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Rating and Reviews: MXR M-80 Bass Preamp

From the distortion channel to the color switch to the preset EQ contour, the M-80 Bass Preamp and DI Box delivers superior tonal flexibility.

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"Really Big Punch and a Nice Growl" submitted January 2, 2006

By a customer from bellsouth.net
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Classic Rock, Pop, Country
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: The sound of this box sounds old school to me. That's a good thing. It really adds a lot of punch to my amp. I have been able to get the big warm round sound (with passive pickups) going direct through the PA and I've been able to get a nice punchy growling sound (active pickups) going into my Ampeg BA 115. I compared it to the Tech 21 RBI and I have to say I like the MXR M-80 better, especially when going to direct to the PA. The Tech 21 seemed to lack something when going into the PA. I will say the MXR definitely needs a compressor to tighten up the sound a bit. This unit has a distortion channel that sounds pretty good. You can get a slightly overdriven distortion or you can get really nasty, whatever you desire. I will say that the Tech 21 wins in this area though. The unit has a color button that gives a subtle, but noticeable boost to the mid-range frequencies. This is very useful to cut through the mix when playing live. Feature: Features include Low, Mid, and High EQ as well as the color button mentioned above. The distortion seems to be pretty versatile in that you have a volume, blend, trigger (for the noise gate), and gain control. The blend allows you to blend the clean channel with the distorted channel. The unit also features XLR out along with a parallel out to run direct to the PA and to your amp. Quality: HEAVY DUTY. Metal Casing everything seems pretty solid. The battery compartment may be the only thing that might break. It's made out of plastic. It still seems fine though. Value: This unit sells for around $135 bucks. That seems a bit pricey, but it's cheaper than the Sansamp unit. I think the real value of this unit is being able to walk into practice or a gig with just the M-80 and know that you will be able to get a good sound without having to break your back carrying an amp. Manufacturer Support: I have not had to contact them. I've had the unit for about 6 months now. The Wow Factor: This thing looks cool to me. I would say that I bought it more for the practicality than the looks though. A unit like this is a good investment for any bass player to use direct to the PA or just to beef up the sound of your amp. Even if you don't use it all the time, it would be good to have as a back up in case you get an annoying hum in your amp from neon beer signs or some jack ass wants to play on Mustang Sally and blows out your amp. Overall: Overall, I am happy with the M-80. I could honestly say I would recommend it to other bass players. Everyone has their own individual tastes though. Most of the online retailers offer a pretty good return policy if you don't. Try it, you'll like it.
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"MXR M-80 Preamp and DI" submitted November 4, 2015

By Brian Jones in New London, IA
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Musical Background: Been playing guitar for 30 years, just now exploring the bass
Music Style: rock and country
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Overall: This pedal is amazing! Makes my small bass amp sound great. Running pedal into amp and DI straight into the sound board. Now I don't have to haul around a huge stage rig to get a great sound. It was also on sale, thank you Zzounds. MXR makes great pedals
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"Makes SansAmp look wimpy." submitted April 20, 2014

By Jeremy C in Teaneck, NJ
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Musical Background: Playing for 22 years. Guitar, Bass, & Drums. Touring musician, and Producer/Engineer on commercial recordings.
Music Style: Punk, Hardcore, Metal, and Alternative.
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Overall: Just by taking the Bass DI+ out of its box and packaging, you can instantly feel the level of quality it possesses. Before ever plugging in your bass or connecting it to an interface or PA, you can tell that your money was well spent. The knobs turn smoothly and the stomp buttons are really solid feeling. The casing is heavy metal, but texturized quite ruggedly. It's just a really well made box.After plugging it in, you'll realize that it's very easy to dial in a good bass sound with almost any type of bass. I tried a passive P-Bass, an active Jazz bass, a Music Man Sting Ray, and even an old Viola style Bass like Paul McCartney plays... It was hard to make any sound bad. Overall, it was just as easy as using a SanAmp, except it has a little bit more control tonally, and it also has a rich and creamy distortion circuit. When you add dirt using the gain knob on a traditional SansAmp, it gets a bit ratty, and you lose some low end. That is not the case with this box. It preserves the low end really well, while also allowin quite a bit of distortion.I mostly plan on using this box for reamping programmed bass track for Metal and Metalcore tracks. Most software such as Trillian don't have a decent high gain bass sound, so this is perfect for sending the DI bass signal out of Trillian, and reamping it via this box back into the computer. I'm extremely happy with this M80 pedal. Also check out the 78 Custom Badass pedal if you wanna get that more modern rock sound in the likes of My Chemical Romance or Avenged Sevenfold. It's very polished and creamy, but not soft and pillowy. MXR has really put together some nice stuff in recent years.
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"Wow" submitted October 4, 2012

