M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion review by MXR

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 5.3 Decent
  • Users' score: 8.1 (38 votes)
MXR: M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion

Price paid: $ 80

Purchased from: guitar center

Sound — 7
My set up concisest of a Vox VT50 valvetronic amp, a custom Fender Stratocaster with Texas specials. The pedal gets loud and can give a kick ass blues tone but the worst hard rock/metal distortion tone I have ever heard. The "crunch" button doesn't give the pedal more crunch it only makes it a bit louder sadly. If you turn the knob up that says DISTORTION it becomes a very bass sound like if you turned your amps bass knob all the way up along with the gain. If you turn the volume knob up it actually changes the sound which isn't what a volume knob is supposed to do. Lastly you can get a great Clapton sound out of it but if you want a harder tone you are out of luck. Bottom line if you like blues go ahead get it only for that if not avoid the pedal!!! (The only reason this gets a 7 is for the killer blues tone).

Overall Impression — 3
I play metal, in the church band and I play jazz with friends not the best match. I have been playing for 3 1/2 years. I have a Wah Wah pedal and a Boss tuner and I love them just not this one. If I could go back and asked can it go past the year 78 and sound a bit more modern with the right tinkering? I would. I love its Blues tone but HATE its harder distortion. The coolest thing about it is that it gets super loud just with the volume knob. If you want modern distortion like all your metal bands get the Boss metal core pedal or the Ibanez tube screamer. The only thing that could make this pedal better is a killer hard rock distortion but sadly it doesn't.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This pedal is very durable and light weight which makes it a better pedal to carry around. It is also very small so there is more room on your pedal board. If I was a blues player I would use this for a gig and recording. If I was at a gig with no back up what so ever I wouldn't use this because it doesn't have much versatility.

Ease of Use — 4
It took about 45 committed minutes to get any kind of tone out of it, after looking at the manual I figured out after skimming it that the crunch button doesn't make it have a crunchy tone the button only makes it louder. The manual only goes over its specks and it doesn't tell you how to get a good tone (trust me I looked). I never tinkered with the pedal or send it in I just busted it out and played with the knobs.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If you all would look at the name 78' Badass you would understand why it does blues, and 70's era metal well, but does not do Heavy Metal very well. It is specifically designed to replicate late seventies distortion sounds. If you want to play something like Metallica or heavier this pedal will just piss you off because that is not what this pedal was designed for.
    i used it with my wah and its wieard on the high end but good on the low spectrum. Also the pedal culd be better thats y i gave it a 7.8 cause its not much a dist its more of a blues tone and man i loved the bluesy tone just not what i personly like also the name isss siicckkk never mock a cool name like badass!