M116 Fullbore Metal review by MXR

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (80 votes)
MXR: M116 Fullbore Metal
1

Price paid: $ 75

Purchased from: craigslist

Sound — 10
The great thing about this unit is that it will take a weak sounding single coil guitar or a fire breathing hellbucker guitar and make them each sound like a colossal metal battle! True that this thing is a one trick pony, but that trick is METAL, and it delivers in a huge way. Now the debate will go on forever about the sub genre metal styles and character, and their corresponding sounds. Do not think that you will get some warm, organic sounding british 80s metal thing happening with this box. It is for the steely, high gain, high bite, scooped out middle with a tight, punchy bottom, especially if your amp can take it. If you wanna rattle on about how your tone comes through with the Fullbore stompbox, just skip this thing altogether. This is mot a tone machine, nor a tone enhancement pedal. Your tone will be utterly and completely destroyed with this monster. Get it if you like the grinding metal type sound, and a shizzload of gain. I play through this thing mainly with an early 90s Jackson Dinky with J-30s in it, but I have run a 59 strat, a Squier MIK strat, Les Pauls, and some oddball stuff through this pedal and had them all sound badass. For effects like distortion I use a "blank canvas" style amp - a Raven RG20 solid state with a 12" driver. For a gig tho, you may want something ballsier (I just rock my basement with this one, my main amp is a Blackheart fullstack, but it sounds crappy with this type of pedal).

Overall Impression — 10
Been playing electric for a little over 30 years, I play mainly metal, grindcore, death metal, Nu metal and alot of European metal, this is the sound I was looking for. Metal muff was a close second, but had more of an organic sound. My main metal pedal was peviously a Boss MT-2 with the Diezel mod, but that is being repaired and I needed another crazy high gain pedal. I would say these two are pretty close, but the Fullbore has a grittier edge to it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
MXR pedals are pretty decent for holding up well to repeated beatings, good quality and great effects. This one is no exception. I would say it is the best MXR I have owned yet, the Dyna Comp is a pretty serious box too. Made of metal, and already kind of roughed up looking, you can't go wrong with this pedal, if it stops working, you could use it as some sort of weapon, it's that sturdy.

