MXR Distortion+ sees the light

John Cobbett of Hammers of Misfortune is an old school kind of guy and I’m not just making age jokes. He runs a Marshall JCM800 for some transparent rockin’ tone from his ’70s Les Paul guitar. A great set-up and dead easy. Maybe too easy. When it comes to leads, it can be hard to pop out over a six-piece prog band. With no boost channel to switch to, Cobbett uses another classic, the MXR Distortion+ guitar pedal. It subtly boosts his tone and adds some more skreem to those licky lixxx.

MXR Distortion+

After losing his first one, John picked up this “beauty” off of eBay. Back when we played together in a band, I was just starting to dick around with all my own pedals. Cobbett asked if it was possible to add a power indicator light to his Distortion+. It was and is. Looking back, though, I think I could’ve done it better.

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Extreme BOSS DS-1 Makeover: Sewage Edition

Mauz, my boss and friend, is probably most well known for playing in Dystopia. He’s also played in Mindrot, Nigel Peppercock, Medication Time, and now heads up the oi punk outfit Kicker. One day at our print shop a year or so back, I noticed he had a horribly beat up BOSS DS-1. It looked like shit and something was wrong with it. He handed it over to the Doktor.


Just to be clear, that’s not what his pedal looked like. That’s a clean, normal DS-1, a classic in the distortion world. It’s a lot of people’s first stomp box. It’s a simple IC distortion circuit using silicon diode clippers and a very basic low-high tone control.┬áThat’s also why it’s a fun pedal to work on, because there’s a lot you can do. Mauz’s DS-1 pedal was spray painted black by some old punk rocker and was missing all the knobs. It needed to be cleaned up, but the technical refurbishing came first.

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Beers, Gear, and Queers

Some word about gear… Obviously, Ludicra has gear issues. Why? Because we are a poor working man’s band buying our own stuff in used shops. So of course, our used shit takes a dump on the regular. The trick is to make things work while on the road.

Ludicra boys pyramid

At home, we have John’s amp sending out AM radio, mine blowing tubes, Christy’s with weird plug issues, and Aesop’s drums doing what all drums do… break. Now we are in foreign lands, so it’s anyone guess what’s going to happen on stangers’ gear.

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