MXR M104 Distortion+
MXR M104 Distortion+

M104 Distortion+, Distortion from MXR.

All user reviews for the MXR M104 Distortion+

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Average Score:4.1( 4.1/5 based on 21 reviews )
 10 reviews48 %
 8 reviews38 %
 1 user review5 %
 2 reviews10 %
Value For Money : Excellent
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ericthegreat's review"easy to get a good sound"

MXR M104 Distortion+
The MXR M104 is an analog overdrive guitar pedal. It has 1/4 inch inputs and outputs.


The configuration of the MXR M104 is really easy to follow and is straightforward overall. It has knobs for volume, tone, overdrive, and boost, with a separate foot switch to turn the boost on or off. It also has two switches to control different types of amp simulations and tones. I don't have a manual for this, but the pedal is easy enough to use that I never needed any help learning how to use it.


The sound quality of the MXR M104 is great overall. It is rich in tone and has quite a full sounding overall body to it. I use this with guitar - usually a Fender Stratocaster and a '76 Fender Twin Reverb amplifier. While it will work with other electronic instruments, it is probably suited best for electric guitar. You can get both a great lead tone and a great rhythm tone, as the pedal versatile and capable of a few different types of overdrive. Overall, the sound quality is top notch and is easy to get a great sound from it.


I've been using the MXR M104 for about a year. MXR is building a reputation for making some great overdrive pedals, and the Full Drive 2 is one of their best. It has a great look to it, and the sound quality is awesome. Its ease of use makes for being able to get quick overdrive sounds that sound great. The price is more expensive than most Boss pedals, but in terms of a high quality overdrive, the pedal is reasonably priced. It is built well overall and will stand the test of time if you treat it right. Overall, I recommend this pedal to those interested in a great sounding overdrive pedal - great for rock music!

Hatsubai's review"Classic tone, but slightly lacking"

MXR M104 Distortion+
The MXR Distortion+ has been around since nearly the beginning of time. It was one of the first boost pedals to ever hit the market, and it has been used every since. While its popularity has been waning, I still see it being used on pedalboards today. The pedal features an output and an gain knob. The newer ones have LEDs, but aside from that, they're still fairly similar with the same input/output/switch/2knob configuration going on.


The pedals can take some ridiculous abuse. I've never had any problems with this pedal in my lifetime, and I don't expect it to ever break down, really. I've done a true bypass mod to it, but it really wasn't needed that much. The bypass on this isn't too bad, stock. The manual is well written, and if you need any help, MXR is more than happy to assist you. However, I find that it's not needed with such a simple pedal. It's so easy to use and set up that it almost seems like a waste of paper. Even the guitarist just starting out could figure out how to use this in seconds.


The most famous user of the MXR Distortion+ would probably be Randy Rhoads. He was a heavy user of this pedal in his Marshalls, and if you're looking for that tone, it'll deliver it. One thing worth noting is that this and the DOD 250 are actually very similar. The DOD250 is slightly more aggressive due to the diodes that it utilizes, but they're still very similar, and if you want that Yngwie style tone, this pedal can deliver. I find that it doesn't work great as a normal boost to tighten things up. It's a bit too vintage sounding, and it lacks tightness. In fact, it's starting to sound a bit dated today. However, if you're looking for that old school distorted kind of sound, running this through a Marshall would definitely deliver.


The pedal is solid, but it's getting to be a bit dated to me. I have one, but I find myself using it less and less. I tend to prefer tighter, more aggressive tones than this pedal can deliver, but if I ever find myself going back to classic metal, I generally pick this off my shelf and throw it in front of my amp for that old school metal tone.

nickname009's review

MXR M104 Distortion+
From the MXR website:

* Germanium-powered, soft-clipped distortion.
* Classic 70s distortion.
* The tone that made Randy Rhoads famous.

Pretty simple controls, one output and one distortion knob. I guess it's good for simplicity, though it's not tonally very versatile because of this.

It's supposedly the 'famed' yellow pedal that made Randy Rhoads famous but this is the first time I"ve heard of that to be honest.


TOO simple. Distortion controls the amount of gain you want to add to your signal and output is like a level control which controls the amount of level/output you want. Works the same way as an overdrive's level knob would, by just adding more output to the overall signal and can lead to clipping the guitar signal.


I honestly don't know what to say about this pedal other than it's not really good whatsoever. The distortion is tinny, buzz, with too much midrange. It sounds like a bad ham-radio signal! And everytime i pick, there's that super ice-picky sound just super accentuated from the pedal. I've used it quite a few times and even heard other guitar players use and have never liked how it sounded. Is this how the 70s really sounded??? If it is, I don't want any part of it!

