 ( made in 2001)

    3. My fav MXR pedal has to be my custom shop ’74 script logo Phase 90. It just has that special something that brings a smile to my face when I kick it on.

  • Adriano Leal

    Cypress Hill – Rise Up ft. Tom Morello

    Phase 90
    Phase 90 as well 😀

  • Albert Gutierrez

    1) Blizzard of Ozz, I don’t know, Randy Rhoads, Dist+
    2) MXR Distortion+
    3) Phase 90 because of Eddie Van Halen.

  • Seth

    1. The first MXR effect pedal that I recognized was a MXR Distortion + that was used on Mr. Crowley by Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads.

    2. My first MXR pedal was the reissued MXR Distortion + I bought this pedal because I wanted that huge tone that Randy Rhoads had on the Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman albums.

    3. My favorite MXR effect pedal is my beloved MXR Distortion +, because it is such a simple and elegant effect. The MXR Distortion + really is a diverse pedal. My favorite setting for the MXR Distortion + is to have the Output knob cranked, and the Distortion knob low. With this setting you can achieve a smooth gain boost with tons of sustain.

  • Dave Corbin

    I first heard about MXR through a friend of mine that had a Zakk Wylde overdrive pedal for sale. I didn’t really know much about effects pedals as I was just getting into playing electric guitar. So, shortly after my friend told me about it I asked my dad if he would buy it for me and he did. So, that was my first MXR pedal. To this day I still have and use that pedal and it has been crucial to my overall tone. As for my personal favorite, so far I’d have to say that it would be the MXR Carbon Copy delay pedal. I just love the dark tone that I get from it compared to other modern delay pedals.

  • Johnny Gallagher

    1. I heard plenty of MXR effects for years and years without knowing they were MXR effects! (Off the top of my head: Led Zep; Van Halen; Bob Mould (Dist +); the Police/Andy Summers (Dyna Comp)… the list would go on and on). I’m not old enough to have been aware of MXR during the time of Keith Barr, Terry Sherwood, and Ron Wilkerson. I was a teenager in the ’90s and my hometown is Liverpool in the UK. Before the internet became part of daily life (only over the past decade in my part of the world) unless you came across an advert for or review of an effect in a guitar magazine, information and knowledge about the effects you heard in songs wasn’t easily found (playing in bands around Liverpool anyway). I never encountered an MXR effect in the local music stores at that time; moreover, the affordable digital multi-effect units that were popular then sounded so terrible they effectively killed my interest in guitar effects for a long time… until I stumbled across demos and information on the internet that woke me up to what I’d missed out on. So the first time I actually knew I was listening to an MXR effect wasn’t until a couple of years back, when watching a few Rory Gallagher performances on dvd and online that date to the late ’70s and early ’80s. (Around the time of his Top Priority and Stage Struck albums). You can definitely hear him using a Phase 90, even a Blue Box occasionally, and a compressor that I’m sure is a Dyna Comp (I saw an image in which you can make out a Dyna Comp amongst his (few) effects).
    2. The modern MXR Analog Chorus (as I say, I completely missed out on the originals!).
    3. The Dyna Comp. Why? Not just because I find I use one a great deal – whether to aim for a squishy, funky kind of sound (trying to imitate some of the guitar sounds on MJ’s Thriller album) or more subtly when seeking that ‘chime’ playing through a cleaner amp (heard of a ‘Jangle Box’? That’s just a Dyna Comp basically; Rickenbacker copied the circuit and put it in one of their guitars I gather). But also because if you were going to make a top ten list of effect pedals that have had a big impact on both music and music technology, then surely the Dyna Comp has to be in there – and possibly near the top. Yet it seems to get overlooked a bit (perhaps because it’s not such an obvious ‘in your face’ effect as a distortion or modulation effect?). The MXR design has to be one of the most copied guitar effect circuits there has been. Right up to the present day the Dyna Comp has spawned numerous near identical copies. Moreover, and a bit wrongly I feel, the ‘Ross’ version appears to have more appeal and plaudits online than the MXR original. (I’m not sure enough people realise the Ross is just a Dyna Comp – just with a few tweaks to improve the DC supply… Ross were using a bigger box and had more space to add a few extra components perhaps. I should probably come out and say I’m one of those people that build their own guitar effects… Mr Tripps can’t mind surely 😉 . I was even able to source an original MXR Dyna Comp pcb to build my own – something leftover from when MXR went bankrupt… so I’m afraid I haven’t bought a modern reissue; but it’s really cool to have something that has a direct connection with the original, highly innovative MXR pedals). Finally, the Dyna Comp is just such a cool idea – it seems so commonplace and average now I guess. But I think MXR was effectively making a pretty sophisticated studio effect readily affordable and available to guitarists – in line with its ‘studio sounds’ marketing slogan of the time.

