T-Rex Mean Machine double distortion review

Double trouble in distortion land

  • £245
  • $379.99
Two identical distortion channels with their own controls - perfect for live performances!

MusicRadar Verdict

This is an excellent distortion in a practical package. For two levels of the same sound or two contrasting sounds, the Mean Machine will deliver.


  • +

    Two distortions in one box. Tone control focuses on a crucial frequency range.


  • -

    Nothing, but we wonder what both active at once would sound like!

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In a live situation, different distortion levels are often needed. With two identical channels in a single stompbox, the Mean Machine offers easy access to that practicality, while saving on 'board space.


The distortion here takes its cue from early hot-rodded amps and is tight and focused, with a nice raw edge and bags of sustain if you want it.

We really like the way this is voiced - there's an upper mid presence that brings out the harmonics. It's almost like having a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster built in, and it's all tweakable via a tone control that covers just the right range.

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.