First Impressions: NUX Morning Star Overdrive Pedal

A week or so ago, I picked up a new (to me) NUX Morning Star overdrive pedal.

Is it going to be another fantastic find, a big disappointment, or somewhere in between perhaps? Read on for my First Impressions of this pedal.

What Did You Buy?

I bought a NUX Morning Star overdrive pedal. I got mine second-hand.

The Morning Star is NUX’s take on the classic Bluesbreaker circuit. It comes in mini-pedal format only, so you can’t run it directly off of a battery.

Why Did You Buy It?

I recently picked up the NUX Horseman (their klone-style pedal), and I was impressed by it. So I was curious to try the Morning Star, to see how that fares.

I was also intrigued by the name. I’d read speculation that it was a take on JHS’s Morning Glory, but Internet forums being what they are, I didn’t find a definitive statement either way.

And it was cheap. This might just be the cheapest pedal I’ve bought to date.

Is It A JHS Morning Glory Clone?

Thankfully not. (I’m not partial to the JHS Morning Glory.)

Is It A King Of Tone / Prince Of Tone Clone, Then?

No, it isn’t.

This Is A Straight-Up Bluesbreaker Clone

To my ears, the NUX Morning Star sounds very similar to my Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal. Out of all the pedals I’ve tried that are based on the Bluesbreaker circuit, it’s probably the closest clone of them all.

I think that’s great news for anyone who wants that exact sound, but who can’t afford an actual Bluesbreaker pedal.

In defence of NUX, the Morning Star has been out for a few years now. When it came out, the Marshall Bluesbreaker had been out of production for over a decade.

It Is Noisier Than The Marshall Bluesbreaker, Though

Pedal straight into amp, the Morning Star isn’t noticeably noisy at all. If there’s a difference between it and my Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal, I’m not hearing it.

However, if I stick my PRS Mary Cries compressor in front of the Morning Star, I’m hearing more noise than I do when I run the compressor into the Marshall Bluesbreaker. And I’m noticing the noise while playing, which is a bit off-putting.

This noise is already present in my signal chain. It’s just that the Morning Star is amplifying it more than my Marshall Bluesbreaker does. I’ve no way of knowing whether other examples of the Morning Star would do the same thing, or if I just got unlucky with the one I bought.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m impressed with just how close a clone this pedal is. I doubt that I could tell them apart in a mix. Heck, the only way I can tell them apart when soloed is to listen for any noise difference.

If you’re looking for a Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal and you’re on a budget, the NUX Morning Star should give you that sound. I’ve no hesitation in recommending it for that.

If you’re someone who runs another drive, boost or compressor pedal first, you might experience the noise that my example has. It’s something to be aware of.

I’m going to be keeping mine, and I’m going to use it to help me bring down the noise level of my signal chain even further. And I’m going to feature it in a round-up of Bluesbreaker-circuit pedals later this year too.

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