  • Andy Eirich

    Saw a magazine ad some time back, but I didn’t get my first MXR until after I played my first gig and used that cash to buy a Doubleshot Distortion which hasn’t left my board since.

  • Felicia guitargirl

    I first tried MXR pedals at Bobby’s music in Denver. If memory serves me, it was about 1978-79. I was fresh out of high school, going into college, and had just joined a working band called Snowblind. I first heard about MXR because one of my early fav guitarists, Peter Frampton had them in his set up, and because of seeing it used by Davy Johnston of Elton’s band, and to top it off saw and heard it used by heroes, members of Heart! So for me it was a mission to get one of my own. I was shopping and on a fateful day, a guy that I was told who went by the name, “Matt Guitar Murphy”, (anyone reading this blog should google him because he’s a classic!), was also shopping and checking out the Distortion + pedal. He was quite tickled that this girl came up to inquire about that cool yellow pedal and kicked him out of his seat to jam on it! Back in the 70’s there weren’t very many of us girls wielding stratocasters and searching out the coolest gear. But Matt was a gentleman and stepped aside so I could try out that pedal and the rest is history!
    Needless to say, after jumping into his seat and trying out the Distortion +, My first MXR pedal became that Distortion + and it was the new key to my guitar tone! (notice my repeated mention of “Distortion plus”)! That pedal became my best friend and I never played a gig without it. 😀

    That pedal continued to be my favorite through the years while amps and other pedals would come and go. My Distortion + was an incredible workhorse and the tone is like no other! Stomp on that pedal and things really got cooking!!! I was devastated when someone stole it off the stage at a gig. I would literally be beside myself should I win this vintage gem! It would be like getting back an ol’ friend and I’d be one thrilled guitar player! I will just keep believing…dreams do come true!

    • Robert Fargarson

      Awesome story, girl. And, like you, my first D+ was stolen and I never got over the loss! Thank Goodness that Ebay came along and so many players never understood what they had! I have owned maybe 6 or so pre-1981 models and all were and are fantastic! Keep the Faith. PS. What city were you in at the time you were in the band Snowblind? I think we are close in age. I graduated high school in 1980 and played in a band called Second Nature. I swear I remember hearing of a band by that name around that time period. And, not because of the Styx song! Just curious.

      • Felicia guitargirl

        Hi Robert. Yes, I was really slayed when my gear was swiped! Never really got over it as well. To answer your question, Snowblind was a Colorado based band. Players were out of Denver, Boulder, and Ft. Collins. We played all over the state as well as touring neighboring states. 🙂

  • Joe Richards

    Eddie vanhalen
    Never had own one
    Again I have never had one.

  • Chaz Cantuse

    VH eruption

    Phase 90

    Distortion+ the one your giving away cause its old and free

  • Sergio Arteaga Jiménez

    Phase 90: Have a Cigar-Pink Floyd
    Phase 90
    Phase 90 Great.

  • Kingoflight

    1. 6 band eq( the blue one), part of dimebags gain stage, really has it on for every song.
    2. 6 band eq, got to be one of the best ways to boost and sculpt your sound.
    3. Flanger doubler, nothing beats the crazy wide soundly flanger and the doubler side makes you sound like your two guitarists !

