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MXR Flangers, Orig. vs. Reissue


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3/27/2003 11:34 AM
Rich Stevens
MXR Flangers, Orig. vs. Reissue
Does anybody have a feel for the tonal difference between the original MXR flanger and the Dunlop re-issue? The cosmetic differences are obvious: MXR was AC powered, no LED. Dunlop apparently can take a pair of 9V batteries (or an 18-volt wall wart) has a status LED, and is commonly described as "gray", although they ALL look gray to me.  
 
Prices for the originals seem to be running about twice as much on eBay as the reissues. Some of this I assume can be attributed to intrinsic factors such as "vintage", "mojo", and "Eddie Van Halen used one"; mostly hooey as far as I'm concerned. But is there a significant difference in the sound? After all, it's sound I'm looking for and there's no sense paying $60 extra for chipped paint and EVH kharma.
 
3/27/2003 4:21 PM
Mark Hammer
I had one of the old ones back in '83 or so, and quite frankly I did not like it. I found it noisy and far preferred having more controls as on my PAiA Phlanger. In the other hand, I am in no position to determine whether my MXR one was set up properly in those days since I knew a great deal less than I know now. I just remember I was happy to sell it and do not miss it nearly as much as the 6-band EQ I had, my "Funky Filter" (a Univox or other clone of the Mutron) and my little Leslie.  
 
The essential aspect of the MXR unit is that it had no companding and tended to shave off less of the high end so it was grittier. Since it had 4 controls, rather than the 3 of the Electric Mistress, people liked its' tweakability, but again, it was less tweakable than the PAiA unit or A/DA and certainly less startling than the A/DA.  
 
Your question is one of then/now comparisons, however. With the possible exception of the BBD itself (an SAD-1024 in the original), all the parts used in 1980 are readily available still, so there should be no real major design changes resulting in an inability to replicate what was done then. If anything, the op-amps used should be quieter, and the thing should weigh about a half pound less (have you SEEN the kind of solder glops on some of those older MXR pedals?). If the pedal has been redesigned for use with an MN3007 or some other MN300x chip (more likely to be available as NOS than an SAD1024), that should have no bearing on the sound quality.
 
3/27/2003 4:54 PM
Rich Stevens

Unfortunately, I don't have either flanger available to look at; I'm considering buying one. The reissue I'm talking about is the Dunlop, which I don't believe they are making currently. The reissues seem to have been made in the late 80's(?) vs. late-70's-to-early-80's for the originals.  
 
It's obvious from the outside that the reissues were somewhat redesigned. They take batteries afterall, and the in/out jacks on the reissue are on opposing sides, vs. next to each other on the original.  
 
So, we know they changed the layout. The question is, did they change the schematic, and was there any effect of the sound? Anybody have any A/B experience with the two?
 

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