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MXR M135 Smart Gate Review – Simple But Effective Solution

4.9 out of 5 stars

When it comes to some of the best effects pedals on the market, MXR is definitely well represented. Their reputation was more or less sealed when several of their models turned out to be some of the most iconic pedals we were graced with. In terms of noise gates, MXR's M135 Smart Gate comes across as a pretty impressive noise gate compared to other elite models. They chose to take a more complex route, but it definitely paid off considering how good this thing performs, and how popular it has become.



Compared to most other noise gate designs, MXR M135 Smart Gate brings a performance that is more developed and a bit more complex in general. The housing of this pedal is your standard MXR stuff – rugged enclosure that features a basic graphic design, but incredible durability to constant indiscriminate use.

Just what a performing guitar player might need, and what some of the best pedals out there offer.. Aside from being able to adjust the threshold of the gate, there are actually three modes of operation available. Those are Hiss, Mid and Full. When Hiss is selected, the pedal eliminates the extraneous hiss. Mid is where the gate effect is increased, but not fully present, and finally full is your standard noise gate mode.



Like most pedals, MXR M135 Smart Gate comes with the Threshold knob that allows you to dial in the exact volume where the pedal kicks in. That is as standard as it gets, however there's more. We have already described the modes you have available on this pedal. These are controlled by a single three way switch located in the upper right corner of the pedal. Right across from it is a button labeled Hi Trigger Range. Once activated, the pedal becomes a lot more precise in the given volume band.


While it is definitely not the most basic noise gate pedal out there, it's not the most complex one either. The non standard features MXR decided to implement with this model are all very practical in a sense that you can actually benefit from having them, on a daily basis. The core of the M135's performance is solid, which is what matters the most at the end of the day. The pedal tracks well, and the addition of several modes of operation increases its versatility when combined with different setups. That in itself is enough to put this pedal on any top list.


For the most part, MXR M135 Smart Gate is one of the more unique noise gate designs you can get. Seemingly basic, this pedal actually packs a rather capable performance that will get the job done even in those signal chains that don't deal well with noise gate pedals. The price MXR went with is fairly balanced in comparison to what you get, and is well within the limits of what is expected for a model such as this one. At the end of the day, you should definitely give this pedal a shot, especially if you are looking for something else.

For more info about the MXR M135, click here.
For more Noise Gate Pedal Currently On The Market, click here.

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