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MXR crams Tom Morello’s iconic amp tones into a new signature pedal, the Power 50 Overdrive

MXR Power 50 Overdrive
(Image credit: Jim Dunlop)

For someone who spent much of his heyday with Rage Against the Machine avoiding signature gear at all costs, Tom Morello has certainly embraced the concept in recent years. Now, following the launch of his Fender 'Soul Power' Stratocaster and Cry Baby Wah, the six-string firebrand has teamed up with Jim Dunlop once more for the MXR Power 50 Overdrive pedal.

As any self-respecting Morello fan knows, nearly all of the guitarist’s tones have been fueled by the combination of a Marshall JCM800 2205 head and Peavey 4x12 cab, and it’s this setup the Power 50 Overdrive seeks to replicate.

MXR has employed MOSFET technology to ape the JCM’s preamp stages for an amp-like response, and utilized the same control set, too, with Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume, and Presence knobs.

Another quirk of Morello’s rig is the fact he runs all his effects pedals through the amp’s effects loop – again, MXR has included this idiosyncrasy via an in-built effects loop on the Power 50, which runs before the Presence control and gives you extra adjustment for your entire pedal chain at the output.

And, as Dunlop cannily points out, that makes the pedal a perfect pairing with Morello’s signature Cry Baby.

MXR Power 50 Overdrive

(Image credit: Jim Dunlop)

“The Power 50 Overdrive emulates the amp setup that I’ve used since 1988,” Morello says. “I’ve made 21 studio albums, and that amp, that head, and that speaker, and that tone has been on 21 of them. It’s been my signature identifiable sound since Day One of my career.

“If you want to have the sound that has been on those records, you don’t need to find an amp and speaker cabinet from 1988. You can get that sound with the Power 50 Overdrive, no matter what your setup is.”

The MXR Tom Morello Power 50 Overdrive is available to preorder now, priced at $189.99 street.

For more information, check out Jim Dunlop.

Morello is currently gearing up to release his second solo record of 2021, The Atlas Underground Flood, which features collaborations with Kirk Hammett, Alex Lifeson, Ben Harper and Rodrigo y Gabriela among many others.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.