MXR M69 Prime Distortion

Stompbox in the pole position

We were excited when we heard about the Prime Distortion: true bypass, metal enclosure and MXR's distortion lineage for £59? It sounds too good to be true, but this will withstand more abuse than most.

"While the dirt leans towards vintage, its voicing is fairly low in the midrange"

With the Prime Distortion's three controls - output, tone and distortion - set to noon, the pedal compresses and blooms like a cooking valve amp; reduce volume for a touch-sensitive overdrive with bite.

Single-coils shine through and humbuckers up the ante for more compressed tones. While the dirt leans towards vintage, its voicing is fairly low in the midrange, which makes it perfect for 80s metal riffing but less so for classic British rock, while more modern styles might require an additional drive or boost.

You need to be careful when adjusting the distortion level, too - the last quarter of the dial's range drastically boosts the gain, but the sound can get woolly. High-output humbuckers might cause problems when matching clean volume with distorted volume, as well.

A little more range on each of the Prime Distortion's controls could have made it a runaway success, but this is still a lot of pedal for not much cash, and could make a worthy addition to your arsenal - even if it's not the only distortion pedal you own.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Great value and build quality.

Cons

Controls need more range.

Verdict

A lot of pedal for not much cash - it could make a worthy addition to your arsenal, even if it's not the only distortion pedal you own.

Available Outputs

1/4 Inch Jack

Available Inputs

1/4 Inch Jack

Battery/Adaptor Type

9V Battery Nine-volt mains adaptor

Features

True bypass

Available Controls

Distortion Output Level Tone

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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