M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion review by MXR

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (38 votes)
MXR: M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion

Price paid: C$ 50

Purchased from: Some guy

Sound — 8
I use a CV Telecaster into a Custom Comp into this into a Randall G3. The pedal is a bit bass heavy, and there is no way to adjust that. Obviously with single coils and a distortion pedal will be noisy as hell. I expected more noise though. It's only noisy at the highest gain setting. With the gain turned down to about 9 o'clock, the distortion is a bit fizzy but magically cleans up with more gain. You can get some pretty decent hard rock tones and early '80s metal with this. I give it an eight because individual mid, bass and treble tones should have been included as well as being bass heavy.

Overall Impression — 8
I play stuff like Rush, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Dream Theater and King Diamond. Been playing for 15 years and have owned a buncha pedals and amps over the years. I'd buy this pedal again if it were lost or stolen, although at the price, I don't see anyone stealing THIS pedal. I love how your picking dynamics Shine through. There is a low mid punch which is great. Note clarity is good with this pedal. I hate the lack of tonal control. They should have done the "bass" "mids" "highs" control section. This pedal sounds more dynamic than a Boss DS-1. It sounds more organic and a little less fizzy. It is also smaller and better looking. I really which it had a metal toggle for the crunch setting.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The on off button seems a bit weak. I'm a guy who likes a hard to push on off button. The crunch button should be a metal toggle switch. It feels like a cheap plastic cylinder on a spring. Regardless I believe it will last a good 20 years or so. I give it an 8 because of these two things. I've only had one MXR crap out on me due to shoddy building, so it's not a common thing. Considering this was previously used for a number of years, I don't think I have a piece of crap.

Ease of Use — 9
Be careful with this pedal. It is a pedal which needs to be played through your amp and fingers in order to make a sound judgement. I tried this pedal at a local music store through a Fender solid state. It sounded thin, harsh, brittle and unusable. A month later I decided to take the plunge and buy it off some guy. I tried it through my amp and it sounded fantastic. There are three knobs and a crunch button. It took no less than 10 seconds to find a good usable tone. I prefer the crunch button enabled. The tone knob is very sensitive and not really usable anywhere above noon. The output is ridiculous. I have that knob turned up only at ten o clock. The only reason why I don't give a perfect score is because it didn't sound perfect without adjustment.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Played this one through my Marshall MA50 (Sound was not more than "OK"). Sold my MA50 and my MXR Badass and bought a jvm410c. Would like to hear it on my new amp, though :/