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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 ...Read More

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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 39 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 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 (9)
  • Responsive (9)
  • Versatile (8)
  • Good selection of effects (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (8)
  • Home studio (6)
  • Outdoor events / games (5)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (8), 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 39 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Super 70's Amp Like Distortion Through To Vintage Metal!

By John

from Portland, OR

About Me Professional Musician

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:

    Does Thin Lizzy and Bad Company, through to Early Metallica. At lower gain settings, it sounds amp like, and can do overdrive and boost. Higher gain settings takes you easily to vintage metal. Awesome sounding tones, low noise floor (with humbuckers), easy to dial in, looks cool, durable design, metal casing, great price.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Super 70's Amp Like Distortion Through To Vintage Metal!

    By John

    from Portland, OR

    About Me Professional Musician

    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:

      Does Thin Lizzy and Bad Company, through to Early Metallica. Awesome sounding, low noise floor, easy to dial in, looks cool, metal casing, great price.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      Great tone

      Profile Image

      By Jeff Riddell

      from Riverside, Ca

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

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

        Nice sound. I've not been able to get that crunch sound (Georgia Satellites, Keep Your Hands To Yourself) that I've always wanted. This does it for me.

        But the case and switch are not 100% in quality, sort of around 85-90%. It's good enough, just not great.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        5.0

        Great For Hard Rock and Blues

        By Michael Anthony Otero

        from Hell, Ca

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Performances

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

          This is a great pedal! It can be a little thin at times at times but if you're going for that 1960s-1980s blues based, classic hard rock style it's an awesome pedal. I interchange between this one and a Line 6 Uber Metal and sometimes the Uber Metal gives me some grief if I'm not using an adapter so I've had to rely on this pedal to get me through some heavier songs and it still ends up sounding decent. I use a tube amp too and try to keep my tone as warm as possible. If you're playing anything from Hendrix to Zeppelin to Judas Priest to early Van Halen to even Papa Roach and Foo Fighters this pedal sounds great and is easy to use. Like most gear you need to find your own sweet spot but it works and sounds like a dream.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (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

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great '78

          By Tubehed

          from Westminster, CA

          About Me Experienced

          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.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            The Real Deal

            By Greg

            from The cold up north

            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.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            Balls of Distortion

            By 9ine_MattG

            from Danville, Va

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Ballsy
            • 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:

              I want to get right to the point, this pedal rocks!! It's super versatile to get multiple distortion tones from early 70s rock to the licks of Eddie V! You can produce a rich overdrive, and if you really want to feel it, crank up the distortion and you'll understand why it's ballsy.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Better than some boutique options.

              By Dave

              from Salem, OR

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Excellent Sound Quality
              • Responsive

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                  Had a JHS All American (rat variant) before this pedal. To be straight to the point, I like this pedal far better. My setup is a custom tele through a hand wired ac15

                  Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                  (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!

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                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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