MXR DUKE OF TOne Overdrive Review (Quick summary)
Verdict and Review Summary
I'm a metal and hard rock guy, but this overdrive makes me want to play a Stratocaster and turn down the drive knob. It's warm, bluesy - perhaps one of the nicest-sounding overdrive pedals I've ever experienced. Not blowing smoke.
I'm shocked at how versatile and satisfying the MXR Duke of Tone is, because I don't usually love overdrive pedals.
It's multi-mode gain pedal (OD, boost, and distortion) and there's just so much you can get out of it from the drive knob alone. It's incredibly soft (soft clipping) and analog-esque, with a warmth that's very palpable. Turning the drive knob down past 11 o'clock sounds absolutely beautiful.
This quickly makes it into our top recommendations for pairing with a Fender tube amp or an amp of similar style.
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Compare to similar overdrive pedals
This comparison table lets you see pricing, basic specs, and YouTube demos side-by-side. Note that pricing is updated live.
MXR Duke of Tone
ProCo Rat 2
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MXR Duke of Tone Price Guide
This section contains live pricing for the MXR Duke of Tone from several major retailers. As I mentioned, it's updated in real time. Also note that the alert signup and price history graph do not include any Amazon listings.
Prices updated Sun, February 25th, 2024.
Pricing from Multiple Vendors
Pricing from Amazon
Price Alert Tool (lowest price among listed retailers)
Price History (lowest price among listed retailers)
Price History for MXR Duke of Tone Overdrive Pedal
|February 23, 2024
|March 10, 2023
|March 10, 2023
Last price changes
|March 10, 2023
IDEAL FOR: Fender tube amps all day long, blues, Stratocasters, warm tones, definitely recording.
Tone profile, use, and sound quality
This pedal is designed for low gain, even in distortion mode. But I'd use it for rhythm, lead, and everything in between.
As mentioned, it's the softness and subtle attack that wins the day for this pedal. It almost makes me think that bluesy overdrive pedals are better off if they make less of an attempt to be edgy, because their strength is being soft and inviting.
As is often the case, Bonedo has the goods:
Controls, EQ, and flexibility
Volume, Drive, and Tone controls are standard operating procedure for most overdrive pedals.
For the Duke of Tone, focus on the drive knob and then experiment with the three modes. The distortion mode is as close to edgy as this pedal gets, and boost/OD are predictably more subtle, so I'm guessing that's where you'll spend the bulk of your time.
The mode selector and drive, on their own, will give you a ton of flexibility. Once you find some sounds you like, set the output volume maybe 5-10 percent above your amp's clean volume.
MXR Duke of Tone FAQ
The Duke of Tone uses a standard 9V DC power supply, which is usually not going to be included with the purchase. We'd recommend a Voodoo Lab power supply with several 9V power ports and cables. A 9V batter will also work.
The MXR Duke of Tone is pricey, but it's a worthwhile investment if you play a bluesier style, especially if you run a tube amp without a dirty channel, or with a dirty channel that you just don't like.
Yes, the Duke of Tone preserves you signal when the pedal is off via a true bypass connection.
Our Review Conclusion
I'll admit, this style of gain and music is a bit out of my comfort zone. I'm not a blues guy and I like heavier styles. But the Duke of Tone honestly impressed me, and I'd highly recommend it to those in the situations described.
As always, I'm happy to answer questions via the comments below. Even better, I'd love to hear about your experience with this pedal.
More voices and experiences make pages like this better, so you don't have to listen to just my nonsense.
Thanks for the support. Looking forward to chatting.