1977 MXR Blue Box
1977 MXR Blue Box

Model Description:

Now here’s an unusual little stomp box. The ‘Blue Box’ model name may describe the colour and shape of the pedal but it gives no indication whatsoever of what it does. You actually get two effects in one tiny box; an octave generator and fuzz. The blend control ranges from fully anti-clockwise, which creates a note one octave down added to the original signal, through various degrees of mixed effect, to fully clockwise where fuzz dominates. Only the early, 1st generation effects built up to the mid-‘70s by MXR Innovations, based in Rochester, New York, USA carry the original spindly ‘script’ logo, which has become a symbol of desirability in recent years. While the Blue Box sits firmly in the shadow of its more illustrious relatives such as the iconic and more ubiquitous Phase 90, it is quite a rare beast and is undeniably cool. A possible reason for the Blue Box’s inconspicuous profile may be because of its esoteric effect and its ambiguous title.


Pedal Description:

This natty little player’s grade pedal, dates to c.1977, around the time that MXR phased out the script logo and moved to the 2nd generation block logo. Because they have always been few and far between, all‑original script logo Blue Boxes are hard to find. This one has had a hole drilled in the side for an external power supply with a replaced battery lead the only remaining evidence. It also has a newer footswitch, and the ‘block logo’ baseplate and its screws aren’t original. Apart from the changes, it is in very good overall condition. It is the original electronics that ultimately count. The octave is typically unpredictable and often mis-tracks the original note, which adds to its offbeat charm. The fuzz is downright dirty and more convincing, despite the lack of a tone control. What the Blue Box does in spades, though, is produce some fun, frantic, and frankly awesome noise, especially when combining the octave and fuzz effects. Natural sounding, it most certainly is not, but for uproarious experimentation, it scores big time – think Sonic Youth. Be cool, take a stomp on the wild side and don’t look back.


  • The ‘Output’ knob controls the output volume
  • The ‘Blend’ knob controls balance between the octave and fuzz effects
  • Replacement footswitch turns the effect on and off
  • ¼” input and output mono jack sockets
  • 1st generation ‘script’ MXR and model logos
  • Replacement block logo base plate and screws
  • No LED or DC power supply input – 9V battery only
  • No box or instructions

Detail Gallery:

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