Updated: Jun 2, 2020
The overdrive pedal that’s so good, they had to name it twice?
The TC Electronic Mojomojo Overdrive is a pretty interesting pedal that’s used by a number of amazing players from Paul Gilbert to Johnny Hiland.
It's been designed to have lots of headroom, which gives it an amp-like feel as it has such great dynamics. This has been achieved, according to TC Electronic, by using a circuit that ramps up the voltage to more than 3-4 times than that of an average drive pedal.
The controls are simple, intuitive and yet very complex in some ways as they interact very well with each other leading to a tonne of tweak-ability and variety in available sounds.
I particularly liked it as a mild overdrive, just adding a touch of character, but it can be used all the way from a pretty transparent boost, through to a full on overdrive with a touch of fuzzy goodness.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the controls:
These are pretty standard with Drive, Level, Bass and Treble controls. There's also a Voice mini-toggle switch.
The Treble and Bass controls have a good range but nothing over the top, making all the tones useable. They interact well, so you're sure to find some tasty tones with your preferred guitar.
There is a lot of volume on tap, so if you want to push your tube amp and use the Mojomojo as a clean boost, it’ll do this no problem.
The Drive goes from clean to pretty full on, with those fuzzy tones mentioned earlier.
The Voice switch is a great addition as it takes away a little of the bass when needed, which is particularly handy if you’ve got a dark sounding guitar.
The pedal is also built to last with a seriously rugged die-cast metal case. It takes a standard 9v centre-negative adapter, but has room for a battery for those that prefer to use them, and has a power draw of 40 mA. That’s a pretty significant draw for an overdrive pedal with a Tube Screamer TS808 only requiring about 7.5 mA.
If you do like to use batteries, you might appreciate the single screw feature of the pedal that allows faster access for changing batteries mid gig.
For the Demo, I used my standard Two Rock Studio Pro 35 as it’s an incredible pedal platform and really reveals the nature of pedals, and the guitar was a Suhr T-style guitar with single coil pickups.a
For the Demo, I used my standard Two Rock Studio Pro 35 as it’s an incredible pedal platform and really reveals the nature of pedals, and the guitar was a Suhr T-style guitar with single coil pickups.
I also used the MojoMojo to push a Wampler Plexi-drive to see how it performed in this role.
Take a look here:
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the pedal, especially as it can be had cheaply at the moment second hand: you can get one on eBay for around £30 - £40.
The lower gain sounds were very nice – dynamic and responsive. As the gain increased, there was also plenty of grunt available.
The Voice switch is actually pretty subtle, but I preferred it on the bassier setting for lead sounds as it fattens up the high notes a little. It can get a little woolly however if you really crank the pedal, but this can be dialled out with the EQ controls.
The most interesting thing for me was that the gain structure does feel quite unique. Most pedals fall into a couple of different categories, the “Tube Screamer’ or “Klon” categories being the most obvious.
I found it telling that even on the TC Electronic site they mention that the pedal ‘needs direction’, and I feel this is true. Spend some time with it and you’ll reap the rewards.
However, if you want to use this pedal as a main overdrive you might find the drive structure a little bit like Marmite.
Personally, I think there are other pedals out there that do a similar job that I prefer to use. For example, the Hudson Broadcast for the lower gain sounds and a Thorpyfx Gunshot or Warthog for higher gain.
However, there is something special about the Mojomojo that many people love.
Check out the Paul Gilbert video here:
So, is this the next pedal in your tone journey? Only you can answer that and seeing a you can get one for a fraction of the cost of a boutique pedal second hand, I’d say it’s certainly worth trying out as it might just have the Mojo you’ve been looking for.