1975 MXR Distortion +
1975 MXR Distortion +

Model Description:

Before the Pro Co RAT appeared on the scene to shake things up, there were essentially 2 great distortion pedals, the BOSS DS-1 Distortion and the MXR Distortion + (excluding the Ibanez Tube Screamer which is an overdrive pedal). Many expert observers point to the MXR as producing a relatively mild distortion more akin to an overdrive. To me, that’s splitting hairs about where individual effects lie on the continuum from boost/compression at one end to extreme fuzz at the other. Early 1st generation Distortion + stomp boxes, like this one, were produced in a (arguably, yucky) mustard yellow/brown colour and they carry the wispy ‘script’ logo and model name printed on the front and the logo stamped on the back. Later, they changed to bright yellow and the now-familiar MXR ‘block’ logo. For tech heads, the script Distortion + uses germanium diodes and an LM741CN op amp chip. For the rest of us, that means a great overdrive/distortion effect when you tread on it.

Pedal Description:

This rather special little ‘script logo’ Distortion + is dirty in both its colour and its tone. Despite its hue, it is in pretty good shape for its age, being all‑original except for one knob and missing 3 baseplate screws. Someone has kindly (not!) drilled two small holes in the base plate, presumably for pedalboard mounting, which is a shame. None of this affects the classic growls emanating from this diminutive box. The amount of gain available suits a wide range of musical styles and the simple design with no tone control possibly aids rather than hinders use. If you want to recreate the sounds of early 1970s rock, take a great vintage guitar, add a vintage valve amp, sprinkle with some vintage MXR grit and away you go. While not one the very earliest ‘Bud box’ models, this cool mid-‘70s wild child is now eminently collectable and increasingly sought after. Follow the script…


  • Made in Rochester, New York, U.S.A. in 1975
  • The ‘Output’ knob controls the output volume
  • The ‘Distortion’ knob controls the amount of gain added to the original signal
  • Standard footswitch turns the effect on and off
  • ¼” input and output mono jack sockets
  • 1st generation ‘script’ MXR and model logos
  • ‘Script’ logo baseplate
  • No LED or DC power supply input – 9V battery only
  • No box or instructions

Detail Gallery:

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