MXR M80 Bass D.I.+ Direct Box and Preamp with Distortion

From the distortion channel to the color switch to the preset EQ contour, the M-80 Bass Preamp and DI Box delivers superior tonal flexibility.

The M80 starts as a solid, high-quality direct box. Then it adds a mountain of features -- making it, pound for pound, one of the most powerful bass tools ever. In this little box reside a fully controllable Distortion channel with gain, volume, and blend controls; a smart Noise Gate to clean up your signal, a Color switch; and a preset EQ contour that immediately puts your bass tone into the "sweet spot" of the mix. For every bass tone from pure and clean to furious and growling, it's all in this rugged little box.
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

The MXR M80 Bass D.I. + requires a single 9 volt alkaline battery, Phantom Power from mixing board (through microphone cable) or a Dunlop ECB003 AC adapter or a Dunlop DCB10 DC Brick power supply.
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 1.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 3 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): M80

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 707-745-2722

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (73 ratings)
Submitted January 2, 2006 by a customer from
"Really Big Punch and a Nice Growl"
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
Overall, I am happy with the M-80. I could honestly say I would recommend it to other bass players. Everyone has their own individual tastes though. Most of the online retailers offer a pretty good return policy if you don't. Try it, you'll like it.

The sound of this box sounds old school to me. That's a good thing. It really adds a lot of punch to my amp. I have been able to get the big warm round sound (with passive pickups) going direct through the PA and I've been able to get a nice punchy growling sound (active pickups) going into my Ampeg BA 115. I compared it to the Tech 21 RBI and I have to say I like the MXR M-80 better, especially when going to direct to the PA. The Tech 21 seemed to lack something when going into the PA. I will say the MXR definitely needs a compressor to tighten up the sound a bit. This unit has a distortion channel that sounds pretty good. You can get a slightly overdriven distortion or you can get really nasty, whatever you desire. I will say that the Tech 21 wins in this area though. The unit has a color button that gives a subtle, but noticeable boost to the mid-range frequencies. This is very useful to cut through the mix when playing live.

Features include Low, Mid, and High EQ as well as the color button mentioned above. The distortion seems to be pretty versatile in that you have a volume, blend, trigger (for the noise gate), and gain control. The blend allows you read more to blend the clean channel with the distorted channel. The unit also features XLR out along with a parallel out to run direct to the PA and to your amp.

HEAVY DUTY. Metal Casing everything seems pretty solid. The battery compartment may be the only thing that might break. It's made out of plastic. It still seems fine though.

This unit sells for around $135 bucks. That seems a bit pricey, but it's cheaper than the Sansamp unit. I think the real value of this unit is being able to walk into practice or a gig with just the M-80 and know that you will be able to get a good sound without having to break your back carrying an amp.

Manufacturer Support
I have not had to contact them. I've had the unit for about 6 months now.

The Wow Factor
This thing looks cool to me. I would say that I bought it more for the practicality than the looks though. A unit like this is a good investment for any bass player to use direct to the PA or just to beef up the sound of your amp. Even if you don't use it all the time, it would be good to have as a back up in case you get an annoying hum in your amp from neon beer signs or some jack ass wants to play on Mustang Sally and blows out your amp.

Musical Background:
Active Musician

Musical Style:
Classic Rock, Pop, Country
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