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MXR M-103 Blue Box

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The MXR Blue Box takes your guitar signal, fuzzes it up, then duplicates it 2 octaves down. You control the output and the mix between the dry signal...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

This unassuming little box shovels out enough low frequencies to scare a blue whale.

The MXR Blue Box takes your guitar signal, fuzzes it up, then duplicates it 2 octaves down. You control the output and the mix between the dry signal and the effect. Using it 100% wet is quite an experience, but more recognizable sounds appear as you dial in more dry signal. The Blue Box is known for having a chaotic personality that can make each session a totally unique experience!

Here are just some of the people who are using this box: John 5 - Rob Zombie; Mick Thompson - Slipknot; Munky - Korn; Jimmy Page; Tim Skold - Marilyn Manson; Jay Baumgardner - Producer Zakk Wylde; Geordie White - A Perfect Circle.

FEATURES
Power: Single 9 volt battery or Dunlop ECB-003 AC adapter

Controls: Footswitch toggles effect on/bypass (red LED indicates on)
Output knob sets total output gain
Blend knob adjusts ratio of dry (clean) with wet (effects) signal
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MXRM-103 Blue Box
 
4.1

(based on 32 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

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

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (3)
  • Performances (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Super cool Donkey Kong sounds!

This pedal gets some nasty, funky, low-fi sounds and I love it. Let it be very clear up front that this is not the pedal for anyone, nor is is the pedal for...Read complete review

This pedal gets some nasty, funky, low-fi sounds and I love it. Let it be very clear up front that this is not the pedal for anyone, nor is is the pedal for all uses. That being said, you can get some really cool old school video game sounds, thick sub-octave fuzz, gritty unstable fall-off, etc. This pedal has character for sure. Definitely not good for chording, though it can be interesting on power chords (pretty unstable, not for every song but I like it). The only knocks I can give it are a lack of controlls and a lack of cut in a full band set up. I typically run a tube-screamer or similar pedal after it to increase the cut. This pedal isn't a one trick pony, but it's not all that versatile and should NOT be your main fuzz pedal. That being said, I love it.
I love this thing, but as far as features goes, it's pretty minimal. It's got two knobs, a footswitch, and an LED. It doesn't really need any more features than that, but if there were a seperate fuzz control or aditional tone, I wouldn't complain.
It's MXR. It is going to be built like a tank at a reasonable price. The only think I've found is that a 9 volt battery can be a little hard to fit in and close the case all the way just because of the foam inside. Other than that, it's a really tough cast metal enclosure with a tough switch. It's not going anywhere.
I'm actually currently borrowing this pedal for an extended period of time, and I was going to try to buy the pedal off of my friend if he'd sell it to me. Excellent value.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

An oddball indeed..

Well I just picked one up last week and yeah I have to say it definitely aint a regular octave fuzz.. Bought it after reading Scott Kelly of Neurosis uses one. For what...Read complete review

Well I just picked one up last week and yeah I have to say it definitely aint a regular octave fuzz.. Bought it after reading Scott Kelly of Neurosis uses one. For what though I dont know now.The tracking is rather wierd and decides when it wants to work and doesnt.. The fuzz by itself sounds pretty decent and its great for making video game noises and wierd low end drones (Im tuned to A so the double octave down is kinda neat).. Gotta keep playing with it but I think its gonna fit in nicely as I was looking for something new and odd to make 'noises' with.The Blend knob does not mix between clean and fuzz tones.. It mixes between the octave and the fuzz signal. No matter what, this pedal is not clean. Its a fuzz with a wierd octave effect and the fuzz is always on no matter what. All the way to the left its pure octave, all the way to the right is all fuzz. I keep mine somewhere around 2-3:00 and its perfect for Univox Superfuzz tasting octave sounds. Move it a little more towards 12:00 though and the chaos of the Blue Box starts to take over.

Reviewed by 32 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Super cool Donkey Kong sounds!

By Luke Hunter

from Muscle Shoals

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

This pedal gets some nasty, funky, low-fi sounds and I love it. Let it be very clear up front that this is not the pedal for anyone, nor is is the pedal for all uses. That being said, you can get some really cool old school video game sounds, thick sub-octave fuzz, gritty unstable fall-off, etc. This pedal has character for sure. Definitely not good for chording, though it can be interesting on power chords (pretty unstable, not for every song but I like it). The only knocks I can give it are a lack of controlls and a lack of cut in a full band set up. I typically run a tube-screamer or similar pedal after it to increase the cut. This pedal isn't a one trick pony, but it's not all that versatile and should NOT be your main fuzz pedal. That being said, I love it.
I love this thing, but as far as features goes, it's pretty minimal. It's got two knobs, a footswitch, and an LED. It doesn't really need any more features than that, but if there were a seperate fuzz control or aditional tone, I wouldn't complain.
It's MXR. It is going to be built like a tank at a reasonable price. The only think I've found is that a 9 volt battery can be a little hard to fit in and close the case all the way just because of the foam inside. Other than that, it's a really tough cast metal enclosure with a tough switch. It's not going anywhere.
I'm actually currently borrowing this pedal for an extended period of time, and I was going to try to buy the pedal off of my friend if he'd sell it to me. Excellent value.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

