The M5 offers up a whopping 100+ effects in the delay, modulation, distortion, compressor/EQ, filter, and reverb categories—all in a single pedal.
Nobody can dispute that Line 6 gives players a lot of bang for their buck. In the Brady hierarchy of the M line of multi-effects processors, the M13 is Greg, the M9 is Peter, and the M5 is Bobby. And being the youngest sibling has its advantages: Smaller than the other pedals, the M5 offers up a whopping 100+ effects in the delay, modulation, distortion, compressor/EQ, filter, and reverb categories—all in a single pedal. At first it might seem like a stompbox with an identity crisis, but in use I found the M5 to be a veritable Swiss Army knife that could easily be the answer to a gigging guitarist’s prayers. Let’s check it out.
Housed in a rugged, all-metal chassis with a cool black finish, the M5 is a study in effective design. The rear of the pedal sports stereo In and Out jacks, as well as an expression pedal input, and a DC power input (power supply included). On the left side is a set of MIDI In and Out jacks. On top, the pedal has an On/Off stomp switch and a Tap switch to its right. Above the stomp switches are six multifunction rotary knobs and a backlit LCD display that clearly shows the chosen effect, as well as the function of each rotary knob for that effect.
Dialing up a great sound couldn’t be simpler. Pushing down on the “model select” knob changes the effect category (reverb, delay, distortion, etc.). Once the category is selected, you rotate the knob to choose the specific effect. If you’ve ever played through a Line 6 modeling pedal, the sounds will be quite familiar. Having owned Line 6’s delay and modulation modelers, I felt like the M5 was giving me a greatest hits package. Not all effects are exact doppelgängers of the original, but all are very close. Some of my favorites were the Tube Echo for the EP-1-style tone without the hassle, and the Jet Fuzz, which is a combination fuzz-phaser that mimics the old Roland Jet Phaser, while adding on a fuzz. Who wouldn’t like that!?
Because you can only select one effect at a time, Line 6 made it simple to store 24 effects as presets. You can access these presets by scrolling through the various choices with your foot. It works like this: Step on both the On/Off and Tap switches to access the scrolling feature, then scroll up with the On/Off and down with the Tap. To keep it simple, there are no menus. Each time you power up, you simply get the same settings where you left off. And the built-in tuner is accurate and easy to access by holding down the Tap switch.The Verdict
For the price of a single pedal, the M5 is a killer deal. Not only do you get over 100 different effects, it’s built like a tank and offers easy control and a great tuner. Even if you have a pedalboard, adding an M5 would expand the options dramatically. In fact, you might find yourself pulling a few pedals off, including your tuner. For the gigging player, I can’t think of a better pedal for ease of use and effective processing. Bobby Brady might be the youngest kid in the family, but he definitely has a trick or two up his sleeve.
you want a boatload of great, simple effects in a single pedal.
you’re a tone purist and need to have dedicated pedals for each effect.
Street $195 - Line 6 - line6.com
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.