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MXR Distortion + circuit


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I never paid much attention to this pedal before. I guess the reissue ones aren't that good, although the PGS demo was pretty good I thought.

 

But the old script Distoriton + are going for close to $300 on ebay, and the older block logo are going for $100+ in good condition. So are these considered to be pretty good pedals then? I would assume the bypass on the older ones are suspect, or are they ok?

 

And the new MXR '78 Distortion "Badass" as cheesy as the name might imply, does sound pretty good. I like my Modified OD a lot, especially with humbuckers. But for my tele, I'd like a bit more gain/oomph to it. Now the Badass is a modified Distortion + pedal, does it have the same chip and/or characteristics as the original Distortion+?

 

Also, the Badass is pretty inexpensive which is nice, and seems to get pretty good reviews.

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I've had a bunch of vintage Distortion +'s and they are pretty cool. Nice, natural sounding distortion with simple controls - nothing too elaborate. It did have a pretty bad bypass though, I'd highly recommend true bypass

 

I'm guessing some of the high price is related to Randy Rhoad's usage of it but I could be wrong. Either way it's a super simple circuit and doesn't really have anything unobtanium'ish in it that would warrant a vintage unit unless you had to have one for some reason (collector/vintage guy)

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i thought the badass 78 distortion was a modified ds1?

 

 

 

No, I don't think so. Why would MXR copy a Boss pedal, when their own designs are better in the first place? I think it was from YT or some other forum it was mentioned that the Badass was a modified Distortion +. They added the tone control, and that crunch switch. Seems like a simple circuit as mentioned, just a bit more flexible now, with a better bypass.

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I bought a MXR Distortion + when they first came out. I didn't keep it very long.


By far the worst distortion pedal that I've ever heard.

 

 

Was this back in the '70s then?

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Yes it was. I loved the MXR Dyna Comp and Phase 90.

 

 

Have you tried it more recently then? It is a pretty heavy/thick/compressed type of distortion, might not have been your cup of tea. I'd have to hear one myself before I can decide, but I like what I hear out of the Custom '78. Likely better components now, especially the bypass. And to me anyway, a tone control is always nice to match up better for different guitars.

 

Phase 90 is a great pedal, the 45 too. Never tried a Dynacomp myself.

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can the Badass do like a vintage early 70's type distortion? like a black sabbath/pentagram style tone...assuming you would role the distortion nob all the way down to get it...but it would be cool if that was in its range.

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Have you tried it more recently then? It is a pretty heavy/thick/compressed type of distortion, might not have been your cup of tea. I'd have to hear one myself before I can decide, but I like what I hear out of the Custom '78. Likely better components now, especially the bypass. And to me anyway, a tone control is always nice to match up better for different guitars.


Phase 90 is a great pedal, the 45 too. Never tried a Dynacomp myself.

 

 

I haven't tried one since I sold mine many years ago. Maybe the new ones are better?

 

Mine was a very early version. It sounded like an ice pick to my ears.

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No, I don't think so. Why would MXR copy a Boss pedal, when their own designs are better in the first place? I think it was from YT or some other forum it was mentioned that the Badass was a modified Distortion +. They added the tone control, and that crunch switch. Seems like a simple circuit as mentioned, just a bit more flexible now, with a better bypass.

 

 

FSB says it's a DS-1.

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Bob mould is more the reason I think.

 

One time I was working the door at a bar and this stoner rock band was playing. The guy's tone was so good, it's one of the only times I've cared about such a thing. Every time the dude would click on this one pedal, it sounded incredible and heavy. Finally, I got a guy to cover for me so I could go look and sure enough, script D+. That's a true [cool] story [bro].

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OP, you should check out the Whirlwind Gold Box. It's essentially a US-built reissue of the original Distortion+, but with true-bypass and an LED. I think they can be had for ~$100 now:

 

whirlwind-gold-box-distortion.jpg

 

I have one and it's really great. I didn't bond with the '78, but to be honest it could have been more of an issue with my amp at the time.

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OP, you should check out the Whirlwind Gold Box. It's essentially a US-built reissue of the original Distortion+, but with true-bypass and an LED. I think they can be had for ~$100 now:


whirlwind-gold-box-distortion.jpg

I have one and it's really great. I didn't bond with the '78, but to be honest it could have been more of an issue with my amp at the time.

 

 

Ah, thanks. Forgot all about this one, and I think you're right, it's an improved version of the D+. I'll definitely check it out.

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I've had several vintage D+s over the past 35 years and for certain things like the more gained up late '70s hard rock stuff (Lovedrive-era Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, etc) it's perfect. What sucks about it is that IMO it really only likes humbuckers and can be positively horrid through certain amps - and the ones it likes need to be clipping for it to have any real character. Fairly low output, no Tone control, one dimensional gain sound - I always wind up flipping them despite really wanting to love them purely out of sentimentality since it was the first pedal I ever bought.

 

The reish I tried once I couldn't unplug fast enough.

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I've built a Distortion + before. It's alright. Nothing incredible, in my opinion, but I'm not a huge opamp drive pedal fan.

 

Oh and I'm not sure if the reissue actually is a ds-1 copy or not but someone could easily mistake the two circuits as they're very very similar.

 

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=130

 

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=562

 

The distortion is controlled differently in both (and the ds-1 has an extra knob) but aside from that it's the same basic idea with slightly different values/setup.

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I've had several vintage D+s over the past 35 years and for certain things like the more gained up late '70s hard rock stuff (Lovedrive-era Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, etc) it's perfect. What sucks about it is that IMO it really only likes humbuckers and can be positively horrid through certain amps - and the ones it likes need to be clipping for it to have any real character. Fairly low output, no Tone control, one dimensional gain sound - I always wind up flipping them despite really wanting to love them purely out of sentimentality since it was the first pedal I ever bought.


The reish I tried once I couldn't unplug fast enough.

 

 

 

Good to know. The Modified OD is good, but also seems to like humbuckers more so than sc. So I want another drive that if anything, favors low output single coils with my AC15.

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