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Questions about Big Muff pedals

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by heshan, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    Hey everyone
    A Big Muff pedal has always been on my want-list for my pedalboard. However, after some research, I read about the many different versions and how the newer models are not as good as the old models and so on. Confusing! Reminds me of the process I went through before buying my RAT pedal - or the process I go through before I buying anything these days, haha - so here I am, asking on TDPRI!

    To be honest, one of the main reasons I want to get a Big Muff is because I heard that Santana used one back in the day (I love his earlier tones) and of course David Gilmour's 70s sound. From what I understand, these guys used the famous Rams Head version of the pedal

    I've read some reviews and discussions on Gilmourish.com etc. and I'm a bit undecided. First of all, I had planned on getting an EHX version - for $100 or so. Now it seems like the EHX versions are nothing like the vintage Rams Head etc. and to get that sound, I'd have to get a clone by one of these boutique brands that cost over $200

    If they're really that much better, I don't mind saving up. But are the EHX versions really not even close to an old Rams Head? I'm closely looking at the Little Big Muff, mostly coz of its size - I have a Pedaltrain Jr - and I also hear it sounds better than the larger model

    Please share your opinions on the newer EHX models and if they can get close to a vintage Muff/Gilmour tone - and if not, what clone you think can best get it
    Thanks!
     
    Hiker likes this.
  2. FilthyFur74

    FilthyFur74 Tele-Holic

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    I've gone through quite a few muffs (apologies if that sounds all kinds of wrong!). I've currently got a Stomp Under Foot Tri-Muff and an Emanating Fist Dope Priest. Both are pretty good but I'm always on the lookout for something special. The two that really interest me currently are the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof Mkii and the Stone Deaf Fig Fumb. The latter may have too large a footprint than what you require. The former has a rather long waiting list. The problem with trying to emulate Gilmours tone is the size and type of his rig, and of course, his fingers.
     
  3. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I borrowed a big muff for a gig. I loved it (though was finally swayed by a fuzz face (I might still buy a muff). I say go and try one and see what happens.
     
  4. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    check out Chicago stompworks. a few muff clones available. Inexpensive
     
  5. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have several muffs - and like FilthyFur above, I apologize for how that sounds - and the one I like best is the old green Russian muff. It sounds great, but I don't gig it because it is a huge cast enclosure that weighs a ton.
    I have used a Little Big Muff and it does the job.
    There are a ton of clones and one of the best I've heard is JAM's Red Muck, which sounds great, but is pricey, over $200, if I recall.
     
  6. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    I have a big muff I bought new 6-8 years back. I like it. I prefer the "muff sound" to some other Fuzzes. All depends on how you're using it. I would get one to try with your rig to see if you can get the sound you're after. Return it if you don't like it.
     
  7. heshan

    heshan Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the input everyone :) Just to clarify, when you say you use a Big Muff, you're referring to the currently available reissue model, right?

    That one is really quite big and looks like it'll take up half my board! But the Little version looks about right and I'll go try one out asap. However, I don't have any experience with this pedal and I don't think any other brand clones will be available for a comparison, so even if it does sound good, I'm not sure if a clone will sound a lot better and I'll still be undecided

    Anyone tried the BYOC Large Beaver? That one got a 10/10 on Gilmourish, and is one of the few clones that I can afford without saving up and cutting down on other pedals!
     
  8. sclitheroe

    sclitheroe Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

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    The current Muffs are versatile, fun, affordable pedals. I don't honestly think you would go wrong getting one before investigating boutique. I use a current big-box model, don't feel any need to get anything else.
     
  9. TeleFool75

    TeleFool75 Tele-Meister

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    I had the the newer Deluxe Big Muff and it gave you "close enough" sounds to many variants of the classic Muffs. I only got rid of it because I got a Drivegate DG-2 which is a clone of the Cornish clone of the Rams head version. I would get another Deluxe version in a heartbeat. I had the newer Little Muff and Nano but they are sad versions of the Muff imo. Got rid of them immediately so fast I don't consider them as part of my past collection, haha.
     