One-Trick Pony (but a very nice Pony)

By Jason Murray

from Geneva, IL

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • FUN
  • Psychedelic
  • Unique

Cons

  • Limited
  • Low Volume
  • Not Very Versatile

Best Uses

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    If you're interested in a fuzz pedal with a lot of range, you should look somewhere else. If you want a pedal that makes fat sounding low-end buzzing noises, than this is the pedal for you.

    With the blend knob at 0 it has a very bland gentle fuzz that isn't very interesting on it's own. I can definitely say, if you're interested in this for a normal fuzz pedal, don't get it.

    The blend knob at half will get you a mixture of the normal fuzz with a mixture of the pedal's signature -1 octave buzz. I find having both octaves audible to be a bit distracting because the low end is very unwieldy and usually just sounds like mush underneath the conventional normal fuzz.

    With the blend knob at full you get the pedal in all it's glory, an 8-bit Nintendo deep bass buzz. Anything you play lower than the 12th fret on this setting will sound like static. Above 12, you can get some fantastic deep sounds that will really raise eyebrows among people who never thought a guitar could achieve those type of sounds.

    On it's own the volume and fuzz is pretty low, and I would recommend putting it though either an overdrive pedal or a distortion pedal to really make it pop.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a great pedal to have in your arsenal. It's essentially a bass pedal (something almost akin to the bass-line of Nirvana's "Breed"). It's limitations however make it a one song pedal (hence Jimmy Page's usage of it for one song and then throwing it aside).

    70 isn't a whole lot to ask for a great song though. I don't regret buying it, but I'm not exactly overjoyed with it either. I usually bust it out to friends and they get a chuckle when I play the Super Mario Bros. "Underworld" theme. If you're tight on money, you're much better off looking at other fuzz pedals that for 10 extra will get you 10 times as many sounds.

    If you've got the scratch, I would recommend seeking out the DOD "Buzz Box". It was a custom pedal that DOD made for Buzz from The Melvins that basically takes the Blue Box and mixes it with a nasty distortion. They don't make it anymore and it's expensive, but it's a forgotten classic that blows this pedal away.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great pedal

    By Justin

    from New Orleans

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    This is a great pedal to add to your gear it's fun to play around with. Built very sturdy and sound is awesome. It ranges in sound from a synth like sound to a great lead fuzz sound.. You won't be disappointed...

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great pedal, may not be for everyone though

    By Richey2195

    from New York

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    MXR has supplied musicians with some of the most versatile, portable and user-friendly effects for decades and the Blue box is no exception. For those of you who don't know this is a monophonic low octave fuzz pedal. A true old-school fuzz which will diminish the output volume a little but is the only way to achieve this tone (think the Stones "Satisfaction" riff for instance).Also the low octave effect is not polyphonic like modern octave units so it will glitch a bit on sustained notes and chords so if you are looking for a Clapton "woman" tone for example this pedal is NOT for you.I recommend setting the output level to 4 o clock and the blend control to 2 or 3 o clock for a sustained fuzz tone with some low Moog synth tone on the side. Remember that turning the blend knob counter-clockwise will enhance the low octave sound so even if you can't stand this sound just turn the knob all the way to 4 o clock and you'll have a decent fuzz tone to use.A wonderful supplement to any pedalboard, but try before you buy if you're able to. You'll either love it or hate it.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fool in the Rain!

    By OldSchoolRocker

    from Cincinnati

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    If you really want to know what this sounds like, it was used in the guitar solo in the Led Zeppelin hit, Fool In The Rain, on the In Through The Out Door album. It's a one trick pony that may or may not meet your tastes.MXR pedals are top notch in quality. Amazing, considering their Dunlop ownership, but Dunlop seems to be improving their game across the board. MXR pedals are always simple, built very well, and last.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    MTX BLUE BOX

    By John Goad

    from From Indiana / Live in Georgia

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    Overall, this thing is awsome! I'm a big fan of the bands cky, electric wizard, and deadsy so I was very happy to get a pedal with similar sounds to theirs. This pedal will bring a new sound to the table. I like the way it sounds with distortion added. If you've listened to the bands I mentioned then It won't be an original sound but to most it will sound very new and clean yet grunge and dark...music to my ears! Prepare to enjoy yourself if you decide to make the purchase!
    Standard size pedal with the ability of Octave control that blows your mind!
    The thing seems it could be a mortar how sturdy it is. Everything is tight and maufactured to the utmost quality.
    I was very happy with my purchase of this monster of a pedal. It did more than I thought It would and was made very well so no complaints at all. I've seen way less go for way worse!

