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MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal  

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Top Rated

Overview

  • True hardwire bypass
  • Low noise components
  • Large dynamic output range
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $114.28
  • Your Savings:
    - $34.29
  • Your Price:
    $7999
1 Used From $70.39

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MXR

Delivers everything from sweet singing overdrive to massive distortion!

Developed from the ground up using carefully selected components, the Distortion III pedal delivers everything from sweet singing overdrive to massive distortion crunch! It's natural and amp-like distortion is versatile enough to appeal to any playing style and transparent enough to let your guitar's personality shine through. Like all MXR pedals, the Distortion III features a heavy-duty casing, switch and jacks for a lifetime of use.

The initials MXR are synonymous with the effects pedal innovations that have shaped the tone of modern electric guitar. Since the 1970's, MXR has produced some of the best stomp boxes available; now comes the inspired MXR Distortion III. Starting with its proprietary circuit design that delivers rich harmonic content, the D-III carries on the MXR tradition of tough, rugged and tonally tasty stomp boxes. With its die cast chassis, robust stomp switch and carefully selected components the D-III guitar effects pedal is truly a modern day classic.

Features

  • True hardwire bypass
  • Low noise components
  • Large dynamic output range
  • Proprietary circuit design that delivers rich harmonics
  • Dynamic, touch-sensitive response

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Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
MXRM-115 Distortion III Pedal
 
4.4

(based on 33 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great secret weapon

I've noticed that a lot of people are calling this pedal nothing more than a tube screamer clone. I beg to differ. The tube screamer sounds more american in flavor, where this pedal...Read complete review

I've noticed that a lot of people are calling this pedal nothing more than a tube screamer clone. I beg to differ. The tube screamer sounds more american in flavor, where this pedal seems more british inspired. I.E., its a plexi in a box. This sweet little pedal gives my rig a third channel as well as a distortion boost for an all out in your face metal tone. I run it through a JCM 2000 DSL, and on the clean channel it gives a very convincing 70's rock tone with the distortion set at 5, output boosted a little and the tone at 3, and diming the distortion gives you the feel of a pushed plexi, not quite into van halen territory. When I run it through the dirty channel, its a dream come true. Thickness and sustain for days, and it decays into a very nice and useable feedback. And thats just with the distortion at 5. Maxing the distortion and the tone really takes off. I would recommend this pedal to anyone looking for "something different" in their tone, someone that doesn't want to be like the rest of the tubescreamer users. It is perfect for that inbetween sound, between overdrive and distortion, and that's one of my favorite ranges to play in. This pedal does not take control of your tone as others do, but complements your current setup. Highly recommended.
I'm not going to give it 5 stars here because I'm sure the extreme tweakers out there want more to play with, but for me the three knob set up is perfect. The best part is that the ranges of the controls are all useable.
I have never owned a mxr pedal that has been of low quality, much less heard of any. this thing is built like a tank.
I'm sure the price could be lower, but the distortion is not grainy, it is pure analog and sounds like it. True bypass is a great addition.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

My last MXR pedal

Back in the 80s I owned an AC-powered MXR Distortion II. That remains the best overdrive/distortion pedal I've ever owned and I wish they would reissue it, with that same quality. I...Read complete review

Back in the 80s I owned an AC-powered MXR Distortion II. That remains the best overdrive/distortion pedal I've ever owned and I wish they would reissue it, with that same quality. I thought the newer Distortion III would be a nice compomise, but no such luck. It is a very nice sounding overdrive pedal when it works. I will eventually get the switch repaired and use it as back-up.
Very simple, as a Tube Screamer clone should be. The controls are intuitive and work well.
The tone is very good. It is identical in overdrive sound to a Bad Monkey, which is another Tube Screamer clone, though the Bad Monkey has bass and treble controls instead of the single tone control of the others. The footswitch on my Distortion III went bad after about ten very mild uses. It is brand new and useless, stuck in the off position, making it a very nice paperweight. I've also noticed with Dunlop's MXR pedals the jack for the 9v adaptor tends to make poor contact, making the pedal cut out randomly. I had this problem with another Dunlop MXR Overdrive pedal and sent it back.
The price would be good for a very nice sounding Tube Screamer clone, but the quality is very poor. If you're considering this pedal, I would highly recommend the Digitech Bad Monkey instead. I've used mine a lot and it sounds great and is very reliable. I'm done wasting my money on Dunlop MXR pedals.

Reviewed by 33 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Just About Perfect...

By Big Jim 57

from USA

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

    I've been playing all of my life and have very critical ears. I've played most types of rock, pop and blues, everything from 80's Metal to Muddy Waters to 70's Classic Rock, Johhny Winter, etc. These days, I use Fender silver face amps for the clean tone and overdrive pedals for different types of distortion. The MXR Distortion III sounds just about right for most classic rock sounds, which is mostly what I do these days. It IS NOT a tube Screamer clone. This pedal does not sound like a Tube Screamer. In fact, I don't consider a Tube Screamer as being useable anymore. Maybe as a booster pedal, but not on it's own. I needed a pedal that I could use on it's own, almost like adding a channel to my clean amp. The Distortion III does it well, and it's very quiet, too. It makes a Stratocaster sound much bigger than it normally does, but it still sounds like a Strat. That's hard to do. Many big stars are using the Distortion III. Research it. I'm very happy with this pedal.

    Comment on this review

    (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Meh.

    By Levi J

    from Always in a State of Missiouri

    About Me Professional Musician

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive

    Cons

    • Limited Selection Of Effects

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

    this pedal is good for what it is. i bought it with the intent of using it as a dirty boost. It technically does this, but i'd prefer more dirt. With the "distortion" knob turned all the way up it gave me a tube OD sound.

    based on its sound this pedal should technically be called an "overdrive" instead of "distortion".

    Its a good pedal, and i'll keep it as its a great quality and its always good to have options as far as the sounds I get from my rig, just beware that "distortion" isn't really an accurate description of it.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Update on my previous negative review

    By starman500

    from Minneapolis, MN

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

          I gave this pedal a less-than stellar review when the switch broke after very few uses. Since then Dunlop fixed the switch free of charge even though the warranty had expired. I've tried it again in my pedalboard and I have to agree that this is not just another Tube Screamer clone, though it does that well. It has a sound more like my beloved 1980s MXR Distortion II. Whereas Tube Screamers and their clones seem to favor single coils, this sounds as good with the humbuckers on my Hagstrom Swede as it does my Strats and does rock as well as blues. I'm very happy to have this pedal working again, and I appreciate the customer service I experienced from Dunlop. They've renewed by respect for MXR/Dunlop products.

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          decent for mods

          By not a metal guy

          from NYC, NY

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Sounds good with mods

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Overdrive

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            I increased C2 for more bass, LEDS for more headroom before distortion. Decent Overdrive with crunch if you buy used, like I did.

            Comment on this review

            (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great secret weapon

            By Hartless

            from Missouri

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            I've noticed that a lot of people are calling this pedal nothing more than a tube screamer clone. I beg to differ. The tube screamer sounds more american in flavor, where this pedal seems more british inspired. I.E., its a plexi in a box. This sweet little pedal gives my rig a third channel as well as a distortion boost for an all out in your face metal tone. I run it through a JCM 2000 DSL, and on the clean channel it gives a very convincing 70's rock tone with the distortion set at 5, output boosted a little and the tone at 3, and diming the distortion gives you the feel of a pushed plexi, not quite into van halen territory. When I run it through the dirty channel, its a dream come true. Thickness and sustain for days, and it decays into a very nice and useable feedback. And thats just with the distortion at 5. Maxing the distortion and the tone really takes off. I would recommend this pedal to anyone looking for "something different" in their tone, someone that doesn't want to be like the rest of the tubescreamer users. It is perfect for that inbetween sound, between overdrive and distortion, and that's one of my favorite ranges to play in. This pedal does not take control of your tone as others do, but complements your current setup. Highly recommended.
            I'm not going to give it 5 stars here because I'm sure the extreme tweakers out there want more to play with, but for me the three knob set up is perfect. The best part is that the ranges of the controls are all useable.
            I have never owned a mxr pedal that has been of low quality, much less heard of any. this thing is built like a tank.
            I'm sure the price could be lower, but the distortion is not grainy, it is pure analog and sounds like it. True bypass is a great addition.

