Welp, I’m going down the Big Muff rabbit hole (again)

Hoodster

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A question for Big muff experts. I have an EHX Big Muff Green Russian. It is very midscooped and gets buried in the mix quite easily. The only solution seems to hit it with an SD-1 in front...
So my question, are all big muffs mid-scooped?

That’s why you want the Colossus, dedicated midrange control as well as a three-way switch that alters the character of the midrange.
 

tele_pathic

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SUF makes some serious good stuff. I've also been eyeing the Garbage Face, as I'm a huge J Mascis/Djr fan. IF you are also, SUF makes the '76 Amhurst, their siggy JM pedal. I had it forever, and it was always great. Also, ZVEX makes the JM Double Rock, which is also a great JM pedal.
 

telemnemonics

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I went down that rabbit hole recently myself.

I went through some real cool pedals, but the one I wound up keeping was the Violet Menace.

Of all the Violet Ram versions I own, the SUF VM is my favorite, and I think I have four violets which are distinct in being the leanest bass most cutting of all the Muffs.
Like virtually all muffs, the alternately named “fuzz/ sustain/ distortion/ gain” knob cuts bass and adds treble/ upper mids as you turn it up. So the old thinking about a gain knob does not apply.
Lower gain settings sound muddy and bassy, while gain up all the way is more cutting crisp and clear.
Within the range of clarity available from muffs.

More recently I’m running a Wren and Cuff Super Russian which is one of the less common civil war era Russian versions but also leaner bass than the black or green, just by a little bit. It also has switch marked creamy dreamer which is cool and useful.

I gotta say, many boutique muffs have a mids switch but none match the SUF mids knob.
I also use an SUF Civil Unrest which has the great mids knob and more bass than the others, plus is a little more grainy.
I have two different original Black Russians and everything I’ve read says the black is the same circuit as the green, the civil war, and the bubble font Russians. Guess I have four different Russian circuits and they all get close to the same nice thick creamy warm fat muff tone. As opposed to the cutting screams from Violet!

The muffs I own by EHX are just not really usable, with the big chrome NYC being the worst!
Funny that the designer isn’t even close to the best builder.
 

oregomike

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I love my Death by Audio Fuzz War. Definitely can get into Big Muff territory, but can get crazy aggressive, and dialed full back, get into sludgy territory. Love this thing.
 

telemnemonics

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One of those switches on the Caprid from W&C is a mid boost/cut. Just putting it out there.

If you don’t yet own an SUF with mids knob you need to run don’t walk as fast as possible to the nearest SUF muff with mids knob and give her a twist.
Seriously.
Being able to tweak exactly that middle, well, you NEED IT.
 

telemnemonics

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A lot of variation and a lot of derivatives.
Don’t forget stacking your muffs with other pedals, can definitely help with muffs that don’t have a lot of eq tweak ability.

If you need help in the hunt for every possible variation of the muff circuit.

http://www.kitrae.net/music/music_big_muff.html

Gilmourish has good muff info too.
Better still I think one must simply buy good clones of each basic circuit and use them. The hobby idea of many muff circuits in one pedal with a rotary switch is backwards I think, because it’s kind of none of them.

I’d start with a Rams head and a Russian.
Chicago Stomp Works is great top shelf USA construction and under $100, then Vick is cheap used.
Decide which circuit before spending $200 on a boutique build of one of the circuits.
Not you, just talking to the room here...
 

Killing Floor

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If you don’t yet own an SUF with mids knob you need to run don’t walk as fast as possible to the nearest SUF muff with mids knob and give her a twist.
Seriously.
Being able to tweak exactly that middle, well, you NEED IT.
So you’re telling me Violet Menace? I know the brand but I’ve never had one. But OK, I’m in.
 

MisterZ

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I had a big-box EHX Big Muff Pi back in the '80s. Loved it - a little boost when it was off made my Kustom Lead I grunt like nuthin'. Now I have a Triangle Big Muff reissue which is good but not the same.

Always going to be searching for the sound of my past.
 
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telemnemonics

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So you’re telling me Violet Menace? I know the brand but I’ve never had one. But OK, I’m in.

Well yeah if you like the slice & dice cutting muff but Civil Unrest has the same brilliant mds knob on the Russian circuit which is a fatter heavier muff tone.
Really though, depending on your amps, the mids control opens up the range.
I don’t use mud scooped BF Fender amps and if I did I might be happy with the setting Vick and others chose for the switch.
I find even up to flat on the switch gets all nasal with Marshall’s that already have mids.
 

telemnemonics

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I finally spent $50 on a triangle muff and it does nothing for me.

I had a big-box EHX Big Muff Pi back in the '80s. Loved it - a little boost when it was off made my Kustom Lead I grunt lile nuthin'. Now I have a Triangle Big Muff reissue which is good but not the same.

Always going to be searching for the sound of my past.
 

bluesholyman

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My favorite muff incarnations are from Wren and Cuff. But the mids option on the Stomp Under Foot stuff is hard to argue with.
 

Hiker

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Sovtek Deluxe Big Muff Pi has a mids knob. That one and a Green Russian take turns on my board.
 

edvard

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A question for Big muff experts. I have an EHX Big Muff Green Russian. It is very midscooped and gets buried in the mix quite easily. The only solution seems to hit it with an SD-1 in front...
So my question, are all big muffs mid-scooped?

Yes. It's a known thing with Big Muff Pedals due to the topology of the tone control, and its interaction with the high output impedance of the transistor just before it. There are mods you can try, the most famous being this one:
http://www.muzique.com/lab/tone3.htm

Or convert it to a two-knob bass/treble:
http://www.muzique.com/lab/atone.htm

More discussion of the AMZ tone mods here, with values copped from clones that use the AMZ mid control:
https://www.coda-effects.com/p/big-muff-tonestack-dealing-with-mids.html

Or put an EQ after it and bump those mids back up, your call...
 

wildschwein

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The Moen Fuzz Moo is an awesome non-boutique option. You can actually hear yourself next to a drummer too as it isn’t ridiculously sucked out in the mids. The ‘90s Russian Muffs are pretty cool sounding but stupidly overpriced for what they are.
 




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