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Blue Box: Fun, but usable?

    By danielm13

    from Illinois

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    There are few pedals that I keep on my pedalboard, and this guy has managed to do so. Although its use is limited, it can be used for some really awesome things. I don't think it's for everybody. But it definitely has a crowd of its own, and it does a pretty good job of what it does.
    This thing has pretty basic controls, with only "Output" and "Blend" controls. Both are responsive, easy to use. The "Output" is pretty self-explanatory, and the "Blend" controls how much the lower octave is permitted into the mix. The lower octaves are fun to use, and the pedal has an "8-bit" sound to it. However, this is NOT a polyphonic pedal. Meaning, if you have the lower octaves in gear, you cannot play a chord without getting a chaotic mess coming out of your amp. Now, some people think that this is a wonderful chaotic mess, but that's to be left up to the listener. Basically, what this means is that you are limited to only playing individual notes, like in a solo, when the lower octave is put into the mix. If you have it set to just straight fuzz with no lower octaves (setting the "Blend" completely clockwise), you won't have this problem. The straight fuzz is alright, but with a lack of control as to how much fuzz you have in the mix, you're left with no wiggle room. You're stuck with the amount of fuzz they give you. While this unit sounds just plain beastly, these mistakes were big ones for MXR.
    The Blue Box is a very sturdy little box, definitely meant to be taken for the long run. The LED is very bright, the input/output jacks are in there good and solid, and the control knobs are pretty clean. As mentioned before, however, the sound is meant for the experimentalist. It won't do the same thing twice. It sounds very big and and growling, great for solos. But if you're wanting consistancy, you're not going to find it here.
    You'll be getting quite the bang for the buck with this pedal, and it's a really cool bang, too. I've had no regrets in purchasing this, and I think the price has quite a bit to do with that.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    You get what you pay for: 2 knobs, and great tone.

    By ThunderlandGuitarist10

    from Birmingham, AL

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

    The MXR Blue Box. This pedal is of acquired taste. I came across this effect looking for a great, classic, dirty octave effect.. and its exactly what you get. This pedal sounds great with the output all the way up, because it really pushes the sound of the effect out. Then, if you overdrive or boost with it, the volume increases substantially. Now, the amount of fuzz/octave is completely up to the player. It has great fuzz, and a great octave for thickening some riffs or solos up. Gig wise, it is one of those effects that you would probably not use more than once for a whole set, but it is so unique that it can leave persons in the audience in an awe of your axe work. The value on the effect is all up to the player, because, what you get is what you pay for, nothing less and nothing more. If you want something new, and something that will stand out, this is the great little secret weapon for you.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fuzz with some balls

    By Brandon Howell

    from Paden City, WV

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

      First off I will say this is not for the timid guitar player and you must play around with this pedal. Read the manual and look at the sample settings they give you and try em out. I personally like the blend knob at the 1:00 position, I run this through my marshall 100 watt stack cranked. Many fuzz pedals dont like an already cranked amp but this is where the blend knob comes into play. Unless you run the blend up all the way dont play chords. I dont use it like this, I use it on lead lines and it tracks very well. Also its build like a tank. Great pedal all in all and dont be afraid of it. MXR is the best of the best! Accept no substitutes!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Zzzzz

      By returned this one

      from baton rouge, la

      Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

      I listened to the sound clips online and thought this pedal sounded pretty cool. When I got it in I was really surprised at how bad it actually sounded. The tracking is like a quarter of a second off which really makes playing awkward. I don't think anyone would ever find much use for it. Just buy an octave pedal if you want a much better result.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Worst Pedal I've Ever Owned

      By heyim89yearsold

      from Norton, MA

      Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

      This was a gigantic waste of money. It just sucked everything from my sound. And it can't seem to stay in line. The octave doesn't know whether to go up or down. And the Fuzz is lame too. It's just not a good pedal and that's that.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      pretty cool little box!

