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MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal

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MXR joined forces with Custom Audio Electronics founder Bob Bradshaw to bring you the MC-401 Boost Pedal. Cleans up nicely when you roll back your gu...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Get the unique sonic stamp of legendary designer Bob Bradshaw.

MXR joined forces with Custom Audio Electronics founder Bob Bradshaw to bring you the MC-401 Boost Pedal. Cleans up nicely when you roll back your guitar volume, making it extremely responsive to picking dynamics without thinning your tone. High-quality components provide quiet operation and trouble-free interaction with other pedals on your board.

Custom Audio Electronics has made limited quantities of pedals for select clientele since 1980 and has now teamed up with MXR to bring these pedals to the masses.


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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MXRCustom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal
 
4.5

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (3)
  • Excellent sound quality (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Straight cutting boost

This pedal is essential for those playing with a band who need a little extra clarity when it's time to step out front. For the guitarist who plays with the band and for the...Read complete review

This pedal is essential for those playing with a band who need a little extra clarity when it's time to step out front. For the guitarist who plays with the band and for the entire song, you generally want your volume even in the mix so the audience is hearing the entire song, but when it's time to step out for a solo, you don't want your tone to change, you just want to come up a bit and this pedal does just that - nothing extra, no messing with the sound you spend hours in the practice room creating, just a straight punch in volume. At up to +20dB, there's no style I can think of that this wouldn't work for. The true bypass is no lie - when it's not on it might as well not even be in the chain - absolutely quiet. When it is on, you just come out of nowhere. For gigging musicians: you could probably hammer a stage together with this thing and it wouldn't make a dent - it's one of the toughest pedals I own. I've played a few boosts, but this is the one that really is straight up exactly what you need to step up.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sounds good, but has reliability issues

See above regarding build issues. A pedal at this price should last longer than 3 years.
Rather straight forward on the features here- Battery or A/C power, blue LED,...Read complete review

See above regarding build issues. A pedal at this price should last longer than 3 years.
Rather straight forward on the features here- Battery or A/C power, blue LED, compact, on/off swich, one knob. Kudos for features. Keep reading...
Heads up!

Quality is the reason I am writing this review. I've been using this Boost pedal an average of once per week for over 3 years. I play in a gigging rock band. Although itl excels at its primary job of providing a solid clean boost, the on/off swtich has proven unreliable. It's begun to cut out momentarily while engaged. From what I've read, this is due to somewhat a poor engineering design where the on/off switch is directly hardwired to the PCB circuit board inside. In essence, each time you engage the on/off switch you're slowly but surely flexing the internal circuit board. Take it from this long time user- it has a bad effect on reliability before too long. They don't make 'em like they used to. Have you noticed yet how Dunlop is also cheapening their MXR pedals with a more lightweight case that flips and flops like a fish on the floor when you instrument cable gently tugs at it? I sense that we're becoming the victims of some cost cutting measures.

I'd suggest you look elsewhere for a better built boost pedal.
See above regarding build issues.

Reviewed by 22 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Sounds good, but has reliability issues

By Steve

from Massachusetts, USA

See all my reviews

Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

See above regarding build issues. A pedal at this price should last longer than 3 years.
Rather straight forward on the features here- Battery or A/C power, blue LED, compact, on/off swich, one knob. Kudos for features. Keep reading...
Heads up!

Quality is the reason I am writing this review. I've been using this Boost pedal an average of once per week for over 3 years. I play in a gigging rock band. Although itl excels at its primary job of providing a solid clean boost, the on/off swtich has proven unreliable. It's begun to cut out momentarily while engaged. From what I've read, this is due to somewhat a poor engineering design where the on/off switch is directly hardwired to the PCB circuit board inside. In essence, each time you engage the on/off switch you're slowly but surely flexing the internal circuit board. Take it from this long time user- it has a bad effect on reliability before too long. They don't make 'em like they used to. Have you noticed yet how Dunlop is also cheapening their MXR pedals with a more lightweight case that flips and flops like a fish on the floor when you instrument cable gently tugs at it? I sense that we're becoming the victims of some cost cutting measures.

I'd suggest you look elsewhere for a better built boost pedal.
See above regarding build issues.

