There is an interminable battle between old and new in every single aspect of life. But it is the most noticeable in music, when old-school technology comes up against modern development. Sometimes this battle splits the musicians as they remain loyal to the devices they believe in. But sometimes vintage meets the new, collaborates with it and their combination creates something spectacular. And one of the best examples of such union is MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion. Though it features good ol’ analog circuitry, it can easily deliver the best sounding modern distortion. The musical apparatus from Jim Dunlop has been present on the market for ages now and has always proven to its customers, why the quality matters the most. MXR stompboxes, in particular, always set high bar when it comes to the performance and flexibility. And M75 Super Badass Distortion is not exception, either. Today I am going to dive into its properties, discuss its features and sonic capabilities and leave the final verdict to you. What is the big deal about this pedal? – you might ask. Well, stay with me as I give you a thorough answer to that query.
If you have encountered with MXR before, you might already know that their pedals come in all shapes and sizes. Their design might be simple, extremely distinctive or sophisticated. But the one we are looking at right now, our beloved M75 Super Badass Distortion is configured in a silver, glossy chassis that promises to last through years of utilization. All of its components are durable and unless you play softball with it, you will definitely get hell of a usage out of it. Plus, it is thinner than some of its predecessors, making it more lightweight and portable. If you are someone who carries the whole pedalboard, you will know how much difference even 100 grams can make. The shell aside, M75 Super Badass Distortion does truly offer a lot of flexibility, which is achieved through a 3-band EQ. And this is not something you will come across in each and every model, especially at this price tag. The equalizer is not just shoved in there for no reason, it performs amazingly and allows you to nail every single sound this baby can bark up. No matter what kind of guitar you employ, it will have perfect tone thanks to this small, but powerful addition. And to spice things up even more, MXR decided to make this pedal true hardwire bypass. This means that M75 Super Badass Distortion will not color your tone when being bypassed. Lastly, this little fella can be powered either with 9V battery, AC adapter or a power supply (e.g. DC Brick).
And just like the majority of the pedals out there, the control section of M75 Super Badass Distortion is straightforward. Tweaking it to perfection is as easy as falling off the log, saving you a lot of time and energy. The process of finding your tone becomes enjoyable with this model. And even though the functionalities of the knobs can be understood even through the labels, let’s still go down that road and discuss them in depth.
We have five knobs here. The first one, named Output, modifies the overall volume of the effect and allows you to balance it out according to the rest of the chain. Distortion adjusts the amount of distortion and enables you to go from subtle to extreme effect with just a twist of the knob. Then we have the highly-praised EQ. Bass cuts or boosts the lower frequencies, Mid accentuates or attenuates the mid-range, while Treble emphasizes the spikes in the higher frequencies or tones them down. These three knobs shape your tone to your liking and basically tailor the pedal to your instrument. The control section does not feature anything apart from these five knobs, which is perfectly normal. And there is nothing else you would need anyway.
What makes the sound of M75 Super Badass Distortion so prominent? I do not think there is a simple answer to that, however, if I had to pick one feature out, it would probably be the diversity. This tiny unit offers all the different flavors of distortion: starting from ‘70s vintage tube-like overdrive, moving on to the crunch and bite and finishing up with modern distortion mayhem. Let’s not forget everything that falls in between. You can see how much versatility even a simple knob can deliver. And as you move on to the equalizer, your sonic options enhance interminably. You can basically get ANY sound out of M75 Super Badass Distortion, without having to spend too much time on tweaking. This pedal is powerful and the sound quality it offers is truly ethereal. Thanks to the EQ, you can use it with various pickups, such as humbuckers and single-coils. Its girth and growl can be heard in the whole galaxy and disturb an alien or two (excuse some exaggeration). On the whole, MXR could not have come up with the better name, because this stompbox is a real badass.
To sum up everything said above, let me surprise you and say that M75 Super Badass Distortion is one of the best distortion pedals out there. It is a durable unit that will not break on you mid-performance. It works outstandingly with other effects pedals and layers on top of them decently. The white noise that might be developed due to the maximum settings can be eliminated with the EQ, which is not something we are spoiled with too often. Since I do not want to take up any more of your time, I encourage you to listen to the demos, do some more research and make the final judgement accordingly. Good luck!
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