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Old March 22nd, 2009, 07:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Review: Big Muff with Tone Wicker

Here's a copy paste of a review I put up on The Gear Page earlier today:

The mailman brought me a new pedal yesterday. I don't have a lot of experience with fuzzes, and I'm a bedroom player pretty much exclusively right now, but I'll do my best to impart my wisdom on this pedal -- The Big Muff with Tone Wicker.

As you probably know, besides the standard volume, tone and sustain (fuzz) knobs, this pedal also has a "Tone" on-off switch -- which, when turned to the "off" position, disengages the pedal's tone knob -- and a "Wicker" switch, which, as near as I can figure, "brightens" the tone and brings out more highs when in the "on" position.

I'm very pleased with this pedal after a few hours of playing. My only previous experience with fuzz was with a Tone Bender clone (manufacturer shall remain nameless). I liked the Tone Bender's sound, but the particular pedal I had didn't seem to have a lot of output -- in other words, the level knob had to be pretty well cranked. The ambient noise of the Tone Bender (hissing) was also way too much for my taste.

No such problems with the Big Muff w/ Tone Wicker. I can pretty much keep the pedal's Volume knob at about the same relative setting as my Epiphone Valve Jr.'s volume knob and get unity between the two.

It's also quite quiet. My understanding is that you deal with a certain amount of ambient hissing with any fuzz pedal. The noise of the Muff w/ Wicker is very manageable in my opinion. The ambient noise only gets really out of hand when you engage the Wicker at a high Sustain/Fuzz setting, or, especially, when you disengage the tone by turning the Tone Switch to "off."

There's nothing subtle about this pedal. It's over-the-top fuzzy goodness. Forget about cleaning up with your guitar's volume knob. One thing I really like about this pedal is the fact that the Sustain/Fuzz knob has great range. Seems that with other fuzzes, you pretty well have to crank the fuzz knob. The Big Muff w/ Tone Wicker's Sustain/Fuzz knob is usable from 0-10, in my opinion. (However, I'd say there's probably not a ton of difference from say 2 or 3 o'clock to max on the Sustain knob -- it's pretty much whacked out fuzz all through that range.)

The Wicker and Tone switches also have noticeable effects on this pedal's sound. When engaged, the Wicker Switch seems to bring more brightness and snap into the fuzz sound. The Tone Switch, when turned to the "off" setting seems to act as a boost -- there's definitely a jump in volume when turning this switch "off." The Tone Switch's "off" position also brings an added nastiness to the fuzz, which I'd have difficulty putting into words other than to say it's just ... nasty.

One other thing: this pedal gets along very nicely with my Bad Monkey overdrive, when properly placed. I started out running guitar > Muff > Monkey > amp. That didn't work so well. When engaging the Bad Monkey in that configuration, it sounded like I was throwing a heavy blanket on top of the Muff. It just flat-out didn't work. However, when running Guitar > Bad Monkey > Muff > Amp, it gets real nice. Using the Bad Monkey either as a clean boost or as an additional drive into the Muff really brings some added crispness and nastiness to the fuzz sound.

This is, in my opinion, a great pedal for metal/sludge/grunge chordwork. Not terribly useful if you're into jazzy extension chords. Sounds nice for lead work as well, although bassier notes tend to sound pretty .... "blatty" might be the word. In all honesty, I think it sounds similar in many ways to that Tone Bender clone I couldn't get along with. I'm not sure I've ever heard of Muff's being compared to Bender's, but in my opinion, they're not too terribly far apart (at least when comparing to, say, a Fuzz Face).

For the cost, I'm very impressed with this pedal, and can't see myself getting rid of it. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

If anyone has questions, feel free to ask.

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Old March 23rd, 2009, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,

Nice review.

I am a lover of the Muff too!

I have had a few over the years and was real interested when they anounced the tonewicker version. I always felt I needed to re-EQ when I turned on the muff when playing live to cut through.

I have had mine for about 3 months now.

To me that is solved by having the wicker enabled. I still have the tone circuit switched on as I do not really like it with the tone switched off.

It is a gteat pedal, my fave fuzz.

The tonewicker function makes it even more useable for me.

Cheers

BMF
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Old March 30th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought I'd revive this thread because a shortage of telecaster players on this forum probably use a big muff. I recently bought one and I'm very impressed. The wicker and tone bypass switches allow such a broad band of frequencies through, they actually preserve the character of your guitar. At the same time the fuzz is nasty -- just snarling and spitting. To have that Tele "snap," as it was described above, come through the mix with that kind of fuzz and sustain really makes for a musical sound. And I know, "musical" is not a term that is usually applied to the Big Muff.

One other interesting thing about this pedal: when you roll of your volume, not only does your guitar clean and brighten up, but you get the sound distinct to a pedal starving of voltage, which normally occurs when the battery is dying. Your notes a sag and bloom in a sonically exciting way.

I find the BMTW a creatively inspiring pedal. Hell, I think telecaster players will like it.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I a super Muff devotee!

That said, I just completed a Foxx Tone Machine clone build, and I am loving life!

I've got the thread here (with a sound clip) in the Burnt Fingers forum.

The FTM is up there with a good Muff, IMO.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I play a 52 vintage hotrod tele through a mesa boogie nomad 3 channel, 45 watt 4 x 10 combo. I use the big muff pi with tone wicker as my main dirty sound with a Cusack Screamer in front of it for when I just need a crunch or grit tone. I also kick in the screamer when I need to tighten the sound of the Big Muff and get more of a high gain distortion sound. Since I got the Muff, I haven't used the other two channels of the mesa. There's just no point. The Big Muff and Cusack Screamer combo does everything and more.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I couldn't get rid of my Big Muff w/ tone wicker fast enough.................I'm a FuzzFace guy
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