M148 Micro Chorus review by MXR

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (21 votes)
MXR: M148 Micro Chorus

Price paid: € 93

Purchased from: Levytukku

Sound — 8
It makes my clean sound much cooler. If you put it in front of your amp, it's a bit noisy and it gets noisier when you turn the distortion on. In the FX loop there's no noise, not even on the distortion channel. My amp is Laney VC30 and my guitar is Charvel So Cal. I like playing 80s rock music (bands like Def Leppard, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Whitesnake...) and the pedal is almost a must-have for power ballads and other kind of rock cleans. There's one downside with this pedal and I don't know if it depends on my amp's FX loop, but I can notice a volume drop when I turn it on. That's why I run it in front of my amp. In other amps' effect loops I haven't noticed the volume drop so maybe it's just my amp. I compared this pedal to Ibanez CS9 and MXR Black Label chorus. This sounded warmer than Black Label and was simple enough for me to use. I think I could have found some good sounds with the Black Label but it was just too complicated for me with five controls. The Ibanez was very nice and maybe sounded a bit better than this but it cost 2x as much as this pedal and my maximum budget was a bit over 100. Compared to my RP355 chorus settings, this is much better. And much better than any built in chorus effects I have tried on modeling amps.

Overall Impression — 9
I think this pedal is great. It might not be that versatile but who needs four different chorus sounds? It can do flange and Vibrato kind of sounds depending on where you set the rate control. I bought this pedal because I didn't want to carry the big RP355 pedal with me only to use the chorus effect. If it were stolen/lost, I think I could buy it again. But I would maybe try something else for a change. Maybe the Marshall Supervibe or MXR Black Label that were pretty good. After buying this (my first individual pedal) I noticed how much better individual stompboxes are than multi FX processors or built in effects. I've been playing for about three years and my amp is Laney VC30 and guitar Charvel So Cal. As I said, I compared this to Ibanez CS9 and MXR Black Label chorus. In another guitar store I compared some chorus pedals like DigiTech Multi Chorus, Hardwire Chorus, Electro-Harmonix Nano Clone and Marshall Supervibe. Nano Clone sounded very thin, I didn't like it at all, the two DigiTechs were pretty nice but were too complicated. The Supervibe was pretty good and I was about to buy it but went to another guitar store where I found this chorus and decided to buy it. I like the pedal's simplicity and warm sound. There's nothing to dislike about this pedal but I wish it also had a level control. I think chorus pedal is a must-have for rock/metal and Grunge players for example. It fits almost any clean song, maybe not every blues or jazz song. If you like that kind of 80s clean sound, I recommend you to buy a chorus pedal and definitely check this pedal out.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I can depend on this pedal, it doesn't seem like it would break easily. It's made of metal. I have used both battery and 9V adapter to power it. It works with both but you must remember to change the battery before gig. Because the pedal is not 100% true bypass so when the battery life ends, there will be no sound coming out, even if it's switched off. So I recommend you to use it with the 9V adapter. I have played one gig with it in front of our music class (we played two songs). I don't think you would need a backup unless you are using this with batteries.

Ease of Use — 10
This is a chorus pedal that means it adds a slightly detuned vibrating signal to your sound. So basically it sounds like there were two guitars playing the same thing. Even a complete idiot could use it because it has only one knob called "rate". It changes the speed of the chorus effect. I usually leave it at noon but if you want more like a Vibrato effect turn it all the way up. All the way down it sounds a bit like flanger and fits better metal ballads and clean parts. Also with distortion you might not want to get too much of vibrato. There's a manual but you don't need it. It just gives some examples of what settings you can use in which music styles. And I have to add that it's all analog.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Way Cool JR.
    I bought one of these a few years ago and still love it. I can't see myself buying a different Chorus in the future ever. I to bought it for 80's Metal & Hard Rock and after testing countless pedals this one came out on top. When I paired it up next to the Small Clone it made the Clone sound like a cheap digital effect (no offence people). Plus the SC sounds bad with Distortion/OD and the Micro sounds great with it. I use chorus with OD/Distortion as much as I do with cleans so I need a pedal that excels with both and most pedals only do one or the other and not both. It's probably your amp why you have some added noise on overdrive/distortion and a drop in volume in the loop. On both my amps my pedal is dead quiet with cleans and OD/Distortion in front or loop. I have a slight volume boost in the FX Loop (Crate V33) that I really love, and there is no boost or drop in the front. These pedals sound great up front and spectacular in the loop and they cover a huge range of music not just 80's Rock & Metal.
    Your amp probably has a 4db cut in the FX loop, it's common on amps that are designed to run with rack effects. Easily taken care of with a pedal that has an output/volume knob on it, I use an EQ in my loop to make up for the volume cut...and, you know, to EQ stuff.
    rob904 wrote: Your amp probably has a 4db cut in the FX loop, it's common on amps that are designed to run with rack effects. Easily taken care of with a pedal that has an output/volume knob on it, I use an EQ in my loop to make up for the volume cut...and, you know, to EQ stuff.
    OK, thanks. Yeah, it's a parallel loop.
    ^ Well, the pedal is noisy because the amp has that noise and when you have an effect in front of your amp, the amp noise gets louder. Amps are always a bit noisy when you have your distortion channel on. That has happened with every amp I have tried with any effects. You can hear the swoosh sound that chorus pedals always make. And I meant when I'm not playing. When I'm playing, I don't hear any noise.