M116 Fullbore Metal review by MXR

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  • Sound: 3
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 4 Poor
  • Users' score: 7.9 (81 votes)
MXR: M116 Fullbore Metal
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Sound — 3
Myself, I use an ESP Horizon FR-II with Seymour Duncan passive pickups or a LTD M-207 (7-string), running into a Randall RM100 Head with Randall RA-412XC cab. And well, how can I put it? It sounded absolutely vile. It sounded no better than my broken Fender 15 watt amp. Like I said in the above, I tried it in the store, it was fairly good. Same through my Pod, though, I can get the same sound using the effects and amps offered in Pod Farm. wasn't noisy one bit. And that was me cranking my volume too. So the noise gate seemed pretty useless, seeing as I barely got any fuzz from the pedal. Though, I suppose the noise gate is there if the slight buzz annoyed you a bit. As a distortion pedal, its not meant to do much else but add more distortion. But it had little to no variation. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone, but even that had more variation than this pedal. You can get the coolest sounding AC/DC, classic rock sound out of the MT-2. What does the Fullbore Metal offer? Just straight out metal tone. And I guess thats what you would use it for. But honestly, it doesn't even do that job well. I got a really, really nice thrash tone, and then a Black Metal tone in the store. At home, i got a really, really close tone to the guitars heard in extremely bad quality demos. I despise this pedal so much. I'd much rather use the distortion my amp offers. It's a distortion pedal, what else is it going to do? But like I've said before, it just sounded terrible. Through my amp: 0, I tried both guitars, my ESP is a really nice guitar, sounds good almost all the time, until I put it through this pedal. I then used my 7 string. It handled the lows, and didn't sound muddy, it just didn't sound good. Store amp: 8, was so nice. Very distinct tones. Pod Farm: 8, same as the store, but i can make the same tones. Noise Levels: 8, meaning it was good. Wasnt noisy at all. Effect: 2, it was a poor excuse for a distortion pedal. Sound: 1, extremely tinny, and sounded more like a fuzz pedal more than a distortion pedal. Overall sound, 3, only because I could get a good tone through the Marshall and my Pod.

Overall Impression — 1
I touch on pretty much every genre but black/death metal, and I don't play jazz, though i would like to. I did buy the pedal cause it sounded great in the store, and it would give me another channel of distortion in my amp to some extent, as I wish I bought a 4 channel amp now that I've realized I do need another channel, unless I want to drop the gain on my Overdrive channel. But it just didn't sound good one bit. I wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends, or other guitarists. I've been playing nearly 3 years, and I've heard my fair share of bad tones, but this is nearing the top of them. Like I stated, I have an ESP Horizon FR-II with SD passives, a LTD M-207 (7-string) with SD passives also. And i have my Randall RM100 head and cab. Or I can run through my Pod into my computer for recording. I only wished they had my amp to try it through, so I didn't waste time and money on it. Though I will get my full refund on it. So really, I just wasted time. Wouldn't get it again, I'd consider looking into the Blackstar Gus G signature pedal over this one. I don't love anything, I hate this pedal. Probably, my favorite feature would just be the look of it, its very plain, but just looks good. I've compared it to the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone, and the Boss beats it, and I hate the sound the Boss gets. I would choose the Boss, purely cause of that classic rock tone I can get. I wish I didn't have it.

Reliability & Durability — 7
It looks incredibly sturdy and strong. Its made out of metal, and looked like it can take a huge beating. Too bad I'm not going to have it long enough to see how strong it is, and how long it will last, cause I'm returning it tomorrow, after buying it yesterday. I could probably gig with it too without a backup, has a 9 volt DC input, and assuming nothing happens between the power supply and pedal, it would go great. Ill give it a 7, I'd go higher, but I can't comment much cause I haven't had it very long, and I don't know if it would give way in future, it doesn't look like it would though.

Ease of Use — 5
The pedal itself was extremely easy to use. Features Volume, Frequency, Gain, Low, Mid and High knobs. And with a noise gate and scoop button. Through certain amps, it sounded pretty damn good, and through my Line 6 Pod GX, it was just as good as other amps. Apart from my own amp. At the store, I ran through a Marshall Lead 2000 if I remember correctly. I found a good tone in literally 30 seconds. At home, through my Randall RM100, I spend 2 hours looking for a nice sound, and I got nothing. It was tinny, extremely high, even with the lows boosted. That didn't change till I hit the scoop button. It didn't make the sound any better though. I tried the settings offered in the manual, and they were worse than my attempts. I tried variations of the manual defaults, that didn't turn out too well either. Though the manual is pretty descriptive, but there isn't much to a pedal, that has what each knob does written on the pedal itself. Ease of use: 10, its an analogue pedal, not hard to use. Getting a sound: 4, it was impossible through my amp. I ran it through the clean channel on my amp, and tweaked my amp settings too, still ended up with a rubbish sound. Manual: 7, was a standard manual, while I didn't try out the offered settings in the shop, I tried them through my Pod, and they were medium to ok. I can get the exact same tone using pedals and amps given to me on Pod Farm. Overall, a 5, given its extremely easy to use, just sounded rubbish.

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