MXR M76 Studio Compressor review

The M87 gets reloaded

  • £182
  • €238
  • $271

MusicRadar Verdict

A solidly performing compressor with plenty of variables to get your sound just right.


  • +

    A classy performer.


  • -

    Very few.

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MXR's M87 Bass compressor has been around for a little while now, and the new M76 Studio Compressor is more of the same, but with a new look and name, aimed to give it more universal appeal.

This is based on the sort of classic compressors you would find in studios, with a choice of compression ratios as found on Urei's rackmounted 1176, plus attack and release knobs to give you control over shaping the envelope of the sound.

You also get a very useful green/orange/red LED meter showing you the amount of gain reduction that's going on.

The M76 is a naturally transparent-sounding compressor rather than one providing an obvious sonic signature. In this respect, it's a very different beast from MXR's Dynacomp, which is still a favourite with guitarists for its own flavour of snap and squash.

With no top-end dulling, this is a pedal that will unobtrusively keep your dynamics in check, whether just thickening the sound, keeping levels consistent or making it chime. Class.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.