MXR M169 Carbon Copy Delay Pedal Review
- Pros: Simple to use with loads of warmth, depth and ambience.
- Cons: No tap tempo, reverse playback, or other frills.
- Overall: It depends on what kind of delay you are looking for. For standard analog delay, this pedal is it. For more extensive effects, look elsewhere.
If maturity is the pursuit of simplicity, this pedal is only for the most mature of guitarists. This is a real plug-and-play unit with only three knobs: a regen (regeneration), mix, and delay–and a mod button.
Don’t let that fool you though. There is a wide variety of delay sounds that you can get out of this pedal. Really, it’s just pure, warm, unfettered analog delay. With different settings, you can get a nice slap-back Johnny Cash/Elvis sound or you can go to the other side of the delay spectrum and sound like U2’s The Edge.
The mod button doesn’t seem to change the sound at all. I tried multiple setting combinations with the mod button on and off, and every time, there wasn’t any noticeable difference in sound. Product descriptions online mention two internal trim pots for width and depth, but these were not apparent and would probably require a bit more research.
This pedal did surprise me once. When you have the delay knob cranked and you strike a note, then turn the delay knob all of the way down, it emits this crazy electronic sweep sound that would be pretty fun to bust out at shows once in a while. Imagine a ball bouncing between two walls, and then slowly moving the walls closer together until the ball was just vibrating between two surfaces. This effect is one of the fun unintended consequences of working with analog equipment. Still, as far as crazy sounds, this is about it and isn’t something that most guitarists would use past a little novelty trickery.
This pedal doesn’t seem to make any amp noise, nor does it change the guitar tone, which is nice and is a sign of a well-made product. The pedal itself is compact and aesthetic with bright blue LED lights and glow-in-the-dark knob settings. And it seems durable. It’s truly hard-wired–as anything claiming to be analog should be. And the delay time goes as high as 600ms which is near enough to anything comparable out there, analog or digital.
Many guitarists might get bored with this pedal. It does analog delay–and that’s it. There’s no loop, reverse, tap tempo, or any of the other features that come with today’s standard digital delays. But for guitarists looking for an honest, no frills analog delay or for someone introducing themselves to the world of delay pedals, this might be the one for you. In the court of public opinion, this pedal has been consistently reviewed well. Most users are more than happy with it and for many guitarist, it’s a mainstay on their pedal board. It’s also quite affordable, going for anywhere between $110 and $150.