MXR M-104 Distortion + Review

manufacturer: Dunlop date: 06/20/2007 category: Guitar Effects
Dunlop: MXR M-104 Distortion +
Within the central areas of the Output and Distortion controls of the M-104 are some soft, clipped distortions that sound truly authentic, especially with a splash of reverb.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Ease of Use: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
MXR M-104 Distortion + Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 21, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 79.99

Purchased from: guitar center

Ease of Use: It's a very simple design which lends itself to easiness. In the manual it explains everything (not that there is much, just plug it in and step on it). There are two knobs, output and distortion. The output controls the volume, and the distortion, the distortion. // 10

Sound: I use a Gibson Les Paul with a Kustom lead series, and it sounds incredible. It is the perfect combination of blues Overdrive and rock distortion. Perfect for that classic rock sound like Led Zeppelin or AC/DC. Always strong and full, no matter what the setting. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I can depend fully on this pedal. The only thing that makes it kind of sketchy is the 9 volt battery, which can crap out on you, as has happened to me before, but you could expect that with any pedal. I wouldn't bring a backup with me on a gig, I would just bring extra batteries. I have owned my pedal for quite a while and have never had any problems. // 8

Overall Impression: I mostly play classic rock and modern rock, and this pedal is perfect for either. I have been playing for two and a half years, and I own a Gibson Les Paul Classic, a kustom amp, and a Vox wah pedal. If it were stolen or lost, I might try something else just to try something else, but I'm sure I would return to the Distortion + after being unsatisfied with everything else. I love the way that it has every kind of dist. I need. From low crunch tones to high fuzz, it provides it all. I have also owned a DS-1 and a big muff, neither of which provided what I was looking for. The DS-1 just wasn't a very quality pedal, and the big muff was too fuzzy for my taste. The MXR lets it all ring through. There is nothing extra this pedal needs. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.5
MXR M-104 Distortion + Reviewed by: Csquared1001, on february 26, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Mothers Music

Ease of Use: The MXR M-104 Distortion+ features 1 output knob and 1 distortion knob. The output knob was designed to control how much of the effect is applied however It serves more as a "Boost" rather than an effect "master volume". It still controls some of the volume function, since setting it to 0 will result in no sound. The distortion knob will control how much gain is applied and controls(to a limited extent) the tone of the Pedal from the Smooth, Saturated Tone of Randy Rhoads to the light crunch of Sugar and AC/DC. The absence of a tone knob is not an issue and I prefer this setup since I use a! 0 band EQ to ajust the sound. Very simple to use. // 10

Sound: I use this Pedal through a Jackson SL3 Soloist w/seymour ducans, or my custom build "Mr. Checkers" w/ active EMG 81 to a Dunlop Wah, Phase 90 then to a MXR 10 band graphic equalizer to the Distortion+ then to a Marhsall DSL401 All-valve Combo. The Pedal will be noisy if everything is set to Max however it is actually very quiet, I was very suprised, mega Improvement over my MT-2 Metal Zone. In my Setup I set the Distortion+ to Output:max Distortion:min and ajust the Distortion depending on how hard my Tube amp is Cranked. Following the MXR Distortion+ is a 10 band EQ which I strongly suggest getting. As a result of the EQ, the mids and presence of my amp is increased and gives a great crunch and smoothness the the Mids and top end. What the Distortin+ provides is a growling and roaring low end and a distortion Boost. This setup gives me a tone very similar to the Randy Rhoads tribute album. Please note that although this is called a "distortion" (hard clipping) pedal it is actually an overdrive or "soft clipping". // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is very realiable and is hard to break. The paint is rather poorly done: chipping and scratches are common place and as a result, the asthetics of the pedal won't last forever (unless you take exremely good care of it). However, the actually sound quality remains intact. I would definitly use this without a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: I play hard rock/heavy metal and this is a very good pedal for that. I would definitly get an EQ to go with this, because that's when this pedal really "shines". I've been playing 2 years now and This kicks the Boss MT-2 Metal Zones Butt big time. It's not so noisy, so you can clean boost with a EQ despite having many sliders in high postion. I would be very upset if it were stolen since I would have to buy another and they are rather expensive ($114 list price) but still the pedal is definitaly worth the price and I would buy again. I love the growl low end it gives and the amazing Randy Rhoads tone you can achieve with it. I strongly reccomend buying this pedal IF you Are getting a 10 band equalizer with it. If not, then you wont be able to get really Heavy and smooth tones with this, only crunchy AC/DC style tones. That EQ is essential. If you don't have and EQ you may be better suited to a different pedal. Finally This is an oveverdrive not a distortion Despite the namesake. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
MXR M-104 Distortion + Reviewed by: separanets, on july 01, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: Second Hand

Ease of Use: Believe me it's more difficult to type this line than to use the MXR M-104. Just 2 knobs; you can't get perplexed. // 10

Sound: I use my Gibson SG Standard and this Overdrive right after it in order to warm up a channel in my tube 50 watt amp SL or just a tube preamp. It definitely has its own voice! It adds its unique colours to the channel you're using. With this pedal your playing gets so dynamic. It makes your neck pickups sing like a canary. I can't say if it's noisy since I dial the distortion knob only a little. No, compared to my other stuff, it's the less noisy box. However, I have to put the output knob at maximum to counterbalance it with the volume of the clean guitar. People say that the circuit is a bit old, so it gives 250mV of output only, whereas my pickup is 425mV. Well, and it's not possible for me to get all sounds of all my favorite artists from one cheap pedal, but I never really wanted to. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Mine seems it's a bit too old and has some dents, but it works fine, so it's totally reliable. // 10

Overall Impression: I got this pedal a great deal to play blues and metal of '80s. It's got its own unrepeatable voice. I've been playing over 20 years and the first time I'd heard of an MXR M-104 was so long ago. For me it's a must-have pedal, so it's needless to say what I'd do if it were lost. The best thing about this pedal is its unique character: when you're playing smoothly it has a very soft tone, but as soon as you add more attack it makes a sudden jump to a very crunchy dry tone as if your sound dived out for a while and got back. I compared it with some other Vintage boosters, like Maxon OD-808, Maxon Overdrive Pro 820? 230 and so on and none of them had a feature of that kind. The worst thing about this pedal, however, is its apparently low output for modern pickups, so may be one day I'll consider getting a new one with some mods. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.5
MXR M-104 Distortion + Reviewed by: snakeyes9510, on june 20, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 59.25

Purchased from: Steve's Music Shop

Ease of Use: Very simple to use. One switch with two knobs. One output and one distortion. Very nice and very simple. Nothing too complicated to get into, just turn the distortion until you get the right amount, then turn the output until it's loud enough to blow your ear drums. // 10

Sound: Great sound out of this little stompbox. This is Randy Rhodes' distortion pedal so if you want the sound from Ozzy's records, you definatly need this pedal. Great distortion overall and good to use with a bass guitar also. The pedal has a very good sound overall and will impress. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This little pedal is solid. Nothing is going to break it. If it gets thrown at something, it will break that something before the pedal itself breaks. Definately usable without a backup if you have a adaptor. Battery life is also very good. Pretty heavy and durable for a little pedal. // 10

Overall Impression: I play rock and metal and this distortion fits it perfectly. I've been playing for four years now and this pedal is the best distortion I have heard for rock/metal. It surpasses any distortion effect on the Yamaha Magicstomp, which I also own. I would definately buy another if this one was lost or stolen. Also, the knobs have glow in the dark lines on it to show what level the output and distortion is on. It's great for playing at a dark venue and wanting to check out your pedals settings. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear