Review: Mooer SD75

Over the past decade Mooer has built a brand reputation for making cost-effective guitar effects of very decent quality. The company made considerable inroads into the market with its micro-sized pedals, but has since also introduced several successful multi-effect units.

Mooer’s Hornet-range of small practice amps – launched in 2018 – already hinted at things to come, and now the company has widened its product range by introducing two ”grown-up” modelling guitar combos – the SD30 and SD75.

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The Mooer SD75 (current price in Finland: 378 €) is a hybrid combo that combines a digital preamp section with a solid-state power amp (75 W; Class A/B).

The stylish two-tone, open back cabinet is loaded with a 12-inch Mooer speaker rated at 100 watts (8 Ω).

The SD75 weighs 18 kilos.

The SD75’s back panel sports connectors for an optional external speaker, a serial effects loop, a balanced DI output (speaker emulated) with a ground lift switch, and a USB-port for firmware updates.

The Mooer’s control panel is top-facing, with its black portion offering access to the combo’s patch memory, as well as all of the preamp’s effect blocks. The backlit buttons on the left of the display also let you activate the SD75’s Jam Mode section, which comprises a 150 second audio looper and a simple drum pattern player/metronome, featuring 40 drum patterns and 10 different metronome styles. The built-in chromatic tuner, on the other hand, is accessed by a button just above the Treble knob.

The combo sports seven control knobs – Gain, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence, and Master. All knob settings, save for the Master control, can be saved in one of the SD75’s 40 patch memory slots, along with all the other preamp parameters.

The Mooer SD75 also runs a Bluetooth section, which allows you to use a four-switch Mooer Airswitch unit for bank and patch preset switching, as well as for streaming audio from an external device, such as a smartphone.

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The first thing virtually all of us will do, when first trying out a programmable amp, is to make a quick journey through the factory-installed presets. The Mooer SD75’s presets will give you an idea of the combo’s scope of different sounds, even if they seem to have been concocted to wow teenage guitarists.

I would strongly suggest you try out the Mooer by selecting any of the patches and turning off all the preamp blocks. I would then start exploring all the effect blocks by choosing an amp model first, adjusting its settings to your own taste, and then experiment with the effects in the other blocks.

In addition to its 25 different amp models the Mooer offers eight gain effects in the OD/DS-section (a clean boost plus seven drives/distortions), nine modulation effects (including ring modulation and pitch shifting), five delays (from tape all the way to ducking), and six different reverbs. You are limited to one effect per block.

Editing is very easy using the backlit buttons and the black Value-knob. The amp models offer seven parameters each, namely the six storable physical knobs plus a noise gate. The pedal effect sections have been kept deliberately easy to programme by offering only three parameters each, just like on many physical effect pedals.

Saving (and naming) your own presets is fast and easy, too, which means that you can store your settings during rehearsals with minimal fuss, and then recall them on stage. The patch memory of 40 presets – arranged as ten banks of four patches each – means that you should probably be able to store all your amp settings for your band’s set list in advance.

The Mooer SD75’s Jam Mode is a cool add-on for getting your creative juices flowing. The looper works really great, while the drum machine serves its purpose in the context of this amp, even if the drum sounds are quite bassy.

Mooer’s Airswitch Bluetooth switch unit is a very classy addition reducing the number of cables at the player’s feet.

Mooer’s new SD75 guitar combo sounds great and really offers amazing value for the money. With a 12-inch speaker and a healthy 75 watts power section, the SD75 would be a fantastic choice for any covers band guitarist on a tight budget, or as the resident combo in a band school.

Will the Mooer trump a top-class guitar amp along with some boutique effect pedals? No, of course not! Look at the price tag and be realistic. But as an all-in-one solution for weekend warriors and guitar heroes on a budget, the Mooer SD75 is hard to beat.

• Rhythm guitars: Fender Telecaster (left channel) & Arvo 2-P90 (right channel)
• Lead guitar: Epiphone G-400 with Bigsby vibrato
• All guitar tracks use only the Mooer SD75’s internal effects
• Recorded with a Shure SM57

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• Rhythm guitars: Epiphone SG (G-400; left channel) & Fender Stratocaster (right channel)
• Lick guitars: Arvo Guitars 2-P90 (handmade Finnish guitar)
• Lead guitar: Arvo 2-P90
• All guitar tracks use only the Mooer SD75’s internal effects
• Microphone used: Shure SM57

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Mooer SD75

378 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

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Pros:

+ wide variety of available sounds

+ easy to use

+ built-in looper and drum section

+ built-in DI-output

+ sound

+ price

Cons:

– mediocre drum soundsSave

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