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MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

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  • MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

    Grabbed this after some research (thanks Santa).

    Back about three years ago, I got rid of all of my overdrives and distortion boxes.

    For the most part, they were useless; I like to crank my amps so the amps do the heavy lifting (useless aside from the MXR Distortion+ that I sold, that is... I knew that worked best with a cranked amp... but I sold it anyways; wanted a Whirlwind Rochester series Gold Box - built the way the originals were).

    I would use a preamp (EP-3 or similar concept) to boost.

    Anyways, recently as you may know I've been digging into 80's metal tones (Campbell, Lynch). I always knew the 80's guys like to slap a BOSS DS-1 Distortion or similar in front of their plexis, metal panels or JCM800s for searing tone... but with the "output" up and the "distortion" down or off. In other words, they used them as boosts.

    Now me being a picky SOB, I didn't want to grab a new DS-1. Too many reviews stating the old original Japan ones sounded different (and better).

    So, what does an MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion have to do with the BOSS DS-1? I remember when the CB78D came out; it was eerily similar paint-job wise to something EVH related. Could it have been a secret Ed pedal?

    The BOSS DS-1 debuted in 1978.

    Apparently, some pedal geeks took a look at the circuit of the CB78D and determined it was a modified DS-1 circuit. And apparently the old Japan DS-1s used LEDs for clipping versus the regular diode clipping they use now... well, when you push in the little "crunch" button on the CB78D, that kicks in the LED clipping.

    Saw a YouTube demo of a stock (new) DS-1, Keeley SEM modded DS-1, Mooer Ultra Drive and the CB78D. The Keeley-modded DS-1 and CB78D sounded exact.

    So, the preponderance of evidence definitely points to it being a modified DS-1 circuit... perhaps the Keeley "Seeing Eye Mod" (LEDs) DS-1 circuit.

    I put mine in front of my plexi, turn the "output" up, "tone" in the middle and the "distortion" off... push in the "crunch" button.

    Instant 80's metal.

    The EQing (esp. upper mids) it adds just fits perfectly. There's just a little bit of scoop, but it's still warm and fat. Pinch harmonics are a breeze.

    So yeah, two thumbs up.
    Last edited by LLL; 12-27-2018, 06:04 PM.
    Lefty Lounge Lizard's Guitars & Amps Extravaganza

    Fastest ears in the West

    "Where you can swap out one pickup magnet and instantly become an expert at everything."

    My Soundcloud

  • #2
    Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

    love those pedals!
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

      If you find or remember which joyo pedal it was I'm looking at things along these lines to stack with my blues driver. I'm modding my ds-1 to Wampler jcm 800 but still looking for something inexpensive, good sounding, in that vein. I know the SEM is a good bit different from the Wampler so I'm investigating.
      The 78 seems pretty legit

      Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

        Interesting.
        Smartphone Zombies won't shred

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

          I bought one a while ago, and didn't bond with it all used as a dist pedal on a clean amp, recently i got my old one back (long story), and am getting great results using it as sort of a boost (with volume at unity, gain on about 1/4, crunch button engaged, and tone to taste) in front of my Pv XXX combo and Marshall dsl1001/2 stack. It acts as another (relatively) transparent gain stage.. lol who knew?
          Guitars:
          2017 Epiphone dot
          2007 Fender Strat (Andrew Robertson Pickups "Black strat set")
          2015/19 Fender fat telecaster
          (Andrew robertson pickups broadcaster/ Duncan 59n)

          Peavey Classic 50 head/ Peavey Classic 410e cab

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

            Originally posted by LLL View Post
            Grabbed this after some research (thanks Santa).

            Back about three years ago, I got rid of all of my overdrives and distortion boxes.

            For the most part, they were useless; I like to crank my amps so the amps do the heavy lifting (useless aside from the MXR Distortion+ that I sold, that is... I knew that worked best with a cranked amp... but I sold it anyways; wanted a Whirlwind Rochester series Gold Box - built the way the originals were).

            I would use a preamp (EP-3 or similar concept) to boost.

            Anyways, recently as you may know I've been digging into 80's metal tones (Campbell, Lynch). I always knew the 80's guys like to slap a BOSS DS-1 Distortion or similar in front of their plexis, metal panels or JCM800s for searing tone... but with the "output" up and the "distortion" down or off. In other words, they used them as boosts.

            Now me being a picky SOB, I didn't want to grab a new DS-1. Too many reviews stating the old original Japan ones sounded different (and better).

            So, what does an MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion have to do with the BOSS DS-1? I remember when the CB78D came out; it was eerily similar paint-job wise to something EVH related. Could it have been a secret Ed pedal?

            The BOSS DS-1 debuted in 1978.

            Apparently, some pedal geeks took a look at the circuit of the CB78D and determined it was a modified DS-1 circuit. And apparently the old Japan DS-1s used LEDs for clipping versus the regular diode clipping they use now... well, when you push in the little "crunch" button on the CB78D, that kicks in the LED clipping.

            Saw a YouTube demo of a Keeley SEM modded DS-1, Joyo equivalent (forget the name) and the CB78D. The Keeley-modded DS-1 and CB78D sounded exact.

            So, the preponderance of evidence definitely points to it being a modified DS-1 circuit... perhaps the Keeley "Seeing Eye Mod" (LEDs) DS-1 circuit.

            I put mine in front of my plexi, turn the "output" up, "tone" in the middle and the "distortion" off... push in the "crunch" button.

