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MXR Micro Flanger Featured

 
Based on the benchmark sounds of the MXR M117 Flanger, the MXR Micro Flanger classic features many of the same flanging effects of its big brother, but in a smaller and more convenient size. Originally released in the 80's, this faithful recreation features the same two critical controls'a Speed knob to control the rate of cycling and a Regeneration knob to manage the...


Price: $54 to $108 at 13 stores
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Nice tones at a great price featured

Ease Of Use I had been researching flangers for awhile and I was unhappy with either the tone or the price with what I had been able to find - until now. In this case, I'm happy with both. After finally deciding on this unit just before Christmas I put it on my Christmas wish list and my wife delivered :)

The unit is very simple to use with only two controls ' rate & regeneration, which are clearly explained in the manual and easy to figure out. The manual gives you all the information you need to get started and from there it's easy to dial in good tones ' within seconds of hooking the unit up I was able to dial in some nice flange tones. The manual also offers a few suggested settings to help you dial in some classic flanger sounds (labeled 'barley-cuda', 'fast lane life' and 'black hole sound'). This unit also offers great value considering it sells for only $89 in my local music store, which makes it one of the most reasonably priced flangers out there.

There are a couple of things I don't like about this pedal: the AC adapter jack is on the side of the unit, which gets in the way of the planet waves angle connectors that I use to chain my pedals together, and the battery compartment cannot be accessed without removing all 4 screws on the back plate of the pedal. The inconvenience of the battery compartment isn't a big deal for me because I use a Voodoo lab power supply but the AC adapter spot is annoying (I don't understand why they didn't put the AC jack on the top of the unit like most pedals).

Here is an important point that I wanted to pass on, which I hope will help others who buy this unit:
When I was thinking about where to place this unit in my effects chain I did some internet research and I found differing opinions on where to place a flanger but I decided that the best place to start was to run it through the effects loop of my Carvin Legacy, which also has a Boss DD-3 in it, so I ran this before the DD-3. When I engaged the micro-flanger I was disappointed by the fact that it boosted my volume noticeably, which I did not like. I did some more internet research and found that others had experienced the same volume increase with the unit so I e-mailed customer service at Dunlop and the response I received recommended that I place it after my wah and distortions. So, I tried this but I still experienced the same annoying increase in volume. At this point I was actually considering returning the pedal because I did not like how it was affecting the overall volume of my rig when I turned it on but I then decided to try placing it after my wah but before my distortion pedals and that was the the spot ' volume increase issue was alleviated. So, my effects chain is as follows: GTR>tuner>wah>MXR micro-flanger>DOD phasor>Keeley DS-1>Wampler Pinnacle II>amp input (with a Boss DD-3 in the effects loop of the amp). Placing the unit in this spot in my effects chain gave me what I was hoping for ' I was able to enjoy the sound of the unit without it affecting my overall volume. If you want it to increase your volume when you engage it then you might like it in the loop or after your distortions where the tone is louder and stronger but after trying a few different placements this is where I like it best. Point being that where you place the unit will have an effect on how it reacts with your overall tone.


Sound It seems like some flangers have a tendency to sound tinny or metallic, which I personally don't like. I wanted a flanger that had a nice flange sound that didn't overpower the original tone with a tinny sound like some of the flangers I'd heard. I've settled in on a setting that is close to the 'barley-cuda' setting in the manual and I'm quite happy with it. You can dial in stronger settings that will give you fast tremolo or chorus-like tones but I'm happy with the rate between 7 and 8 o'clock and the regeneration at about 12 noon ' this setting reminds of the tone on Van Halen's Hear about it later. It's also close to the classic flange tone on Heart's Barracuda, although I find that the tone on this unit is more subtle than what I hear on the song Barracuda ' but it's pretty close. Some will like the subtlety of the unit while others may find it a little too subtle ' I guess it depends on what you're looking for. On the plus side this unit does not sound tinny like some flangers and it doesn't drown out your original tone, which I personally really like, but it doesn't have as strong a flange as some other units I've heard where the whooshing jet plane sound is stronger ' again it depends on what you are looking for. If they had included an intensity control to allow you to dial in a stronger flange effect then I think that would have made the unit a 5 out of 5 for me but overall I am quite happy with this pedal and I plan to keep it on my pedal board.


