MXR M80 Preamp/EQ/Distortion - Review

Effects pedals or devices to alter the sound of your bass
Post Reply
User avatar
Silver Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:47 am
Bands / Groups: The Crush
Location: Christchurch

MXR M80 Preamp/EQ/Distortion - Review

Post by ryanmaiden » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:45 pm

Bought one of these bad boys off Amazon a few weeks back, and thought I should give a quick review.

I'll get the bad stuff over with first - you might as well forget about the distortion channel on the thing, unless you like sounding like a power tool. It ain't pretty.

So once you've gotten over the initial shock from the distortion channel, the clean sound is where this unit shines.
The colour button switches in a preset EQ which just makes everything sound more awesome. With this switch engaged, the bass, middle and treble knobs still have an effect on the tone, but it doesn't stray that far from the preset sound. It's a real clean rock tone, and in my opinion sounds best when using a pick. You can still get some pretty nice tones without the colour function, by just using the tone knobs to EQ to taste.

Without the EQ switched in, it just acts as a simple D.I. unit, which is quite handy if you like your normal tone, but want to switch in a different EQ for slap or something. If you're like me though, once you've had a taste of the colour switch, it'll never be switched off.

You can also run the EQed signal into your amp, so you have your onstage sound matching the signal going to the desk.

One of the big bonuses is the fact you can run it on phantom power. I have used it a few times for recording, and just powered it from the phantom power from my audio interface, makes for a quick, simple setup. And yeah, it sounds great when laying down a rock bass track.

So all up, it's a great sounding box if you're a rock bass player and you never, ever, ever touch the distortion channel.
The good that men do is often buried with their bones, but the evil that men do lives on and on.

User avatar
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Chch

Re: MXR M80 Preamp/EQ/Distortion - Review

Post by portnawake » Fri May 11, 2012 2:45 pm

Note that there used to be a guy on trademe offering some mods for the M80's distortion channel. I've got mine modded and the distortion definitely becomes more usable than the original. (Dexter mods, from memory). It gets some use here and there on songs, while my main distorted sounds are coming from either a Boss MT2 or a Digitech Grunge pedals (blended). It's a different kind of dist, but it cuts through well and sounds actually pretty good on the parts that call for it.

Post Reply