Do you need a thicker lead sound? Do you love otherworldly guitar soundscapes? The MXR Carbon Copy promises both.
Judging by the sales blurb, price tag, and visible features, it seems promising. Additionally, Guitar World declared it the best Jim Dunlop guitar effect pedal a few years ago.
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MXR Carbon Copy Sound
The MXR Carbon Copy can make subtle slapbacks, lush soundscapes, and anything in between. Its name accurately captures how it produces a warm vintage delay rather than a perfect digital echo. It sounds lush and organic, and the subdued echoes leave the foreground for the clean signal.
Although it has a vintage tone, it’s not a replica of some invaluable retro favorite. It’s a modern classic with a vintage bucket brigade profile. With every knob set in the middle and modulation engaged, you get a lively yet silky echo. As you turn the Regen knob further, it puts the sound in a huge, mysterious cavern.
Turn the Delay time and Regen knobs all the way down without modulation, and you get that old-school bathroom slapback effect. Bumping them slightly produces a crude reverb. Maxing out Regen gives you a self-oscillating mess that fits well in experimental and psychedelic music.
The modulation is a big part of what makes the MXR Carbon Copy sound so good. And get this! You can customize it with two internal trim pots if you open the stompbox. You can dial it down or exaggerate the warble to your liking.
This echo is perfect for epic Floyd-style solos, and it’ll sound great with any decent guitar regardless of pickup type. It’s worth repeating that you won’t get perfectly clean repetitions out of the MXR Carbon Copy. If you want exact, percussive layers, you’ll want a digital echo. You can find some great ones in my list of the best delay pedals.
Who Uses an MXR Carbon Copy?
It’s easier to get an idea of the sound if you know what guitarists use the MXR Carbon Copy. One famous example is Dave Matthews, of the band with the same name. ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons is another MXR Carbon Copy user. Gojira, the French progressive death metal band, also has it on the pedalboard. This gives you an idea of how versatile the MXR Carbon Copy is.
MXR Carbon Copy Features
Like all MXR pedals, the Carbon Copy has a high-quality build with sturdy metal parts and a stage-worthy LED. Up top, you get three knobs. The Delay knob sets the time between repetitions.
Regen is short for regeneration, and it determines the number of repeats, anywhere between just one and a thick echo chain. The mix knob sets the balance between the echo and your clean signal.
Now, the Mod switch turns modulation on and off. You can adjust its rate and width with the hidden knobs.
The whole signal path is analog, incorporating the well-praised bucket brigade design. It uses high-grade components without going overboard. Thus, you get a lot for your money.
- Size: 2.75 x 4.75 x 1.2 inches
- Weight: 0.84 pound
- Delay time: 20-600 ms
- Input impedance: 1 megaohm
- Output impedance: 1 kilohm
- Noise floor: -96 to -104 dB
- Outputs: 1
- Powering options: 9-volt battery or Dunlop ECB-003 AC adapter (not included)
Is MXR Carbon Copy the Best Delay Pedal for You?
An MXR Carbon Copy is an excellent choice for anyone who loves analog delay. It’s a compact and rugged pedal with a nice price tag. Due to the many parameters and their long range, you can get your ideal tone.
That concludes this MXR Carbon Copy review. I also have more guitar pedal reviews that’ll help you choose other effects.