Crunch Box Review

manufacturer: MI Audio date: 02/04/2010 category: Guitar Effects
MI Audio: Crunch Box
The Crunch Box Distortion Pedal features three external and one internal control.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Ease of Use: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 9.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.1 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 21 
reviews (6) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Crunch Box Reviewed by: Sham-Rock, on august 20, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 139.99

Purchased from: Purepedals.com

Ease of Use: This Pedal is very easy to use it only has 3 pots a volume a tone and a gain and all you need to do is plug it in and play with the pots for 2 minutes and you have a sweet british Marshall sounding overdrive. I was a little dissapointed that it doesn't come with a manuel but then again not much explanation is needed. // 10

Sound: I am using a 06 Gibson Les Paul Standard into a Vox AC30 cc2 and this pedal makes the guitar and amp sing. It's got a high gain circuit in my opinion and my gane knob hardly makes it by 12o'clock because that's all the gain I need, I have pushed the gain to full and it has a great lead sound. The pedal has lots of midrange which is great for that Marshall british tone I was looking for, If you roll the tone to the left you can get some great classic rock woman voice tones and then as you push it to the righ this amazing lead tone comes out. I am very happy that I made the right choice in picking this over a Fulltone OCD. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have only had this pedal for a week or two but seeing as it's all hand made I would have no worries giging without a backup of any kind and I actually indeed on doing just that in the near future. The pedal itself comes with a 5 year warranty which is very good because most only have one or two years. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything from classic rock to blues to hard rock and prog rock and this pedal has worked with all the genres, I have been playing guitar for just over two years now and I use this pedal with a Dunlop 535Q Crybaby and a DigiTech Whammy V4 and it sounds amazing with both. I think this pedal is perfect as it is no need to add anything to it and if it was stolen or lost I would buy another one because it's one of those pedals you must have. I love this pedal because it transforms my AC-30s clean channel into a cranked Marshall stack which is great because I find the ac-30s Drive channel lacking but I love the cleans. I compared this pedal to a Maxon tubescreamer and a Fulltone OCD and I am very happy with this purchase. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Crunch Box Reviewed by: Final !mpact, on january 09, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: There is no manual, however, there is no need for one. Its very straight forward with only Tone, Volume and Gain knobs and an internal presence control. I dare you to spend 5 minutes with this and not love it. After a few minutes I found every tone I would ever need and even more when I discovered the internal presence control. The op-amp chip inside is socketed and can be swapped out for other chips to get even more control over gain and tone, however i would suggest taking it to someone Who knows what they're doing if you plan on replacing the op-amp chip Oh its also true bypass! // 9

Sound: I'm not using the best gear but it gets the job done. an AXL 100 amp (solid state) with a strat copy (with EPIC new pickups)and I'm also using a Boss GE-7 EQ pedal. The pedal really shines with a tube amp. Its perfect for Marshall tones and is suited for humbuckers more than single coils. With the gain turned to zero you get some awesome tube-like clean/slightly Overdrive tones and with the gain cranked you can get pretty good JCM 800 tones (good for older thrash and hard rock). It starts to get muddy if you turn the tone down to far and crank crank the gain all the way up but this can be countered with the internal presence control. Turn the gain down to about 3, the tone up to about 7 and turn off all reverb and you have a great Blues-Rock tone perfect for AC/DC or Zep. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I don't really know how durable it is, I've only had it for a week but I've already dropped it once and it still works fine. I would say it is reliable enough to use at a gig without a backup. it's Australian made, it can't be to bad can it? // 8

Overall Impression: I play all sorts of music and this pedal can nail slightly Overdrive tones right up to hard rock. It might get to metal if you scooped the hell out of the mids with an EQ pedal to get it to sound 'heavier' but that totally ruins it's Marshall-like tone. I compared this pedal with various Boss pedals (SD-1, DS-1, OS-2), Digi-tech (Bad Monkey) pedals and various other brands in the same price range and this one kicked ass. it's also handmade in Australia so that was a huge plus for me. The only thing I think could be improved on is a manual suggesting settings and stuff and maybe an internal gain control like they did with the precense control. // 8

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overall: 9.5
Crunch Box Reviewed by: lithium26, on july 12, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Singapore

Ease of Use: The MI Audio Crunch Box is very easy to use, also easy to dial in a decent tone. The learning curve is not very steep. Volume, tone and gain knobs, basics. You don't need a manual to figure the Crunch Box out. Also, mine is a later version, with adjustable internal trimpot. My Brunch Box has also been modified, and there is an additional knob on the side, which is the presence control. This makes my Crunch Box very versatile, and I am able to get a lot of sounds from it. // 10

