M115 Distortion III review by MXR

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (12 votes)
MXR: M115 Distortion III

Price paid: $ 107.1

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Sound — 9
Well the sound is the best I've heard from a standalone distortion pedal so far, I've also got a Marshall guvnor plus distortion which isnt too shabby but it's got too many controls and it's hard to keep it's attack from sounding muddy in my experience. However in the case of the mxr there is an openess to it which I like, you hear every note you play (not always a good thing) and chugging is possible without too much woofiness (I get a little but that could easily be due to the Vox valvetronix amp I'm using). I've found that putting the output and tone controls at 2 and 12 o clock respectively yields the best results for me tone wise anything beyond this and it may come out toppy and fizzy but it all depends on the persons amp and guitar I suppose. I should say that these settings are at bedroom volume I did have to change them for gig purposes naturally but rest assured there is plenty of power on tap from this pedal to allow you to be heard. Gain wise this will easily go from light break up to modern Metallica (well, black album at least) but the notes still remain clear even with the gain knob maxed out. Oh and the pedal cleans up well too when you use your guitars volume knob.

Overall Impression — 10
I chose this over a ds 1 and Pro Co rat and don't regret it. It's a great match for rock and whatnot but it's got a smooth singing tone that would lend itself well to lead guitar in many other genres too just as long as they didn't relie heavily on pinch harmonics and Whammy bar theatrics. I would definately buy it again if it were lost, it's a pretty good bargain.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This pedal is typical of those in it's price range, a very sturdy cast meatl box. It's also surprisingly small and light so it could definately survive a fall, the only thing I'd be concerned about is the metal foot switch as I've had experiences where these have worn out on me but I could just be heavy footed.

Ease of Use — 10
I bought this pedal about a month ago so hopefully I can give a decent opinion.The pedal could barely be easier to use it's just a little red box with three controls; tone gain and output so very little to worry about here. I personally think a distortion box is better off with minimal controls, less to worry about and easy to dial in a sound you like.Manual is typical for a distortion pedal, it's got a few examples of preset sounds for the pedal i.e. "crucnhy rhythm" and singing lead etc.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    JC13/lunchboxattacks, Need your honest opinion, I'm seriously thinking of buying this pedal on the next few days, and compared to the boss bd-2 would you say that distortion III is capable of giving more gain? I'm using an American standard Tele, Peavey transtube amp and going for a Pearl Jam sound or a Tom Morello sound with Audioslave but craving for more with the BD2. Will distortion III do any justice?
    A very cool sounding mild distortion pedal. It works pretty good on most amps. I like playing a Telecaster with it. Depending on the amp, humbuckers can be complimented by this pedals tone. Besides being a quality sturdy pedal, it is pretty easy to use with the three pots.