MXR M66 Classic Overdrive
MXR M66 Classic Overdrive

M66 Classic Overdrive, Overdrive pedal from MXR.

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glassjaw7 03/16/2011

MXR M66 Classic Overdrive : glassjaw7's user review

« MXR's take on the Tubescreamer, on the cheap. Do it! »

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This pedal is MXR's budget version of their popular Custom Shop GT-OD overdrive pedal, and is made overseas and rehoused in a slightly different color green box with a little "tramp stamp" design on the sides of the footswitch. It was sold as a limited run exclusively at Guitar Center stores, along with the M-86 Classic Distortion which I reviewed earlier.

It sounds very similar to the GT-OD, but the pedal itself weighs much less and is made with lower grade components. It still feels solid and well built. Actually, it feels too solid! Well, the switch does anyway. I literally have to force most of my weight into the switch for it to press down and click, and I weigh between 180 and 190 lbs! I contacted MXR about this and they said they would swap out the footswitch if it was a big deal to me. I haven't done it yet, but that goes to show how great MXR customer service is! Most companies wouldn't even bother with such a cheap pedal, and especially not on their dime!


The Classic OD is very easy to operate. Three familiar control knobs make it simple. Twist and play!


The tone of the Classic Overdrive is definitely based on the Tubescreamer design. It sounds like a variation of the 808 platform to me, as it's much warmer, with more "bark" than the TS9s (which I really do not care for) It has a slightly chewy character to the gain.

In fact, I actually prefer this cheap pedal to the Ibanez TS9. It feels better to play and the tone is warmer and not flat or thin like the TS9.

There is a pretty good amount of gain on tap for a TS type pedal, almost as much as the Classic Distortion as a matter of fact.
As a boost, this unit fares pretty well, but no matter the gain setting, it always injects its "dirty" low end into the amp's sound and response. I find most MXR pedals to have this dirty, messy quality, although in this pedal it's minimal.

I prefer this pedal as a stand-alone overdrive box through a very clean amp, rather than boosting a dirty amp. It easily holds its own and rivals other overdrives and TS clones costing two to three times as much!

My only complaint is that the tone knob isn't fully usable throughout its entire range. In fact I really only find the sound usable with the tone control around Noon. Less than that, it becomes muddy and muffled, and set higher than noon, it becomes a bit unnatural and overly bright.

That's no big deal though, because it does sound great in at least one setting, and if all I can get from a $30 pedal is one great overdrive sound, that's still a win as far as I'm concerned!


At $30 this pedal is a steal. At twice that I would still buy it. I did get rid of my Ibanez TS9 after buying this one, so that should tell you something. Go for it, and buy the Classic Distortion too while you're at it!

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