  10. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    Until now, I was unaware of Chicago Stompworks. Look like nice pedals for very reasonable prices.
     
  11. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Check this out...
    :cool:
     
  12. bowman

    bowman Friend of Leo's

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    I've never had a Muff clone, so have nothing to say about them. But I do have a '70s EHX Muff that I've owned for 35 years or so, and a green Russian muff from the '90s. (I don't consider that a clone since I think it's an EHX licensed product) Both are great units with a surprisingly wide range of sounds if you adjust your guitar and amp knobs.
     
  13. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    The huge green Russian muff is a different beast, and I mean beast.
     
  14. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    Muffs are good fun - but tend to get lost in a live mix.

    The mids are scooped a little - and this often muddies the tone.

    That said, I've had a re-issue NYC, a Russian Black, and have built an IC clone (which I still have!)

    They sustain for days, that's for sure!
     
  15. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

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    I have a bunch of Muff pedals including an original Ram's Head and a couple Russian ones too. I highly recommend Ronsound's Muffs, he likely knows more about EHX effects than anyone on the planet. I've got one of his Triangle Muff's and his 1865 model too, both are great sounding boxes and his prices are quite reasonable.

    http://ronsound.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_3

    Added:the mid boost/cut switch on the 1865 I got from him is a very worthy option and he doesn't charge much to add it.
     
  16. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    the current NYC big muff won't behave or sound like the ram's head or hit on a "Gilmour" tone. if I had to pick a boutique builder to buy from on a reasonable boutique budget, I'd suggest stomp under foot.

    I have a current NYC big muff I gutted and modded to 73 #18 ram's head specs(see kitrae's history of the big muff) and am really satisfied with the results.
     
  17. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't tried any of their fuzzes, but I have an orange squeezer compressor made by Chicago Stompworks that's really nice. Sounds great and it's well made. I bought it on reverb.com as one of Stompworks' 50 buck deals.

    If I were in the market for a Big Muff, I'd probably buy from them.
     
  18. Zacateca

    Zacateca TDPRI Member

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    I have the Large Beaver (triangle) and it sounds glorious. It is suprisingly quiet for a fuzz and it has a 4 way switch which goes from scooped through flat and mid bump to tone bypass. Highly recommended
     
  19. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    Here's the thing about copping tones from records, particularly older records:
    1. unless you use THE fuzz pedal Gilmour and Santana used, you're not going to sound like them.
    2. unless you mic the same, use tape, and same eq and a dozen other variables, you're not going to sound like them.
    3. Until you actually play one, you don't REALLY know what a fuzz or Big Muff actually sounds like or is capable of.

    So, my advice would be this:
    1. Go to sweetwater and/or musiciansfriend. Search fuzz pedals, or Big Muffs even. Filter out those outside of your price range. See what's available.
    2. Then hit youtube and listen to several demos and/or reviews of those fuzz pedals on your now presumably short list.
    3. Go back to sweetwater and purchase. If you've never had a fuzz before, or a Big Muff, any version will be eye-opening and fun! Play with it, tweak it, live with it for a few months while keeping your eye open for other fuzzes. In other words, start with a classic circuit, learn its capabilities, then you can get into how other pedal makers have tweaked that circuit.

    I had a Big Muff with Tonewicker pedal that I liked, then sold to acquire a ZVEX Mastotron Fuzz, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!
     
  20. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    When I wanted a Muff, I checked out the demo videos on the Stomp Under Foot website. Having decided that the "Triangle" variant was closest to what I thought of as the Muff sound, I built up a Mad Bean PC board using their triangle parts values.

    Disclaimer: I'm not really a Muff kinda guy. I think it's one of those pedals everyone should try and have in their stable, but I'm not going to split hairs (No pun intended.) (Okay, I admit it; the pun WAS intended.) My DIY clone is close enough for me, and it's fun to break it out once in a while. If I was a serious BMP player, I probably would have bought the SUF TriMuff.
     
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