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Mesa/Boogie Throttle Box Distortion Pedal Reviews

4.5 stars based on 23 customer reviews
Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Throttle Box Distortion Pedal?

Questions about the Mesa/Boogie Throttle Box Distortion Pedal?

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  • from Yuma, Arizona August 26, 2016Music Background:
    Guitar, banjo, bass, piano...

    Great range of growl to howl!

    I wanted to add some edge and more to my Telecaster sound. I almost bought the Flux Drive, but I wanted that sound and more, at least sometimes. I am more than pleased I purchased the Throttle Box, thanks for the audio/video musician samples, that helped nail down my choice also. Thanks again, Dan Wagoner!

  • from May 6, 2015

    throttle on

    I have a mesa rectoverb but I don't want it leaving the house, or pedals going thru it because it's so perfect without all that. so I got a fender 68 custom deluxe reverb for gigs and put together a pedal board. I had high expectations when I ordered this pedal, considering it's a mesa. It's easily the best od pedal I've ever had, and I've had a ton. The dual rec od channel will do anything from vintage to modern, the Eagles to Pantera, and it does it with ease. My favorite part is how fat and creamy the tone is. they pretty much nailed it with this pedal. It's not quite as nice as the real thing, but it's very close. To the few people saying this is only for death metal and that blues players need to look elsewhere, eat your fist. This thing sounds great with the gain at zero all the way to dimed. in lo or hi mode. Buy this one for sure.

  • from Chicago Burbs January 4, 2015Music Background:
    Once I mastered air guitar, figured I'd go legit

    Best Mesa rectifier tone in a pedal, best metal pedal, period

    I traded in three pedals to my local music store to get this as an even swap. Granted, not all these pedals are marketed the same but none the less this Mesa pedal is exactly what my Mesa 5/50 express plus needed. I traded a mxr full bore metal, a proco rat and a catalinbread dirty little secret mkiii. I lossed about $140 considering I bought all the pedals new, but my quest for tonei is over. The throttle box is more than a heavy metal pedal. As I would tell anyone considering a Mesa product, familiarize yourself with how their eq and gain settings work. When you figure this out, you'll love Mesa tone. This pedal on low gain settings is as pleasurable as the "dual rec" settings on the high gain Mode. Simply put, I'm loving several settings on both gain stages. I could never dial in the other pedals to multiple sweet spots like i can the throttle box.

    I'm lucky enough to have a couple Mesa dealers in my back yard. If you do not, buy from sweet water their service is top notch.

  • from United States August 4, 2014Music Background:
    rock, blues

    Boogie Throttle Box

    When i opened the box and see the Lil black pedal inside i said wow looks nice so let me plug it and start playing my old Les Paul Custom 79 man no complaint, clean vintage sound and nice high gain, but over all i like the people from Sweetwater it came on time as they told me, thanks again

  • from July 18, 2014

    Dual rec in a box

    The closest that you will get to dual rec for the price. Great bottom end and versatile.

  • from Brookland, AR February 24, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist 18+ yrs


    I've had all kinds of distortion pedals, from line6, boss, mxr, vox, blackstar, wampler. Mesa has come to the pedal ball game to win it!! I've never smiled so big plugging in a distortion pedal and hitting a big E chord. This pedal will stay on the board. My blues jr has never been this mean! I was considering buying a new amp to get into the metal territory when i wanted to, but now i don't know. If you're looking for great distortion and like the Mesa tone of the Mark IV or Dual Rectifier. This is it. Just WOW!

  • from January 9, 2014

    Mesa Boogie Throttle Box

    Great Toy !!!

  • from USA October 29, 2013Music Background:
    love commitment...life time


    Could not be happier with this pedal. True Rectifier sound in a stomp box! Loved it so much I picked up the Flux Drive next day and that one is awesome also. Thank you Sweetwater for the excellent service

  • from pasadena, TX October 18, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, home recording engineer