By Jeff Blackburn in Greensboro, NC
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Musical Background: semi-pro
Music Style: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
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Overall: I couldn't believe the difference this DI made to my sound! The effect button is what sends this unit over the top for me. A preset mid scoop that makes my tone jump out of the speakers. Awesome!!!
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"Solid unit for the money." submitted February 13, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: life-long amateur musician
Music Style: jazz
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Sound: The sound is good but not great. Hiss is higher than I would like, but still lower than others in this price point (e.g. Tech 21). However, more expensive units (like Radial products) are much quieter and have better sound quality. The distortion is a bit lame and I don't usually use it. Feature: Good sold set of features, again better than most in this price range, but not as good as more expensive classes. A phase inversion button would have been a nice cheap feature that they could have added. Ease of Use: Easy to use; hard to break! Quality: Solidly build, and heavy so it isn't easily knocked around. Value: Good value, but not like I am raving. I still use it, but have my eyes on the next price class... Overall: I like it and use it, but if it were lost I think I would buy a more expensive but higher quality product (like Radial).
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"Brought out my bottom end and supped up my bass." submitted August 29, 2004

By a customer from netzero.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Blues Rock
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Sound: As soon as i plugged it in i was impressed with it. A little tweaking and i had my sound just right. Feature: Nice. Really brought out my bottom end with out clipping but i use a compressor as well. Quality: Just by feeling it you can tell it will last you for years. Value: Good price. Manufacturer Support: No problems. The Wow Factor: Love black cant go wrong with that. Overall: I probably wouldn't replace it unless they come with an even more versatile one.
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MXR M-80 Bass Preamp Customer Review submitted March 5, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: Rock, Alternative
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Sound: This pedal really made a huge difference with my sound. I use the Sansamp BDDI and MXR M-80 in my setup. They both have there place and one or the other and sometimes both are used all the time. Great product and I can't live without it!
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"Good but...." submitted September 18, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock Alternative Experimental
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Sound: If you are looking for an all in one unit this is a very solid product. the problem is the mile wide inch deep theory... the tones are just about what is needed but not quite. Feature: I bought the pedal for its distortion and it was the best for the price. the eq is nice but can be a little muddy. and d.i part was noisy (no ground lift). Quality: the housing is built like a tank. but the exterior parts leave a little to be desired. the color button broke off pretty fast. and the pots got noisy quickly. Value: worth it if you need a quick fix. Manufacturer Support: When I bout my pedal the xlr conncter was missing its screws. I was expecting to have to purchas the replacements but when I called dunlop up they sent me free ones and two backups to spare with no questions asked. very good support.
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"Buy this box, now!" submitted September 20, 2003

By a customer from gte.net
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Music Style: Mostly rock and blues.
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Sound: I'd rather play than fool with knobs and stress over my gear. The M-80 let's me get just the sound I need quickly and easily. The distortion is fantastic. Feature: The M-80 is loaded. Phantom power and XLR/parallel outs are nice to have when you need them. Quality: Tank-like in its construction. Battery hatch should be beefed up, though. Value: Excellent value and a great piece of equipment. Manufacturer Support: N/A Perhaps I'm just lucky, but I've never had a problem with any of my Dunlop gadgetry. The Wow Factor: Cool, non-descript black box. Overall: It does a lot for a box its size. If it were damaged or stolen I'd be bummed until I got another one. I never jam, practice or gig without it.
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"Great addition to almost any rig" submitted December 31, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician, Instructor
Music Style: rock
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Sound: This thing definetly beefs up your tone, especially when you use the overdrive. However, the one I have (bought used) seems to pick up radio stations when I use the XLR (but no a 1/4 inch). Feature: 3 band e-q is great, and distortion is better. The overdrive has its limits, but manages to keep things bass-y when I'm using my B string, which is a plus. Ease of Use: Makes perfect sense, easy to figure out. A fair amount of range with this as well. Quality: High-quality, minus the radio station problems I'm having (and looking into). Value: For 140 retail, this is a great pedal. I bought mine for 70 used, and feel it was worth every penny. Manufacturer Support: Never contacted them The Wow Factor: Straight forward, reliable, and sounds good. If you're going to carry your own DI, why not have one w. some equalization and distortion? Overall: If I could figure out why I'm getting radio stations and fix it, this would be a 9.5. I did plenty of on-line research, and the MD80 has lived up to the expectations (especially when it came to distoring the lower frequencies). Built strong, easy to use, and responsive, this is a good buy.
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"Good product."

By a customer from larry.yi.org
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Music Style: All kinds of music. You name it I play it.
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Sound: The only thing I would change would be to increase the amount of pre-amp drive. It works very well for the situation I use it in which is a church musical group. We run the bass through the church sound system and it gives the bass a good low end sound. But I notice it needs more volume on the mixer than the sansamp does. All in all though, an excellent product. Quality: Solid peice of equipment. Value: Great price. Overall: Good overall product except for the docs. (:
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"Great product, must have for bass players looking for crisp, punchy, full tone" submitted August 15, 2011

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Sound: I love this product. It has completely changed and enhanced my bass tone. I use an Ampeg Svt 4-pro, and while I like my tone well enough, t his has seriously taken it to another level . Feature: The Direct in feature is incredible. When we play bigger clubs/venues I get excellent crisp tone through the sound system. Ease of Use: Pretty simple, just plug in and play. I spent a while messing with the settings to see what kind of tones I could get, but that's pretty standard. Quality: Excellent. Solid construction, slick look. Value: Its one of the best products out there for bass players. You can transform pretty average sounding tone into something totally different. The DI feature puts it over the top. Manufacturer Support: Never had to. Overall: This will be a part of my set up for a long time.
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"If your looking for a high quality Bass DI with a little more....." submitted November 4, 2006

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Musical Background: 30-year bassist.
Music Style: Progressive rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Sounds great. No noise whatsoever. Great EQ, not complicated at all. Distortion from just a little grind to over the top, and everywhere in between. Feature: All it needs is compression. Ease of Use: Very simple. I plugged my Rickenbacker 4004 in, and within 10 or 15 minutes I had it mastered. Quality: Built very well. When you pick it up, you know you got something good. Value: 100 bucks cheaper than the Sansamp. And better! ( I've had one ). Manufacturer Support: I went middle of the road here, just because I havent had to contact the company yet. The Wow Factor: Its a good piece of gear that has become an essential part of my rig. Overall: For me its tops right now.
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MXR M-80 Bass Preamp Customer Review submitted February 24, 2005

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Musical Background: Hobby player as 15 years
Music Style: Hard rock mania!!
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Sound: Great distortion sounds, you can get hard drived sound easily. It enables us to get natural base sound without losing low frequency area when you play in high gain settting. Quality: Sound is good, however I can't accept the quality of outer materials. I am sorry to say it looks cheap (because I am Japanese). Value: If you don't have amplifires, it is very valuable to buy. For example, if you live in an apartment, you might not wanna play using amplifires. You can plug into such as audio compornents, then use headphones. That must be as if you play a reharsal studio using big an amplifire!! Manufacturer Support: I don't know. I just bought this two days ago. Overall: Best drived effect for bass guitars. Good for any use such as recording and live.
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