MXR M103 Blue Box review by Dunlop

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 6.9 (18 votes)
Dunlop: MXR M103 Blue Box

Purchased from: Elderly Music

Sound — 10
I'm using a duel humbucker Epiphone SG with a Big Muff into a Fender 100FM head into a Marshall 4x12 cabinet. This pedal isn't noisy at all when you're not playing. The one complaint is that the pedal is not as loud as my others but it isn't a problem for me I put it before the big muff and it amplifies it with out affecting the sound to much seeing as they are both fuzzy anyways, it just makes it sound all the better to me. Besides that minor fix this pedal sounds absolutely awespme, when they say it shovels out enough low frequency to scare a blue whale they mean it. You can use it for deep Rhythm licks or have just a slight octave effect and use it to add color to your solos. It sounds stellar and I fell in love with it within 5 minutes. I personally don't listen to manya rtist's Who use a lower octave effect besides Jack White, but none the less a Blue orchid sound is possible with the help of my Big Muff which he also uses. This is a real psychedelic effect to use to make your own sound for your band or to just have for fun.

Overall Impression — 10
My band (I'm the only guitarist) plays Garage and Grunge music however we incorperate psychedelic/classic rock elements into our music as well. This pedal fits in perfectly with my current set-up and sound. I can't wait to find a place to use this effect in our songs. I've been playing for just under two years and I have a lot of gear. If it were stolen or lost I'd trakc em down, steal some of their money buy me a new one and let them have the old one so we could both enjoy the lovely Blue Box. I love this pedal already, no matter where the Blend knob is it sounds delicious. As I said I played the '70s version, and this reissue is just as good and 120 dollars cheaper, I was looking at many different effects, I tried a Boss PH-2 phaser and a Fender Blender as well. The Blue Box stuck out and sounded like just what I needed in my set up.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've only had mine for two days so far however I played a Vintage '70s one at another guitar shop when I was looking at pedals and it's still kicking. And by the looks of it's metal construction it'll last quite awhile. As the book says you may be stomping on it 30 years from now.

Ease of Use — 10
I bought this pedal new, it has two knobs, one for output volume and one for Blending the octave fuzz effect with your dry signal. It's super easy to get a sound out of, just crank the output and then you only have one knob to fiddle with, and that's all you need. The more you turn it clockwise the less of an octave effect you get yet you still have plenty of fuzz. The manual is there but not needed, pretty much says what I just did. In conclusion, whether you hate fiddling with knobs or are a tweak freak, this pedal is very easy and fun to use.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nightfyre wrote: correct, but it also tracks really weird... i think that's done on purpose though.
    This isn't a digital effect, it's analog so tracking isn't really the right term to use here I think. Unless the design changed since it came out, all it really does is half wave rectify a tap off of the signal which cuts the frequency in half. Then it filtered and remixes it back into the original. There may be a slight delay in the octave signal which you may be detecting. I've been looking into getting one of these an an MXR Phase 90 as well for my birthday. Lng & McQuade sells them here in Calgary for $81.95 CDN (Phase 90)& $68.95 CDN BlueBox. Pretty reasonable price I think.
    I still don't get what the hell this thing does. Is it an octave fuzz, or a fuzz or an octave shifter or a mix of all three?
    wait, so if it goes 1 octave up, and after that 2 octaves down, and its all mixed, all it does is go 1 up + original + 1 down...
    It doesnt duplicate octaves up, as i understood, just down the two mentioned.
    It's a fuzz pedal that duplicates whatever note you're playing two octaves down. Sorry for the confusion.
    ^correct, but it also tracks really weird... i think that's done on purpose though.
    Way better octave boxes out there, the tracking on this thing is horrible. I have only held onto mine because it makes creating atonal noise easy.