The Echoplex® EP-3 tape machine was the secret ingredient in some of the most iconic tonal recipes from the ’60s and ’70s. Top guitar players loved its deliciously warm, organic modulation and sweet musical voice of the preamp so much that they’d use it as a tone-sweetener with the delay effect turned off.

The problem for modern players is that the original EP-3 machines are expensive, temperamental, and larger than a VCR. They require a ton of maintenance, and it’s increasingly difficult to find the correct tape cartridges. So even if you can find and afford a perfectly running EP-3, a single gig can take quite a toll on the machine as well as wear out your precious tape.

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Everyone knows MXR as one of the most iconic stompbox effect companies in history, but did you know that MXR also made a ton of rackmount effects that were used by some of rock’s biggest names? If not, have no fear—we’ve got the rundown for you below, along with a few sweet shots of the vintage rack units we have here at the shop.

In the late ’70s, MXR was one of the pioneers at the forefront of the digital wave. By the time it ventured into the realm of rackmount processors, MXR already owned a huge share of the stompbox effect market. The step into digital processing was a logical one—the company had already earned its reputation for delivering great sounding analog effects in cool little packages that fit comfortably at your feet.Load More

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. For guitarists, that better mousetrap arrived in the early ’70s when Keith Barr gave the world the MXR Phase 90. It was the first of many brightly colored effects pedals that would find their way onto stages and into recording studios worldwide.

Barr and his partner Terry Sherwood owned an audio repair shop in Rochester, New York, where they were shocked by the poor quality of the guitar effects their customers brought in. Barr and Sherwood decided they could give guitar players a better sounding, cooler looking, and more reliable stompbox. MXR was born, and the company gave guitarists access to amazing sounds—some of which were previously available only in high-end studios—delivering those sounds in rugged, roadworthy enclosures.

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