Posts Tagged ‘mxr carbon copy’

After a gig with my band a few weeks ago, and with other impending gigs coming up where I’d have to use my electric rig, I decided to create two different pedal boards. Using a single one wasn’t an issue the past couple of years because, with my new band, we weren’t gigging that much and I didn’t really feel the need to have a lot of different sounds, so I’d just use my little Pedaltrain Nano, pop on the pedals I needed for a particular gig, and I was good to go. But now that I’m gigging more regularly with my band, and have agreed to join a new church band, I realized that swapping pedals was going to be inefficient. Plus, with my solo gig, I only needed a couple of modulation pedals and a looper, so putting all that on my big board and hauling that around was not a very attractive solution.

Luckily, I have at least two of every pedal I need. 🙂 Not the same brand, mind you, but two or three of the same kind. The fact that I have so many is just previous GAS. I used to be so impulsive about buying gear that even though I’d already have a pedal or some other gear that perfectly suited my needs, I’d hear something in some new gear that “spoke” to me and I’d have to get it. And with pedals, I’ve ended up with two, three, even four of the same type of pedal. This gives me a lot of flexibility, but more importantly, it allows me to run two distinct boards for my electric and solo acoustic rigs.

Which brings me to the Carbon Copy… When I got it, I really didn’t need it. In fact, I already had my Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay “DBD” (hand-wired). But I reasoned that I needed a delay for my acoustic rig, and wasn’t willing to shell out another $325 as only the hand-wired DBD was available at the time. So I got the Carbon Copy delay.

As luck would have it, it wasn’t long before the Carbon Copy was back in the box. I had developed severe arthritis in my left hip and started to gig a lot less, and got very sensitive to the amount of gear I would lug when I did gig. So I downsized. I started using my Nano board exclusively and just lived with a couple of pedals.

But now that I’m all healed and have lost a bunch of weight, and I’ve gotten a lot more busy with gigs, I don’t mind lugging a bunch of gear, so I’ve set up two boards: One for electric and one for acoustic. The Carbon Copy has gone onto my acoustic board, and you know what? I absolutely love it!

Unlike my Deep Blue Delay, the Carbon Copy is very subtle when its level knob is set anywhere less than 12 o’clock. I usually set the level at 11 am, then set a long delay time and short repeats. It’s not exactly slapback, but it adds a depth and ambiance to my guitar sound to give it almost a large chamber sound. It’s great for finger-picked songs as the lower level gives me plenty of note clarity with a nice tail at the end. And for solos, well, its subtlety definitely works in its favor. I LOVE doing solos with this pedal turned on.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love my Deep Blue Delay. That will always be my favorite, but I’m absolutely digging the MXR Carbon Copy on my acoustic rig. It would be right at home on my electric board, but well the DBD has that place, and I’ve got that board set up to where I like it.

Now that I’ve been using the Carbon Copy for a few weeks, I like it so much that if it were the only analog delay that I have, I’d be perfectly alright using it all the time. This pedal is a little gem, folks. If you’re looking for a great analog delay, this is one that I’d recommend trying out. It’s definitely much more subtle than others – you really have to crank up the level and repeats to get a definite delay pulse – but as I mentioned above, that subtlety works in its favor, especially for solos.

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MXR Carbon Copy Delay Summary: Fantastic-sounding analog delay at an affordable price.

Pros: Out of the box, this baby oozes great tone, and creates warm, silky-smooth repeats as you’d expect from an analog and importantly it doesn’t turn your tone overly dark as analog delays are apt to do. The Mod button adds a cool and super-subtle modulation similar to chorus, to smooth out the tone even more.

Cons: The only nit I have with it is if I hit it hard with a lot of input gain. There’s almost a bit too much “flutter.” However, this is a small nit because this pedal sits on my acoustic board, and the input gain is low, so that flutter will never happen.


  • Bucket-brigade technology
  • 600ms delay time
  • Modulation switch to add subtle chorus-like modulation
  • Regen (repeats), Mix, and Delay knobs
  • Two internal trim pots to adjust width and rate (doubt that I’ll ever open up the box to adjust these. Factory settings are just fine)
  • True hardwire bypass

Price: $105 -149 Street

Tone Bone Score: 5.0 ~I was really blown away by this delay. I was seriously considering getting another Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay – well, the PCB version, at least – to put on my acoustic board. But a friend showed me his Carbon Copy, and I was immediately sold. I’ll admit that if I’d gotten the Carbon Copy first, I probably wouldn’t have even considered the Deep Blue Delay, which is over double the price.

No, I’m not kicking myself… And yes, I paid over $300 for my hand-wired Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay. But that particular delay is seriously in a class all by itself. In my mind, there’s the Deep Blue Delay then all the rest of the analog delays. But near the top of that “other” list sits the MXR Carbon Copy. It never crossed my mind to even evaluate this pedal after I got my Deep Blue Delay, but when I wanted to get another analog delay for my acoustic rig, fortune had it that a good friend happened to get the Carbon Copy. I originally turned him on to the Deep Blue Delay, and instead of that (he couldn’t justify the price), he got the Carbon Copy for use on his acoustic board. Of course, I had to try it out, and fell in love with it immediately! Plus, at less than $150, this pedal would be a steal! So I got it a couple of Fridays ago to use at my weekly solo acoustic gig, and have been a happy camper.

Built like a tank

I still have an 80’s MXR Distortion pedal that I used for many years. One of the reasons I dug it was that it was super-durable. I gigged with a lot, and it got knocked around and stepped on, but I never had to change a knob or switch in all the time I’ve had it. Though MXR is now owned by Jim Dunlop, I have to give kudos to the new ownership for maintaining the solid feel of the MXR line.

It ain’t cheap…

Make no mistake, though MXR has been traditionally known for affordable pedals, don’t equate that with them being “cheap.” They’re affordable, yes, but they’ve also made their mark on Rock and Roll (can you say Phase 90?). The Carbon Copy is yet another example of an affordable pedal that produces killer tone.

How it sounds…

I was very surprised by the quality of the sound that this pedal produces, and the range of delay tones you can get. For instance, here’s a clip that cops a bit of “Edge” delay:

In this next clip, I combine two modulation effects – heavy chorus and delay. The Carbon Copy is set to a long delay time with Regen set to noon. To keep the delay effect subtle and ambient, Mix is at about 10am.

Finally, here’s a video from Guitar World that really demonstrates the Carbon Copy’s capabilities:

Overall impression

I totally dig this pedal! Once I got it dialed in for my acoustic gig a couple of Fridays ago, it stayed on almost the entire gig! I only switched it off when I needed a more “in your face” tone. This is just a super pedal, and I highly recommend it!

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