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MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal 

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The MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion roars with huge amp stack tones and old-school distortion. MXR took a classic distortion circuit and hot-rodded ...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A hot-rodded classic circuit that roars with huge amp-stack tones and old-school distortion.

The MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion roars with huge amp stack tones and old-school distortion. MXR took a classic distortion circuit and hot-rodded it to deliver over-the-top, soaring leads and rich, saturated rhythms. With only three knobs, dialing in a badass tone is a cinch. Engage the CRUNCH button to boost the harmonic content of the distortion. Under the hood, this high-performance machine features top-notch circuitry and hardware meant for a lifetime of use.

FEATURES
  • A hot-rodded classic circuit
  • Roars with huge amp stack tones and old school distortion
  • Delivers soaring leads and rich, saturated rhythms

Nobody does distortion like MXR. Get your Badass '78 now!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MXRM78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.2

(based on 40 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (25)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (10)
  • Excellent sound quality (10)
  • Responsive (10)
  • Versatile (9)
  • Good selection of effects (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (9)
  • Home studio (7)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
  • Amateur recording (5)
  • Professional recording (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Perfection

I've never liked distortion pedals. They always sound artificial to me and I prefer overdrives. Having loved the TS9 Tubescreamer, I thought I'd try the new Ibanez Jet Driver which was described as...Read complete review

I've never liked distortion pedals. They always sound artificial to me and I prefer overdrives. Having loved the TS9 Tubescreamer, I thought I'd try the new Ibanez Jet Driver which was described as a more pwerful TS9 with way more output and more gain. I didn't really like it and returned it for the 78, having never played or heard it.

I was completely blown away.

The tone is magical. THE perfect classic rock/hard rock/bluesy rock sound. Everything from a light crunch to Zeppelin, ZZ Top, AC/DC and beyond. Falls just barely short of metal. The tone knob is really functional. 0 for mud, 10 for bright. Somewhere in-between is your perfect and extremely usable tone. Mine stays permenantly set at around 10:30. Warm but not muddy.

Lots of gain on tap, you'll get an acceptable classic chug but not metal. IF you're in a cover band and play like 1 Judas Priest tune, you can fake it for one song if you dime the gain. But you'll want to look elsewhere for metal.

Sounds great with all guitars, too. I have a LEs Paul Junior with a P-90, an SG standard with humbuckers, and a Tele. IT compliments all of them well with just slight adjustments.

The crunch button doesn't really add cruch, but color to your sound. It sounds just a little fuller when on, adding more lows and highs than mids. The slight eq boost also adds a minimal but noticeable amount of volume. Go demo it to hear what I mean. So far, I like it on when I have the gain turned up, but off when I have the gain turned down. I also prefer it off with the Tele. I wish it was possible to switch on and off with my foot. It really does change the sound of the pedal.

Overall, I love it. The 78 bridges the gap between overdrives and distortions. If you're like me and love the warmth of a good overdrive, but hate the fizz and shrill of *most* distortions, give this one a shot. It sounds more like an amp than a pedal.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

78' Distortion not as versitle as Distortion III

I bought the MXR Distortion III at the same time as the 78' Distortion and thought this would win over the III.The goal of this pedal for me was seeking that Distortion that fits...Read complete review

I bought the MXR Distortion III at the same time as the 78' Distortion and thought this would win over the III.The goal of this pedal for me was seeking that Distortion that fits into the 78 era distortion and works well with the tone knobs on my strat and Gibson Les Paul. The M78 has a 'sound to it' that works if you like that era sound, but not very versatile in tone. I felt that my knobs on my guitar (tone, volume) didn't really make a difference in the pedal. As for the Dist III I felt i had a bit more control. the look of it is beautiful. the casing color is stunning red and really is nice on the pedal board but I like to close my eyes and know it feels right in the mix of my pedal setups. Overall it has a sound that works in most classic heavy distortion situations. A good pedal but I feel the MXR Dist III has more of an organic feel then the 78'd distortion.For the price difference, I would suggest a listen to the MXR Distortion III. But if you like the 78' distortion out of the box, then this pedal is for you.

Reviewed by 40 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Perfection

By Super Modes

from NJ

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Beautiful Tone
  • Great With All Guitars
  • No Fizz
  • Versitle
  • Well made

Cons

  • You Dont Own One Yet

Best Uses

  • Great In Any Situation

Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

I've never liked distortion pedals. They always sound artificial to me and I prefer overdrives. Having loved the TS9 Tubescreamer, I thought I'd try the new Ibanez Jet Driver which was described as a more pwerful TS9 with way more output and more gain. I didn't really like it and returned it for the 78, having never played or heard it.

