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Tom Morello gets his first ever signature overdrive pedal with MXR POWER 50

MXR
(Image credit: MXR)

Tom Morello declined gear endorsements for years, but things have changed in recent times with a signature Fender 'Soul Power' Strat, Dunlop Cry Baby Wah and now the MXR TBM1 Power 50 overdrive pedal – the most intriguing of the Rage Against The Machine man's collaborations yet.

Morello's ability to conjure monstrous tones from his 50-watt Marshall JCM 800 2205 head through a Peavey 4x12 cabinet is well known, so the idea of an overdrive pedal attempting that kind of sonic power is very attractive indeed.

“The Power 50 Overdrive emulates the amp setup that I’ve used since 1988,” says Morello. “I’ve made 21 studio albums, and that amp, that head, and that speaker, and that tone has been on 21 of them. It’s been my signature identifiable sound since Day One of my career.

“If you want to have the sound that has been on those records, you don’t need to find an amp and speaker cabinet from 1988. You can get that sound with the Power 50 Overdrive, no matter what your setup is.”

MXR

(Image credit: MXR)

Many pedals have sought to capture the JCM 800's preamp gain stage goodness before and MXR has opted for MOSFET technology here; mirroring amp controls with the Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Gain and Presence controls. 

Like the impressive Blackstar Dept. 10 Dual Overdrive and Distortion pedals, there's an onboard effects loop here. Morello runs all his effects pedals though his amp's loop and here players can adjust their loop's  overall level because the MXR's runs before the Presence control. 

We're seeing preorder street prices of $/£189.99  for the MXR TBM1 Tom Morello Power 50 Overdrive. More info at MXR

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.