MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal Review
The Carbon Copy Delay pedal from MXR has achieved something of a ‘modern classic’ classic amongst guitar players since it’s release. For all the focus on digital technology, guitar players are creatures of habit and the general consensus is that we still prefer analog tones with the warmth, or ‘lack of fidelity’ (distortion of some degree), over pristine digital sound.
The Carbon Copy is the most popular delay pedal we sell. In fact it may well be the most popular guitar pedal we sell! The pedal is fairly compact with three knobs for controlling parameters and a small knob that can be pushed in to activate the modulation effect. There are also internal trim pots that can be set to alter the parameters of the modulation.
The knobs control the delay time (offering delays ranging from 20ms up to 600ms), a regen knob that sets the number of repeats, and a mix knob that sets the volume of the repeats. This can be set anywhere from a totally dry signal through to the maximum setting where the repeat is slightly louder than the original dry signal.
The small ‘mod’ button adds an amount of modulation, or pitch shifting both up and down, to the repeats. A small blue stars LED will be activated when the modulation button is engaged.
Another blue LED will be activated when the foot switch is pressed down to engage the effect. It’s really bright! I have used the Carbon Copy for a few years and find the LED overbearing at times, but I certainly know when it is on when playing on a dark stage.
So how does it sound?
The delays are quite dark tonally but still retain clarity. Most typically I use this pedal with a Vox AC15 and a G&L ASAT Classic (think telecaster if unfamiliar with this G&L model) so it is a wonderful combination between what can be a rather bright guitar and amp combination and a darker delay. However I have also used the same pedal with a Gibson Les Paul and Tokai 335, both darker guitars due to the humbucking pickups installed, and the delay has never been muddy, in spite of its inherent darker tone.
As with every MXR pedal I have played or owned, it is very well-designed and capable of producing great tone as soon as it is plugged in.