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BassPlayer 2017-04

BassPlayer 2017-04

MXR Continued from page

MXR Continued from page 46 including former BP Technical Editor Scott Shiraki and Bay Area heavyweight Darryl Anders—and it shows. MXR’s latest offering, the Sub Octave Bass Fuzz, exhibits a design awareness that only experience in the trenches can provide. If distortion is the most sought-after bass effect, octave is a close second. And whether it’s to emulate a synth or simply call up an assertive sound for a rock tune or lead passage, the combination of distortion and octave is de rigeur for savvy and adventurous players. The M287 combines the “growl” section of MXR’s popular M288 Bass Octave Deluxe with a flexible fuzz and 2-band EQ. As with all MXR pedals, the M287 is housed in a rugged metal box, is well constructed, and uses smooth-turning pots and confidence-inspiring switches. The flip-top battery compartment is easily accessed on the bottom, although it isn’t flush with the case, making adhering the pedal to a pedalboard with Velcro a little trickier than necessary. The included adhesive feet are necessary to ensure good contact with the floor away from a pedalboard. Using the M287 is simple. The bypass switch turns the effect on and off, while the octave switch engages the octave effect. The octave and dry knobs work as expected, controlling the level of the two signals. The fuzz is slightly more complex: The fuzz pot governs the amount of fuzz in the signal, but its intensity also depends on the setting of the gain control. The backlit button between the two fuzz-section knobs switches the fuzz timbre from midrangy and throaty to fizzy and aggressive. A 2-band EQ is on tap to further sculpt the fuzz sound. Also, it’s not obvious at first, but the pedal can be used as a standard octave pedal when the fuzz knob is all the way down. The M287 proved itself a powerful multi-trick tool for quickly getting a useful array of fuzz and octave tones. On its own, the octave section is one of the besttracking, least-glitchy circuits out there. The octave-down timbre is smooth, but with a touch of the hollow square-wave growl that best evokes a synth-y sound. Adding in the fuzz quickly introduces a spectrum of intense upper harmonics, easily controlled with the gain and fuzz knobs. Of the two fuzz tones on offer, I much preferred the more midrangy of the two; the other voice sounded a bit edgy for my personal taste. Given the fact that distortion of any kind involves the addition of harmonic content, MXR’s thoughtful inclusion of a 2-band EQ significantly enhances the effect’s flexibility. It can take time to dial in, but the pedal’s insightful feature-set make it a remarkably versatile tool and a superb addition to MXR’s already top-notch stompbox lineup. BP bassplayer.com / april2017 49

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