MXR M115 Distortion III Pedal for Guitar – Product Review

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By Guitar Pick Reviews

Distortion is, without a doubt, the most commonly used effect by guitar players. I guess this is the reason that so many people fail to understand the importance of getting a good tone. MXR M115 Distortion III is designed to do just that.

Distortion pedals are often not worthwhile. On the whole, I have learned that most distortion pedals cannot be trusted to act as the workhouse for your tonal needs. Although some can complement tones well, I think it needs to be a specific setup.

MXR M115 Distortion III Pedal
MXR M115 Distortion III

If you are a fan of real tube tone, there is very little in the pedal department that is going to satisfy your tone lust. If you are looking at companies like Boss for distortion, you are probably harvesting infertile soil. Although Boss and other popular pedal makers have paved the way for some remarkable pedal technology, their track record shows huge demerits in distortion and overdrive.

The Search for Tone

For the longest time, I thought the only pedals I could get behind were the Electro Harmonix boxes that actually draw their tones from a single pre-amp tube that comes built into the pedal. I still think these are amazing. What I never thought about was MXR.

The company’s analog adoration and bare-bones, tonal dedication should have indicated that I try their distortion models sooner. I hate that I did not know earlier than I did, about these pedals. I am just glad that I now am aware.

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MXR M115 Distortion III – Small but Aggressive

The MXR M115 Distortion III Pedal is one of the most lucrative, compact distortions you can get your hands on. Contained inside a mini box about the size of MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive, this guy is small enough to get lost underneath your foot! Somehow, while being minuscule enough to hide in any free crevice on your pedal board, Distortion III has a snarl that will demand your attention.

MXR M115 Distortion III Interface and Controls

This device has three controls dedicated to dialing Output, Tone, and Distortion.

Output acts as a leveler to control your volume. If I were using this pedal regularly on my board, I would have it on at all times in louder parts. The Output will let you have a nice boost and provide some girth to your tone, offering heaviness and clarity.

Tone will allow you to corroborate your EQ tendencies (with that of your amp and guitar) by selecting your preferred low, mid, or high range.

Distortion is pretty self-explanatory. You have got to hear how powerful this thing is!


MXR M115 Distortion III costs $99 on Amazon. That’s right – it costs like Fender Hammertone pedals. But don’t let its low price make you think it isn’t good, because it’s great!

Finishing Thoughts

Try the MXR Distortion III out as soon you get a chance. To me, for $99, it was a real no-brainer. This is one of the best distortions on the market.

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