Which is the rawest, nastiest, new-production Big Muff type?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by theprofessor, Jun 28, 2019.

Tags:
  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    In the early 90's, I had one of those Sovtek Russian Big Muffs that came in the wooden box with Russian on it. A very striking memory at the end of the Cold War era! I really liked the sound of that one. I am aware that there are about 1,000 Big Muff types these days, and I don't want to sort through the pages and pages of discussion. So I'd like to pose this to you experts:

    Which is the nastiest, most raw new-production Big Muff type pedal? I don't care if it's EHX or even Chicago Stompworks (I actually love CSW's stuff). I just want it to be approximate to that raw Big Muff-type sound that has fueled Dan Auerbach's sound for a while now.

    So which one is it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,606
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    The new Russian Big Muff reissue is apparently the same circuit as the old tall font Sovtek. If that’s the sound you’re after, you should accept no substitutes. It’s a glorious filthy thing.
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  3. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Is that this one?
     
  4. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,362
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Yup, that's the one. I have one of the old big Sovtek muffs with the footswitch that looks like it could be used to launch the missiles to end the world. Still have the wooden box it came in. Thing sounds like nothing else, but is too heavy and big to put on my board. I tried out one of the reissues and it pretty much nails the sound of the big green monster.
     
    kris ford likes this.
  5. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Excellent! Thanks so much!
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,310
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I think of Muffs more as smooth than raw and nasty, but sometimes the ones with massive bass and treble distort the amp so much you get a raw nasty sound.
    Then there's the op amp muff nobody liked until somebody recorded hits with one.
    The Russian reissue above doesn't sound like the sounds I get from Russian muffs, but there are many ways to use them.
    And there were as many different Russian muffs as American muffs.

    Consider the op amp Muff though, more rasp less smooth.

     
    bftfender, kris ford and theprofessor like this.
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,310
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I have a Big Knob clone of the Civil War Russian Muff which is supposed to be exactly the same as the "Tall Font" Russian.

    I don't find that one to be overly raw and nasty, and in fact a lot of Gilmours smooth creamy sounds were made with that particular muff.

    You can always just buy and try, but a better way to hone in on the sound you want with words would be to describe eq a bit, and maybe consider the amp you were using when you liked the sound you were getting years ago.

    The massive bass and scooped mids of most EHX Muffs tends to make the speaker in smaller amps sound like it's ready to blow up.
    That can sound raw, but might not be the sound you want.

    I love the Blackout Effectors Musket and Blunderbuss, because they can dial in more Muff sounds and you can actually choose your sound, where stock muffs tend to have one sound you're stuck with.

    The massive bass and no mids fizzy sound is sort of a novelty for a minute but gets old fast.
    The Tall Font/ Civil War era had a little more mids but still the massive bass.

    What amp will you be trying to get your old memory back with?
     
  8. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thank you for chiming in. Of the two video clips above, my preference was for the first one. That sounded an awful lot like what I remember from twenty-five years ago. I think the second one would cut in a band mix a lot better, but I'm thinking more of just a "sitting in front of my amp tone." For the kind of music I play live, I would never, ever use the Muff, anyway (at least I can't think of a time).

    As far as the original equipment I was using back in high school: a '65 Fender Bandmaster head and cab piggyback. I have no idea what the speakers were in there, but the head was well serviced. I was using a Gibson SG with two humbuckers.

    I really like the "amp going to explode" sound for these. That's what I'm going for. I do miss the controls that look like you're operating a tank or a rocket, though.
     
  9. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    273
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Location:
    Ferndale, MI
    I have the Green Russian reissue and it’s great, but I wouldn’t describe it as raw or nasty. It’s pretty smooth to my ears. Tons of bass and violin-like sustain.

    Maybe the op-amp version is what you seek.
     
  10. sclitheroe

    sclitheroe Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

    Posts:
    411
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Caroline Guitar's Shigeharu (https://carolineguitar.com/product/shigeharu/ ) is an IC Muff based pedal that is over the top in terms of gain and EQ capabilities. And when you tap that out, you can switch in the blended transformer based octave fuzz.

    It's really worth checking out - it roars.

    It's the only pedal I have that scares me a bit.

    -Scott
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  11. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    1,683
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I had both the Op Amp and the Green Russian and I VASTLY preferred the Green Russian
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,310
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    There's a distinct possibility that your Bandmaster made that sound because the speakers were going to explode!

    I had a BF Bandmaster head and cab, bass was their weakest point and bass is those old muffs strongest signal.
    So the exploding sound was more the amp and speakers than the signal from the muff.
    If the amp can handle the bass you get the Gilmour sound from these Muffs, which would be who he chooses a Hiwatt and a lotta speakers!

    As far as hearing your gear make youtube sounds, I seldom get that as expected.
    But OTOH I have 10-12 Muffs and buying numerous muffs can only be a good thing!
    Killing some speakers maybe not so much, but then I have lots of speakers too.