I was completely blown away.

The tone is magical. THE perfect classic rock/hard rock/bluesy rock sound. Everything from a light crunch to Zeppelin, ZZ Top, AC/DC and beyond. Falls just barely short of metal. The tone knob is really functional. 0 for mud, 10 for bright. Somewhere in-between is your perfect and extremely usable tone. Mine stays permenantly set at around 10:30. Warm but not muddy.

Lots of gain on tap, you'll get an acceptable classic chug but not metal. IF you're in a cover band and play like 1 Judas Priest tune, you can fake it for one song if you dime the gain. But you'll want to look elsewhere for metal.

Sounds great with all guitars, too. I have a LEs Paul Junior with a P-90, an SG standard with humbuckers, and a Tele. IT compliments all of them well with just slight adjustments.

The crunch button doesn't really add cruch, but color to your sound. It sounds just a little fuller when on, adding more lows and highs than mids. The slight eq boost also adds a minimal but noticeable amount of volume. Go demo it to hear what I mean. So far, I like it on when I have the gain turned up, but off when I have the gain turned down. I also prefer it off with the Tele. I wish it was possible to switch on and off with my foot. It really does change the sound of the pedal.

Overall, I love it. The 78 bridges the gap between overdrives and distortions. If you're like me and love the warmth of a good overdrive, but hate the fizz and shrill of *most* distortions, give this one a shot. It sounds more like an amp than a pedal.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice tasty stuff!

By RnR

from Caracas, Venezuela

See all my reviews

Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

As I wrote before, this pedal is a classic disortion, not an O.D as many people think (thats why theyve got the custom badass O.D modified, dont you think?) Great tone, great ammount of distortion, excelent dynamics, true by pass, doesnt change your pedalboard sound at all. About the durability... well time and use will judge this alluminium box.
PLEASE, dont pay attention to those who are saying that this pedal sucks just because it was not made for metal (Black MEtal, nu metal, thrash, death metal an so on) you can get a metal sound using an O.D at the same time.
Remeber, this is a Classic 70s, 80s and 90s distortion. Sit down with your amp and this cherry box and enjoy life.Thank you for reading
The only feature this baby has is the crunch mode, which boost the mids, and in some way make it sound "cleaner". However, is not THAT necesary at all, bcause of the tones you can get from this baby. The dynamics, the softer you play, the softer you hear (something difficult to find and all MXR products have). Another use you can get from this dist. is that you can actually use an O.D at the same time, and it sounds heavy as hell. At last but not least, you actually CAN hear the chords you play, that means, this pedal is understandable at all ranges.This is not a metal distortion, but if you equalize ypur amp and use an O.D at the same time, you can get that - in my case I use a ZW 44 and sounds as a dragon.
Most of the reviews are good at this point. However, in my own personal opinion, the body is not that great. I think MXR team is changing the way they are building their pedals, making them less harder and waaaay too softer, thanks to the alluminium they are using. If you compare old MXR pedals with the new ones, they are just car toys. Sorry MXR, but is the ugly true.
If you have the money, buy it.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great '78

By Tubehed

from Westminster, CA

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

    Like all MXR effects pedals, the M78 is compact, rugged, well made and affordable. In addition, the M78 upholds MXR's reputation for good sound quality. This pedal nails the sound of classic rock and can go from a nice, smooth rhythm tone at lower gain settings to a maxed out JCM 800 when the gain knob is at or past 3:00. It is dynamic and responsive for a distortion pedal. The tone knob offers useable high frequency boost and cut options. The crunch switch is good for adding more volume and even harmonic content. Too bad this feature can't be activated via an additional footswitch.

    Even if you are into more subtle, natural overdrive sounds, the M78 is a great way to compliment a high quality O.D. or booster, whether used independently or stacked.

    This pedal probably won't appeal to metal heads, as there is not enough of a mid scoop or gain on tap for Metallica or Pantera covers. But, if your thing is classic mid to high gain Marshall stack tones, then look no further, my friend.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The Real Deal

    By Greg

    from The cold up north

    See all my reviews

    Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

    It's not an overdrive. It's not a fuzz. It's rough and raw, and by god, it sounds like the real deal! Play it through a tube amp really loud. It's the sound you've been looking for. And it's affordable.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Don't Get How This Isn't 5 Stars

    By Army Drummer

    from Washington, D.C.