The gain itself is quite low, complete classic rock, that's as far as you can get in terms of gain. The pedal itself looks like it's built quite well however.

It also seems to be amp and/or rig dependent, I've played it through a few fender tube combos and some marshalls and have had better results from the marshalls. So it goes to show how this pedal is not versatile at all.


Do not get this pedal without trying it. It has one sound, that's not very good at all and does not play well with every amp. It's shrill, has too much midrange, ice-picky and tinny. If that's what you want, this is the pedal for you. I definitely don't think this is what Rhoads sounded like nor is it what the 70s sounded like.


pdecirce's review

MXR M104 Distortion+
MXR is one of the best of the analog pedal companies, both in their sturdy metal box design and the uniqueness of their sounds. This pedal contains the similar thin sturdy steel design with a simple in out 1/4 on either side. There are two knobs, the left is gain or volume the right is 'distortion.' Please note that there have been many versions of this little box made; I believe there was a corporate shift during the 80s and it is desirable to find the original MXR analog pedals. I found this one in a music shop in '07 for $100.00 and it was a deal. The originals are super rare and are considered the 'godfather' in 80s metal and hard rock. The one I'm reviewing is an original from 1981 and is essentially the same exact pedal Eddie Van Halen would be using during the time. This is a true "Fuzz Box," before the tone was called that. It was just DISTORTION +. Interesting, it's got a '+' on it, it means there's more distortion than one without the '+'? Let's find out...


The only problem with this pedal is that it isn't really powerful, or even very useful, at low settings. Undoubtedly there are resistors that can be added to boost the distorted signal (one shop guy added such a transistor to an old Dist+ and showed me the tonal difference), but you've essentially got to 'put it on 10' on both dials to get the magical effect its renowned for. Well, not ten. There's more headroom and tonal space in the last half-inch of dial than in the rest of it. Reasons for this is that whenever tone (i.e. from your pickups and your pick) the pedal catches it kind of squeezes (compresses) and this sort of compartmentalizes the tone, essentially making it 'sound' quieter. So that's what the volume or boost is for. This pedal is almost exclusive to the hard rock, heavy metal, goth/industrial side of things, though if you get a little washy with other settings, you can hear the more progressive side of rock as well. For example in the old prog rock they would kick out some serious fuzzy sustain, probably in combo with this kind of pedal and a delay. It's absolutely sturdy and mine is held together with rubber bands.


Take a gibson SG and run it right through a dist+ into a marshall amp. Put both knobs at about 4:30 on the dial and turn up. Give it a strum...there it will be. Sense-shattering teeth grinding gothic goodness. To test whether this pedal could turn anything at all into a 'heavy metal machine' I ran a thin strung Telecaster into a Blues Junior Fender amp. Not exactly Merciful Fate setup, if you know what I mean. Since Fenders have less 'mid-rangey' tone, they aren't the best choice for 'heavy metal;' well it still completely crushed. Seriously, one of these old pedals in good working order with the right gear and perhaps a tube driver and you won't NEED a distortion channel. You'll have one in your pedal chain already. I'm still trying to get that "Steve Howe" or "Steve Hackett" out of it and for that kind of music it's a little trickier. But for in your face crunch, this little box is stomp-ready.


This is a classic analog pedal, and even if you end up with a newer model, it should be plenty of juice to rock with. The box is indestructible and while it may not be the most diverse of pedals, it's an absolute classic for genres of heavy metal, hard rock and anything with serious grind.

MGR/'s review"MXR M-104 Distortion+"

MXR M104 Distortion+
I bought the pedal from and paid 63 bucks for it. I think its a really great pedal. I bought it, honestly, because i had money and it was burning a hole in my pocket. BUT, i love this pedal. It's really nice.

It has great vintage and modern tones, without muddying up the rest of the sound. The batteries also last a pretty long time, unlike other pedals.

If i were to name one negative thing about this item, it would be this: the unit does not have any tone control. Its sound by itself is a little lacking in the low end, but you can adjust it to your liking on your amp. Other than that no down sides.

VERY HIGH QUALITY. this pedal is built diamond-tough. Heavy die-cast unit with heavy-duty stomp switch. Takes a beating.

You will love this item.

This review was originally published on
karis makissa06/19/2014

karis makissa's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Super distortion"

MXR M104 Distortion+
It is an analog distortion pedal made for rock, blues rock. In my next gain can be used overdrive, can be metal but need good humbucker and I think there best to pedal it.
The design is simple and looks really super strong, it is a steel block with two protected for me by two rubber knob cover knob.


Most to this pedal is its simplicity, both output knob (volume) and gain plug and play mode, you plug it goes to the volume group and the amount of distortion is chosen the rest is done by the equ the guitar amp and pedal.


