NY style Big Muff: What's the point of it?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Jack Clayton, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Meister

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    EHX makes like a million big muff variants. In general, I like what I've played. I own a pi with Tone wicker, and it's about as good of fuzz as fifty dollars could ever be expected to buy. Recently, they've really been batting a thousand with offerings like the op amp and green Russian reissues as well.

    Why then do they continue to reissue their "New York" style muff? In addition to being the size of a baby dolphin and eating up half the space on any board, it sounds awful. Honestly, it's probably the worst sounding fuzz pedal I've ever played.

    Am I the only one who doesn't like this pedal? Is it a marketing gimmick of some kind? What am I missing here? What justifies this things existence?
     
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  2. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    I was just thinking today about EHX's pedals. In the past they had "small" pedals like Small Stone/Clone that were 1 trick ponies and the huge ones like Polychorus or Electric Mistress that you knew (from the size) really did a lot.

    I don't really have a point to this ramble, just noticing the changing times.
     
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  3. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Meister

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    In some ways it seems like that hasn't changed. They still are producing stuff like the memory man that's enormous and jammed full of stuff, but in my opinion their big strength right now is tiny pedals in solid enclosures that go used for 50-75 dollars. Stuff like the Soul Food. Might be the best bang/buck ratio of any pedal I've ever owned.
     
  4. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, the Oceans 11 looks like a pint sized Cathedral. I feel like it has a lot to do with perceptions of the buyer.

    I have a 90's EHX Pulsar that is the size of a toddler's shoe box. Open it up and there is almost nothing inside to warrant that size (other than using the same box for multiple effects).

    20181112_133545.jpg 20181112_133818.jpg
     
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  5. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    People like the big box look to the point where sales continue to be good. Mike Matthews has said as much in interviews. If it sells, it’s worth continuing the production, end of story.

    As far as it sounding awful, I disagree. It’s not my favorite big muff (that’s the current EHX triangle reissue, followed closely by the stomp under foot rams head) but it has its charms. Jack White used it for a good bit of the White Stripes albums and I never heard anyone complaining about his tone.
     
  6. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I dig the NYC. And, I don't mind big pedals.
     
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  7. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    I like big Muffs and I cannot lie.
     
  8. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I learned icky thump a few weeks ago and "awful" is part of the Jack White sound as far as I can tell. You play with that tone and lots of stuff sounds "awful" but somehow Jack White wrote music that sounds good with that kind of tone.

    It was kind of an educational thing for me.. but I also think some of the other effects he used on those records balanced out the Big Muff and improved the sound.

    I am going to guess one reason EHX wants to like/keep using the huge box is for marketing.. if a famous artist has the giant Muff box it is going to be a lot easier for the pedal to be recognizable in pictures. More guitar players will see it and know what it is and possibly then end up buying EHX products.
     
  9. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    NYC Muff from the 2000s really is super mid scooped. You need to use it with a mid heavy amp or you just disappear next to a drum kit in a live setting. The other option is to stack with a Tube Screamer. There is also a tone bypass mod which undoes the mid scooping.

    I can't argue about the size of it but they make it in a smaller from factor if that's what you seek.
     
  10. Rextrade

    Rextrade TDPRI Member

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    YES! I hate (ok, way too strong of a word) the sound of the NY Bigg Muff, or rather, can't hear the sound of the pedal with a band. I bought one like 12 years ago and got it just because 'Bigg Muff' seemed to be a fuzz pedal everyone used, but it was way too dark with my SG, and the fuzz itself was just sort of ok to my ears, or at least it wasn't the fuzz sound I had in mind when I bought it. I kept bringing it to practice hoping I would find some combination where I'd love or at least like the pedal and where I'd start getting that fuzz 'wall of sound', and some creamy lead notes, but I gave up.

    I know people do get good tones out of it, so now that I have better eq and boosts I'll play with it again someday. The size is still annoying though, and it's such a scratch magnet that it's not worth the effort of trying to sell it, so it's been sitting in my closet for 10 years (-;.

    So yeah, I don't like it. But someone must given how many they sell.

    [edit - I listened to a random online demo of the pedal and I liked the way it sounded :p. Maybe I'll take it to practice this weekend and use an eq pedal to see what it can do. Would definitely be funny to me if I ended up loving this pedal after 12 years. But I'd have the REALLY love it to justify putting that beast of a pedal on my board.]
     
  11. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It has one great tone, and a whole bunch of bad ones. But the great one is timeless.
     
  12. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    A muff can get some mids back and still have a fantastic wall of sound tone if you run a rat or an sd-1 into it. Obviously you gotta dial back the gain since you’re stacking but I get some *fantastic* huge distortion tones that way.
     
  13. sclitheroe

    sclitheroe Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

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    Great advice, and exactly what I do - the Muff has no buffer sensitivity, and sounds fantastic driven with a SD-1 set for say unity volume, 9'oclock gain, 12'oclock noon. Tightens it up a touch, fills in the bottom of the scoop, and remains massive.
     
  14. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Meister

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    I haven't tried the triangle, but I bet it kills if it's anything like the new op amp and green Russian. EHX is really knocking it out of the part right now with the muff reissues.
     
  15. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    I did a NPD of the new triangle. It’s basically more of everything. More bass than the Russian, more gain than any muff I’ve ever played. Super deep mid scoop. It’s pretty wild. I love it.
     
  16. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    The problem with many revisions of the NY RI, or whatever you want to call it, probably has to do with with its variation from "known good" Big Muff circuits. For more than a few of the revisions, EHX would stick components with seemingly all sorts of garden variety values. At least one of them got clipping diodes that were somewhat unlike what they'd put in any other Muff. I worked on one a few years back that had resistors in the tone stack that didn't match anything that's been offered by EHX over the years...

    ...And one of the last ones that I worked on had over 90% of its signal caps as what are called electrolytics. The PCB literally allows EHX to sub in different types of caps with different lead spacing (electrolytics and some ceramics have a 2mm spacing, while "film" style caps tend to have a 5mm spacing).

    I also recall seeing at least one NY RI that had a 500K volume pot (IIRC), and I seem to remember another one that had a 250K sustain pot. The vast majority of other Big Muffs have all had 100K pots for all three controls.

    IMO, a lot of what makes any given Big Muff sound good has to do with how the two clipping stages are ""fine tuned," along with any tweaks to the handful of components for the tone stack. Many of the NY RIs look like they simply aren't tuned to anything, and IMO, the sonics pretty much reflect that.

    The good news is that the NY RIs are easily modded (or easy to have someone mod for you), if you don't mind the big box. Basically any good "recipe" can be applied. Also, if you want (the equivalent of) one of the fancy shmancy top dollar Muffs with "extra" controls, there's plenty of room to shoe-horn them in, with that big box.
     
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  17. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd pay a good bit for a big box triangle reissue... They have through hole parts, unlike the small enclosure pedals.
     
  18. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Meister

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    I'd consider a mod if I hadn't recently found my fuzz soulmate in the Earthquaker Park Fuzz sound. It's gonna be a long time before I shop for something different.
     
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