MXR reboots its cult classic Blue Box for the refined Poly Blue Octave pedal

MXR M306 Poly Blue
(Image credit: MXR)

MXR has debuted the M306 Poly Blue Octave pedal – a redeveloped and rebooted fuzz/pitch-shift/modulation pedal that nods to the brand’s flagship Blue Box unit.

The original Blue Box was used by a handful of electric guitar heroes – such as Jimmy Page, who put it to use on Led Zeppelin’s Fool in the Rain – and favored for its fuzz effect and two octave-down pitch-shift powers.

With the M306, MXR has tapped into the DNA of the iconic Blue Box, while simultaneously introducing a number of new-and-improved specifications.

At first glance, it offers a far more comprehensive approach to pitch-shifting. Featuring a polyphonic/monophonic switch, the M306 boasts four separate octave divisions, complete with their own level controls.

As well as letting users shift their signal down two octaves just like the Blue Box, the M306 features a handful of extra pitch-shifting options: one octave down, one octave up and two octaves up, which are controlled via Sub-1, Sub-2, Oct+1 and Oct+2 knobs.

The Blue Box’s influence can specifically be found in the fuzz department, with the M306 coming loaded with an “unruly fuzz” – said to be derived from the Blue Box’s own effect – that is applied to all signals and tamed by way of the Dry knob and fuzz toggle switch.

Other appointments include an expression output, which allows for expression pedal-operated control of various parameters, and a dual-mode modulation effect that aims to tap into Leslie/Phase 90-style effects depending on which pitch-shifting mode is selected.

It's a far cry more feature-packed than the original Blue Box, which only came with Output and Blend knobs, as well as a single bypass switch.

The M306 is yet to crop up on Jim Dunlop’s website, though it’s currently available to preorder over at Guitar Center for $199.

For more information, visit Guitar Center.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.