Many personalities inhabit this Dumble-inspired drive machine.

Dumble amps are like unicorns. Few have played with one. Most are probably locked away in stone crypts lit by dim torchlight and kept safe by esoteric spells. Such mystery leaves much to the imagination, and you get the sense that MXR’s Custom Shop Shin-Juku Drive (designed with Japanese pedal ace Shin Suzuki) takes advantage of the leeway imagination invites. That doesn’t mean the MXR doesn’t do Dumble-inspired sounds well. On the contrary, it delivers the combination of responsive, mid-heavy, harmonically excited overdrive that is the hallmark of Dumble performance with aplomb. But it also features dynamic, interactive controls that enable overdrive tones outside the Dumble canon.

While the dark button won’t suit every player’s taste, it enables fuzzy desert-rock tones at high gain levels that sound killer against bass riffs. The pedal also responds very well to guitar volume attenuation. But the most attractive feature might be the considerable range in the tone control and the way it interacts with the output and gain controls. It makes re-shaping the mid-forward character of the pedal easy—which also highlights its capacity as a wide-spectrum mid-gain unit. There’s much more than Dumble here, and at a very nice price, too.

Test gear: Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Fender Stratocaster, B.A. Ferguson Shirley, ’68 Fender Bassman, Fender Champ.


Effective, interactive, and rangy tone and drive controls.

Dark settings can sound heavily filtered.


MXR Custom Shop Shin-Juku Drive


Ease of Use:



There’s way more than blues-rock fodder buried in the crevices of the most overused scale in music.



  • Explain how chords are generated from scales.
  • Create unusual harmonies, chord progressions, bass lines, and melodies using the blues scale.
  • Demonstrate how music theory and musical intuition can coalesce to create unique sounds from traditional materials.
{u'media': u'[rebelmouse-document-pdf 11821 site_id=20368559 original_filename="BluesScale-Sep20.pdf"]', u'file_original_url': u'', u'type': u'pdf', u'id': 11821, u'media_html': u'BluesScale-Sep20.pdf'}

Last updated on May 21, 2022

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for blues music, but the blues scale can yield beguiling musical results that bear little resemblance to the traditional blues—particularly if one looks at (and listens to) the scale from a different point of view.

Read More Show less

Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less