MXR M104 Distortion + Pedal Review 2023

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MXR M104 Distortion + Pedal Review 2023

Unleash Vintage Crunch with the MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal


When it comes to iconic distortion tones, few pedals can match the reputation and influence of the MXR M104 Distortion+. Since its introduction in the 1970s, the M104 has been a staple on many pedalboards, driving the sound of countless rock and metal guitarists. Renowned for its rich and harmonically complex crunch, the Distortion+ remains a beloved classic among guitar enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the features, sound quality, versatility, user experience, and history behind the MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal, uncovering why it continues to stand the test of time.

Vintage Crunch: The MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal

The MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal has become synonymous with vintage grit and crunch. It was one of the first distortion pedals to hit the market, and its impact on the world of guitar tone cannot be overstated. Designed to emulate the sound of a cranked tube amplifier, the Distortion+ captures the essence of classic rock and blues tones while adding its own unmistakable character.

Features and Controls

The MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal sports a simple yet effective control layout. It features a single “Output” knob that controls the overall volume level. The “Distortion” knob adjusts the amount of gain, allowing players to dial in anything from a mild overdrive to a searing high-gain distortion. The simplicity of the controls ensures that players can quickly find their desired tone without getting lost in a sea of knobs and switches.

Sound Quality and Versatility

The sound quality of the MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal is where it truly shines. It delivers a warm and organic crunch that adds depth and character to any guitar tone. The pedal’s ability to retain note definition even at higher gain settings is a testament to its tonal prowess. The Distortion+ excels at producing thick, harmonically rich tones with a touch of vintage charm.

While the MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal is often associated with classic rock tones, it is far from limited in its versatility. It can easily adapt to various musical genres and playing styles. Whether you’re jamming bluesy licks, rocking out with power chords, or diving into metal riffage, the Distortion+ can deliver the goods. Its dynamic response allows for expressive playing, ensuring that your tone remains articulate and nuanced.

User Experience

The MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal is designed to provide a seamless user experience. Its compact size makes it easy to fit onto any pedalboard, while its rugged construction ensures durability for both studio and live performances. The pedal’s intuitive control layout allows for quick adjustments on the fly, making it an ideal companion for gigging musicians.

One notable feature of the Distortion+ is its transparency. The pedal preserves the natural character of your guitar and amplifier, enhancing rather than overpowering your tone. This transparency makes it an excellent choice for those who want their core tone to shine through while adding a layer of vintage-inspired distortion.

The MXR Legacy

MXR has long been revered for producing high-quality effects pedals that have become industry standards. The MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal continues this legacy by offering guitarists a reliable and versatile tool for shaping their tone. It has stood the test of time and remains a beloved classic in the realm of distortion pedals.


The MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal is a force to be reckoned with in the world of guitar effects. Its vintage crunch, simplicity, and transparent sound quality make it a go-to choice for guitarists seeking to capture the essence of classic rock and blues tones. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of gritty overdrive or unleash a wall of high-gain distortion, the Distortion+ has the power and versatility to meet your demands.

If you’re ready to embrace vintage crunch and let your guitar tone soar with character and warmth, consider adding the MXR M104 Distortion+ Pedal to your effects arsenal. Get ready to ignite your playing with the unmistakable sound that has captivated generations of guitarists. Unleash the vintage power of the Distortion+ and let your guitar roar with unmatched authority.

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