[review] Mooer Audio MDS3 Cruncher - Distortion (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

Mooer

Mooer is a Chinese company making a wide-range of product from musical instruments to audio equipment. They have a bunch of products that are inspired by existing stuff, we are looking at their Micro Series of pedals. Several of these pedals are based on well-known pedals but now available in small packages and in some cases with Mooer's own little twist.

Cruncher

As some of the other Mooer pedals, this one is also based on a well-known 'box'. Most of the Micro series pedals share the same control set: 1 big dial and 2 smaller controls. The big dial on the Cruncher sets the gain, the 2 small dials are for volume and tone. The pedal is true bypass and has a 9v DC input. It's straightforward, less is more, right?

Mooer Audio MDS3 CruncherThe pedal in use

I did own the original version of this pedal at some point and had mixed feelings about it. I never got it to sound exactly right. The weirdest thing is that I loved it at home but did not like it in a band situation. I could be in for a disappointment if this is a straight up copy.

From the original, I remembered that it sounded really good with a LP so I plugged in mine and started jamming. As with the other drive pedals in the series, the level control behaves a bit different, don't be afraid to turn it up! This pedal is supposed to give you a classic, big crunch sound. With the gain at noon, it has some serious punch!! I had the tone control just above noon and this rocked hard. It's hard to believe how such a big sound can come from such a small package. I dialed up some different tones and unless I went for extreme settings, I couldn't find a bad one! So as a final test, I plugged in my tele. I dialed the tone back a couple of notches and the sound was really happening.

Obviously, the real test for me would be in a band situation and I took the Cruncher with me to rehearsal. And I'm very happy to report that the Cruncher sounded really well. I'm not sure if this is a copy of one of the newer versions, or if it just isn't a straight up copy but the Cruncher sounded better than the original I had. The low end was tight and it just rocked, put a TS in front and there's your big lead tone!!

The Mooer Cruncher packs some serious punch in a small package. It's one of those pedals that you should buy to throw in your gigbag because someday, it might save your ass at a gig. I had a lot of fun testing it and surprisingly, liked it better than the original I once owned.

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