Give your Marshall a low-intervention high-gain mod courtesy of George Lynch and Legendary Tones’ Mr Scary Mod

Legendary Tones Mr Scary Mod
(Image credit: Legendary Tones)

For many a generation of hard rock guitar players, a modded Marshall amp is the acme of electric guitar tone. 

But even though it promises more gain, compression and juicy harmonics, many of us stop short of putting our guitar amp in for surgery – it just seems so drastic. Couldn’t an overdrive pedal do the job? 

Well, there is a third way, and it comes from Legendary Tones, who have made modular tube amp mods a specialty. It has sat down once more with George Lynch for the Mr Scary Mod, an actual physical plug-in that is loaded with a pair of preamp tubes and is inserted into your Marshall amp’s preamp section to provide it with a huge helping of gain, controllable via a single dial, with a Deep switch to toggle between a bass boost mode and a default mode that tightens the amp's low end.

This ingenuous little device was designed and hand-wired in the USA goes back to the 2021, when Legendary Tones first collaborated with the Dokken guitarist in 2021. 

Putting their heads together, Lynch and Legendary tones adapted the Hot Mod V2 (HMV2) and came up with the Lynch Mod, which similarly swapped out the HMV2's dual-switch controls in favour of a gain knob and Deep switch. The Mr Scary Mod is essentially the same module with a different paint job and the one-two punch of its 12AT7 and 12AX7 preamp tubes. 

If the headline item in the Mr Scary mode is the “scorching gain” it juices your tone with, Lynch loves it for the dynamics, and the fact you can crank it and bring down the gain by adjusting his guitar’s volume controls.

Legendary Tones Mr Scary Mod

(Image credit: Legendary Tones)

“The Mr Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion – and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” he said. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”

There is no demo video but there is one of Lynch playing through the Lynch Mod and it sounds pretty sweet. The Mr Scary Mod is available now, priced $319 plus $8.60 within the US, $28.40 ROW. Only 150 units of these will be made. See Legendary Tones for more details, and here for a list of compatible Marshall amps.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.