Suddenly it's a super efficient distortion which comes in very bad, the good thing is that it is a distortion of course, but very clean the compact I say, it does not drool nothing beyond. The negative point is that there was an increase in acute, I play with a stratocaster telecaster and it sounds great rock nickel but must adjust the amp to absorb more acute that this would probably be less with humbucker.


I use it for a month or two, I tried two three foot, I bought it without trying it and that is exactly what I wanted, a very simple distortion of quality, I wanted a pedal ask me a minimum setting for the scene. This is a good value for money and I would do this choice.

hrc's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" 70's distortion"

MXR M104 Distortion+
This is a peculiar distortion pedal but it is very simple electronically. A simple PDO and symmetrical clipping diode Germanium. Problem for some, this pedal is not true-bypass or buffered-bypass. The output remains permanently connected to the signal path, and it eats a chouilla acute depending on config ...


Setting distortion and volume, no tone but contrary to what one might think, this is not really a problem. Note the LED and power supply input (absent on vintage).


I use it as a distortion in AC15 clean with a Gretsch and a Stratocaster, distortion and volume up to 12, I have a good low-pitched well balanced crunch that can do a good Rock. With distortion beyond the pedal gradually removes low (in the manner of a TS), which turns the pedal into a sort of treble booster, but even on a VOX, I'm not a fan at all. Then suddenly, I modded my pedal to stick to my tastes.

I changed the condo which is on the low (the 47nF replaced by a 100nF). After, with Germanium diodes origins, I was not happy with the result. Very fuzzy, little grain, pretty cold and miserable reserve volume. So I changed the diodes against the 1N4148 (Silicium so) with an asymmetrical clipping (2 Serial + 1 single), buzz it with a grain of hell and is gaining volume (one-third) Now I can the use it as a clean boost (not base).


For the bargain price, it is a good plan. And € 2 surcharge components, it works miracles. I did my first scenes with and I always use it. Besides, I have a OD808 and Fuzzmaster. Note that it goes very well with such modulations Wah, Phaser, Chorus!

-Livingroom-'s review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" a very good distortion!"

MXR M104 Distortion+
Analog distortion, could not be more simple, drive volume, switch to activate, a 9v power supply, a jack in, jack out, and roll youth! Note that everything is solid, as often with MXR.


Given the configuration can hardly be simpler. The only downside is the access to the battery, in effect for access must remove 4 screws and then back, so for live concerts we forget ... (And usually also on all the effects if it's not vintage fuzz).


So here comes the good point of this pedal, it distorts well. I mean, if your sound is good at the base, it will sublimate (and if sucks ... She'll leave it as is!).

With the same gain in depth, it will be in the punk / rock California, but not much further gain, and much more!

It is very versatile, with all possible settings it sounds even while donf, which is rare. Frankly it's terrible.


I kept 6 months I think, I did find better, but the value for money is unbeatable, with the expertise of MXR bonus, so ... Go for it if you do the rock without the fuss!
Linn Sondek04/29/2013

Linn Sondek's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

MXR M104 Distortion+
Analog distortion. Classic case in MXR: solid!


Ultra simple: two knobs, output level and gain level.
Personally the lack of tone control does bother me at all.


See below.
Used primarily with Gibson Les Paul.


I love this distortion. I owned at the end of '70 and I bought without hesitation when I started playing. I have since acquired Reissue but still retains that model.
Solo tone to zero on the guitar, the M104 gives exactly what I want: a mellow, an important gain to sustain without fully (even infinite Dyna Comp with the same brand) and a smooth attack very close to an effect violoning.
The Vintage Reissue model does not exist, I will note higher.

fcalas's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Rough around the edges!"

MXR M104 Distortion+
Disto metal case, solid, very solid, 2 knobs, one volume and one of distortion and Roll! go!


What is bleufant with this pedal is that with just these two knobs, one can achieve a multitude of sounds from the border of light and saturated Light Coats, crunch, a rich harmonic overdrive and a distortion at full throttle. Personally, I often used a MXR GT OD upstream to give him a super grain notament solo.


Sound! so versatile, wide range, as I said above. Ella was sometimes a little color "fuzz" when the distortion is between half and three-quarters, very interresting for guy like me who find big muff disgusting. But not too much fuzz. Very good sustain, very comfortable for blues on a strat for example, very punchy with a Telecaster, and very 70's with Les Paul.


I use it recently, but when I integrated into my pedalboard, it was a revelation. How did I ever live without this pedal before. Usually my other pedals (distortion or other) have a specific setting that I never touch, this one, I stop without changing the sound to my songs. In addition, adjustable foot with large knobs, and rubber protectors.