“Make musical mayhem”: Jim Dunlop and Zakk Wylde celebrate 20 years of collaboration with special-edition MXR x Wylde Audio pedals

MXR Zakk Wylde 20th Anniversary Series
(Image credit: Jim Dunlop)

How time flies. Zakk Wylde has been a Jim Dunlop signature artist for 20 years now, and to make the occasion they are releasing a special anniversary series of guitar effects pedals, with the MXR Wylde Audio Overdrive, Phase and Chorus now available to order.

And there looks like there is more to come with Wylde taking to Instagram to tease the return of his signature Dunlop Cry Baby wah pedal and Dunlop Rotovibe. Like the three pedals announced last night (Monday, 2 October), these all have a new look, albeit one that’s similar to the sort of psychedelic finishes that are applied to Wylde Audio electric guitar catalogue. Wylde’s signature shares space with the MXR logo on the bottom of the pedal.

The sounds will be familiar, too. The MXR Wylde Audio Overdrive has a similar configuration to the new out-of-production Zakk Wylde Berzerker overdrive pedal, with dials for Output, Tone, and Gain. 

If you are living your guitar life just like Wylde, splitting the atom with Pantera and Jamming Black Label Society tunes, then you’ll have this as an always-on drive pedal, another stage of gain to make your guitar amp scream.

MXR Zakk Wylde 20th Anniversary Series Overdrive

(Image credit: Jim Dunlop)

The Chorus is described as Wylde’s “secret weapon for thickening up walls of distortion and adding liquid dimension and texture to clean passages”, and has your typical  Level, Rate and Depth chorus pedal controls alongside Low and High cut knobs that allow you to fine-tune the EQ of the effect. 

Like the MXR M234 Analog Chorus, from which this MXR Wylde Audio model is based on, or is, given that it’s surely the same bucket brigade-driven circuit – you can run this in stereo or mono.

MXR Zakk Wylde 20th Anniversary Series Chorus

(Image credit: Jim Dunlop)

Finally, for now, is the MXR Wylde Audio Phase, which has the same single-knob setup as the out-of-production ZW90 Zakk Wylde Phase 90, with a single Speed knob on an orange enclosure, black text, no script just a heady swirly pattern that looks like the pedal sounds. 

How does it sound? “Take it from a slow grind to a jack hammering pulse, or use it as Zakk does, at the 9 o’clock position for a slow burning sweep,” explains Dunlop.

After bringing back Wyldes signature overdrive, phaser and chorus with a refreshed design, the 20th Anniversary Series would not be complete without the return of Wylde’s signature Cry Baby or Rotovibe – the latter a treadle-controlled chorus/vibrato, much loved by the likes of Jerry Cantrell

Well, there’s nothing official on that score yet, but Zakk Wylde has them on his pedalboard and he has given us an idea of how they’ll look. 

The 20th Anniversary MXR Wylde Audio Overdrive, Phase and Chorus pedals are available to preorder, with a street price of £145, £135 and £169 respectively. They ship from 15 October. 

See Jim Dunlop for more details.

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.