MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion Reviews4.9/5.0 based on 16 customer reviews
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from BKLYN, NY
April 4, 2013
Harmonically Rich!!!The '78 Distortion pedal is one if the best distortion pedals made by one of the best pedal makers. It has a very harmonically rich sound that warms up beautifully on the low end of the tone. The high trebly part of the tone spectrum is pleasantly high without losing tonal character or becoming shrill. Turning on the "crunch" button takes away some of tonal transparent qualities of the pedal and replaces it with a bit of a boost (not too much) and adds a lot of tonal color. This pedal sounds great with humbuckers and single-coils alike. For me, the pedal sounds especially well with the tone at 10 o'clock with a maple neck, alder body strat. It brings out a beautiful warm "woody" character. The distortion turned all the way up is very very smooth without "flattening" or squashing the tone. The construction of the pedal is solid. It's a nice looking pedal too. I have owned and played several distortion pedals over the years and this one is one of the best and is a really great value for the money!!
from Miami, Fl. USA
January 9, 2013
Badass '78 Distortion PedalMy boyfriend loves everything retro so this was an ideal gift for him. He loved it!
from Caracas, Venezuela
October 18, 2012Music Background:
Playing guitar for 6+ years
This is crunchThis is the best distortion pedal that ever pased through my hands, and lately i have the chance to compare this to a zvex distotron, a digitech hardwire valve distortion and another mxr, the GT-OD and this one beats them all, (and if you compare the prices is even better) if you want to get classic rock, hard rock distortion or just some boost ... this is it !!!!
Thanks to Jorge Fernandez, my sales engineer for the fantantic job that he does, he was always there to answer the questions that i have
William B. Brice, VMD
from Philadelphia, PA
August 18, 2012Music Background:
Drummer, new guitar player.
Billy B. "Doc" BriceI am not real big on distortion and my Mesa amp does the job.
But wow, this little, and inexpensive pedal blows you away with the
great distortion sounds and ease of adjustment to dial in exactly want
you want and need. No-brainer, look no further...get one.
July 26, 2012Music Background:
awesomeIf you like Blues or southern rock this pedal is sweet.
from West Chicago IL
December 8, 2011Music Background:
Active muusician, Blues and Rock to Jazz and Country to.
A True Sound MakerI have been playing for over 30 years and this is the first Distortion pedal ive found that really gives you a sound you can make your own any overdrive you put in front of it will help to add o the badass sound. Or go it alone without and you still will make a sound all your own this pedals controls are very reactive to change. Move the tone up and you get a screeeming lead tone move it back and your in blues love land. The badass is the first pedal where every control really makes a different. The price is very good not low like the boss ds1 which i still think is like playing thru a tin can and if thats what you want thats fine. But when your ready to move up to a pedal that will help you shape your own sound this is it. I cant wait to see what else MXR has in line but they have done a great job here dont spend 200 or 300 on pedals that will leave you broke and asking where the sound the Badass is the pedal for you give it a try you will like great job MXR keep it up.
from United States
November 30, 2011Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Pro Musician - 28 Years
Fantastic Tone!I've spent too much money on pedals just trying to find the right tone for myself. I know the typical pedals that sound great, but wanted to try something unique. I am very particular about my tone. This pedal literally blew my mind man! It doesn't matter what your settings are! There are so many tonal options with this pedal it's fantastic! I bought this and plugged it into a '48 Gibson Amplifier with a '52 Telecaster and it smoked! Next, I used the Gibson SG - and it smoked! If you play nice and soft, the pedal responds nice and soft. Really get into your thing and the pedal will sing for you! I'm more of an overdrive guy, but this is definitely worth having! I think it's a must for anyone for any style. Dig it man!
from New Mexico
October 28, 2011Music Background:
Great little Pedal...This little pedal is great, Gives great tones. It nails ac/dc to van halen to def lep. Has real clean tones to dirty but not to muddy higher gain distortion tones. A versatile pedal too But stays in check on your lower notes also. Plays great with seymour duncans. Or any les paul style guitars. It's not a metal zone type pedal or a fullbore. It is a little more inspired by old school distortion sounds on countless records. I was playing bad company all the way to early style whitesnake with ease. It's another pedal where they nailed the distortion sounds of early rock and roll. Thin Lizzy would be proud! I love it, it's fun and different! If your a strummer it is great for chords! It is gaining ppopularity and has great reviews in most mags and online shops!
from Novi, MI
July 7, 2011Music Background:
Hobbyist, Semipro Musician
Blown away at a very reasonable priceThis pedal does what it needs to do and more. I own at least 6 OD pedals and have never been able to click with a Distortion, but this one gives me so much control I can go from blues to full blown distortion rock with the twist of a knob. The price coupled with the versatility makes it a must have pedal for any tone junkie like me.
from Ladera Ranch, CA USA
June 17, 2011Music Background:
Very VersatileThere is a tremendous amount of versatility with this pedal. Each adjustment can have a significant impact on the overall tone and effect. From classic rock to 80's metal, this pedal can cover it.
June 14, 2011
Great pedal and great service!Great sounding pedal! I bought it to get that Randy Rhoads plexi type of tone out of my little Classic 30. I did more then that! This is like having all of your favorite tones ever at your feet. Sweetwater is also the only place I will buy from now! They got this to me in a week, and even a thank you note/pamphlet in the box with it, along with free candy! Thank you!!!!!!
from Alameda Ca.