    metal/hardcore player's best distortion pedal for the money

    I needed a little extra bottom end to my sound so i tested this pedal b 4 ordering one and was blown away. Im using a blackstar HT 5 watt head attached to a fender 4x12 with celestions and a schecter blackjack 7 string lefty with schecter diamond pickups and the distortion from the amp is already amazing. I like the tone from bands like soulfly, chevelle, breaking benjaman and old school korn. i needed just a little bit more gain and bottom end to my tone and this pedal from mesa delivered just that, plus gave me more distortion options also. The distortion is very clean and tight even with gain all the way up. The lo/hi switch makes this pedal like having 2 in one. The lo side cuts the distortion for more of a rock tone and the hi boosts it for more of a metal/hardcore modern tone. There is also another boost switch not advertised under and inside the pedal where you change the 9V battery.(wouldn't have found it if i hadn't read the manual) It also cuts the boost like the lo switch does but gives a different tone response. It comes already turned on for that fat mesa tone many love. I was kinda worried at first with there not being a bass knob to adjust for most distortion pedals have this option. Not a problem at all, the mid cut already has a lot of bass in it and turning it down also turns down the bass, which metal and hardcore players need. The true bypass on this pedal really works which also caught my eye. This is a problem when using some pedals because they change your tone when not in use or just the noise from having many pedal's chained together. This pedal was quite and my tone was not altered at all when pedal was not on. There was no nasty feedback while activated with level and gain turned up even with palm muting the strings.(unless your holding your guitar up inches from the amp) This is another great feature to this pedal. the LED light will also dim when the battery gets low. I don't know how any one gave this pedal a bad review. If u want a great sounding high gain distortion pedal with lots of options and for the price, this is the pedal to get. Mesa has done a fantastic job creating a distortion pedal that mimics there tone. If you don't have 3 grand or so to spend for a rectifier and cab, this is the closest way to get the mesa sound. For how great this pedal is id think it would be more expensive. Keep in mind the kinda amp your using is going to modify your sound and if you have a solid state and can't afford a tube amp, no problem. For me the way to go is tubes although solid state is great, either way owning a mesa boogie throttle box solid state distortion pedal will def give you a great tone. In the end it's all about your ears and what you think sounds good, either way, do yourself a favor and add this pedal to your arsenal. Get one today.

  • from MN, USA September 6, 2013Music Background:
    Heavy Metal/Hard Rock

    The best Distortion

    I have used tons of distortion from Boss to MXR to EH to VOX. This is a killer Distortion pedal that any guitar player can have. Mind that is you are a blues player or looking for that sweet/warm fat tone to play blues this pedal is not for you. It is more for metal/hard rock section. This gets mean with the high gain settings. I use my Marshall AVT20 (used to be) with moded setting and that amp is now 60watts. This pedal got married to that amp now and I can't stop saying good stuff enough to bring justice. This pedal is a MUST have to all the rock guitar players. Blues players go wank somewhere else!!!

  • from Indianapolis, Indiana July 30, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Composer

    Mesa Boogie Tone at a great Price!

    This is one of the Best pedals I have used period. Very Lush! TheTone is amazing. Really hits the spot. Build quality is excellent also. Great styling too! U need this!
    The Mesa Flux pedal is next on my list.

  • from Jaffrey N.H. July 27, 2013Music Background:
    semi pro guitarist

    throttle like a mo fo

    Awesome made my Randall 50 watt tube combo come to full roar amazing tone in both low and high gain settings. Best distortion pedal for a tube amp I have ever owned and I had lot's.

  • from Aurora, IL June 4, 2013Music Background:

    Mark IV in a box

    This beast turn any amp into Mesa Mark IV. super clean and easy to dial different tones.

    Recommended for any style of playing

  • from Plano, TX May 28, 2013Music Background:

    The Home Wrecker

    I was completely happy with the distortion supplied by my Line6 Spider IV amp and was not on the market for any distortion pedals. Then I saw that Mesa had released a distortion pedal. Well I just had to try it.

    I didn't expect much honestly. So I fired up my amp without the pedal and played on the metal and extreme settings, then switched to clean and enabled the pedal, then went back and forth a few times playing with the settings on both my amp and the pedal.

    Simply put, it blows away the distortion built into my Line6 amp. I mean like night and day. I was so shocked. The Mesa sounds so much more full and wide, where now the distortion in my amp that I was totally happy with previously is now flat and thin.

    I am super happy with the pedal, but it's a home wrecker. I'll never love my amp like I used to again. Thanks Mesa, I think.

  • from Palmdale, CA May 15, 2013Music Background:
    teacher, pro musician

    rectifier in a box

    I wanted a heavier tone that sounded natural, responded like an amp and still retained clarity/detail. I am amazed how well this pedal does all of that. I set my amp up for clean and use this for my driven sounds. (plugged through an Egnater tweaker/matching cab)
    The toggle switch inside smoothes out the low end, better for lead tones. but i like the switch on to keep that chunky low end.
    We all know how some distortion/overdrive pedals can "feel" fake in tone/sound, but there is nothing but tone to be had with this pedal. I am glad to say this pedal exceeded my expectations.

  • from Broussard, LA May 8, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-Pro musician. 43 years on guitar.

    Mesa Throttle Box

    This pedal is everything I hoped it would be. Extraordinary gain control. Minimal gain to full roar......and with minimal noise. Touche, Mesa.

  • from New jearsy April 26, 2013Music Background:
    Working musician. Home recording

    Best box I have!

    Got this a week ago and it's works perfect! Michael Eads got it to me fast. Sweetwater is the best!!!! Ower band plays metal and the mesa works in better then I thought. thanks Sweetwater

  • from Kermit,TX. March 7, 2013Music Background:
    Recording musician

    Pure Mesa!