            Comment on this review

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Just OK

            By Ftone234

            from Richmond, VA

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            Well, I returned it due to a quirky knob and didn't care for the tone because it sounds like a tube screamer. After placing the pedal in various positions in my pedal chain while overlooking the knob issue, I could not find a desirable tone. Even after fiddling with my amp's eq, I still did not care for the tone. I guess its just not for me. I have a couple of other distortion pedals (specifically the Delta Lab RD-1) that cost significantly less that I prefer over this pedal. The RD-1 doesn't boost the mids or color your tone and has a friendly treble that's smooth, not brittle like the Boss DS-1.
            Standard: Tone, Volume (Output), and Distortion.
            Seems built well enough to survive moderate to heavy use. I have an MXR Phase 90 and it feels the same...solid. However, the one I received after purchasing on-line did had an issue with the output knob. When turning clockwise to increase the output it would get tough to turn at about the 12 O'clock position. It could still be turned, but not smoothly. Not sure what the deal was, so I returned it.
            I don't think the value of the M-115 Distortion III was all that great really. The knob issue for one thing...and the tone was that of a tube screamer and I am not a fan of the tube screamer tone. It boosts the mids way too much coloring your original tone.

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            My last MXR pedal

            By starman500

            from Minneapolis, MN

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            Back in the 80s I owned an AC-powered MXR Distortion II. That remains the best overdrive/distortion pedal I've ever owned and I wish they would reissue it, with that same quality. I thought the newer Distortion III would be a nice compomise, but no such luck. It is a very nice sounding overdrive pedal when it works. I will eventually get the switch repaired and use it as back-up.
            Very simple, as a Tube Screamer clone should be. The controls are intuitive and work well.
            The tone is very good. It is identical in overdrive sound to a Bad Monkey, which is another Tube Screamer clone, though the Bad Monkey has bass and treble controls instead of the single tone control of the others. The footswitch on my Distortion III went bad after about ten very mild uses. It is brand new and useless, stuck in the off position, making it a very nice paperweight. I've also noticed with Dunlop's MXR pedals the jack for the 9v adaptor tends to make poor contact, making the pedal cut out randomly. I had this problem with another Dunlop MXR Overdrive pedal and sent it back.
            The price would be good for a very nice sounding Tube Screamer clone, but the quality is very poor. If you're considering this pedal, I would highly recommend the Digitech Bad Monkey instead. I've used mine a lot and it sounds great and is very reliable. I'm done wasting my money on Dunlop MXR pedals.

            Comment on this review

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great pedal

            By Thomas-pn4RB

            from The mid-west

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            The one thing thing that bugs me is that the paint chips off without a lot of use. I'm not sure why. Other than that though, this is a very good pedal and I would buy another one if it were lost or stolen. The sound quality is great, the layout is simple and it feels very well-built. It shoud last a long while. I highly recommend it.
            This is a great sounding pedal, and there are a lot of situations this pedal works very well in. While MXR says it's a distortion pedal, it's more of a moderate overdrive, so it doesn't quite make it to the distortion mark. The signal clarity is really amazing, which I wasn't expecting. It's rich in harmonics too. This pedal works best when you're using it to push a tube amp into saturation or when you want to boost your leads, but it's still amazing by itself. It has enough gain for most of what I play, except some metal tunes, but that's where turning up the level comes in handy. It nails blues and classic rock big time. For more moderate gain needs I don't think there is a better pedal, and I've tried a lot of the other OD pedals out there.

            Comment on this review

            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Nice sound, weak construction

            By starman500

            from Minneapolis, MN

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            I know Dunlop makes lots of good products. This pedal sounds great when it works. I will have it repaired and use it as a backup to my Bad Monkey and other Tube Screamer-type pedals. I don't trust it as a regular part of my pedal board.
            A typical Tubescreamer copy, it's a very simple layout, easy to use, easy to get good sounds.
            As a big fan of the original MXR line of pedals, I am disappointed in the quality of new MXR products. The switch on this one broke after about ten uses, under very gentle conditions. It is shiny and new and broken. I had sent another one back because the 9v adaptor plug wasn't making proper contact.
            If it worked it is very well worth the money. Now it is an expensive paperweight.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            Not Just Another Overdrive

            By Jordan Smith

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about MXR M-115 Distortion III Pedal:

            No, this pedal is not a true distortion pedal, but this is a great overdrive pedal. Great creamy to crunchy tonal spectrum and stacks well with other drive pedals. If you are wanting a more amp-like drive pedal that doesn't sound like every other TS808 copy (TS9, Full-Drive, BB Preamp, SD-1, etc), this pedal is worth a try. I highly recommend it.
            A simple overdrive that uses an MC33178 opamp in comparison to the common JRC4558 chip (used in the famed TS808).
            I doubt mine has a true bypass switch.

            Comment on this review

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