MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Pedal

Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
MXR M78 Custom Badass \'78 Distortion Pedal image 1
MXR M78 Custom Badass \'78 Distortion Pedal image 1
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MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion Pedal
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Fat, Amp-style Distortion!

Get ready for huge amp-style stack tones and old-school distortion! The MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion is one mighty pedal. MXR went ahead and took a classic distortion circuit then hot-rodded the heck out of it, giving you an over-the-top lead sound and rich and saturated rhythms when you want them. Plus, the Custom Badass '78 Distortion makes it easy to dial in those tones, thanks to three simple knobs. Engage the CRUNCH button and boost harmonic content - and hang on. If you've got an ear for incredible distortion tones, here's the pedal for you: the MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion.

MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion Pedal at a Glance:
  • Hot-rodded circuit gives you big-time distortion tones, from a road-friendly box
  • Get rich, massive rhythm tones and over-the-top leads
  • CRUNCH button boosts the harmonic content
Hot-rodded circuit gives you big-time distortion tones, from a road-friendly box

MXR knows their pedals. They also know how to get the absolute most out of the insides of those pedals. They took a classic distortion circuit, hot-rodded it, and housed it in a rock-solid metal housing. The result? You can stomp on a Custom Badass '78 Distortion for tour after tour and it'll keep on pumping out massive distortion tones.

Get rich, massive rhythm tones and over-the-top leads

The Custom Badass '78 Distortion delivers everything from auditorium-rocking stack tones to totally classic pedal sounds. It's perfect for both chunky rhythm work and show-stopping lead parts. Best of all, MXR made it very easy to coax a range of distortion tones out of the Custom Badass '78 Distortion using just three simple knobs: tone, distortion, and output. Crank the distortion and cut through any mix. Turn that output knob to the right and hit your amp's input hard. This pedal's not afraid to bring the rock.

CRUNCH button boosts the harmonic content

MXR lets you take the Custom Badass '78 Distortion's crunch factor up even another notch, with the CRUNCH button. Hit this button and the distortion's harmonic content is increased - and you get even thicker, richer distortion tones. You won't believe how huge your guitar sounds when you plug it into this stompbox!

MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion Pedal Features at a Glance:
  • Hot-rodded classic circuit gives you huge distortion tones
  • Roars with both amp stack tones and old-school pedal distortion
  • Delivers soaring leads and rich, saturated rhythms
  • CRUNCH button boosts harmonic content of distortion
Get over-the-top distortion, with the huge-sounding MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion pedal!

Additional Media

Custom Badass \'78 Distortion User Manual

Tech Specs

Pedal Type Distortion
Inputs 1 x Instrument
Outputs 1 x 1/4"
Batteries 1 x 9V
Height 2.5"
Width 4.5"
Depth 5.5"
Weight 0.84 lbs.
Power Supply Included No
Manufacturer Part Number M78

Customer Reviews

Based on 27 reviews
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Nothing beats it, period.

After consulting my rep Andy about two or three pedals, I went for the '78. Four years and several pedals later and I'm still in love with this thing. What you probably don't see in the pictures, when you open the box, you see what appears to be a brushed metal enclosure finished with clear cherry red lacquer - pretty darned classy. This is for people who already love the sound of their guitars and amps but want an "11", or even a "15" setting for your amp whether you have channel switching or not. No tube Screamer mid bump, so if that's your bag, look elsewhere but this does have a subtle tone coloration, more of a "sheen" than a boosted frequency - hard to describe, but it makes it hard at times to turn it off instead of just back the guitar's volume down. The "crunch" button doesn't seem to do anything at all, although I've read different explanations of what it actually does, but as far as I'm concerned it just engages an obnoxious blue L.E.D. (I hate those) that makes it impossible to see your settings. And yes, there is a hint of a "'78" Marshall tone coloration, just to add a bit of garlic to the sauce but not enough to get in the way, not like the boutique pedals designed to imitate classic amps and BE your tone. It's okay at doing the clean boost thing, but that's not what it's built for - don't forget it says "Distortion" right on it. A great, great pedal.


If you like Blues or southern rock this pedal is sweet.
Music background: hobbyist

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!
Music background: Hobbyist

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!
Music background: Gigging guitarist, bassist, vocalist for 40 years

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!!!!!!
See also: Distortion Pedals, MXR, MXR Distortion, Overdrive, Boost & Fuzz