Big Muff- Yea or Nay?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by chris m., Jan 14, 2020.

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    So I noticed that EHX is putting out several very well reviewed iterations of the Big Muff Pi these days-- a green Russian one, and a Rams Head one, both in a nice, standard sized pedal chassis. Looking for thoughts on whether I should pull the trigger on one or the other, or neither.

    I have had a germanium FF and a silicon FF. Way back in the 70s I had an original BeeBaa fuzz. I'm not really into super heavy fuzz--- for the most part I have no use for it in my typical applications. I like a singing lead tone, but I can get that from using two dirt pedals, both turned on.

    All that said, I know that the Big Muff can be used to get a nice singing, sustain lead tone-- witness David Gilmour as Exhibit A. It can also be used to get a heavy fuzz grind or even nasty, spitting fuzz, on the very rare occasions that I might want to use it for that. For $89 or $99 it seems pretty affordable and could be fun. OTOH every fuzz I've ever had has never stayed on the board because I'm more of a classic overdrive/distortion guy. Think tones ranging from super clean to Billy Gibbons/Jimmy Page/Gary Moore/Scofield.

    But I've always wanted to like fuzz, and I've never given a Big Muff a try before.

    upload_2020-1-14_15-12-3.png upload_2020-1-14_15-12-34.png
     
  2. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Meister

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    You can get the Big Muff Op Amp for $60 to $62.53 all day long on Reverb. I have the the Big Muff Nano and it's great, but the OpAmp goes to 11, if you know what I mean.
     
  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had one a couple of years ago and it was really fun to tweak with for a while, but then I realized that I couldn't really use it for anything that we play. It's just too radical a sound.
     
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  4. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    it's a great pedal to have if you need to play war pigs through a deluxe reverb.
     
  5. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Count me among those that never really bonded with the sound of a fuzz pedal. I think my palate was ruined forever by Angus & Malcolm...
     
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  6. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a Triangle big muff pi about a year ago and have spent quite a bit of time trying to get a gig-worthy tone from it. By myself it sounds fantastic, and you can get those Gilmore-esque tones. Problem is that the muffs are really mid-scooped, so it gets lost in the mix with a band. So while I'd love to use it, right now it's on my closet shelf. Just too hard to dial in for me.
     
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  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm going to say most likely nay, not because it's a fuzz (because it's actually more like a distortion), but because the mids are attenuated. I'm willing to bet that the singing lead tone you get from using two drive pedals is one that's probably not attenuated in the mids.

    Having said that, the green Russian Muff isn't quite as attenuated in the mids, and it's lower gain vs. other Muffs, which IMO makes it a bit smoother. That's why the old green Russian Muffs ended up having such an appeal.
     
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  8. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    To me the Green Russian and Ram's Head reissues have the most mids, they're the two I want. The vid for the Ram's Head I watched nailed the "Comfortably Numb" solo sound. The more mid-scooped versions to me are less attractive, I think those are the ones that are problematic in a band situation, as they can get lost in the mix if not set correctly.
    Al
     
  9. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the Big Muff, but which version? My personal favorites are the 90's Green Russian Muff or the Triangle(I have a Guild Foxey Lady triangle). Gilmour's classic would be a Ram's Head one from the mid 70's. There are some variants that also can be found. The Maxon D S pedals are really great Big Muff clones. They have a more musical eq taper. The first edition without the LED really sounds like a more musical Big Muff.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=323778409295
     
  10. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Nay.
     
  11. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    If I could do it over again, I would build a big muff clone with a mid boost control, like the byoc Large Beaver that has a tone bypass and the mid selector switch. That would be much more useful than the mid scooped big muff I have.
     
  12. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I don’t really use a fuzz for guitar, but I love the Bass Muff on bass. Adds some presence and “girth” to the sound and sits in the mix really well.
     
  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Adrian Belew sure makes them sound cool. They are not something I could make sound good.
     
  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    The Op Amp model has stronger mids as well. At least it seems that way to me, I've had one for 2 years or so. But I also use an amp with strong mids. In any case if you use it with a Tele then the guitar has strong mids as well which all help.

    I think they are all way more similar than different as well. If you learn to use one model well you can probably use them all well.

    I was discussing use of it with my guitar teacher today.. he had a great way of putting it... "You gotta stay in the right lane when you play with that thing." Other than noodling lead lines it can be tricky to use.. it's helpful to practice songs by players who really learned how to use it effectively cause certain things work and certain things don't. Some of it (e.x. Jack White) is odd technique. Some of it (e.x. Gilmour) is stacking other effects with the Big Muff. E.x. using a Compressor + Heavy Delay after a Big Muff really changes it's sound.

    I really feel like it's something that takes a while to figure out. I'm still figuring out stuff about how to use mine after 2 years.

    It would make sense to me that Bass players would find it easier to get started with a Big Muff... a lot of bass lines seem like they're a good overlap with what sounds good with the Big Muff.
     
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  15. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, the new EHX Muffs are pretty good and all are unique. I have the BM Op-Amp: sold a couple boutique pedals after getting this thing. It’s Smashing Pumpkins all day long. The Violet and Triangle sound great in the demos I’veheard.
     
  16. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    Oh so I vote YEAH!!!
     
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  17. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go Green, yea!
     
  18. oatsoda

    oatsoda Tele-Holic

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    Nay
     
  19. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

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    Nay.
     
  20. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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