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Build Quality
    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Na

    Best Uses

      Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      How is this pedal not a 5 star? It is amazingly versatile. The tone knob actually does something on this one. The crunch button gives your distortion a whole new color. It is based on an original DS-1 circuit, but it has been modded to sound even better. This pedal is an incredible value!

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great for classic rock , NOT Death Metal

      By Mad Mike-DpCJv

      from TN

      See all my reviews

      Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I demoed this against other distortion pedal in the store, but the real test is always at the gig! I also set up my rig at home running at gig volume for a few hours & really played with all of the features, here's what I came up with...
      First of all, the face that it has " '78" in the title should be a clue as to the tone it was designed to give...It does get pretty dirty, but more like an old Marshall Plex, not a super saturated, really high gain modern sound....if you were to Google some rock songs from the late 70's through the first couple of years in the 80's you'll get a better idea...
      I really like the pedal with a 3 of my guitars, a Tele, a Les Paul, and and Ibanez semi-hollow body with humbuckers.
      I also found that the crunch knob seemed to give a slight boost to the upper midrange, and smoothed out the clipping a bit.
      I run several other pedals, and this is pretty sweet when using my dyna comp and sometimes also kick in my "Wampler Paisley Drive", it'll really sing then!, but again, I really don't think it will cut it for drop C tuning, CHUGGA-CHUGGA-CHUGGA stuff...Line 6 makes a "UBER METAL" that lots of those types of players used to like at a music store I used to work at before.
      Journey, Foreigner, Pat Benetar, etc...this is the tone this thing puts out..
      I actually HATE where the power jack is (on the side), when using on a pedal board, it can interfere with the patch cable, but this is very minor...and watch the nut that holds the stomp switch, mine loosened up,and I caught in time, before I snapped the switch...they need to add a lock washer, but again, easily fixed.
      I don't think you can get a better value for the money FOR THE RIGHT APPLICATION!, DON'T get this & think you're going to get screaming death metal tones, it WON'T happen!

      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Review

      By Anonymous

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      Looks very nice! Sounds cheap. This pedal has the feel and sound of a cheap unit. I use plexi and jcm 800's with high end les pauls, so a decent pedal should sound decent thru my gear. I picked my '78 bad ass up at a local store but have sinse returned it. Any of the Boss pedals can easily keep up with this one. MXR invested a great deal of time and money into marketing this item and far less investment into building it. Its worth about what they are asking for it but don't kid your self - you get what you pay for. I recommend the Proco whiteface Rat reissue or something around that price range 150 - 250 bucks. MXR does have some good pedals but this isn't one of them. TC Electric is a good quality builder. Also check out Robert Keeley's web site for some good ones. These '78 bad ass units sound thin, gritty and fuzzy with very little range from low to high frequencies - kind of like a boss ds-1 with a dead battery.

      (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      The Pedal You've Been Waiting For

      By YayForGuitars

      from Washington, DC

      See all my reviews

      Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      After I clicked the purchase button, I had that *gulp* feeling that maybe the promo vids, and gearmanndude's demo on youtube, etc. had duped me and that no way could it live up to my expectations. At my next rehearsal, my fears were wiped away as I bathed in the beautiful sound this thing produces. I run it in front of a '69 Fender Bassman and it absolutely sings. Just delicious. If you are thinking about an OCD or similar 3- or 4-knob distortion overdrive, I don't think you can do better for the money.
      Standard distortion box features, plus the "crunch" button, which actually does something cool.
      I don't normally give 10's, but this thing crushes. I have owned a few different overdrives and distortions (Ibanez TS9, Virtual Sound Jeckyll & Hyde, Fulltone OCD, Xotic BB Pre-amp, Fulltone Fulldrive) and this is the best one to my ear for rock to heavy rock. (I use the BB for more bluesy or brighter tones.)
      Try it in the store against boutique pedals costing 3x-4x as much.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      What A Pedal!

      By Josh Panos

      from South Carolina

      Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      Buy it, you'll be glad you did!
      This pedal truly lives up to its name. The features aren't very wide on here. It's not that versatile, but, it does one thing really well. When you get all of your knobs right, it sounds just as good as it does in the videos.
      Built like a tank. The crunch button also sounds great.
      You're able to get so much out of no money at all. For 80 bucks, this is definitly impressive.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      works great as a lead switch in my setup

      By picklike60

      from pittsburgh,pa

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive

      Cons

      • Limited Selection Of Effects

      Best Uses

      • Performances

      Comments about MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      comp 2 ibanez tube screamer

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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