One-of-a-kind Big Muff

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Rich_S, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's

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    Several years ago, I wanted a Big Muff just to mess around with. I listened to a bunch of clips and decided I liked the Triangle the best. EHX wasn't making a Triangle Muff at the time and the few that were available were expensive boutique versions, so I built myself one using a Mad Bean PC board, thusly:
    [​IMG] (The other one's my Stratoblaster.)

    I've been playing the Triangle a lot lately and decided I want it on my board, but the pedal it would be replacing is normal MXR-sized. So, I went to my local store and bought a new EHX Triangle Big Muff Pi. Simple, drop in replacement, right? Wrong.

    I spent tonight A/Bing my clone with the production Triangle and I can't get theirs to sound like mine. I don't know what I screwed up, but I love the sound of my build, though it apparently does not sound like a real-deal Triangle. So, I guess I'm going to have to figure our how to shoe-horn it onto my board. It's going to be a very tight fit, but I think I might be able to pull it off.

    I'm not even a "Big Muff Guy" but I've fallen in love for a freakish one-of-a-kind version. What a hassle.
     
  2. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That's what I told her last yearo_O
     
  3. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great project, congrats!

    Mine is from a kit, GGG Green Russian (AC only). Love it.
     
  4. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    Great, now all you have to do is tear it down and measure the parts. Could be you found the ultimate muff transistors! You can advertise your special mojo and make bank!

    I'm only half joking. The other half of me is wondering about the hfe of your transistors.
     
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Rich, I have an original second generation Big Muff, which I acquired about a year ago, iirc. Doing research on the various vintage muffs, I learned that there was some inconsistencies in those old units. Supposedly, David Gilmour uses a second generation Muff, which he has had for a long time after picking it out of a number of choices of Muffs. He travels with a number of clones that are built to sound as much like that one certain unit, which stays ‘at home’ for studio use only?????
    So, it would not surprise me that the new EH and your unit are different. One might wonder how the two units would compare to any vintage triangle unit.
    The unit I have seems to be a good one. After replacing the switch, it has impressed everyone who hears it.
     
  6. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's

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    You might be on to something. It’s been years, so my memory’s fuzzy but I think I used 2N5089 (just ‘cuz I happened to have a big bag of them) instead of the Triangle-spec 5088. It’s weird, though... I’m not really hearing a difference in gain. I hear a difference in the EQ. It’s hard to describe, but I think maybe my EQ knob give a broader boost. On the EHX, it’s either too woofy, or thin and fizzy. I can’t find a sweet spot. On mine, the sweet spot has something the EHX doesn’t. Upper mids, maybe.

    I don’t really want to analyze it, though. I’ll just squeeze it onto the board (I hope) and enjoy it.
     
  7. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    They are finnicky creatures, no question about that. Sometimes you think you did everything the same way but end up with two pedals that don't sound exactly alike. I think you're wise not to question it too much--big rabbit hole--and just make the space.

    BTW, I like the enclosure paint jobs on those. Those a kind of metallic finish? They look sharp.
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This variation between things is one reason why some builders of pedals and amps go to the trouble of measuring components and selecting the actual values they want rather than allowing manufacturing tolerances to determine the result. I would imagine that all of the clones that Gilmour has were built from blueprinted component values in order to assure continuity from one pedal to the n3xt. This is also how Butler built the blue-printed clone of Buddy Guy’s selected favorite 5F6A. Mr. Guy preferred that Bassman over the other five or six he owned. Butler blue-printed the actual values and built to those values rather than simply following a schematic. Mercury Magnetics will do the same for transformers if one wants to pay for that added work. Or...MM offers transformers built from blue-printed specs of other transformers of the same make and model....IF they have such blueprints for that particular transformer.
    The beauty is in the details, it seems.

    And that finish on those pedal enclosures above is a crinkle finish. One can buy paint that yields such a finish.
     
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  9. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    "Crinkle finish"? From the pics I couldn't tell if it was a metallic/special finish or just the camera flash hitting black hammertone. Whatever it is, it looks good.
     
  10. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's

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    Those enclosures are what Hammond calls “black”. It’s a textured powder coat available as a factory option right from Hammond. I buy them through Mouser electronics.
     
  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Okay...I called it crinkle finish when it is known as wrinkle finish. This modern powder coat process imitates the old wrinkle finish.
     
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  12. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    I think that brass plate on the front is where all the tone is coming from.

    That's a badass looking pedal. Nice job.
     
  13. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah I like the look of old ‘60s or ‘70s lab equipment, and the textured black lends itself to that. The BMP’s knobs are off an old Heathkit/Bell & Howell “Learn Electronics at Home” oscilloscope. The copper plate gives it a sorta steampunkish vibe.
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    F528C2DE-1A17-41AB-AFAD-E2CB400F4287.jpeg Rich, here is my Big Muff. It has NPN 5088 transistors.
     
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  15. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

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    Fjord Fuzz uses a copper plate for a similar look. I think they will look cool after some oxidation and time.
     
  16. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have three originals: Little Big Muff, Version 3, and version 1 (triangle knob). They all sound different the first two are nothing special. The triangle knob, however, is spectacular. I always describe it as making my guitar sound like a cello played through a cranked Marshall.

    Here’s mine:

    EBC56737-A4FD-4A67-9190-53602DE70397.jpeg
     
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  17. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    I read your posts, and yes, the EHX Big Muff that I had on hands were all but inexplicably unconvincing compared to the reputation they have... :confused:

    Exactly, I agree. Even on a 1980 item that I had for repair, or the late 70s Little Big Muff (transistor) that I owned for a time.

    I still have a Big Muff PI Plus Tone Wicker and a Big Box BMP RI : I never use them, they are Fizz Factories... :(

    That said, I never ventured in the Triangle Knob BMP region.o_O

    -tbln
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  18. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko TDPRI Member

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    Would it be to much to ask to post some comparison sound clips to give us insight in what you hear between those two?

    P. S. Years ago i have built a Muff clone from a kit by Musikding and it sounded much better (clearer and less buzzy) than other ones i've tried ever since. Would have to go through my archives to make sure which muff clone that was.
     
  19. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yes, my late-70s Little Big Muff is fizzy. Especially with the tone switch set to the treble side. Nothing like the triangle knob.
     
  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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