  • Mike Graham

    In the early ’90s, I was learning to play guitar. My uncle would come to town for gigs and would often bring various toys that he just aquired, or just pieces that he thought i would dig. I remember like yesterday the old Phase 45 he brought to show me the answer to my question “What does a phaser do?” That glorious milky sound was my first MXR experience.
    My first was a dyna comp that i love.
    But I would give the distortion + a loving and fulfilling life!

  • Dirty Footmat

    Led Zeppelin : Fool in the Rain : Blue Box
    Blue Box
    Dyna Comp : Love a Rhodes piano through it!

  • Angela Goeking Ashenfelter

    These answers are for my son who’s 14:

    When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on? Jimmy Page on Fool In the Rain. He was using the blue box octave fuzz.

    What was your first MXR effect? The Custom Bad Ass ’78 Distortion

    What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why? The ’78 Distortion because the sounds are awesome.

  • Joe Strayhall

    MXR Flanger (no other flanger ever comes close) Take your pick, first 3 Van Halen albums.

    An old MXR Flanger (followed by the Phase 90 & 6 band EQ)

    Phase 90 because I still gig & play Van Halen songs.

  • Greg Fenlong

    1. First time I KNEW I was hearing an MXR pedal (because I could see it) was upon seeing Bob Mould in 1996ish. He was using a Distorion +. I’m sure I heard some way back… don’t recall. 2. My first MXR pedal – Distortion +, bought in 1980 or so. traded it in towards a Marshall ‘general’ in 1982. Favorite MXR – Zack Wylde chorus – no doubt the best chorus ever made, perfectly noise free and all the control you need. Sounds great slow or fast, with distortion or clean.

  • Phil Myers

    The Rolling Stones Some Girls album, MXR Phase 100, Shattered.

    Phase 90 Custom Shop

    Probably my Phase 45 Custom Shop. Cool effect, great looking pedal.

  • Victor

    First heard the Distorsion + on “Crazy Train”
    My first MXR was Smart Gate
    My fav one is Phase 90 🙂

  • Chris L

    Van Halen – Atomic Punk – Phase 90
    Script Distortion Plus- sold it about 15 years ago – big mistake
    Phase 90 – Very versatile and can easily accentuate a solo, add depth to a tune or just have fun making cool music

  • GP

    First MXR I remember.. I picked up a distortion+ sometime in the early 70’s. I had heard someone playing through it at an old Mom n Pop store in NJ, ( what else was there) and bought it. They changed some resistor or cap soon after that and every backup I tried to buy just didn’t have that fluid tone/distortion. I was really disappointed.

    The Flanger, Dyna Comp and Phase 90- soon followed. I think seeing local players use them is what influenced me most. That and the ads. I still have ALL of them 🙂 With boxes. While I liked them all..the Dist+ was an integral part of my sound along with a Furman parametric EQ/preamp into my purple 100 watt Marshall ( no, I WISH I had that still although my modded ‘original’ jcm 800 fills its shoes quite well)…I really loved the Flanger; It was a fairly un-abused sound back then and the MXR got that jet sound I always liked. Great stuff. And yeah..the foam is a mess ….I just peeled away the foam lining in my dyna comp box. like gel…

  • Robert Fargarson

    I first heard Jimmy Page using an MXR Blue Box on “Fool in the Rain” in 1980 and immediately knew what effect was being used. I bought my first MXR Distortion + from Chris Lovell @ Strings&Things in Memphis circa 1978-1979 but could barely play a D-chord at the time! 35+ years later and MXR is STILL my first choice for sound modulation in live situations. If I must choose a favorite MXR pedal, it would likely be an early “Stack o’ Dimes” loaded Crybaby Wah model because of the versatility and bell-chime quality high’s it produces.

