Based on a rare and elusive circuit, the MXR Sugar Drive provides a diverse range of clear and transparent overdrive tones, from sauced up boosting to blown-tube distortion.
Key elements of the design are its Drive control and charge pump. The Drive control replicates the smooth transition of an amplifier going from clean to dirty by blending the overdrive effect with your clean signal as you turn it up. The charge pump (voltage doubler) increases overall headroom, which opens everything up nicely for a clear and transparent range of tones.
Of course, the designers had to give this circuit the MXR touch. If you're all about true bypass, then you're in luck - this pedal uses it by default. The original used buffered bypass, though, and the engineers know there are a lot of players out there who don't want to fix something that isn't broken. They're in luck, too - just flick the Buffer switch on the side of the pedal to enable buffered bypassing.
With a simple three-knob setup and an MXR mini housing, this is the go-to overdrive to have on your pedalboard. It's versatile and it saves space, and unlike the original pedals it's based on, it won't cost you thousands of dollars.