MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 Distortion review

  • £109
  • $136.23
The M78's Crunch switch effectively provides two voices.

MusicRadar Verdict

A solid, versatile distortion pedal.


  • +

    Classic hard clipping distortion; two voices; useful EQ.


  • -

    Battery access.

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In this first of a new series of pedals, MXR has taken a classic distortion circuit (although it's not saying which!) and modified it to produce a hot-rodded version.


The '78 puts out a recognisable raunchy distortion with a solid mid-range. The tone control adds some sharp top end, while the crunch button gives more of everything, boosting dynamic range and the distortion's harmonic content, effectively giving you two voices - too bad it's not footswitchable.

Responding well to playing dynamics, this is a really good distortion pedal with plenty to offer, particularly if you are a fan of late-'70s rock.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.