Gear Review: MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion Pedal

Pros: Great price, simple controls, solid housing, wide range of distortions.
Cons: None.
Price: $79

MXR has been making pedals since the beginning, and with their new Custom Badass ’78 distortion they’re offering up a custom tone for an inexpensive price. Housed in a solid, red metal box, it’s a pretty simple unit. The usual input/output jacks, true bypass switch and 9v power supply are all there. The battery compartment is accessed by removing four screws on the bottom.

Put simply, this pedal has plenty of gain, probably more than you’ll ever need. It can’t do those super scooped out metal sounds, as it only has one tone control.  That said, some players might think it has TOO much gain, but it’s USABLE gain, one of those things that separates the men from the boys. Lowering the distortion gives plenty of note clarity while still maintaining an overdriven grit.

The Crunch button really gives saturation, and as stated, tons of crunch. At some higher gain settings it can get almost too smooth, but it’s great for heavy power rhythm playing. It may take a little bit to really dial in the tone you want, as some higher gain settings sound great on their own, but when added to a full band’s sound, tend to get lost in the mix. But after tweaking the settings, it offers up useful distorted tones, without getting too buzzy or non-musical.
Overall, this MXR model is a great pedal for any hard rock or metal player who’s looking for a distortion box that stands out from the usual suspects. For the price ($79 street), it’s hard to find a pedal that has offers this great of a tone, right out of the box.

· Batteries: 1 x 9V
· Height: 2.5″
· Depth: 5.5″
· Width: 4.5″
· Weight: 0.84 lbs.

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