Reliability The unit is very sturdy and seems well made. I've only had it for a couple of weeks but so far so good.


Customer Support I e-mailed Dunlop customer service about the volume increase issue and they responded within a couple of days with a suggestion. I then had a follow-up question because their original suggestion did not alleviate the volume increase issue but I haven't heard back in several days so I guess I'll have to wait and see if they respond to my follow-up question (even though I've figured it out since).


Liked about it nice tone
great price
very easy to dial in good tones


Didn't like ac adapter location
battery compartment
effect may be too subtle if you're looking for a stronger flange effect

Considering the tone is quite nice and the price is right I think the pros far outweigh the cons so I'm giving it a 4 out of 5.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By doriangrey
Jan 07, 2012
 
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MXR have come up with a winner featured

Ease Of Use The MXR Micro Flanger is based on the classic 4 knob MXR Flanger, and was originally released in the 1980s. Jim Dunlop saw fit to re-release the Micro Flanger this year, updated with true-bypass wiring, but it still retains it's 100% analogue Bucket Brigade technology. The idea behind the Micro Flanger is to acheive similar sounds to it's bigger brother, but with a smaller footprint and easier to use controls.

With two controls, Speed, and Regen, the Micro Flanger is definitely a simple pedal to operate. One might think that two controls might make it hard to coax good sounds out of the Micro Flanger, but that is not the case. Believe it or not, it is exceptionally hard to dial a bad sound out of it. No matter where the two controls are set the Micro Flanger gives you fantastic sounds, which is great for inspiration and creativity.


Sound Thanks to MXR's use of hard to find Bucket Brigade technology the Micro Flanger dishes up servings of beautiful smooth analogue tone that is warm and inviting. From gentle, almost chorus like tones, jet plane sweeps, and crazy fast vibrato like sounds you want to switch it on again and again.

The only minor complaint I have with the tone is that it is a little subtle. You wont get any really outrageous flanging sounds out of the Micro Flanger, but most people probably don't really need that sort of effect anyway.With the Regen control dialled to higher settings the sweep sound can be heard when not playing, but it's not really an issue as you will most probably have the pedal on bypass when not playing.

And speaking of the bypass, the Micro Flanger's true-bypass wiring is a thankful addition. The pedal has no effect on your overall tone when bypassed. This is far better than some cheaper pedals, which can colour your tone quite dramatically when the effect is turned off.


Reliability Construction-wise it's everything you have come to expect from MXR. Nice solid heavy-duty enclosure, quality jacks, and the potentiometers feel nice and solid and move freely. The small footprint of the pedal is great too, as it doesn't take up any unnecessary space on your pedal board.

The usual qualm that people have with MXR pedals is the access to the battery clip, which is only accessible after unscrewing the back plate. the Micro Flanger is no different, but at the end of the day you probably wont want to run this pedal with batteries, as the Micro Flanger will most probably drain the battery after a few short hours. You are much better off using a power supply.

And the other issue that people may have the MXR pedals (I know it annoys me a little) is the location of the AC adapter jack. Being on the side of the pedal behind the input jack is a little awkward, and I feel that it would be much better placed on the top of the pedal, out of the way of your instrument cables.

These are just minor quibbles though, and at the end of the day I think you would be hard pressed to actually break anything with ease with any modern MXR pedal. I have read of a few people have the bypass switch break on them, but you would have to be pretty unlucky for that to happen. I'm sure most find that their pedals will last a long long time.


Customer Support I have not had to deal with Jim Dunlop/MXR


Liked about it Awesome tones from a simple to operate pedal.
* Top notch construction.
* Great price for high quality.


Didn't like Effect may be a little subtle.
* AC adapter jack in an awkward position.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By LonePhantom
Aug 17, 2010
 
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