Ease of Use — 7
This pedal takes a little tweaking, mainly because you need to get it to sound the way you want along with the tweaks to your amp rig. If you use more pedals with it, there will be more tweaks. My tube amp is not very pedal friendly, unless it's a mild overdrive, or delay, wah, flanger type, so I use a solid state on clean with this effects pedal. I did not get a manual with mine, but I may grab the online version, just to see if there are any more tricks to this beast.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    andrerist
    u couldnt get a good tone out of it cuz u were running it thru an all digital modeling amp.... they rnt meant for pedals at all
    JLowU571
    some digital effects sound pretty great- ie. delays and filters, but for distortion, you need valve circuitry. I had the traditional noob setup of an MG Marshall and an MT2 and it sounded artificial and had no dynamism. So I invested in a good, clean Fender Valve combo and a Valve powered Blackstar HT Dist- the difference is night and day. Now i know what real distortion is like. Valves react in a way that digital distortion just can't replicate (yet), they reflect the subtleties in your playing and produce a growling tone that I haven't found in any digital distortion, be it Boss, Digitech or MXR.
    Good_Lord
    WHy in the damn hells would someone plug a distortion PEDAL on a peavey 5150... man these things out-gain any pedal on the market. Please light my lantern.
    PaisleyWilde
    I'm of the opinion that there's very little as nice sounding as a tubescreamer or a nice overdrive on a tube amp for your rock n' roll needs. Mind you, I should save that for a post that isn't about a metal distortion pedal.
    themelodicdeathshow
    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!
    Dime started using tube amps around great southern trendkill. Most prefer tube amps not only for the sound but for the feel of the amp also. And me personally id rather have a high end amp than low end gear that sounds like crap.
    Vaeryx
    This is definitely a good pedal for the price. Like a lot of people have already said though is that there is a huge difference between running it through a SS and running it through a hybrid/tube amp. I have a Vox 30W Valvetronix, and compared to when I run it through my Fender Stage1600, it sounds really muddy and digital. A couple of notes though, when the volume knob is turned past 12 o'clock, that's when it starts to sound really digital. If you turn that back, then it cleans up. Also, the scoop switch is really just to give weak guitars some balls. I have a MIM Strat, and when I run it through this pedal, you really notice the difference. Most of the time I use my XPT700, which doesn't need the scoop switch, however I do like the thunderous bass you can achieve with it. But for $100, you're getting a really good pedal.
    NathanRobbins
    if you notice: most everyone who gives this effect a high rating is playing through their line6/bedroom/SS amps. that tells me that they are no authority on tone or pedals for that matter because I've tried this pedal in-store and it's sh**. I tried it with a couple different, good-sounding amps and it was sh**. I even tried it along with an mxr overdrive and it was STILL sh**. What a mess of highs, bass, and hiss. If you can't afford the pricier tube amps but want good distortion I would suggest the boss ds-1, ibanez tubescreamer, boss mt-2(use with caution), and the boss od-20 or a mixture of a couple of these. Don't waste your money on bad equipment. I usually like mxr's pedals but this one was a flop.
    mydian
    NathanRobbins wrote: if you notice: most everyone who gives this effect a high rating is playing through their line6/bedroom/SS amps. that tells me that they are no authority on tone or pedals for that matter because I've tried this pedal in-store and it's sh**. I tried it with a couple different, good-sounding amps and it was sh**. I even tried it along with an mxr overdrive and it was STILL sh**. What a mess of highs, bass, and hiss. If you can't afford the pricier tube amps but want good distortion I would suggest the boss ds-1, ibanez tubescreamer, boss mt-2(use with caution), and the boss od-20 or a mixture of a couple of these. Don't waste your money on bad equipment. I usually like mxr's pedals but this one was a flop.
    A Boss DS-1 is hardly a good distortion pedal to recommend to anyone reading a review for a metal pedal. Your entire statement is null and void just from saying that. Biggest piece of crap pedal ever, unless you just want to play AC/DC.
    jhart08
    mydian wrote: NathanRobbins wrote: if you notice: most everyone who gives this effect a high rating is playing through their line6/bedroom/SS amps. that tells me that they are no authority on tone or pedals for that matter because I've tried this pedal in-store and it's sh**. I tried it with a couple different, good-sounding amps and it was sh**. I even tried it along with an mxr overdrive and it was STILL sh**. What a mess of highs, bass, and hiss. If you can't afford the pricier tube amps but want good distortion I would suggest the boss ds-1, ibanez tubescreamer, boss mt-2(use with caution), and the boss od-20 or a mixture of a couple of these. Don't waste your money on bad equipment. I usually like mxr's pedals but this one was a flop. A Boss DS-1 is hardly a good distortion pedal to recommend to anyone reading a review for a metal pedal. Your entire statement is null and void just from saying that. Biggest piece of crap pedal ever, unless you just want to play AC/DC.
    I'll add to taht...if you want distortion why buy an ibanez tube screamer? no distortion, just a creamy overdrive that can push an already driven amp.
    milwaukeerocker
    i work at a music store and have tried this pedal. i don't play metal, but i certainly know what a good metal sound is. i played it with an American Strat through a fender twin reverb '65 reissue, only like one of the most pedal friendly amplifiers there is. Great guitar, great amp, but even high end gear couldn't stop this thing from sounding like a coffee grinder. I would avoid this crapmaster at all cost. I'd highly recommend sending one of the Boss distortion pedals to Robert Keeley and having them mod it. They do fantastic work and they do mods for the Boss MT2. I sent a DS1 to get modded by them and it's the best distortion pedal i've ever played/heard, and i've played a ton of Distortion/Overdrive/Fuzz pedals over the years.
    themelodicdeathshow
    westley23j wrote: i was always searching high and low for a great metal pedal and never found the ONE, but always had one i could settle with in my chain. i upgraded to a MESA Roadster, and i havent used a distortion pedal in YEARS. real tube distortion is where its at. if you are that picky about tone, splurge and buy an amp that you are happy with. everything else will fall into place.
    A roadsters lacking without an od in front of it, or mods. But once you mod a recto there hard to beat.
    themelodicdeathshow
    milwaukeerocker wrote: i work at a music store and have tried this pedal. i don't play metal, but i certainly know what a good metal sound is. i played it with an American Strat through a fender twin reverb '65 reissue, only like one of the most pedal friendly amplifiers there is. Great guitar, great amp, but even high end gear couldn't stop this thing from sounding like a coffee grinder. I would avoid this crapmaster at all cost. I'd highly recommend sending one of the Boss distortion pedals to Robert Keeley and having them mod it. They do fantastic work and they do mods for the Boss MT2. I sent a DS1 to get modded by them and it's the best distortion pedal i've ever played/heard, and i've played a ton of Distortion/Overdrive/Fuzz pedals over the years.
    Was the strat s/s/s. If so bad move playing high gain metal with single coils. But I agree the pedal sounds like a can of bees, Id rather use an mt-2 lol.
    ne14t
    slipknot_420 wrote: Dime started using tube amps around great southern trendkill. Most prefer tube amps not only for the sound but for the feel of the amp also. And me personally id rather have a high end amp than low end gear that sounds like crap.
    Sorry but Dime didnt start using tube amps until 2004 with Damageplan when he left Randall and went to Krank with there prototype Krankenstein. Up until then he swore by Randall solid state amps, which is always why I say its personal preference between SS and tube. I have the Fullbore and I run it through the clean channel of my Marshal Haze stack. To get the tone I wanted I rolled back the EQ of my amp for a very flat sound. I setup the fullbore with the tone I wanted out of it (disregard the settings in the "manual" they are crap) After tweaking the EQ on the peal I went to the amp and tweaked the amp EQ a bit as it seemed a lot more dynamic then the EQ in the pedal. I am not joking when I say this but it took me three days and about 5 hours each of those days to finally dial in a good distortion sound. This pedal is very dynamic in that aspect so you cant just start spinning the knobs and expect a good tone to come through. Also to all the people saying its not good for 80's metal, well its not...because it WASNT meant for 80's metal read MXR's description of their product "This compact but powerful device is all you need to unleash the most devastating contemporary metal guitar tones ever heard." thats right off the Dunlop webpage, research what your about to purchase, dont get pissed off when you buy something not suited to your needs, just because you didnt research it doesnt mean its a bad product. If you want good 80's style distortion get a Marshall JTM45 or Super Lead and just crank the gain! Or do what I did and just get a decent Overdrive pedal for that vintage distortion sound.
    gtarmn75
    I've noticed from what I've read on the net. This pedal works well with line 6 amps set on red clean or jcm900 clean which doesn't surprise me because. I played a metal muff through a bugera 1990 and it sounded awesome. I'm sure the fullbore would even sound better. I just ordered the fullbore for 83 bucks from buy.com I'm hopeing it will give my spider iv 150 a more modern sound I'm gonna try it through the 1/4 inch in and the mp3 input to bypass the effects. I'm a fan of tube and solid state and a pedal fan. I've been playing for 20 plus years and have played pretty much everything out there so save the arguments. It doesn't matter what gear you own. Some gear just clicks better with certain other items. Finding the right combination is priceless. Besides when you play live and your mic'd through a p.a. your frequency range of your amp gets adjusted in the mix anyway.