MXR Carbon Copy: Cranking the Juice (Running at 18v)

Dunlop's MXR brand is one of the most popular manufacturers of effect pedals, and are used by guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, and vocalists alike. Their homage to the vintage 70s MXR analog delay pedal, the Carbon Copy, quickly became one of the most purchased and used delay pedals on the market. Recently ProGuitarShop.com collaborated with Dunlop & MXR to release the new Carbon Copy Bright. Now, don't get me wrong... I think a cool new paintjob and an excuse to purchase new gear is totally worth the $160, but for those of us on a budget or who prefer versatility to just stacking a bunch of pedals together it's possible to attain some of the goals of the CC Bright by using the original Carbon Copy.

Increasing the input voltage to the Carbon Copy is something fans of the stomp box have been doing for years. I called up Dunlop technical support a couple of years back and was discussing this subject with them. What I was told was the CC's internals are actually quite capable of running between 9 and 18 volts; like any sort of modified usage, it will void the warranty and isn't officially recommended on the spec sheet. I've had my version 1 Carbon Copy running at 9, ~12, and 18v for years with no adverse experiences.  Manipulating the voltage input to your effect units has always been a neat trick-- especially with some vintage modulation units, to emulate that battery sag tone. Some power stations like the CAE Power Supply have a couple of outputs with variable voltage dials. Because I find the original Carbon Copy to be a bit dark running at 9volts, I always run mine at 18v. Doubling the voltage instantly increases the headroom-- meaning that your MIX knob is more sensitive, so cutting through the mix is easy. This dynamic change in sensitivity also applies to the REPEAT knob, narrowing the range a bit. It require a more delicate touch to find your ideal setup, but if you're the set it and forget it type it shouldn't be much of an issue. 

Dunlop and PGS really push the CC Bright as an accessory to the original, and if you don't yet have an analog delay I'd strongly recommend the Carbon Copy since you can get that gritty dark tonality by running it at 9volts. Since both pedals are within a $10 range, and essentially have the same circuitry, both are great. Just choose the paint job you prefer. If you're into dual delay stacking, and want one dark and one bright delay purchasing the new Carbon Copy Bright is a better idea than using two original CC's with the word "BRIGHT" taped onto one of them (running at double voltage). 

ProGuitarShop is a phenomenal company, and all of my interactions with their employees prove they all know what they're doing. These guys have nailed down the "Instrument Demo" format on YouTube and no one does it better. They also curate their product library selection, only stocking and endorsing the quality gear they'd use themselves-- they're a group of musicians themselves after all. Being able to collaborate with Dunlop & MXR, and sell their product exclusively is a milestone of their development.