  • Josh Rosen

    Met a jazz player playing a gorgeous ES-335. On slower tunes, he’d give his solos a kick in the butt by hitting his Carbon Copy. I was using a cheap digital delay at the time, and it blew my mind with what he did with it and how full and lush it sounded. When my delay finally crapped out later that year, I went straight for a Carbon Copy.

    Was playing a musical where almost all of the show was soft-gain or overdriven rhythm work, but a couple random lead lines had to really speak without hitting a drive. I looked around and bought myself a Micro Amp. It sits next to my volume rocker on my board – my “turn up” and “turn down” switches.

    Have to go back to the Carbon Copy. On top of the beautiful, natural delay sound it gives, the modulating delay is gorgeous – like a stereo chorus on top of your delay. But by far my favorite part of the Carbon Copy is turning the delay time down and the feedback up till it shrieks in your face. Then tweak the knobs

  • Albertus

    Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, David’s solo with the MXR Dynacomp
    MXR Carbon Copy
    MXR Carbon Copy: it’s the only one that I own 🙂

  • Jeremy Nilsen

    The Phase 90 on Evh’s “Eruption”.
    My first was the Phase 90.
    Favorite has to be the Phase 90 because it is the best phaser out there!

  • Enrique Ramirez

    1. Iron Maiden Killers
    2. mxr carbon copy
    3. MXR M78 Custom Badass O.D, It´ll never leave my board

    • Enrique Ramirez

      I meant, of course m77 !!

  • Tim Guertin

    I think the first time I heard an MXR effect on a song I knew was “Shine on Your Crazy Diamond”, and David Gilmour was using a Phase 90.
    First MXR pedal: Distortion Plus- cant go wrong there! perfect for boost and sweet overdrive
    Favourite MXR pedal has to be the new UniVibe- perfect for getting classic Gilmour Tones!

  • Gabe Meyers

    Had to be Eruption by EVH which had the Phase 90. My first MXR pedal was a Dimebag distortion, thing just rips your face off, killer metal tone. My favorite is my Joe Bonamassa FET Driver, it never leaves my board and I never turn it off

  • Kelly

    MXR Blue Box – Jimmy Page “Fool in the Rain” solo. Led Zeppelin
    First MXR effect was a “block” Phase 90
    Favorite MXR pedal is a handwired script Phase 90 reissue

  • Terry Koski

    Van Halen Flanger, My first MXR was a distortion +. My favorite MXR Chorus.

  • Ryan

    1. First heard of MXR through Randy Rhoads with his Distortion+ who is the main reason I’m a musician. It was initially his music, his sound & his ability to sound apart from everybody else. Through Rhoads’ playing on tracks like Mr. Crowley & Crazy Train I found my own voice & MXR is an important part of that.

    2. MXR Distortion+

    3. MXR Distortion+ used with the 10 Band EQ through an Marshall SLP. I do my best to carve out my own sound as Randy did with his, proving how versatile a Distortion+ truly is.

  • Guest

    1) My brother owned MXR Distortion + and learned about the same time that Rany Rhoads used the same one.

    2) My brother gave me his MXR Distortion Plus when he knew I was getting serious about playing.

    3) My favorite MXR is stil the same MXR distortion plus that my brother gave me. It give you that extra punch for solo’s and sounds amazing.

  • Wayne Albertson

    1) My brother owned MXR Distortion + and learned about the same time that Rany Rhoads used the same one.

    2) My brother gave me his MXR Distortion Plus when he knew I was getting serious about playing.

    3) My favorite MXR is stil the same MXR distortion plus that my brother gave me. It give you that extra punch for solo’s and sounds amazing.

  • Bill Pond

    Bob Mould and his Distortion +; first on my board was the MXR Classic Fuzz 108, and it remains my fav.

  • Jacob Zentz

    i first heard a MXR Phase 90 on Van Halen 1 when i was 16. My first MXR pedal was a MXR Phase 90. My Favorite MXR Pedal is probably the flanger because because it makes everything sound more heavy.

  • Stuthedew

    I would say the first time I “knew it was an MXR pedal” Was the first Van Halen album. Eddie’s script phase 90. My first MXR pedal is a 1983 LED Box Logo Dist+ I bought it 2nd hand at a little no name guitar shop that closed down about a week later. Later I inherited an MXR 10 Band EQ to use with it from an uncle that used to play. those two together are really the ultimate in tone shaping, used primarily by players like Randy Rhoads.
    My favorite MXR pedal has to be the MXR OMNI, which was a rack mount system of analog boxes. I’ve never had the chance to play through one, but I’ve seen them come up for sale before. sort of rare beasts, but allegedly built from all the same components.

  • Matt Cummings

    I first heard Eddie Hazel playing a Phase 90 on Funkadelic’s “Good to Your Earhole”

    I had to get that sound ASAP so naturally my first MXR effect was the Phase 90!

    My current favorite MXR pedal is the Carbon Copy because it adds so much life to my tone without ever getting in the way of what I am trying to play.

  • Zachary Keenan

    None other than Randy Rhoads. Didn’t take too long to learn that nearly all of his effects were MXR/Dunlop. The first I ever played was the Distortion +, though my favorite is now the 6 band EQ simply because it surprised me like none before it with just how much it could do for me, going from a slight tone change to standing alone as a crunchy overdrive.

  • shorty_himself

    The first one I heard was a phase90 played by slash. After I hea4d his sound i was searching for the toys hes using.

    The first one i owned was the zack wylde chorus because I was searching for a great sounding analog chorus (and its still my chorus no1 because it sounds so f*** great and natural and has a stereo option)

    My favourite mxr pedal.. hard to say.. maybe the carbon copy because its hell of an analog delay!! The only pedal I’m having in my chain at all!!

  • Adam Hockley

    Randy Rhoads – Crazy Train
    Dynacomp – Had it for years and never found a better comp and i have owned many

  • Noel Rodriguez

    -I saw the phase 90 in a concert and I liked it so much
    -Super Comp
    -Phase 90, is the best for psicodelic music

  • 1.) As many others will say – Ozzy’s “Crazy Train” played on guitar and MXR Distortion+ by Randy Rhoads.
    2.) The first MXR effect I bought and is the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay. Prior to that was given a broken Dist+ with a fried PCB that I repaired but it’s no longer 100% original.
    3.) I really like my MXR Custom Comp. Yeah it’s a subtle effect but I like how it evens out my picking and helps thicken up my Strat single coils.

  • Frank Facciolo

    I can’t say exactly what song I first heard a MXR pedal but the first one I knew about was for sure the Phase 90. When I first started investigating my favorite players boards I kept noticing this little orange box over and over again.

    The Phase 90 was my first MXR pedal. Most of my favorite players used it so I had to have it.

    The Micro Amp is a pedal that will never leave my board. It such an important tool for me and I could never live without it.

  • Iago de Araújo

    The first time I heard something I knew to be an MXR effect must have been when listening to Johnny Winter’s “Captured Live” album. He used a phase effect in quite a few of the songs there and somehow I just knew it had to be the Phase 90 because I guess there was nothing else like it then! I could identify what was “phasing” already so that definitely helped to point me to the right direction. Years later I got a confirmation from a huge Johnny fan that it was indeed the MXR pedal I was hearing.

    Consequently, my first MXR effect had to be a Phase 90 – and I fell in love with it. Started using it for the most psychedelic songs of the band I was playing with at the time (there is something about that 11 o’clock setting…) or when I wanted a softer leslie-esque passage, I’d use a slower setting (9:00). The fact that it has only one knob makes it so easy to adapt to, and as a novice guitar player back then that certainly helped to me to focus on actually playing and practicing rather than weaking knobs endlessly. Even though I don’t used one these days – having switched to a Univibe for my watery modulation needs – the absolut classic MXR Phase 90 is still my favorite.

