M116 Fullbore Metal review by MXR

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (81 votes)
MXR: M116 Fullbore Metal
1

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
Right now I'm running my ESP Ltd F-50 to my M-116 and then through a Fender Vintage Volume pedal to my 15 watt Line 6 Spider IV, and I had a lot of trouble getting the tone dialed in on it, but now its exactly what I wanted. Its not very noisy unless you have the noise gate turned off. I was able to get a great Avenged Sevenfold tone out of this pedal once I figured out the right settings on my amp.

Overall Impression — 10
I mostly play heavy metal, thrash, and speed metal, so this was the perfect pedal for me. When I first saw it in my Musician's Friend catalog, I thought I actually heard a choir of angels singing somewhere distant, I'm not kidding! This thing is amazing for all types of metal players! I've been playing electric for about a year and a half and this is the sound I've been looking for during that year and a half. If my M-116 was stolen, I would track down whoever stole it, beat them with a bat, and take my pedal back. Or just buy another one. There really isn't anything that I think this pedal needs. The best thing about it would be how much you can customize your sound on it. You've got a bass knob, mid knob, treble knob, master volume, gain knob, mid frequency knob(adjusts what frequencies the mid knob affects), and you've got a noise gate button and a scoop button. A bad thing is I haven't been able to get a good tone out of it with the Scoop activated.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Even though I've only had the M-116 for a month, I've already managed to bash it into a couple walls and doors, and it had absolutely no effect on the pedal. The thing's made out of what I think is 1/8" solid steel, and it is extremely rugged. The only thing that I would want for it during a gig would be spare batteries in case the ones that're in it right now die. Which reminds me, this thing eats 9v batteries like nothing else, so you're better off just getting the power adapter.

Ease of Use — 7
The M-116 is pretty easy to use and takes very little time to get an amazing sound out of it. I never read the manual, I just started twisting knobs, and I had it dialed in after about 10 minutes on my pos Fender SP-10. My Line 6 Spider IV, was a completely different story. I've had the pedal since Christmas, and I just got the Killer tone I was looking for to come out of my Spider IV. It was worth the work though.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    sjones
    I was going to submit a full review, but after reading the comments, I'm just going to post my comments on the Fullbore here. I just bought one, and love it. Maybe my tips will help someone out. I'll start out with the shorter topic first. The noise gate is VERY nice, contrary to what some have said. If it's too sensitive, open up the back of the pedal and adjust it instead of bitching about it. Mine was set perfect stock, as I can play the softest note in a blues solo and it doesn't cut out sustain or tone at all. Don't listen to the people who piss and moan about a product without properly setting it up first. Second, and this will be a bit longer, the MID FREQUENCY AND MID KNOBS ARE CRUCIAL ON THIS PEDAL. To get the BEST sound out of this pedal, here's my suggestion. 1. Set the level to where you want it, along with the amount of gain, and adjust the highs and lows to taste (these will change again later, but suit yourself for now. 2. Using the (mid)Freqency knob, find the "sweet spot" on the rotary that you like the best. (Note: Mine is set at what I'd consider "11:30", what I'd consider just under half. Think of half-way between the 11 and 12 on a standard clock) 3. Now that you've found your "sweet spot" in the Freq. knob, TURN THE MIDS UP! This fattens this pedal up nicely without making it sound boxy or honky at all. My Mid knob is cranked or close to it at all times. 4. Adjust rest of the controls as needed. Take those steps to find a desired tone and this pedal is a very nice little unit. Even with the scoop control on, CRANK THE MIDS on the pedal. Those who find this pedal to be tinny didn't adjust the mids or mid. frequency knobs enough. Also, this pedal is more versatile than some have said. With the gain knob low, you can get some decent "heavy' blues-rock sounding tones out of it. One of the projects I play in has more of a "classic rock" vibe to it, and I use this for the "heavier" songs we do. Move the Gain knob up a bit to around "9-o'clock" or above, and you're in hard rock/metal/metalcore territory. Nice high gain sounds can be found in this pedal. The bottom line: IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO FIND THE TONE YOU WANT, then this pedal is a nice Distortion unit for $100 bucks. Don't expect this to sound like a million bucks right out of the box. Take 30 minutes to fine tune the settings (or use my settings below as a reference point) and tweak to your liking. My settings, if anyone wants to use these for reference. ON AMP SETTINGS: Bass- 5/10 Mid-4-5/10 Treb-4-5/10 Pres.-2 (These are the clean settings on my amp) Scoop OUT ("Heavy Blues Rock") Level - Adjusted to taste Freq - 11:30 Gain - ~7 o'clock Low - ~11 o'clock Mid - 4-5 o'clock High - ~ 12 o'clock Scoop IN (Metal) Push Scoop in Turn gain to desired level Adust Mid knob slightly to taste from above settings Hope this helps someone. Any questions, feel free to message me, I'm on UG almost daily.
    darkl64
    The problem though is the need to run the amp clean with it. With my 100 watt Marshall and the master volume on the amp at 10, I can't get enough volume to compete with my drummer unless I start to bring the gain up a bit.
    BUY A NEW AMP.
    idontgiveafuk
    sooo getting this pedal! i've a boss ge-7 eq which sorts any eq issues with it and i personally love the shrill high gain sound! oh and for those who think tube is the only way and frequently use it as musical snobbery crawl outta ur own asses for one not everyone has that kinda money to spend on an amp i'll take a e100 steel pedal over a e1500+ glass tube amp on the road any day! and secondly not everyone likes tubes! as for "tone" b.b. king the great blues man known for tone uses solid state! as for metal dimebag darrell used randall solid state the entire time he was with pantera! i wouldn't take a tube amp anywhere they're too damn delicate they break too damn easy and are unreliable in different conditions grand if ur rich and can afford the repairs, whereas i can depend on a solid state to take a beating from gig to gig and withstand the rigors of touring and playing live without needing to mess with with tubes or have reliability issues, tubes are soooo over-rated all u need is a well built amp solid sounding pedals that can take a kicking a hard work ethic and 2 rock ur balls off, if u play live ur gear will take a beating fact! the more solid it is the less chance of failure!
    sjones
    idontgiveafuk wrote: sooo getting this pedal! i've a boss ge-7 eq which sorts any eq issues with it and i personally love the shrill high gain sound! oh and for those who think tube is the only way and frequently use it as musical snobbery crawl outta ur own asses for one not everyone has that kinda money to spend on an amp i'll take a e100 steel pedal over a e1500+ glass tube amp on the road any day! and secondly not everyone likes tubes! as for "tone" b.b. king the great blues man known for tone uses solid state! as for metal dimebag darrell used randall solid state the entire time he was with pantera! i wouldn't take a tube amp anywhere they're too damn delicate they break too damn easy and are unreliable in different conditions grand if ur rich and can afford the repairs, whereas i can depend on a solid state to take a beating from gig to gig and withstand the rigors of touring and playing live without needing to mess with with tubes or have reliability issues, tubes are soooo over-rated all u need is a well built amp solid sounding pedals that can take a kicking a hard work ethic and 2 rock ur balls off, if u play live ur gear will take a beating fact! the more solid it is the less chance of failure!
    I actually use this with a hybrid amp from 1980 (Legend Rock N Roll 50, early, awesome sounding hybrid with 3 12ax7's in the pre and a great SS power section. 50 watt combo) Where SS might be your preference, I'd actually recommend this pedal for tube/hybrid owners like myself who need a higher gain setting out of an amp that can't reach those tone themselves.