June 6, 2011Music Background:
Gigging guitarist, bassist, vocalist for 40 years
Who'da thought?I'v been trolling the net for a distorton/overdrive because I have two pedal boards. One, "The Mothership", with large fairly pricey pedals, some with two footswitches etc. and a small one, "The Spaceshuttle" with mostly MXR sized suff that fits into a lap-top bag. This one had an Electro Harmonix LPB-1 as a lead button and it worked real well with my Vox AC30C2 ut was very noisy. Also I wanted to add some OD to the boosted signal. The MXR '78 is a GREAT pedal that left my expectations i the dust! With a strat and Les Paul special with P-100's it lays itself down beautifully in the sound of the Vox with more fire power than I'll ever use. People these days expect a dist/OD to also searve as a clean boost which is silly. If it says "distortion" right on it, so judge it as one. Well this box does that too - I consider that a bonus. The distortion sounds natural as can be whether the Vox is crunchy or clean. On an almost clean setting on the vox and the '78's dist at 4:00, tone at 12 and output at 9:00-careful, there's a bigger jup in volume with a clean amp-my Les Paul really get that '70's Brit tone in spades. Add more amp crunch an "5" the knobs for a great Americana Strat grind, only with a juicy power pnch for leads that supports that tone instead of changing it. On a dead clean '78 Deluxe Reverb - yep the CBS engineers got to it by then, sadly - crank the Dist for a satiny overdrive that sounds like a real amp. Maybe just leave it on for the whole gig but careful, this got some volume and treble that'll take your head off. And it does all this wit a minimum of noise (applause....)!! I was prompted to buy this 'cause of the Dunlop video, and it sounds 20 times as good in person - and the price is half of a Fulltone OCD or Plimsoul. Who'd've thought I'd be nuts over an MXR when I never look at thier stuff twice, never cared for any of thier old stuff. They say it's first of the Badass series? I CAN'T WAIT to see what comes next. STELLAR job, MXR!
from New England
May 15, 2011Music Background:
The next step up from the Yellow MXR Distortion+!!!!!Two years ago, I bought the yellow MXR Distortion+ which I love, but I often felt it was a little anemic. When I heard that MXR was introducing the Custom 78 I was very intrigued by it. I plugged it in today and WOW! I hit a power A chord following one of the suggested settings in the manual (with the crunch button off) and it was like my yellow Distortion + box was finally pushed the way I always wanted it to sound. Add the crunch button and I was pushed into the stratosphere. The only thing I noticed is that with the crunch button on, my EVH wah pedal tends to be drowned out, but without the crunch button, the wah wah really sings. I think I might have to adjust the tone knob a little to make it go the way I want but I know anything is possible with all my other MXR pedals (EVH wah, Classic Overdrive, EVH Phaser, EVH Flanger, MicroChorus) to make it work!
Everything about the pedal from the candy apple red box to the name lives up to the stellar MXR standard! If you are looking for classic tight hard rock distortion along the lines of vintage VH, Aerosmith, KISS, Guns N Roses, Thin Lizzy, vintage Ozzy (think Rhoads) Dio era Black Sabbath (think Mob Rules) and a countless list of other bands of the seventies and early eighties, then this is the pedal to get!
from Kalamazoo, MI
June 14, 2012Music Background:
Fantastic PedalIt is like two of the best distortion pedals in one box.
Just using the basic controls you get a great buttery distortion,
perfect from adding a bit of dirt to your rhythm parts to a singing
lead tone. String to string clarity is amazing and chords sound
full and powerful, not muddy. Add the drive button and your dynamics
really pop and leads really have a full bodied tone. This pedal isn't
priced like a boutique item, but it could be. It is a great pedal.
from north pole
September 12, 2011Music Background:
i am suppose to ay
A Reiussed classic tone, not in every pedal.This badass fits its name. In a world were everyone wants a fat srv tone, its approachable here. Typical guitarist will tend to view it as a regular sounding OD. But if you really compare it to the greats you can hear a hot rodded maxon OD808. Now this Isn't one of those dist boxes that is super smooth; dial in water tone u can think of (typical guitarist that wants one pedal to do everything). IT'S A COMPLEMENT DIST BOX. Not to mention if you have a CLEAN AMP!!!!! You can sure get nice Tubey stray tones by tweaking your amp and this pedal. The crunch button is phenomenal if used right don't be cliche and try dimeing the help out of it, you'll get a fuzz arbiter thin sound OD sound. Overall it's Good at what it does compliment your tone by giving you a full stack sound.
from Huntington Beach, CA USA
August 20, 2011Music Background:
ex-Pro musician, nowadays a serious hobbyist
Great pedal for low priceThis pedal sounds alot like a Keeley-modified Boss DS-1, but with a little more botom end. With the crunch mode on, it's like flipping the switch to the Ultimate mode, with the increased volume and bottom end. The drive knob goes a long way before you start getting the super-saturated sounds, there are a lot of inbetween settings before the knob is turned all the way. Sounds good going into my Fender '59 Bassman RI and really good feeding into my '80's Fender Super Champ, with the mid-boost on on the normal channel, gain on 5-7, so the amp is just staring to break up. In any case a wide variety of usuable tones in this box, amp-like breakup, killer 70's distortion tones.