M-66 Classic Overdrive Review

manufacturer: MXR date: 10/23/2012 category: Guitar Effects
MXR: M-66 Classic Overdrive
Very basic pedal, same operation as the Boss SD-1; has Gain, Tone, and Level knobs.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.8
 Ease of Use: 10
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.7 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 18 
reviews (4) pictures (2) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
M-66 Classic Overdrive Reviewed by: JMV12, on november 07, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 40

Ease of Use: This pedal has three knobs only: Output, Tone, and Gain. The Output knob controls the volume of the unit. If it's at zero (or 7 o clock) the signal will be muted; if it's at ten, the signal will have about twice as much volume as the signal without the pedal engaged (by my estimate). The Tone knob works as a basic EQ; the signal gets less bass as you turn the knob. If you want a bassy, dark tone, leave it close to zero, and if you want some more treble and brightness, turn it until you find the sweet spot. The Gain knob is just that. The more you turn the knob, the more gain you'll get. Note that this is not a metal gain, or even a rock gain, it's more like a tube amp at a low gain setting. I think it's more adequate for blues or maybe some jazz players. However, I use mine to boost my signal for leads. This is not a digital unit, so there are no patches to update it or whatever. I was able to get my hands on the Guitar Center limited edition, so my pedal is beige colored with the highlights in green. I prefer this look because it makes the pedal look more unique. Overall, this pedal is really easy to use and to get nice tones out of it. // 10

Sound: I primarily use the pedal with my Vox VT 50 amp. The guitars I use vary, but I usually play it with either a Yamaha RG5X or a Parker Fly Mojo Singlecut. The pedal has not given me any issues as far as noises or tone/signal loss. Like I said earlier, I use the pedal to boost my signal for solos. I set the knobs like this: Output at 12 o clock, Tone at 12 o clock, and Gain at 9 o clock. This setting, together with some delay and the guitar in the neck pickup, gives me a nice creamy tone that has really good sustain and note definition. If the guitar is on the bridge pickup, the tone becomes more bright and agressive, but I usually don't use it like that because I prefer a darker tone, unless I need to cut through the other instruments when jamming. // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far, I have not used the unit in any live gigs because I'm just jamming with some friends to see if we get something going. However, it's always worked as it's supposed to. The only complaint I have about the pedal is that the switch is a little too hard, so I have to really step on it to engage it. I would not use it at a gig if I had no back up. It has become a favorite of mine, and I've only had it for about 2 months or so. I also have a Boss EQ that I use for a similar purpose, but the tone is significantly different, especially at louder volumes. // 9

Overall Impression: Even though I play hard rock and metal for the most part, my gain is not that high. I usually have the gain around 7 for metal and 5 for rock. This pedal is perfect for the purpose I got it for. I had looked for a long time for a pedal that gave my solos that extra something, or as I call it, a "Round Sound". That quality refers to a tone that is not too trebbly or bassy, yet sustains and adds color to the leads. If this pedal ever got stolen, I would literally hunt that SOB down and beat his sorry a$$. This pedal is not made like this anymore, so I would have a hard time finding one in this color configuration. Still, I suppose I could get the green one and paint it if I lost it. It has really become a cornerstone for my sound, so I would definitely get one anyways. I compared it to the Ibanez Tube Screamer and the Boss SD-1, even though I don't really use it for my rhythm sound. I also tried out a BBE Boosta Grande and the only one that gave me a tone that was close to match this one was the SD-1. I really chose this one for the price, as the SD-1 was about $20 more expensive at the store I tried them in. However, the tone it gives me is also better than pretty much everything else I tried, so I think I hit the jackpot on this one. // 10

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overall: 9.5
M-66 Classic Overdrive Reviewed by: fretman5000, on june 14, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 29.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Very basic pedal, same operation as the Boss SD-1; has Gain, Tone, and Level knobs. Just dial in the amount of each depending on the sounds your looking for and your good to go. Comes with a manual, probably don't need it, but the pedal also comes a few presets suggestions, as do most MXR pedals. Doesn't come with a power supply, but runs on a 9 volt battery if you don't have a supply. Probably the easiest pedal I've ever used. Just chain it up, turn it on, and dial in. // 10