Sound: I am using the Crunch Box currently with a Fulltone OCD (version 4) and a Maxon OD808 Overdrive, Fender MIA Jaguar, Fender HSS Strat, and Fender CIJ Telecaster with texas specials, into a Laney LC15R. With the LC15R, which can get into high gain territory (when you increase the guitar volume), screams with the Crunch Box! It seems to favour my Strat's humbucker and Jaguar's bridge pickup, as the notes are articulated clearly and the distortion better than the hugely-acclaimed Metal Muff (although this is not really a metal pedal).I play all sorts of music from acoustic music, to rock, to blues, to metal. This pedal really allows me to play hard rock and metal. It also stacks very very well with my Maxon OD808, which I'm using mainly as the booster. The only problem, though, is probrably the noise factor. I am powering 3 pedals with a 1spot adaptor into the tube amp. I have to roll off the gain on the amp for the hum to be lessened. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I definitely will be able to use it without a backup. I already have and there has not been a single problem. The Crunch Box is a very sturdy pedal, as sturdy as my Maxon. and it does not seem like it will break anytime in the distant future, as long as you take decent care of your gear. // 9

Overall Impression: I love this pedal overall. It suits my playing style, which is pretty diverse. I don't think I have found a pedal in it's price range that beats it. The pedals that might be considered as better than this pedal are way expensive. This pedal replaced my Micro Metal Muff (Elextro-Harmonix), which replaced a Line 6 tonecure Uber Metal (which sucked big time) and I haven't looked back on the purchace. It just sounds a lot better overall, and does not produce as much noise as most other high gain distortion pedals do. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Crunch Box Reviewed by: Mitchell?, on january 23, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Pro Guitar Shop.com

Ease of Use: This pedal is a pretty straight-foward pedal, which makes it easy to get a nice tone out of it. It has three knobs: Volume, Tone, and Gain (which equals distortion.) Straight out of the box you can just set the tone to noon, gain to your preference and you've got a good tone. I prefer to turn the tone to about 1 'o clock, seems to add clarity to the distortion. // 9

Sound: I'm using it in front of a new Vox AC15 tube amp, and my guitar is a PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow, a mahogany body, two humbucker guitar. I use it with a Vox wah, a Fulltone OCD, and a EHX Little Big Muff. With the gain cranked all the way to the max, it does get kind've noisy on high volume levels, but it's tolerable. This could be a combination of other factors though, like 1) it's in front of a tube amp 2) it's a dist. pedal 3) It's on a 1 Spot daisy chain; and you usually want to use a noise gate with any dist. pedal in front of a tube amp. The dist. is very Marshally. Think of the Crunch Box as a Marshall-in-a-box. There's a mid-gain emphasis with this pedal, so although it'll do metal quite nicely, you'll need a separate EQ if you want a scooped-mids kind of rhythm 'chunk' sound. This pedal will do from light crunch/higher-gain blues to Slayer. The versatility is impressive. It can do Led Zeppelin, then crank the gain know and crank out those modern hardcore riffs. I love the lead tone I get out of this pedal. Smooth, defined, and yet still raunchy and rock n' roll like a cranked JCM800. The rhythm tone is great for older metal. I get a surprisingly tight metal rhythm tone with this through my AC15. Palm mutes are THICK, like the chick behind the register at your local Hardee's. Yum. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This pedal looks very reliable, like most boutique pedal I've seen. It's a fully metal enclosure (painted hot rod red I might add) that looks like it could take a serious beating. The knobs are set-screw knobs, very similar to the ones on the Fulltone OCD. They won't be coming off accidentally anytime soon. One thing I'll mention is that the jacks on this pedal are VERY snug. I have to tug almost unreasonably hard to get my cables out of them. I though my Big Muff had stiff jacks, these won't let go of your cables for dear life. You don't have to worry about accidentally tugging out a cable at a gig, you'll just tug the Crunch Box. You can literally carry the thing by a cable plugged into the jacks. I would definitely gig with this pedal without a backup. This thing can take anything you throw at it. // 10

Overall Impression: I bought this to suit my higher-gain needs, and it's been doing that perfectly. From Van Halen to Slayer, this thing covers everything I need it to. If this were stolen I would buy it again, because it opens up a whole lot more possibilities for me. The AC15 is pretty low gain, which is really what I'm after, but I like to mess around with Slayer riffs time to time, and this is why I bought this. This pedal is absolutely perfect for what it aims for. High-gain, Marshall-y tone in a box. It absolutely rocks. // 9

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overall: 9
Crunch Box Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 08, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 85

Purchased from: MI Audio (scratch n dent sale)

Ease of Use: Very simple it has 3 external knobs (volume, tone and gain) and an internal one which allows you to alter it's voice even more. There is little in the way of a manual, but it isn't needed anyway very simple to use. I got good tomes from this as soon as I plugged it in. Have read reviews that the LED will stay bright even when the batteries in it are failing which results in tone loss, but I use a power adaptor so wouldn't know // 9

Sound: I have a Marshall 150AVT head into a Behringer BG412H Ultrastack cab. Cheap half stack, but the head lacks that Marshall crunch of say a jcm 800 having only 1 pre amp tube would be the reason I guess. Putting this in front of the amp with a Boss super Overdrive gives me all the Marshall tone I was looking for with the gain down low you can get nice ac/dc tones and with it boosted you get sex pistols and further up to Bad Religion and I'd even say Slayer and early 80 thrash is possible too it can do a lot if you play with it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I got mine directly from the makers in a scratch and dent sale which was $60 cheaper than from a store. When I got it I opened the box and could see no obvious marks on it at all it looked perfect. The footswitch feels very strong and the knobs feel very durable also. I haven't opened it to play with the extra dial inside, but going by the rest of it I assume it's okay also and it's all housed in a metal box feels indestructable. // 9

Overall Impression: I have been playing with my current setup for 2years but have been playing overall for around 15 years. I've never had the cash to splurge on a tube amp and the AVT is possibly as close as I'll ever get, which is why I wanted something to get me the Marshall rock, punk and early 80s metal tones I couldn't get with the amp I have. I love this pedal to death I've bought several different distortion/ OD pedals and none got me even close to what this does I couldn 't be happier (unless someone gave me a jcm 800) if this got stolen I'd find the person and end them! // 9

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overall: 8.3
Crunch Box Reviewed by: sg4ever, on february 04, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 82

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: It doesn't get any easier than three knobs (easy with versatility, otherwise two knobs). Not loud enough? Crank the volume. Need a darker or brighter tone? Tweak the tone knob. It's just a matter of adjusting gain to taste after that. Also, if the tone knob doesn't offer enough parameters to adjust for accommodating your amp, there is an internal presence trim pot that is adjustable via screwdriver. It will give further control over the desired Darkness or brightness, a highly useful feature in my opinion. I find it easy to get a good sound out of the pedal. The only thing I can't comment on is the manual. I scored it used. // 9

Sound: I use an MiM Strat and a Greg Bennett AV3 (Les Paulish design with a slim neck) into this pedal and a Vox VT50 amp. It's easy to get passable tones from the amp itself, but I got this pedal for conveniently saving banks for different effects rather than tones. The pedal isn't so noisy at all, which is pleasant. I use it for that gained up 'Marshall' tone with lots of crunch and sustain. I like the crunchy, midrangey distortion rather than fuzzy distortion and this box delivers. I like the versatility as keeping the gain around 9'oclock yields a more classic rock sound. Cranking the gain to 11-12'oclock is good for the straight rock crunch. Cranking it any higher gives a thick and singing tone for solos or 80s hair metal. I notice that the pedal sounds tight and clear even with the gain around 3'oclock. The lead tone is always thick and full. I'm fairly impressed that it sounds so good into a Vox VT50. This box into a tube amp is downright sinful. To be fair, this is a picky pedal. Be careful about the amp you plug into. It's going to sound a lot like your base tone with 'added Marshall vibe'. Sometimes this is not a good thing. If you don't like the base tone, don't expect a miracle. Try it with your amp before buying it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's built very solidly. I can definitely depend on it. I have played onstage without a backup. The battery life is also pretty good. I can't say if it's going to last for five years or not. Only time will tell, but these past couple months have been very good indeed. // 8

Overall Impression: I play all kinds of music, but I use this pedal to play rock and alternative music. It's perfect for those styles and gives the kind of dirt I like to use for that. I've been playing for over four years and have the previously mentioned guitars and amp. I don't wish anything about it. I would probably buy it again, although I'm yearning for an Overdrive to compliment this pedal as it was made for that straight rock crunch. I don't hate anything about it as I got what I wanted out of it. I compared it to other distortion pedals and they didn't quite have that crunchy, midrange vibe I wanted. They were either buzzy or too fuzzy. // 8

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