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MXR, also known as MXR Innovations, was a manufacturer of guitar effects units, founded in 1973 by Keith Barr and Terry Sherwood, and based in Rochester, New Yorkmarker. MXR Innovations, Inc. was incorporated in 1974. The MXR trademark is now owned by Jim Dunlop.

Product line

Reference Series (1973 - 1984)

The first MXR effects pedal was the M-101 MXR Phase 90, widely used on the first two Van Halen albums . A milder version of the effect was also released, the MXR Phase 45, and a programmable version, the Phase 100.

Each of these enclosures had 4 screws attaching the bottom plate. A 9V battery powered these effects; to change the battery, one had to unscrew the bottom plate.

MXR also created several pedals that were AC-powered and were 4 3/4" wide by 3 1/2" tall:

  • M-108 MXR 10-Band Graphic Equalizer'
  • M-117 MXR Flanger
  • M-118 MXR Analog Delay
  • M-134 MXR Stereo Chorus
  • M-142 MXR Distortion II
  • M-143 MXR Limiter

Commande Series (1981 - 1984)

In 1981, MXR introduced a line of inexpensive plastic ("Lexan" polycarbonate) pedals known as the Commande Series. These were priced to compete with the Japanesemarker-manufactured effects pedals that were flooding the US and world markets. These were a departure from the Reference Series in several aspects... The input, output, and power jacks were all moved to the top of the case to allow a tighter grouping on the floor, or pedal board. They also, for the first time for MXR, incorporated a large area footswitch.

2000 Series (1982 - 1984)

The Series 2000 was a complete rework of the Reference and Commande Line of products. These were a higher quality pedal, with electronic FET switching and dual LED indicators. They had a new contoured shape, an all metal chassis and an easily-removable plastic battery compartment door. These were fully rubberized on the bottom surface, and were remote-controllable.

The original Series 2000 sported six models. In late 1983 MXR announced a digital sound effects pedal generator, simply known as the Junior. The Junior was released in early 1984 and would be added to the Line with four sound effects built in. These were programmable by swapping an internal ROM chip.

MXR continued to manufacture most of the Reference, Commande and 2000 Series pedals until they closed their doors in 1984.

  • M-200 MXR Master Pedal Series
  • M-201 MXR Phaser
  • M-202 MXR Dyna Comp
  • M-203 MXR Stereo Flanger
  • M-204 MXR Distortion+
  • M-205 MXR Stereo Chorus
  • M-206 MXR Time Delay
  • M-210 MXR Junior
  • M-211a MXR Sound Effects Chip
  • M-211b MXR Sound Effects Chip

MXR rackmount effects

MXR also had a line of professional rackmount effects used by the likes of David Gilmour, Stuart Adamson and Mike Rutherford of Genesis. These included:

  • M-110 MXR Auto Phaser (Mini-vertical rackmount)
  • M-111 MXR Auto Flanger (Mini-vertical rackmount)
  • M-112 MXR Mini Limiter (Mini-vertical rackmount)
  • M-113 MXR Digital Delay Came with 320ms(2U rackmount)
  • M-113m MXR 320ms Expansion Up to 4 cards for up to 1280 ms (1.28 Seconds)
  • M-115 MXR EQ Parametric Equalizer (Mini-vertical rackmount) (Prototypes Only)
  • M-116 MXR Professional Products Rack (Rack, Audio Linking and power for M-110 & M-111)
  • M-124 MXR Dual 15-Band Graphic Equalizer (2U rackmount)
  • M-125 MXR 31-Band Graphic Equalizer (2U rackmount)
  • M-126 MXR Flanger Doubler (2U rackmount)
  • M-129 MXR Pitch Transposer (2U rackmount)
  • M-131 MXR Pitch Transposer Display (1U rackmount)
  • M-136 MXR Dual Limiter (1U rackmount)
  • M-151 MXR Delay System II (2U rackmount) (1.6 Seconds of Delay. Upgradable to (3.2) with the M-155 ad-in)
  • M-151-1 MXR Delay System II (2U rackmount) (With 3.2 Seconds Max Delay. Came with the M-155 ad-in installed)
  • M-170 MXR Dual Octave Graphic Equalizer (2U rackmount) (Dual 10-Band)
  • M-171 MXR Dual 2/3 Octave Graphic Equalizer (2U rackmount) (Dual 15-Band)
  • M-172 MXR 1/3 Octave Graphic Equalizer (2U rackmount) (31-Band)
  • M-174 MXR Pitchshift Doubler (1U rackmount)
  • M-175 MXR Digital Time Delay (1U rackmount) (320ms Max Delay)
  • M-180 MXR Omni Multi Effects Unit (2U rackmount) (See Below)
  • M-181 MXR Omni Foot Pedal Switch Board (Floor Unit) (See Below)
  • M-186 MXR Digital Time Delay (1U rackmount) (1000ms Max Delay) (Same in appearance as M-175)
  • M-190 MXR 1500 Digital Delay (1U rackmount) (1500ms Max Delay)
  • M-191 MXR Digital Reverb (1U rackmount)

In 1983, MXR introduced one of the first multi-effect rack units for guitar and bass, the Omni. The Omni had 6 different effects; sustain, distortion, delay, equalization, flanger, and chorus. The main unit was a 2U with separate controls for each effect. There was a floor footpedal (M-181) that enabled the player to switch the different effects on and off, as well as changing the order of the distortion and equalizer effects, a master bypass as well as an effexts loop.

MXR Desktop Effects

MXR featured a line of processors that were targeted for home entertainment systems of the day. Most of these items came with wooden (Walnut) side panels. However the larger 17” wide units also had kits available for single or 1U (M-145 Single 1.75” Rack mount kit) and 2U (M-146 Double 3.5” Rack mount kits) available. You would unscrew the wooden sides and install the rack pieces and you would now have a fully 19” rack-mountable device.

  • M-114 MXR Stereo 10-Band EQ (Desktop only unit)
  • M-119 MXR Compander Noise Reduction - Increases dynamic range of tapes. (Desktop only unit)
  • M-123 MXR Dynamic Processor Expander (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-127 MXR Stereo 15-Band EQ (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-128 MXR Mono 31-Band (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-132 MXR Dynamic Expander Feature rich Expander (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-139 MXR Linear Preamp Stereo switching and routing prior to amplification. (1U (Rack-mountable with M-145))
  • M-140 MXR System Preamp Has a single AUX Input (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-147 MXR Stereo Octave EQ (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-150 MXR System Preamp II Has a (2) RIAA Phono Inputs (2U (Rack-mountable with M-146))
  • M-153 MXR 5-Band Stereo EQ (Desktop only unit)
  • M-156 MXR Discorder CX Process Decoding of Records. (Desktop only unit)

Drum Computers

In late 1981, MXR got the resale rights in the US to sell the KIT (M-178), a digital drum machine. In early 1983, MXR released the M-185 [315806] MXR Drum Computer, followed by the Drum Machine II (M-189). These were all similar to Roger Linn's Linn LM-1 drum machine.

Jim Dunlop and MXR

Jim Dunlop (the company famous for the Cry Baby Wah-Wah) bought the MXR licensing rights, and currently manufactures reissues of some of the classic MXR effects pedals. Dunlop has created new models in addition to the original line up, including "signature pedals" such as Eddie Van Halen Phase 90, and Flanger.


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