      By fuzzywuzzy

      from Gosport, UK

      Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

      i tried this pedal out in a shop out of sheer curiosity. i had no idea what it was or what it was for, but i was intrigued by the "fuzz octave" effect it was professed to produce. so i had a little play around, and fell completely and totally in love!it is a strange effect and it probably would be very difficult to use for most conventional styles of music, so most definitely not for everyone. but if you're like me and love nothing more than to tinker with your "sound", i definitely recommend this pedal! you will not find another like it!on the other hand, if you play anything other than VERY alternative rock, you may not find anything so magical about this little guy. but definitely try one out! it's an experience, to say the least!

       
      5.0

      killer sustain !

      By death metal daddy

      from springfield pa

      About Me Novice

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Performances

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        works great on bass don t use it for stupid 8 bit sounds i use it after my compressor and before my wah to get my cliff burton on !

         
        4.0

        This baby is bonkers!

        By Matty Zero

        from Pittsburgh, PA

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Good Selection Of Effects
        • Unique

        Cons

        • Requires Strong Attack

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording
        • Single Note Attack Pieces
        • Solos

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        This thing is pretty crazy! With the double descending octave sound combined with the fuzz you get a very White Stripes "Blue Orchid" kinda tone with the Blend around 5 o'clock or if you put the Blend all the way down you kinda want to scream at your bass player "Is that all you do?". Dial both knobs to about 2 o'clock and you sound like the sound track to a bad NES game from the 80's that you loved as a child! My only complaint is that you really have to hit the string to get the full effect, hammer ons and pianissimo picking seem to get lost in the mix so if you are gonna use this, be in it to win it!

         
        4.0

        Not really practical but makes the audience look

        By Grooveman26

        from Winnipeg, Canada

        See all my reviews

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        This pedal is probably the least useful pedal I own. But it can sound amazingly funny when your trying to just goof around and make video game noises with it. The problem is that it's not polyphonic, so it can't handle more than one note at a time. So in the event that you hit 2 notes the octaver loses it's mind. Sound quality is solid, and the pedal is dirt cheap!

         
        5.0

        Really fun stompbox

        By SGshredder82--Hrxw

        from Elm Grove, WI

        See all my reviews

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        I've had this for 2 days now, and at first I didn't know what to do with it. It seemed so impractical I almost returned it. But after some more messing around, I figured out a bunch of ways to throw this puppy into my playing, and now I love it! It is definitely one of those things that will keep your audience guessing. This thing makes chords suck, but I expected that. Overall, this is a really interesting pedal to play with, and come on, for 70 bucks this is pretty good.

         
        4.0

        Very distinguisable

        By me-e_8P8

        from NY

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        I bought this pedal because I found out soem of my favorite guitarists use it (King Buzzo of the Melvins, J Mascis of dinosaur jr, munki of korn) so I bought it on a whim, and I was dossapointed and tried to sell it, nobody would buy it, so a couple months later I picked it up again, and now I love it, it isn't polyphonic, so chords are useless to try and get to sound good, you can get a synth sound, an organ sound, a cruddy fuzz, and a weird atari-sounding effect, but all of these are very powerful and this pedal is not good for subtle effects, I use it for riffs or to emulate and organ-synthesizer. Its worth the 80$ if you like to screw around with weird effects, but its not really useful, at all.

         
        1.0

        dissapointing

        By Dino-mt53_

        from Canada

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        After purchasing, and spending some time tweaking with it as recommended, I came away dissapointed with this pedal. It's description is apt. It IS chaotic. But that seems to indicate a lack of repeatability, even when dialing in the same. Solidly built, by a very reputable company (MXR) this one left me dissapointed.

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Not what it's cracked up to be.

        By Billy K.

        from Seattle, WA

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        I bought one a long time ago, and really couldn't get it to perform to my expectations. The main problem with this device is that you can't really get a handle on managing the sound/tone. Tried it on both guitar and on a vintage monophonic synth, and it just doesn't cut it. What good is a device if the sound is not manageable?? The construction, like all other MXR devices, is solid.But I wish I could find something like it claims to be, that you have some control over the sounds...'Bought it once, used it for a couple of months, and ended up selling it.

         
        5.0

        Good Pedal

        By Rocker258

        from Birmingham, Alabama

        See all my reviews

        Comments about MXR M-103 Blue Box:

        I got this pedal today and it has some minor flaws to it. The first is you have to unscrew the bottom to put the battery in. But that isn't to bad. The second is it's very hard to get the sound you want out of it seeing there are only two knobs. The knobs glow in the dark so that's pretty cool. But the sound is intense once you crank up the volume. The price is great for this little beast, but try it out before you buy it. You might have to combine a couple other pedals with this to get the sound you really want.

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