MI Audio Classic Distortion



MI Audio about the v1 (2006)

MI Audio has joined up with Australian Red Cross this Christmas to raise awareness and funds for those more in need during times of crisis.

As a result on the 18th of December, 2006 at 12PM (AEDT) we will be releasing an extremely limited edition of the much requested and anticipated Classic Distortion Pedal with all moneys going to Australian Red Cross. 90 Classic Distortion pedals will be sold only through the MI Audio website. The cost of the pedal will be US$199.95 plus shipping. This pedal cannot be purchased anywhere else.

Please note the time of release as we anticipate this pedal to go in a matter of hours. We will not be accepting any advance orders for this pedal. So on the day you need to be fast.

In relation to the pedal itself, the Classic Distortion is the most functional, feature packed and comprehensive pedal Michael has ever created, with the same amazing clipping design as the Crunch Box Distortion. However, Michael has added so many other features, it could arguably be the most flexible dirt box ever made. It has the standard Drive and Volume, as well as Michaels unique Character control, as found on the Tube Zone and Blue Boy, a clipping Symmetry control for going from symmetrical to asymmetrical clipping, a 3 band EQ featuring a passive tone stack with Low, Mid, and High, and finally a Presence control for overall top end content. That would make 8 controls! This pedal will get you basically any tone you want.

Terms & Conditions

  • The 90 Classic Distortion pedals will be sold online only on a first come first serve basis. We will only be accepting the first 92 individual orders.
  • The price of US$199.95 does not include shipping. US$10 will be added to the price at point of purchase. Shipping extras like ECI and insurance are extra but recommended by us here at MI Audio for safety reasons during transit.
  • We are only allowing one pedal per person to give everyone a chance. Purchases will be scrutinized to prevent repeat purchases of the Classic Distortion.
  • MI Audio Pty Ltd will donate the full amount of the proceeds of the 90 Classic Distortion Pedals to our chosen charity, Australian Red Cross.
  • Classic Distortion Pedals are voluntarily built by staff at MI Audio outside working hours over the month of December. Therefore due to the nature of the voluntary work delivery of the pedal will take place throughout the month of December and possibly into the start of January.
  • Anyone who pays for the pedal on our website after we have sold the entire stock of 90 pedals will be fully refunded.

MI Audio about the v2 (2010)

In Brief

  • A total of 8 external controls for amazing flexibility
    • Volume
    • Gain - A huge range from clean to massive amounts of saturation
    • Character - A pre-distortion bass control
    • Symmetry - Adjusts the clipping symmetry
    • Low/Mid/High - 3 Band EQ based on classic passive designs found in valve amps
    • Presence - High Cut control to help roll of top end to match your amp

In Depth

There are a few concepts with the Classic. Firstly, at its core, it shares some features with another one of our pedals, the Crunch Box Distortion. However, the resulting tone is quite different. Where the Crunch Box is a very Marshall-on-eleven sounding pedal, the Classic Distortion has been tuned differently in order to make its response quite different. It's a lot ‘creamier' and more vintage sounding, hence the name.


  • Drive: The Classic Distortion has been designed to have a huge gain range, from completely clean to a huge amount of saturation. Note that this is interactive with both the character and the symmetry controls.

  • Character: This control, which is unique to MI Effects pedals, is a pre-distortion bass control. By turning up the character control, you'll get a looser, fuzzier sound, with notes having more momentum. Turned down, your tone will tighten things up.

  • Symmetry: As the name implies, this control adjusts the clipping symmetry. All the way down, and the clipping is symmetrical. This is the more typical setting for standard distortion and overdrive sounds. All the way up, and the clipping is extremely asymmetrical, clipping one side much harder than the other side. The way that this is achieved is by varying the clipping threshold. This has the extra effect of also varying your output volume. I personally really enjoy this feature. I particularly like the lower gain blues sound possible with the symmetry all the way up, and the gain on about 25%. In this setting, light picking produces a gorgeous clean, but digging in messes things up!

  • Low - Mid - High: The powerful 3 band EQ on the Classic Distortion is based on the classic passive designs found in the world's greatest valve amps. Having said that, I've tweaked the response of the tone stack to give each band a huge range, almost as much as active EQs. Another thing to note is that I've made the midrange control very powerful, since it's my feeling that the mids are the most important guitar frequencies. It always struck me as strange that in most passive EQ designs, the mids are the least powerful control.

  • Presence: Strictly speaking, this is not a real presence control, but more like a high cut control to help gradually roll off the top end to match your amp.


  • Powder-coated and silk-screened enclosure, measuring only 117mm * 92mm
  • Red LED Indicator
  • 9V adaptor plug (2.1mm barrel connection)
  • Heavy Duty 3PDT footswitch with True Bypass
  • 9V Battery or DC power supply with up to 25V headroom

Most recent forum threads

Where to find one?

your browser doesn't support AJAX?

fx pedal stompbox stomp box guitar effects pedal distortion dist distorted distort distortion/fuzz/overdrive dirt grit
Syndicate content

Subscribe to our newsletter

Also check out Effects Database's social media accounts: