M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion review by MXR

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (38 votes)
MXR: M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion

Price paid: C$ 80

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Sound — 8
The '78 Custom Badass sounds like a fuzz type distortion, it is fairly versatile, it can do crunchy classic rock distortion, 80's thrash metal distortion and if you crank it up all the way it will sound almost like a fullbore metal or line6 on its insane setting (not really appealing but tons of distortion on tap) but still cleans up really well with the guitars volume pots. It has your basic tailorable distortion sound, its nothing super fancy but for $80 it certainly fills a lot of holes in an effects chain. I use this pedal for playing Zeppelin, Megadeth, Metallica, Deep Purple as various other bands of similar genres and it fits well it may not be an exact match but its close enough to get you by. 8/10 Great distortion, wide range of uses; however only distortion not a fancier distortion/fuzz, distortion/octave or anything of the sorts like that, but again... $80!

Overall Impression — 8
I play classic rock to metal and everything in between, and this pedal can hang in there pretty good. I was slightly unsure of how well it would suit me as my amp has great ability to distort itself; however it was lacking that crunchy flavor to it, I snagged this pedal as it was one of the cheapest distortion pedals on the shelf and well I have not been let down by it yet. If this pedal was lost or stolen I would definitely replace it, I really dig its tone. If your in the market for a cheaper distortion pedal that can handle a wide variety of genres definitely put the '78 Custom Badass on the list of pedals to check out. 8/10 Awesome pedal, but nothing out of the ordinary or nothing to rave extremely about.

Reliability & Durability — 10
10/10 MXR pedals are built to take an ass kicking there is no doubt about it. Everyone I have owned has been in a metal case with extremely rugged components. Very reliable and safe to use without a backup, I honestly don't think its possible to ruin a MXR pedal without pouring water on it or something really stupid. Probably why MXR pedals are a little more pricey but I think the solid lifetime of use you should get out of em is worth it. This is the fifth MXR pedal I have purchased and they have all been the same quality. To boot the hotrod red finish on the '78 Custom Badass makes it look well badass!

Ease of Use — 9
The '78 Custom Badass is a simple three knob distortion pedal with knobs controlling your Output level, Tone and Distortion level. There is also a push switch to control an optional level of crunch, with an extremely bright blue L.E.D to let you know when the crunch mode is activated. This pedal is pretty idiot proof and will make good sounds right out of the box without adjusting any of the knobs. 9/10 This pedal is seriously simple, but great sounding for its ease.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Has anybody heard of how this pedal works with wahs? I was browsing sound clips & demos on Youtube and a few commenters mentioned that it didn't like them at all... in that you couldn't use a wah, because the wah-wah sound didn't come out. I haven't had the chance to try one of these in person to test this myself, but has anybody else?