Phase 90 Reissue

Which MXR guitar pedals were most popular in the 70's?

MXR Innovations was founded in 1973 by Keith Barr, and Terry Sherwood, when they created their first MXR guitar pedal, the Phase 90. Their goal was to create rugged, small sized, but great sounding stomp boxes. Their original creation the MXR Phase 90 is still one of their most popular pedals today not only because of its unique sound, but also because of it's use on the first two Van Halen albums.

Jim Dunlup purchased the MXR brand and trademark in 1987 after they went bankrupt in 1984. Jim Dunlop is most widely known for their production of the "cry baby" pedal. Today, Dunlop still manufactures reissues of the old MXR pedals like the Phase 90 and the Dyna Comp, but has also introduced new effects pedals to their lineup like the Carbon Copy analog delay, and clean boost pedals like the Micro Amp. Jim Dunlop has also taken advantage of co-branding marketing tactics with their release of the Eddie Van Halen Phase 90, and the Zakk Wylde Wylde Overdrive pedal.

The top MXR guitar effects pedals:

If you are looking into purchasing an MXR guitar pedal, some of the features you can expect from their most popular pedals are:

Phase 90

The MXR Phase 90 was the first pedal to be built and sold in 1974. It helped launch company into the guitar effects market when Eddie Van Halen used it extensively on their first two albums. The phaser effect, which is similar to the flanger effect in sound divides the signal path from the guitar in two and creating a series of peaks and troughs in the frequency. It has been said to have a "whooshing" sound.

Dyna Comp

Used to produce the "percussive, clicky sound" you hear in many songs with a clean guitar. The Dyna Comp originally issued in 1976 makes your quiet sounds louder, and your loud sounds quieter. The result is a smooth boost and sustain combined that can be best described as a clarifying effect.


Best known for being featured by Randy Rhoads on Ozzy Osborne's album, the Distortion+ is more accurately an overdrive pedal than a tradition distortion stomp box. It simple controls Output (Volume) and Distortion (Overdrive) have make it almost impossible to get a bad tone out of it.

Carbon Copy

The MXR Carbon Copy is one of the most popular effects pedals created after the takeover by Jim Dunlop. It features a completely analog signal path for the warm, "dirty" delay that many guitarist prefer. One disadvantage of using an analog delay is that you have less control of the strength and number of repetitions of the sound, which is why you'll see most pedal boards have both and analog and a digital delay in the chain.

Blue Box

Also one of the first pedals to be in the original MXR lineup, the Blue Box adds a little fuzz and then drops your guitar signal two entire octaves. Using the pedal at its capacity yields a remarkably "psychedelic" sound, but dialed down can add a nice thick undertone to riffs and solos.