    If you want the "Mesa sound"...it's simple...use a Mesa!I have plenty of pedals with sounds meant to emulate any number of Mesa amps,but this pedal is the real deal.Through all of my amps it gave the most organic representation of a Mesa amp.However when I ran it into my Single Rect-O-Verb it became a pure beast!This pedal is very responsive to various guitars,pickups and volume.Very minute turns of any knob yields a response.Plus...it just looks awesome!I would rcommend it to any true tone junky.

  • from Chicago December 9, 2012Music Background:
    Guitarist, Composer

    Extraordinary effect...

    I've had around a dozen distortion-overdrive pedals over the years, including the Mesa Boogie V-Twin (really a preamp), but none is better or more versatile than this overdrive pedal from Mesa. The Throttle Box, one of four pedals released by Mesa in late 2012), works with almost any amp of any type, including small, low-powered transistorized amps. Of all the qualities of this pedal, the best is that it is nearly silent, even at highest output. And one can easily switch from bypass to high output with ease in the midst of playing.

  • from Texas July 17, 2016Music Background:
    25+ years playing guitar


    This pedal has been incredibly disappointing.
    It is so dark and muddy that it just sounds "dull" to me, no matter what setting. You have to have an extremely bright sounding guitar and amp both to get a decent sound out of this, and/or an EQ pedal.
    The mid-cut and tone knobs are weak and do very little to sculpt the sound.
    The gain structure of the distortion is also very loose, like an amp-in-a-box type pedal. Since it is not marketed as an AIB pedal, I expected more pedal like distortion. Personally, I have zero use for a pedal that creates "amp like distortion", I have amp heads for that.
    I wanted to try it out on all of my equipment before I passed final judgment on it and now I have passed up the ten day window to return it to the local shop that I purchased it from, so I guess it will end up on the trading block. I was also looking at pedals from Emma, Egnater, and AmpTweaker, and now I wish I had went with one of them instead.
    The EQ version would probably be much better because I can get some half way decent sounds out of it when using an MXR 10 Band EQ pedal.
    It is quite, well made, and the price is not bad for an American made pedal but, overall I can't recommend it unless you play mainly metal rhythm and prefer a very, very, dark sound.

  • from Midwest February 1, 2016Music Background:
    27 years +

    The Lone Ranger...

    I seriously wanted this to be the next stellar review among the Mesa Junkies, but I can only say that I wasn't impressed with the Throttle Box. I bought it to drive my Mini Rectifier that also did not meet the California hype exactly - I mean all those videos and online reviews that promoted the Holy Grail coming out of it....? Note to self, always find a floor model to test drive before purchase, On anything.

    Anyway, The Throttle Box pedal was muddy and just didn't amaze me like I assumed it would from the reviews, price PR. There isn't enough gain in the pedal or the amp for that matter. I waaaaanted to believe. I was chugging the purple Koolaid.

    Sweetwater rocked though, and my rep let me return it for refund.

    Meanwhile back at the gear-acquisition ranch.

  • from United States August 30, 2013Music Background:
    Spare-time recording artist


    Knowing Mesa's reputation for great high-gain amps and reading countless praise all over the internet, I decided to purchase this pedal, hopefully to use it as my primary source of distortion. I was extremely disappointed when I plugged this guy in.... the distortion sounds great (very tubular), but the tone is awful. It is like listening to a big puddle of mud. 'Sludge' is the best word I can use here, actually. Even with the 'low end boost' switch off, I can't get any clarity out of this thing, even using the bridge pickup, with tone maxed and the pedal's tone dial all the way to the right, it still sounds incredibly dark. Looks like I'm going to go back to getting distortion from my amp.... not nearly as 'full' and tubular sounding, but at least I can distinguish individual notes when I arpeggiate a chord.

  • from Milford, MA August 20, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Where is the quality?

    To be fair, I have not used this pedal extensively and I need to try it with more amps. That being said, I have tried various settings with this pedal with a few amps. First in front of a Line 6 HT spider valve 100 half stack. The lows are muddy, the mids sound hollow, and the high frequency response is extremely poor--and that's through Clean, Twang, and Crunch channels. I tried it in front of a Blackstar ID TVP 60 with similar results. I then tried it with a Vox AC50 2X12 combo and the sound is even worse. I've been playing guitar for 40 years, and I'm a heavy rock/metal head. I know what a good distortion pedal sounds like. I have a Fulltone OCD, a Tube Screamer, and various other distortion pedals, and they all blow this thing off the map. Sure, this has a lot of distortion, but what good is that if the sound quality is poor? I am not giving up on this pedal because of all the good reviews, and if I find the right configuration I'll come back and revise my review or add a new one. To be honest, I was hoping to find a warm and creamy tone with some decent high-end sparkle on some leads when I need it, but instead I'm hearing what sounds like my old Mesa F100 head with bad tubes.

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