Sound: Great sound to this pedal and does exactly as it says: It's a classic overdriven sound, similar to that of Kiss, AC/DC or any rock n' roll. It's very versatile; I use mine to mix with the distortion of my Line6 Spider III combo to smooth out the distortion and get a more "full" sound. Crank this thing with some amp DST and you'll get some screaming gain. This thing will also increase your harmonics dramatically when you boost the tone knob up, combined with some amp distortion. Can also use this over a clean setting as well to get just plain drive. The pedal does give some hiss when added with the signal, but nothing horrible. If you're adding this in your chain with a few other pedals that you'll be running at the same time, you might want to stick a noise gate at the end of your chain. Overall, just a great sounding overdrive, not too noisy, and lots of possibilities. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Very dependable, as are all MXR pedals. Built in the same box as all the small stompbox MXRs, super durable, and solid as a rock. Also very lightweight, which could be good or bad, depending on if you mount it to a pedal board or not. I haven't gigged with it, but I'm 100% sure it can withstand heavy stomping and beating. Don't worry about this thing breaking within the next twenty years. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, the pedal comes off as a great buy. It sounds great, it's durable, and to my surprise and amazement, it was Cheap! Only $30 brand new for a great overdrive, which in every way is as good as a Boss or other comparable OD stompboxes. This pedal works perfectly for the punk, rock, and metal that I play. It's got a great sound and can be used for just about anything. Perfect for blues or some old rock n roll, as well as newer styles as well. This pedal's definitely worth the few dollars you'll spend on it, plus it has this sweet green paint job with the classic graphic on it. I would for sure replace it if something happened to it since it sounds great and is probably one of the cheapest overdrives out there. Compared to other pedals, it performs as good if not a bit better, and the price is right on this thing. That's what I love. Trust me, great buy, no regrets. // 9

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overall: 10
M-66 Classic Overdrive Reviewed by: Goldtop11, on march 28, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 29.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: This pedal is very easy to use. Just like any other Overdrive it has a Level, Gain and Tone control. Each of these knobs are very smooth and work well. It is supposed to have a Switch inside of the pedal, but I haven't bothered to pull the pedal apart to get to it. The only bad part is replacing the battery, because you have to unscrew each of the four screws in the back plat to get to it. This is true for almost all MXR products, so I can't complain too much. // 10

Sound: This pedal sounds amazing. I run a custom built guitar with Kent Armstrong humbuckers into a Crybaby, this pedal and then into a 15 watt Laney tube amp. I use this pedal as a boost on my standard Overdrive channel and it does that wonderfully. I turn the level up to about 3 o'clock and the gain back to 9 o'clock with the tone a little under halfway. This gives a great smooth sound that takes the highs out of the sound and adds tons of sustain. You can add more sustain and grit by turning the gain and tone up. I prefer to turn the tone down, since the Laney is already bright, but the pedal can be very bright or very dark depending on how the tone is set. Each of the controls are very responsive and will give you AC/DC type crunch to Hendrix like fuzz with the tone all the way down. I feel that this is best used as a boost rather then a stand alone overdrive, but it has a very good tube like sound through a clean channel too. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is very very solid and I have no fear of it breaking. I've used it on every gig I've played since I got it without backup. It is encased in a very rugged case and the jacks are very solid. I've dropped it several times with no problem when I plugged it back in. The paint didn't even chip. The only slight problem I have is the footwitch. It seems a tad bit weaker then I would like, but I can't say anything bad about it because it has yet to break on me. // 10

Overall Impression: I play Blues Rock and this pedal works perfectly for that. It is also able to reach metal type sounds with the help of the amps overdrive, so it has a lot of sounds to tap into. I have been playing for 6 years and have owned many overdrives. I acually sold my Hardwire Tube Overdrive that was $99 because this sounded much much better! I have a VHT Special 6, Laney 15 Tube Combo, and a Marshall DSL 100. The MXR sounds great with all of them and acually adapts the sound of each of them. This pedal is not only one of the best on the market, but it is about the cheapest! If it were lost or stolen I would deffinitly go buy a new one. If you are looking for an overdrive, or want one that sounds better then the one you have, you should go out and get this pedal. // 10

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overall: 9.5
M-66 Classic Overdrive Reviewed by: tonello, on october 23, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 39.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Right out of the box, it sounded great. I feel that Jeorge Tripps (creator of the quirky Way Huge pedals, now a consultant at Dunlop) had a hand in it, because the pedal is very interactive, and makes you want to play it. // 10

Sound: I'm using it with my Warmoth guitars (all Mahogany, SD Distortion pickups, 1 volume 1 tone), and Mesa Triple Rectifier amps. The M-66 can get noisy, but it's nothing that shouldn't be expected from an overdrive. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I bought it as a temporary replacement for a Tubescreamer that died, about 5 hours before a gig. I went and gigged with it straight away, and I can't believe that GC isn't charging more for it. The durability is unquestionable. If it broke, I would replace it immediately, but I don't expect to anytime soon. // 10

Overall Impression: The is pedal is a perfect example of Dunlop and MXR's unspoken motto "Give them the easiest pedal to use, make it sound great, and but let it be open for tweaking." Upon further inspection online, I found that there is a switch inside the pedal (has to be taken out of the housing), that switches the pedal between the MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive, and the MXR GT-OD, further adding to the idea that Jeorge Tripps was involved in the creation (look at several Way Huge pedals, they have inside set and forget switches and pots). I will be going to Radio Shack in the morning and getting a toggle switch to access the switch outside the pedal. Overall, one of the best sounding and best playing pedals that I have found.

// 10

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