            Instant 80's metal.

            The EQing (esp. upper mids) it adds just fits perfectly. There's just a little bit of scoop, but it's still warm and fat. Pinch harmonics are a breeze.

            So yeah, two thumbs up.
            Something about the circuits of MXR overdrive/distortion and presumably DS-1s is they tend to sound better than Tube Screamers and RAT circuit when your sound includes soaking it downstream with Reverb and Vibrato ....

            I'm sure their is a simple scientific/electronic reason why -but it's pretty clear when I do A/B tests that MXRs don't mind being soaked and vibed -it mixes more naturally in my experience.
            “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

              Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post
              Something about the circuits of MXR overdrive/distortion and presumably DS-1s is they tend to sound better than Tube Screamers and RAT circuit when your sound includes soaking it downstream with Reverb and Vibrato ....

              I'm sure their is a simple scientific/electronic reason why -but it's pretty clear when I do A/B tests that MXRs don't mind being soaked and vibed -it mixes more naturally in my experience.
              I agree, for me the tube screamer sort of creams out the attack and detail. Then the reverb does the same thing
              With my boss pedals, the same harmonics that are fizzy with a dry sound seem to keep some hint of the original attack when everything's awash with verb.
              I run my reverb at about 6 on my super sonic and 3-4.5 on my Princeton. Campilongo kinda tones. Going to Reverb Anonymous as they say.

              When I use the tube screamer I go for totally different sounds with little to no verb. Srv is more the tone here. Also use a TS when going for recent/ modern Claptony sounds. Again no verb or very little.
              Different tools for different jobs for me anyway


              Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                Originally posted by Mark Cearlock View Post
                I bought one a while ago, and didn't bond with it all used as a dist pedal on a clean amp, recently i got my old one back (long story), and am getting great results using it as sort of a boost (with volume at unity, gain on about 1/4, crunch button engaged, and tone to taste) in front of my Pv XXX combo and Marshall dsl1001/2 stack. It acts as another (relatively) transparent gain stage.. lol who knew?
                Yeah, I believe they (DS-1, Distortion+ and the like) weren't designed to be an "amp-in-a-box" that you put in front of a clean amp.

                They were designed to be put in front of a cranked Marshall or similar to (quote Mr. Tufnel) "give it a little push".
                Lefty Lounge Lizard's Guitars & Amps Extravaganza

                Fastest ears in the West

                "Where you can swap out one pickup magnet and instantly become an expert at everything."

                My Soundcloud

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                  Originally posted by FuseG4 View Post
                  If you find or remember which joyo pedal it was I'm looking at things along these lines to stack with my blues driver. I'm modding my ds-1 to Wampler jcm 800 but still looking for something inexpensive, good sounding, in that vein. I know the SEM is a good bit different from the Wampler so I'm investigating.
                  The 78 seems pretty legit

                  Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk
                  Sorry, Mooer not Joyo.

                  Mooer Ultra Drive.

                  Here is the comparison vid (DS-1, Ultra Drive, Keeley SEM DS-1, CB78D):

                  Lefty Lounge Lizard's Guitars & Amps Extravaganza

                  Fastest ears in the West

                  "Where you can swap out one pickup magnet and instantly become an expert at everything."

                  My Soundcloud

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                    Originally posted by LLL View Post
                    Sorry, Mooer not Joyo.

                    Mooer Ultra Drive.

                    Here is the comparison vid (DS-1, Ultra Drive, Keeley SEM DS-1, CB78D):

                    Nice thats a pretty good comparison thank you!

                    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                      MXR Custom 78 is a badass pedal. Aptly named. Very similar to the Dirty Deed IMO...
                      Originally posted by Bad City
                      He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                        Originally posted by LLL View Post
                        They were designed to be put in front of a cranked Marshall or similar to (quote Mr. Tufnel) "give it a little push".
                        And push it does, very well actually..Tasty
                        Guitars:
                        2017 Epiphone dot
                        2007 Fender Strat (Andrew Robertson Pickups "Black strat set")
                        2015/19 Fender fat telecaster
                        (Andrew robertson pickups broadcaster/ Duncan 59n)

                        Peavey Classic 50 head/ Peavey Classic 410e cab

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                          Originally posted by FuseG4 View Post
                          I agree, for me the tube screamer sort of creams out the attack and detail. Then the reverb does the same thing
                          With my boss pedals, the same harmonics that are fizzy with a dry sound seem to keep some hint of the original attack when everything's awash with verb.
                          I run my reverb at about 6 on my super sonic and 3-4.5 on my Princeton. Campilongo kinda tones. Going to Reverb Anonymous as they say.

                          When I use the tube screamer I go for totally different sounds with little to no verb. Srv is more the tone here. Also use a TS when going for recent/ modern Claptony sounds. Again no verb or very little.
                          Different tools for different jobs for me anyway


                          Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk
                          I like the Custom Badass even more for what I do.

                          Bottom line is the MXR distortion line can be had new for 70-100 bucks and 40-60 used. really can't be beat IMO -EHX plays in that space too and is great
                          “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                            I like a distortion box with the gain way down and the volume way up. For some reason it sounds better to me than most "overdrive" or boost pedals. Keeps it crisp and crunchy.
                            Happy holiday boosting!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (thumbs up)

                              I like a nice tight scooped sound, with plenty of top end, think Amon Amarth or King Diamond.

                              Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk

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