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MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
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MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
MGR/Golem MGR/Golem

« MXR Stereo Chorus »

Published on 07/08/10 at 15:00
It's 'pearl' yellow, footprint is about 4' x 5', and it's not actually marketed as a specifically bass-dedicated device, but there's 2 reasons I'm reviewing it under 'Bass Guitar Effects': 1stly, cuz thaz how I use it, and even WHY I use it; and 2ndly cuz I don't give a ratzass about geetards and their pedal abuse addiction.

I play a lot with just vox, KB and bass, aka 'The Diva Duo' [with Ms. D. on KB and sole vox], and thaz got much to do with my 'Reason Number 1'.

I don't recall where I got it or what it cost, but I doubt I bought it brand new.

The 'Why I got it' is cuz sometimes I play fretted bass guitar in the Diva Duo along with Ms. D. on digital piano. Fretless or upright basses do not routinely 'beat against' the lower notes of the digital piano, since the FL notes are not that precicely 'sculpted'. Fretted notes have a more definite 'shape', and since the majority of notes on a fretted instrument will be very very slightly out-of-tune compared to the digital piano, there's a slight 'beating' effect that makes things sound 'not right' [to quote Ms.D.]. So the job of the chorus box is to mess with the fretted bass notes such that they are no longer so sharply sculpted, and therefore the 'beat' does not arise.

It has a 2-band EQ that can be handy, but thaz no big deal really. I get the impression that the EQ is only about +/- 10db anyways. The Real Deal here, for me, is the full control over the chorus effect, meaning control over intensity, width, and rate. Without getting into what each one does, I can tell you I do need all 3 controls to find that sweet spot where there's no obvious effect. IOW my sound still seems pretty normal to the audience and Ms D., yet a subtle effect is actually delivered, and it's enuf to avoid the 'not right' sound of the slight difference between fretted bass and Ms. D's left hand.

So, It does exactly what I need. It eliminates Ms. D's complaints. Also it has a non-adjustable shelving-type bass boost, so I guess thaz really a 3rd reason to review this under 'Bass Guitar Effects'. The shelved bass boost is similar to the 'Ultra Bass' button on an Ampeg.

Finally, another good thing is that this is an 18v box, so it's quite low-noise, important in such a duo. We can't get away with the crap that you can hide under rock band sound levels !

No dislikes, so I'll use the 'dislikes' area to mention the 'don't know' or 'no comment' stuff. It's a *stereo* device, but I never bother about that, so 'no comment'. Also no comment on the quality of the stomp switch. I mean, it looks OK, but I don't stomp it, cuz I use it continuously. But I will point out a potential for trouble if you do stomp it: The 'Effect Engaged' LED protrudes from the box about 1' to the left of the stomp switch. Dumb that. So, if you stomp, take two ordinary hardware store washers, like for a 3/8' bolt, super glue them into a stack of 2, and glue that stack onto the box, to put a 'fortress' around the LED without hiding it from view :-)

It's a cast metal box, and it has the well-proven old-school 'leaf-spring' type of jacks, with the usually metal retaining nuts. The more modern jacks with the black plastic nuts do not have the very forgiving long internal leaf springs. The newer jacks can be fussy about what plugs will fit without extra effort or without damaging those jacks. I don't know how old my pedal is, but I hope MXR doesn't switch to the newer jacks for boxes newer than mine ! ! !

The pair of 9v battery chambers are not the hinged pop-up types, and inside is a molded hard plastic 'dual-snaps' terminal, on a length of wire. Not the most convenient, but not so fragile as the pop-up types. All in all, it seems well made with good components, so maybe I am needlessly wary of the LED being near the stomp switch ?

Well made, works for my purpose, but I'm not a stomp-crazed geetard and I don't crank the effect to levels where it's obvious that an effect is in use. I'll repeat here my praise for the 18v power that provides a low-noise device, which is very important for those who use effects in a more subtle way ... like me.

I know that there are some really ultra sooper effects devices out there, at ultra sooper prices, but I feel this one has some 'above average' points, so I'll rate it in between a
'5' and a '3'. There's no '3+' so it gets a '4' [but I don't feel like it's an 'almost 5'].

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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