In today’s world, you see new companies emerging every single day. You do not even have the time to get to know them properly when even newer ones draw your attention with their shiny products. But among those you will find the names that have withstood the competition throughout the years of dreadful battle. The quality standard they set in the years of their establishment do not change even after decades and that is exactly why they maintain the throng of loyal customers.
Today I am going to single out MXR (now owned by Dunlop Manufacturing) – a prominent line of pedals that has found its place on countless stages, pedalboards and rigs. No matter which effect we are talking about, they have the model that will surmount its rivals. And the one I will discuss and review in this article is M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay. I am sure this name says a lot for many of you, so I will not waste your time appraising it and spoiling the fun. If you want to scan through the capabilities, features and sound of this wonderful delay pedal, then stay with me and read the rest of this article advertently.
At first glance, MXR M169 Carbon Copy does not have anything extraordinary. You look at its enclosure and all you see is a typical delay pedal. But that is not exactly the case we have here. This unit shares its size with numerous MXR stompboxes, which means it is rather compact and convenient to fit on the pedalboard. Its chassis is configured in a metallic dark green color palette with black bulky knobs mounted on the surface.
The construction quality is outstanding and proves to be long-lasting. More importantly, M169 Carbon Copy has all-analog signal path that carries a decent amount of unique character (which is audible through the sounds it can emit). It can produce up to 600ms of delay, which is quite normal for a vintage analog pedal. This effect can be diversified with modulation, which can be easily activated with a small button.
To nail it even further, there are two internal pots that adjust different parameters. In order to access them, you will have to take apart the pedal, which will be a bit hard to do mid-performance. For this reason, you should probably set these pots to the desired settings and forget about their existence. One more reason to remove the bottom plate is to access the battery. If you hate all this fuss, you can always choose to employ a power supply. M169 Carbon Copy has a True Bypass circuit and a bright LED which makes this pedal visible even on the darkest stages.
After all the information I have given you, you already get the general idea about the controls of M169 Carbon Copy. But when it comes to producing the best sounding delay, general ideas are not enough. You have to know everything in-depth and make sense of the knobs to the fullest. Plus, controls always hint to the capabilities of the pedals. So, let’s get professional and a bit technical and discuss each and every encoder.
The surface of M169 Carbon Copy sports three main knobs that are in charge of your delay. Mix blends together initial and affected signals. It controls to what extent your dry or wet sound is audible and this way saturates everything precisely. Regen modifies the number of repeats and feedback, while Delay sets the delay time. With the help of these three knobs, you can alter the character of the effect drastically and play around with diverse possibilities. But that’s not all. Remember the modulation we mentioned earlier? Well, the tiny button labeled as Mod activates this function and allows you to use some modulation in your sound. The internal pots enable you to mess around with width and rate of this effect, find the perfect settings and just leave them at that. As you can see, M169 Carbon Copy is extremely easy to tweak and the process of scrolling through different settings is nothing but enjoyment.
MXR Carbon Copy Sound
MXR M169 Carbon Copy is one of the best-sounding analog delay pedals out there. I am not exaggerating even a bit when I say it, since every single tone it emits surrounds you with a beautiful ambiance of lengthy or short delays. Since its circuit is fully analog with bucket-brigade technology, it has a certain grit that adds warmth and darkness. This way your effect has extremely rich body with tiny amount of shimmer and a lot of depth. Even though you do not have any tone control here, the possibilities you have with Mix knob are countless. Once you engage the modulation, your sound thickens up immediately. Be it chorusy sounds or subtle warbles, they accentuate your delay even more and make it way more prominent. M169 Carbon Copy can create all those beloved delay tones that you grew up to admire, as well as everything you have in mind and heart. It is not a Nostradamus, but if you set it correctly, it will definitely see through your desires and produce the sounds that were singing in your head.
There are countless reasons why MXR M169 Carbon Copy is among the top analog delay pedals on the market. Its every constituent plays a role in making this stompbox even better. Be it an affordable price, amazing build quality or versatile and refined delay sounds, there is nothing to dislike about this pedal. Yeah, some might complain about internal pots and their inconvenience, but if you keep an open-mind, you will find them very useful. In a way, they can even make your job easier since you can just set it and forget it. What’s wrong with that? All in all, let your experience and ears judge M169 Carbon Copy and I am sure you will make the right decision. Good luck!
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