The Evolution of the MXR Carbon Copy

The impressive analog delay’s continuous impact on pedalboards across the globe.

In 2009, Jim Dunlop released the MXR Carbon Copy. It quickly became an industry staple with its ability to deliver a wealth of warm, bucket-brigade-style delay in the most straightforward way – just like all of your other favorite MXR designs. Now it’s not uncommon to see more than one Carbon Copy on someone’s board.

The introduction of the bucket-brigade delay circuit in 1969 was an astounding leap in the world of effects. It allowed players to leave their monstrous magnetic tape echo units to gather dust in the basement, and made stage-worthy delay tones more accessible to everyone.

The transitions continued, and eventually digital processors became the new way to achieve practically any guitar effect. But the analog delay wasn’t ready to be put to rest. Now countless pedal companies have incorporated a version of the analog delay into their line.

M169 Carbon Copy

The original MXR Carbon Copy has definitely been a shining star since its debut. Its ability to tame amp brightness and offer a darker quality in its delay repeats has been a desirable quality for players, and 600ms of delay time is impressive for pedals of its kind, as well as optional modulation.

Its three-knob layout consists of Time, Mix, and Regen. There are also two internal trim pots that deliver adjustable width and rate control of the modulation for increased tonal versatility. And…it’s true bypass.

But, some players did still want the option to emphasize the brightness in their setup with their delay pedal.

M269 Carbon Copy Bright

The M169 Carbon Copy was known for that darker sound and its ability to tame brightness. However, some players want that brightness emphasized. The Carbon Copy Bright was designed with Pro Guitar Shop to help bring out the high end in the repeats so players could be offered multiple flavors for different uses.

The “Bright” functions exactly the same as the original Carbon Copy, but it’s tweaked a bit. Higher frequencies are more pronounced, so the CC Bright’s repeats are more defined, and its modulation glistens a bit more. Overall, it’s an incredible compliment to the original, offering just the right amount of contrast.

M292 Carbon Copy Deluxe

I guess it was time to turn things up a notch. While the original Carbon Copy will live on as a legacy in simplistic analog delay designs, guitar players began to want more.

The Carbon Copy Deluxe was Dunlop’s way of igniting innovation in the design of the best-selling analog delay. We all know – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Rather than changing the design in order to innovate, Dunlop decided to take the two established Carbon Copy models and put them under one hood. And then soup it up some more.

Carbon Copy Deluxe features eight bucket-brigade chips and delivers 1200ms of delay, which is double that of the Carbon Copy. Just like the original, Mix, Regen, and Delay controls are present to adjust the delay section. Speed and Width controls on the right-hand side of the panel are there to adjust the modulation effect, which is a very convenient improvement from the internal trim pots in the original.

Bright, Tap Div, and Mod push buttons live under the control knobs. The Bright button engages your higher frequencies, while the Mod button turns the modulation effect on and off. Tap Div – signifying possibly the most significant addition on the Carbon Copy Deluxe – selects between the tap tempo subdivisions. Yes – tap tempo! There are also footswitches for Tap Tempo and Effect on/off, with an orange LED above the Tap switch that flashes the tempo.

Last but not least, there is a 1/4″ expression jack that allows you to switch between presets, and much more.

M169A 10th Anniversary Carbon Copy – Silver

A 10-year milestone bringing only the best analog delay to boards everywhere called for a celebration. Jim Dunlop released a limited edition silver version of the Carbon Copy in late 2018, paying tribute to the analog delay that everyone has grown to love.

M299 Carbon Copy Mini

Pedal engineers continue to find ways to pack as many features as possible into smaller enclosures as pedalboard real estate becomes more and more valuable. Dunlop has remained solid in the trends, having released several of their most treasured models in mini format. It was Carbon Copy’s turn.

The Carbon Copy Mini is Dunlop’s latest addition, bringing that luxury analog warmth to players who don’t have quite as much space, or need a smaller solution for traveling.

Carbon Copy Mini may be smaller in size, but it’s definitely not less feature-rich. With the same three-knob layout and modulation section as the original in a smaller size, how could it disappoint? It even includes a Bright switch, so you can have the additional versatility found in the Carbon Copy Bright.

What’s your Carbon Copy story?

You May Also Like

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *