6 January 2013

MXR Custom Badass Modified Overdrive: An introductory review

Hey guys here we are on the first post of 2013 hopefully it will be a gear filled year with lots of builds & gear acquisition!

Anyway onto the main point of this post. I've gotten a couple of new pieces of equipment lately and I'll be putting up full reviews and sound clips as I get more familiar with each item.

First up is an incredible Overdrive pedal from MXR. The custom badass modified OD.
Usually I will build my own effects but I felt like having a break and just buying something for a change.

The MXR has your standard overdrive controls such as Gain, Output & Tone. It then goes a little further by adding in a 100hz cut/boost control and a bump switch that boosts the low end and midrange when activated.

This I find is where the pedal really shines. Without the bump switch engaged it is a fairly transparent pedal and leaves your core tone pretty much unmolested. When you kick in the bump switch the low frequencies and midrange are boosted but not by a ridiculous amount which keeps the core tone but brings the pedal more into a thicker tube screamer territory. Also noteworthy is the fact that the bump switch can be left engaged when the main circuit is off which just thickens up your sound with a very minimal boost which can be nice for cleans.

The gain on tap is fairly smooth when used on a clean channel but there is plenty of it and once you get past the halfway mark it gets nice and gritty. When used on an already overdriven amp you can get total saturation just by adding in a little gain which is very nice for those old school thrash type tones.

Another nice feature of this pedal is the tone control it never gets truly boomy or ridiculously tinny at either extreme of the control and provides a lot of usable options.

The 100hz cut/boost is what really drew me to this pedal primarily being a metal player I like a nice clean low end so a little bit of cut really brings out the tightness required for some more modern styles and when used in conjunction with the tone control & the bump switch you really do have a lot of options and I feel that I haven't fully explored this myself.

The level control is the final control and there isn't really much to say other than it has an extremely large range that should satisfy most users needs.

Build Quality:
This pedal seems really solid and well made with a high quality enclosure and very sturdy jacks even if they are PCB mounted. The pedal mainly consists of micro components which I guess explains the small form factor and also will help with mass production. The switch is very solid if a little softer than I normally use it doesn't have that thick satisfying click that i'm used to be I can't see it failing at any point. The only negative point is that there is a small finish flaw in the bottom corner on the face of the pedal but it's nothing major and doesn't affect functionality in anyway at all.

Overall I am extremely pleased with this pedal and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a more transparent overdrive that doesn't cut out masses of low end unless you specifically set it to. It's extremely useful for those that play rock or metal.

I will be posting again in a week or so with some sound clips and possibly some more information depending whether my view on this pedal changes as I get more used to it.