    For a pedal that gets that about to blow up sound within the actual pedal circuit, check out the ZVex Fuzzolo.
    It will certainly punish your speakers, but the pedal actually sounds like blowing up speakers without blowing up any speakers.

    I've searched quite a bit for I think the sort of sound you're talking about, and too often it happens in the amp and speakers more than in the pedal. That can be great but often requires speaker blowing volume.

    Check out the Fuzzolo!

     
    theprofessor likes this.
  13. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    1,683
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    BTW, I got rid of all of my Muffs when I got my Dark Side Workstation. There's enough going on in the Big Muff circuit of that pedal that you can find whatever you're looking for. Black Keys to Smashing Pumpkins to, of course, Gilmour leads
     
    8trackmind and theprofessor like this.
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    17,310
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Wow, what a sensible tool and also a cheap boutique pedal!
    Never heard of it but I have lots of Muffs, analog delays, and flangers, though not trying to get Gilmour tones, at least the Mooer ElecLady was targeted at that one particular flange sound.
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  15. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt
    I believe the swollen pickle is based on a muff and then hotrodded to sound super splatty and raw.
     
    Daytona.57 and theprofessor like this.
  16. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    1,683
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Yeah, its marketed as a Gilmour pedal but it really has a lot going on beyond Pink Floyd. Its a great buy
     
    telemnemonics and theprofessor like this.
  17. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    2,491
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I've got an Op Amp and love it but I bet I'd get along fine with most of the others. Maybe I'd think the Russian might not work as well for me since it's supposedly heavy on the bass and I'm playing through a 10" speaker.

    But AFAICT all of these Big Muffs have a pretty big range. If you're just watching Youtube demos they usually are not fiddling with the guitar volume as they're playing into a looper with the guitar volume maxed out.

    The Op Amp may be raspier, but when you roll back the the volume on the guitar knob and have sustain lower in the range and volume higher up in the range it still does killer Gilmour tones.

    I have had great fun with mine playing all kinds of stuff from Pink Floyd to Smashing Pumpkins to Gary Clark Jr tunes. It works for all of them and I feel 0 need to buy a 2nd one to get different sounds.. I am still learning new ways to get different sounds out of mine.

    Between Big Muff -> Clean Amp, to Big Muff -> Dirty Amp, to all the variations of pickups, tone knob manipulation, volume knob manipulation there are tons of different sounds to be had.

    I had a Swollen Pickle and I like the Big Muff a lot more. Swollen Pickle was way more raw/splatty and hard to control on top of being way more complicated. But I'm a much better player now than I was when I had the Swollen Pickle.. I might not have had it at the absolute best position in the chain and I didn't know how to work the volume knob as well back then.

    For the Gilmour stuff I think a very large amount of the "smoothing" of his fuzz tone has to do with the Fuzz going into the Delay & Reverb with everything set just so, way less to do with exactly which Muff/Fuzz he used.
     
    theprofessor likes this.
  18. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    375
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2018
    Location:
    USA
    Dan Auerbach uses a bubble font Russian, so the green reissue, the way huge Russian pickle or any green Russian clone should get you there.

    That said, I’ve played dozens of muffs over the last 15 years, including many of the newer offerings, and I’ve found the green Russians aren’t the most “raw” or “nasty” versions most of the time. The new EHX Triangle reissue has loads of gain and a huge amount of bass, with it cranked it gets very nasty and extreme. The op amp reissue has a lot of buzz and crunch but not as much bass as most muffs. My personal favorite is The Pi by Stomp Under Foot. It’s based on later era rams heads and the 80’s black and red muffs in an attempt to find the ideal muff for the grunge era sounds (at least the ones that aren’t the Smashing Pumpkins). It’s incredible, and my personal favorite. Huge wide open grind, big bass but not so much that it gets wooly or compressed, perfect top end sizzle. It’s spectacular. Really, I’ve been most impressed by any of the Stomp Under Foot muffs that I’ve tried, his op amp clone and his rams head are also excellent. He’s a dedicated scholar of the circuit and you can tell when you play one of his pedals. He really wrings every last drop of tone out of any given version.
     
    telemnemonics and theprofessor like this.
  19. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thanks so much for all the replies! A couple things: First, I think there may well be enough overlap among all the Big Muff Versions, that somewhere on the dial I may be able to find what I'm looking for. Second, I may be using my descriptions poorly and imprecisely. If Dan Auerbach uses a bubble-font Russian Green Muff, then a clone along those lines will definitely get me where I want to go, no matter whether one thinks of it as "raw" or "nasty" or whatever.

    So I guess I should have just asked: which one does this? All of them? One group in particular?

     
  20. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt
    I have a russian pickle I've been meaning to list...
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.