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Posts Tagged ‘MXR’

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 '76 Vintage Dyna Comp Pedal

MXR

Over a year ago when I was looking for a compression pedal, one of the pedals I reviewed was the MXR Dyna Comp, along with the Boss CS-3. I didn’t like either of them. The CS-3 was way too squishy and I thought it significantly altered my tone. The MXR wasn’t quite as bad, but I still thought it did enough tone alteration to pass on it.

As many might know, I ended up going with the Maxon CP9 Pro+, which I felt didn’t alter my tone, no matter how far I squeezed the signal. I love the pedal, and when I play my Strat, it’s almost always on.

But in my search for a compressor back then, I ran across several discussions on the classic Dyna Comp from the 70’s. People raved about its transparency, and how it was a highly sought-after pedal. In fact, a search on eBay revealed that I couldn’t get a vintage one for under $250. Yikes! For a pedal that brand new goes for under $80, the vintage Dyna Comp must’ve been really special.

Well, the folks at the MXR Custom Shop have produced a limited run of the classic Dyna Comp replete with the script lettering, and more importantly, the EXACT same circuitry as the original. According to the article I read, the IC’s used in the original pedal haven’t been produced since the 80’s. But the Custom Shop folks seemed to have found some – at least enough to produce a limited run.

I looked on the Dunlop site for any information about the new pedal, and there was none to be found. No prices either. Count on this baby to hit collectable status real quick. Also count on it being priced a hell of a lot more than its newer sibling, which you can get at Musician’s Friend for $69.99. Now given that I already have a kickass compression pedal, I’m probably won’t be in the market for one, but I sure would love to get my hands on one just to review it.

For those of you who are a bit dubious of using a compression/sustainer, please don’t scoff. I will admit that for high-volume, high-gain situations, a compression sustainer is not really needed. You’ll get a lot of compression from your saturated power tubes. But for those of us who mostly play in low-volume applications, a compression/sustainer is a total life saver.

The restaurants and church that I play at have high ceilings, and of course, there’s the ambient crowd noise to deal with – especially at the restaurants. To help cut through the crowd noise, and to deal with the expansive acoustic environment without turning up too loud, I couldn’t do without a compression pedal. This is especially true when I kick in distortion, which tends to “spread” out your sound a bit. With a compression pedal, you fatten up your tone and produce a more even volume, albeit a tad less dynamic.

You might think that the loss volume dynamics is a bad thing, but before I got my CP-9, I had to fight my volume all the time – it was frustrating.

Apparently, the newer M-102 version with serial numbers starting with ABxxx are true bypass, and sound really nice. Maybe the one I tried at the time was not one of ’em. Oh well… In any case, if you’re interested, you can check it out at Musician’s Friend:

MXR M-102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal


You can also check out the Maxon CP-9 Pro+ here:
Maxon Nine Series Compressor Pro+ Pedal

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