MXR Super Badass Distortion

The MXR Super Badass Distortion is a versatile wide gain range distortion unit designed for creating personalized tones.

MXR Super Badass Distortion

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It’s always the same old story when it comes to gear, just when you think you have enough toys, another good one comes along.

MXR already have a number of distortion stomp boxes available, so it was quite a feat for them to fit in another dirt pedal in their line up. Since the current distortion pedals of MXR provide specialized distortion sounds with minimal tone shaping, they decided to go the other way with the Super Badass, focusing on tonal versatility and tone shaping.

This new pedal is built using 100% analog circuitry with true bypass, and is designed to cover a wide range of distorted sounds. Tweaking the Distortion knob relative to the Output knob provides various shades of dirt, from early ’70s low gain overdrive to modern “scooped” metal distortion. Dunlop Senior Engineer Bob Cedro had this to say: “The Super Badass owes its versatility to two elements: its gain circuitry and its EQ section. It’s got a ton of pre-distortion circuit gain on tap—up to 60dB. At lower gain settings, the pedal’s circuitry reconfigures the frequency response to bring out the presence and clarity of your guitar tone. Lower settings give you an organic, dry-like overdrive. Crank it and you get super saturation.”

Super Badass also comes with three knobs for adjusting the bass, mid and treble frequencies. This allows for creating personalized tones to match the gain level you apply. Frank Aresti, Dunlop guitar guru, comments: “Each of those controls is completely responsive across its entire range. The Bass knob goes from tight and focused to huge and pounding, and the Treble goes from smoky to searing while always sounding musical. The Mid control perfectly complements both. These controls really let you give the distortion your own character and personality.”

Thanks to its tone shaping features, you can put the pedal to good use regardless of the type of guitar or amp you use. Dunlop tested the pedal with various types of guitar and pickup combinations from single coil passive pickups to active humbuckers. Although it is more suited for use with a clean amp, it can also be used to push overdriven amps for even more gain.

Like other MXR pedals, the Super Badass Distortion is housed in a rugged metal chassis that can easily be integrated into pedalboards. It is currently retailing for a little under $100. Visit Jim Dunlop for more details.

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