(8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good boost when it works

By aenneking

from Indianapolis, Indiana

See all my reviews

Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

I received this a year ago and was excited to use it...it looks cool, sounds pretty good and doesn't seem to really color the tone.50 to 100 shows later and it's broken at least five times. The switch, as well as jacks, are mounted to the circuit board so every time you step on it, you're putting pressure on the circuit board. Mine has died or cut out so many times it's ridiculous. Last weekend my band played the Vogue in Indianapolis and the pedal started cutting the signal out (even when off) after having been fixed numerous times. I've owned almost 60 pedals and currently use about 15 and NONE of them have ever had this problem.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Straight cutting boost

By DentonGHosT

from Denton, TX

Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

This pedal is essential for those playing with a band who need a little extra clarity when it's time to step out front. For the guitarist who plays with the band and for the entire song, you generally want your volume even in the mix so the audience is hearing the entire song, but when it's time to step out for a solo, you don't want your tone to change, you just want to come up a bit and this pedal does just that - nothing extra, no messing with the sound you spend hours in the practice room creating, just a straight punch in volume. At up to +20dB, there's no style I can think of that this wouldn't work for. The true bypass is no lie - when it's not on it might as well not even be in the chain - absolutely quiet. When it is on, you just come out of nowhere. For gigging musicians: you could probably hammer a stage together with this thing and it wouldn't make a dent - it's one of the toughest pedals I own. I've played a few boosts, but this is the one that really is straight up exactly what you need to step up.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

MC-401

By Brad VanDerPol

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

Great for volume boost, it doesn't dirty up your tone at all like when using a distortion pedal on top of another. Just clean more volume thats all there is to it.
Simple one knob operation. Simply turn clockwise for more volume. Bright blue LED to tell its on, great for outdoor shows when the sun shines and you can't see your pedal lights.
Rugged metal construction built to last a life time like all MXR's pedals

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love this pedal

By Old Rocker Dude

from WNC

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

Great boost pedal I'm using it as the last pedal in the chain on my pedalboard. It doesn't change the tone of the sounds I have dialed up - it just makes them louder. Great transparent sound - perfect for boosting the volume of a lead break. If I were going to improve anything it would be the on / off switch - it's a little stiff for my liking and it makes a loud click - not in the audio path - but an actual, physical clicking of the switch. For a rock band it's no issue at all, but I suppose it could be for a low volume acoustic dinner set. Anyway, it's very minor and doesn't affect the job I need it for in any way. I love it and highly recommend it.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

My new best friend.

By Michael Allen

from Ohio

Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

Pushes the amp to that great Warren Haynes/ Bonamassa tone
I love this box!!! It breathed a sparkling new life into my sound!!! Thanks Bob!! It's just what this tone addict was looking for...Some advice to you people, if you are using an OD for a boost, you're missing something special here...
Built for business!!
It's worth its weight in gold...

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing Boost!

By bradleyd417

from Charlotte, NC

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Perfect Led Light
  • Responsive
  • Sturdy

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

    I love this boost pedal so much! I owned the MXR Micro Amp for a while, but I found that it colored my tone way too much (too much low end). The MC401 on the other hand doesn't color your tone at all. It provides a very precise boost that pushes your tube amp into natural overdrive. The boost is extremely articulate and produces throbbing palm muting and clear chords. If you're in the market for a boost or a buffer, I'd look no further. This pedal is affordable, sturdy, and sounds absolutely amazing!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Wicked boost

    By GuitarSlim

    from Ontario, Canada

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

    I bought this boost to throw in front of my marshall 1987x plexi reissue. I plug my guitar into it and put that in the amp and it gives me even more of that marshall overdrive. It gives me a whole pile of gain and makes it sound like the amp is hot rodded, when it clearly isn't. If you have an old-school tube amp that makes its own distortion, then this pedal will take you from early pete townsend to early van halen.

    (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Line Boost

    By Eddie weiner

    from Pennsylvania

    Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

    To get the 20 decibels of boost you need to have the right amp.
    I play out regularly and the features don't help me unless I run in the clean channel. My amp is a JCM 800 2203 and the pedal does not make a difference in the high sensitivity channel. It works great in the low sensitivity but my sound is not nearly the same. I tried using a Zakk Wylde Overdrive to get a heavier sound for a while and I am unhappy with the sound. Maybe I will try a better OD but I think I will sell the pedal and buy a volume pedal because the sound in the high channel is amazing.
    Great qualityFinish does not chip easilyDid not break
    Have to have the right amp to get the whole effect.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I love this pedal

    By Oleanda

    from New York City, NY

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

    This pedal is great for several reasons. It may seem like a lot to spend just for a boost pedal, but it gives you more than that. And really, when you compare it to say, Keeley or MI Audio, its cheap! True bypass, buffers your signal for proper impedance, drives your cable to the front end of the amp, adds color-less volume. The case is slick and tough. Well-made, and does exactly what its supposed to do.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    awesome pedal

    By Ian

    from Pennsburg, PA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

    I got this pedal because my Seymour Duncan pickup booster had been failing me live. Anyways, this MC-401 boost solved 3 problems for me. It allows me to control exactly how many decibals of boost I want, unlike the duncan which automatically started at a whopping 6! WAY TOO LOUD. Also, its got a sweet bright blue LED which looks awesome and now I can see if my pedal is on, even in daylight gigs. The duncan had a dull green light. Lastly, it punches in and out with no audible clicking like the duncan and it is actually RELIABLE. I would highly recommend this pedal to anyone who needs a lead boost for solos, as I run mine through my AVT50 effects loop so I can boost the on-board distortion as well. It's a little pricy considering its pretty much the exact same thing as the MXR Micro Amp, but the bright LED and collaboration with Bob Bradshaw and his company CAE sold me on this pedal. As far as I can see, its built to last forever.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    The perfect Boost Pedal

    By Tony-VcktM

    from O'Fallon, MO

    Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

    If your looking for a clean quiet boost pedal for your rig, don't hesitate, Buy It! No noise, no degradation of tone, just a perfect clean boost at the volume of your choice. I am running it as the last device in my pedal chain through the effects loop on my 100Watt Marshall. Gigged last night and just cut right through the mix when I stomped on this baby.

     
    5.0

    Great before tubescreamer

    By Blueszman

    from Winfield, AL

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Performances

      Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

      I initially purchased this pedal only for lead boost. However, I have since found that it works amazing placed before my TS808HW to beef up the tone. I set the TS drive and level at about 9-10 o'clock and the tone about 11o'clock. I set the booster about 10-11 o'clock. This gives me a great overdriven tone. It's almost like having adjustable distortion class pickups. Whether I run the TS on or off, the boost stays on. Running 18v is the best way to go for my situation. One suggestion would, if you have an effects loop, run a volume pedal at the end of the chain for a master volume control. It goes without saying, run the Boost and TS into the from of the amp.

       
      2.0

      Loud click, stiff button

      By SAVFIDDLER

      from Savannah, GA

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          I wanted to love this, and I probably would have if not for one simple issue that made it unusable for me. The button is quite stiff, actually hard to press, and makes a very loud clicking sound. The click itself would be audible during a quieter song in a listening room setting. Not only that, but the click also seems to be coming through the sound system, which, obviously, is unacceptable for my purposes (I'm a fiddle player in an acoustic band). I have another MXR pedal (carbon copy analog delay), which appears to have the same button mechanism, but I don't have this problem at all with this pedal. Maybe I just got a lemon? Had to send it back. Still on the hunt for a clean boost for my purposes.

           
          5.0

          Awesome, versatile boost

          By Docker

          from California

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          I started out with one of these bad boys as a line driver in my effects path, to compensate for signal loss due to the length of the chain. I was able to dial in the perfect amount of dB's for the task. I was so impressed with how transparent it was at doing its job, I bought a second for a lead boost -- I run into a single-channel Matchless Chieftain, so the second pedal was a perfect way to stomp to a lead dB level. (I rated 4.5's because I've yet to find the "Perfect 5". . .for anything, anywhere.)

           
          5.0

          Great Pedal

          By Scottk316

          from Alabama

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          This pedal is awesome! Does exactly what it needs to do without affecting your tone. I run this in the effects loop of my 5150 head. But here's a twist. I run a BBE sonic max. pedal after it. The BBE is the last pedal in my loop. The boost pedal along with the BBE work great together. I have the knob on the boost set at 8 o' clock and it gives me all the boost I need to get above the mix. And yes I've tried it without the BBE and DID NOT get the same results. I had to cut the boost up higher to get above the mix. All in all a great pedal.

           
          4.0

          Nice boost

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          I put this pedal throught the paces, and it works as good as expected.It works a lot better on my clean settings than with distortion, but works well enough to get that extra boost when needed to cut through the band.I think it is a worthwhile inventment, and it does look cool also with that blue LEd light shining on the pedal board.

           
          4.0

          not bad....

          By GuitarGoddess4 eva

          from Northern Virginia

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          I have two OD channels on my Marshall Valvestate, I love the second one for both rhythm and lead, so I need a boost for the leads. I got this pedal. It does give a small volume boost cranked up to almost 20dB. But don't expect it to be dramatic volume! It is really more noticeable in the tone though....cleaner. So that alone may be enough to get the listener to hear the solo kick in. I'm using it Friday at a show..so we'll see.

           
          5.0

          Booster deluxe

          By rockin' grandpa

          from St. Cloud, Fl.

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          Great clean boost, doesn't add distortion. Makes kicking in a solo easy. Quiet and way more power than you will need but it's still good to have the power!

           
          5.0

          Just Plain PERFECT!

          By Ryan M

          from Grand Blanc, MI

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Comments about MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC-401 Boost Pedal:

          If you are looking for a quiet, clean boost that won't color your tone or add distortion if you don't want it to, look no further. This boost is the only answer. You can choose any level of boost, from volume bumps to mild overdrive, and keep your original tone intact. Even at +0 dB, it will tighten up your tone while adding a little top-end. My favorite feature is that it adds almost no extra noise. Something very hard to come by in a boost pedal. In my eyes, this is the perfect boost pedal. Obviously C.A.E. knows their stuff.

          Displaying reviews 1-20

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