It’s pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good actually!
Spending 500 or so words railing against overpriced overdrive pedals is nothing new for me. It definitely helps pay the bills that’s for sure. So whether it is comparing 16 Klon clones to show how they all sound the same, or discussing how Marshall is charging a bit too much for the new Blues Breaker, I’ve got you covered.
Grab your own Duke of Tone here
One thing I do love though is when companies make their iconic and sometimes overpriced circuits much more accessible. In the defense of Analogman and Analog Mike, neither the Prince of Tone or King of Tone is overpriced by him. He charges a very reasonable $148 for a Prince of Tone, and about $265 or so for a King of Tone. But on the used market, these are both a lot, lot more. Well, he teamed up with MXR to bring the Duke of Tone to the market to help make his beloved Blues Breaker-inspired pedal more accessible.
Meet The Duke
The Duke of Tone is exactly the same as the Prince of Tone in terms of sonic footprint and specs. You have the three modes (drive, boost, and distortion), same controls, and same purple finish. I know the circuitry is probably slightly different to fit in this small enclosure, but I cannot tell a difference in terms of sound. This pedal sounds just like the Prince of Tone I owned, and sounds very comparable to the Harby Pedals Noble Tone I’m using a lot these days. It’s also super flexible with the three modes, though I don’t find the distortion mode on any of the three aforementioned pedals packs the punch I usually want. I use these Blues Breaker-inspired pedals as lead boosts or always on overdrive tones. Especially because I find them more transparent than a Klon-style, they can really let the chime in my amp tone shine through.
I used my RWM Guitars Tele Junior to do my normal punk rock thing, and the Duke of Tone got along very well with the P90 bridge pickup. I felt like I was just using the normal pedals that sit on my boards (Browne Protein Carbon side, Harby Pedals Noble Tone). The smaller footprint of the mini enclosure is super convenient, especially because I don’t often twiddle with the knobs much. I’m contemplating if the small size will make it a valuable addition to my gigging board.
But ultimately, this sounds exactly like the Prince/King of Tone. And it should, because Analog Mike helped MXR and Dunlop make it. Thus, no need to keep beating a dead horse with this review. If you want a King of Tone, buy two of these, and save yourself time on the waiting list and money.