Jim Dunlop kicked December off with the launch of the MXR Power 50 Overdrive, a signature Tom Morello overdrive pedal designed to distil the tone of the Rage Against the Machine guitarist’s long-running Marshall JCM800 2205 and Peavey 4x12 amp rig into a pedal. Now the man himself has put the stompbox through its paces in its first official demo.
In the clip, Morello demonstrates his tones from his original rig, before showcasing how the pedal incarnation stacks up through a variety of different combos, including a Vox AC30, Mesa/Boogie Lone Star, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, and even his son's 8” Fender Frontman 15-watt bedroom amp.
Utilizing his trademark Arm the Homeless electric and an identical pedalboard for each setup – connected to the Power 50’s onboard effects loop, which emulates the way Morello runs his effects through his Marshall – the results are uncanny.
Of course, there’s always the argument that tone is in the fingers, but even so, the sag and snap of that Morellian crunch is very much in evidence, whatever amp the pedal is plugged into.
The Power 50 utilizes a MOSFET-based circuit to emulate the preamp of Morello’s JCM, and also features its full complement of controls, including Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume, and Presence.
“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.
Morello recently released his second solo record of 2021, The Atlas Underground Flood, which features his long-awaited collaboration with Kirk Hammett and Alex Lifeson.