  • Wojciech Uchto

    I think my first song when i heard mxr effect and i knew that it IS MXR was Van Halen’s Atomic Punk with Phase 90, and it was about 8 years ago.
    My first MXR and only so far is Distortion +.
    And also Distortion + is my favourite, becouse it is the only one i have. I love it for the simplicity and for it’s universal sound.

  • Matteohijo

    Clash – Lost in the Supermarket – MXR Phase 90
    My 1st & favorite: Micro Amp – adds the umph & balls to my tone

  • Steve Matsukawa

    Keith Richards using the MXR Phase 90 on “Shattered”, by The Rolling Stones from their 1978 album “Some Girls”.

    MXR Distortion +, which as stolen from me.

    MXR Distortion + and the Blue Box Octave Distortion, both to me epitomizes ’70s and ’80s rock ‘n roll.
    While loud raging Marshalls amplifiers were the necessary norm back then, for us low buck guitarists, these pedals allowed us entry to decent rock ‘n roll guitar tone. I wish that my MXR Distortion + wasn’t stolen, and I had bought the Blue Box Octave Distortion when I had a chance.

    Who knew that these effects would become highly sought after effects years down the line!

  • Vin

    As a teenager in the early 80’s, I had only been practicing for a short while, when I heard the guy down the street playing “The Rover” from Led Zeppelin. He played everyday. As I was about to discover, this day was different……..the barre chords sounded AMAZING! To my ears the “guitar sound” was spot on. After a short period of hesitation to overcome my shyness, I banged on his window……..”Hey man….What are you using? He showed me the little box. I thought, “Huh….same color as the stuff my mother puts in hot dogs.” I saved my cash and a couple of months later picked up my own DISTORTION+ pedal. It changed my life. On the same day….. I really discovered the gospel according to Jimmy Page, and chronic sunburn from having the little red light constantly on!

  • Wayne Fry

    1. Randy Rhoads on Crazy train with a distortion +
    2. Mxr micro amp, used to push a fender blackface into just a light, harmonically rich overdrive
    3. Distortion + through an already dirty amp is just ungodly good. It just screams to be played

  • Max Mintzer-Sweeney

    The first time I ever heard an MXR effect and knew what it was was around four years ago, (I’m fourteen now.) It was the flanger on the first Van Halen record.
    I started playing guitar when I was nine years old (five years ago) and at around age 10 I started learning about gear. My first ever pedal was an MXR Blue Box. I heard Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain”, looked up what pedal was playing in the solo, and I was hooked.
    My favorite pedal at the moment is my new script Phase 45.

  • David

    1. MXR DIme DIstortion, because before Dimebag was my favorite guitarist due to the heavy metal era i’ve grew through, used by Dimebag Darrell especially when i heard the Cemetery Gates and 5 minutes alone; 2. same as above, an MXR Dime DIstortion, i find it not just dedicated for dimebag sound but it is also versatile because of the 3band EQ that it has, so much tonal possibilities; 3. MXR Carbon Copy – perfect match for any kind of sound that i would want to make regardless of genre and it’s true to it’s tone (no coloration).

  • Mike

    First heard of MXR from reading interviews of my hero, Dimebag Darrel of Pantera and him stating that he used a little blue MXR 6 band EQ pedal to boost his amps. I’ve always loved his tone, and well as many other users of this pedal (EVH). I’ve got two MXR eq’s right now, an old one from “78 and the new black version with the LED’s on the sliders. both sound great for boosting in front of an amplifier or tone shaping in the loop. Also a huge fan of some other MXR stuff, like the Carbon Copy delay.

  • Greg

    Boy, that was a long time ago. I mostly remember just seeing the pedals in ads and thinking how cool they looked! But I suppose it was probably Randy Rhodes/Crazy Train and his Distortion +, which was also my first MRX pedal (early block logo), and actually my first of any pedal! My fav MRX these days is probably my big 4 knob 80s MXR flanger. Tough call though, I have a script Phase 90 and Dyna Comp that are classics as well!