Jim Dunlop MXR M80 bass di plus
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  • Despite its quietness from the XLR-out compared to its competitors, the XLR-out is adequate, and won't leave you out to dry on stage or in the studio

    • by M. Alan Berg

      Every bass player needs a D.I. box to go direct into soundboards for live jams or recorded sessions. MXR makes a good one. The bass d.i.+, also known as the “M80,” is an exciting little pedal. It is a small but sturdy unit that feels like a brick when I hold it in my hand. It has an XLR out, and it also comes with an EQ. Furthermore, it has two separate channels; clean and distortion. The M80 is the base for playing the bass.

      Jim Dunlop’s MXR has made plenty of these pedals, and they are available everywhere from local musical instrument shops, to the big musician warehouse websites. They retail for about $140 brand new, but keep your eyes out for deals on used gear online and in stores. Like

      I said, the M80 is a brick, and despite sharing the same name as a quarter-stick of dynamite, the company declares on their website that the bass d.i.+ is “bomb proof.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to prove the truth to that claim, but I will attest to the unit’s solidity.

      The M80 is a pretty good-looking pedal, and would compliment any pedal board. It’s got a matted, hammered black sort of finish. There is also a special-edition version that is silver. As a bonus, the knob labels glow in the dark, in case your music career takes you to the darkest of stages. Lord knows mine has. The knobs are made from a nice hard, rubberized composite of some sort.

      “How does the Jim Dunlop MXR M80 bass d.i.+ sound,” you ask. It sounds great. Other DI boxes only have bass and treble tone controls, and they preset the mid-range. The MXR M80 gives you a mid-range control, to optimize and personalize your guitar’s tone. The EQ on the M80 is active, meaning that it acts as a boost and a cut for the frequencies it adjusts. The sweep of knob is pretty dramatic, making the controls sensitive, and making the MXR a very responsive bass preamp. There’s also a “Color” button that adds an MXR EQ preset to the signal, they say is “optimized for bass.” The knobs then tweak the frequencies based on those settings.

      The distortion channel on the bass d.i.+ is just what the doctor ordered. Distortion for bass guitars is difficult; the MXR M80 makes it easy. Dial up the gain, dial back ...

      • Jim Dunlop MXR M80 bass di plus
      the blend, and put a little fuzz on your notes. It also comes with a built in noise gate, to cut out the hums and hisses that usually go with distorting your bass signal. There are three main features in the distortion: the blend, the gain and the noise gate. With them, it’s possible to blend in any style of bass distortion known to man.

      It’s one knock is that I feel the M80’s XLR-out could have been made louder, and maybe an XLR-out pad could’ve been added. As it is, the XLR output into my recording mixer is quieter than other DI boxes I’ve used. Using a compressor before the bass d.i.+ in the chain has helped me make up for its quietness in DI applications.

      And really, I’m just being nit-picky there. Despite

      its quietness from the XLR-out compared to its competitors, the XLR-out is adequate, and won’t leave you out to dry on stage or in the studio. It is a buffered bypass pedal, so be sure to check the 9-volt battery you’re using, or better yet, search for the correct 9-volt AC adapter to use with the M80. Considering the power of the unit, count on the M80 drinking battery juice like it was coffee on a Monday morning.

      If you’re a bass player who needs to buy a pedal, but your not sure what, buy this one. The MXR M80 bass d.i.+ will make you sound better. Instantly. If you need a DI box, and you don’t have the cash for the SansAmp bass driver, buy the MXR M80 instead. Peace be with you.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in November, 2013. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1622111621780930/k2311a1122/11.22.13
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