Quick Hit: Karma MTN-10 Review

An updated take on the other green dirtbox.



Expansive palette of voices. Great dynamic range. Impressive low-end resonance and sustain. Slinky playability. Tuning stable. Virtually indestructible.

Highs can get a bit harsh depending on your setup. Awfully pricey compared to similar new-model ODs.


Karma MTN-10


Ease of Use:



The MTN-10 is producer Greg Droman’s take on the other green distortion box from Ibanez. Over the last few years, the original Mostortion MT10 Mos-Fet Distortion has gained popularity among tone hounds, and the price has gone up to near $400. Droman decided to create a sturdier and more affordable solution. His MTN-10 mimics the same controls found on the Mostortion and uses the same CA3260 IC that’s found in the original.

When done right, it gives you just the right amount of compression and dirt without sacrificing feel.

I’ve always dug MOSFET-style distortion. When done right, it gives you just the perfect amount of compression and dirt without sacrificing feel. The MTN-10’s 3-band EQ is wildly interactive and really requires minimal tweaking. Simply start at noon and season to taste. I found the MTN-10 to also be an excellent clean boost. It had plenty of full-range response and was incredibly reactive to dynamics. Once the gain knob went past 1 o’clock, there was a high-end sizzle which could be useful for ripping leads or long, sustaining parts. Without a doubt the Karma MTN-10 is a worthy torchbearer that surpasses the original in build quality, price, and availability.

Test Gear: Schroeder Chopper TL, Gibson Les Paul Custom, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

Read More Show less

While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

Read More Show less