Big Muff shoot-out of sorts

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by heykenny, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. heykenny

    heykenny Member

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    (also posted in HC - would like TGP input as well)

    hey all
    so I've been on a huge fuzz kick lately. I currently have 22 fuzz pedals. WTF? There's a couple that are going to go for sure, but I wanted to test a couple BMP clones I've picked up lately.

    For heykenny's Big Muff Shootout v1 the contestants are:

    [​IMG]

    - 1975 Ram's Head (1 owner - me! Modded in the 80's with an led)
    - Sovtek "Civil War" (also 1 owner)
    - green Sovtek
    - 90's NYC RI modded for true bypass by AM
    - Stress FX BMP
    - Dice Works Muff Diver Finale

    '62 RI Strat w/ Duncan Antiquities
    into Reverend Kingsnake on UK setting (Marshall-esque)
    (Ignoring the complete tone-suck that hooking up all these pedals created. I figured it was an even playing field.)

    First of all I have to say - holy crap was this fun! I've always been a BMP fan. My 1975 pedal was one of the first fx I ever owned and when I kick it in it has always made me feel like a guitar god. But I digress.

    A (fairly) short recap:
    I guess there's a reason people pay more for the older Muffs. They sound better. The best of the bunch to my ears was the Ram's Head. Huge punch. Leads take on an almost synth quality. Inspiring. Dynamic. Rock and ****ing roll.

    A very close second was the CW Sovtek. A different sound - a bit grittier, but still completely kick ass.

    The green Sovtek sounded very similar to the CW but not quite the same. Not quite as much gain/bite. Still very nice.

    The NYC Muff was my least fave of the EH pedals. Sounded really good... but paled against the older ones.

    As far as the clones:
    The Muff Diver Finale was incredible! I was able to dial it in very close to both the Ram's Head and the CW Sovtek sounds. It has the punch of those two. Maybe a bit more clarity, not quite as synth-y on the leads. Plus it gets a lot of other sounds, very cool, very usable. But we're comparing Muffs here. (snicker)

    The Stress FX BMP - not so much... To my ears it was lacking the low end and the punch-in-the-face dynamics I get get from my old Muffs (snicker 2x). Probably a cool pedal on its own, but compared to these other ones I wasn't digging it. Quite a bit brighter than the rest.

    So here's what I got out of this. I would love to use my Ram's Head in my live rig, but a) the fact that it's worth quite a bit more than the $34 I paid for it new, and b) I've already replaced the footswitch 2x and the current one is shaky. Second choice would be the CW Sovtek, but again there's reliability issues. I had that on my board for a long time and thankfully never broke the jacks. Don't want to risk it anymore. I think the Muff Diver Finale is the winner that gets to advance to a spot on my pedalboard. If size is not an issue I would use the green Sovtek, but honestly the Dice Works is equally as impressive, much more versatile, and smaller.

    So there.
    Thank you for your time.

    Now my question to all of you fellow fuzz freaks - Muffs in particular: What else should I try? I don't know that I want to shell out $400 for a Mayo. I have a Lunar Module right now and am less than impressed. I know it's more a FF than a BMP, but even so it really hasn't done much for me. So other than Skreddy, what should I try for that Muff-in-your-face (last snicker I promise) sound? Or am I nuts for not giving a Mayo a shot? Anyone compared a Mayo to a MDF?

    Discuss...
     
  2. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Member

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    I just got a boner looking at that picture.


    You are nuts for not giving a Mayo a shot, although I prefer the Pink Flesh. Other muff notables include the Little Big Muff (awesome substitute for your green Sovtek) and the Moen Fuzz Moo (really).
     
  3. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    You should get on the list for the limited Skreddy Cognitive Dissonance MkII, based on the old triangle muff. My "muff" tones are handled by my Earthquaker Devices Hoof, which does muff and a whole lot more. Looking forward to your full test!
     
  4. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Member

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    I can't believe I forgot the Hoof! Also, the Barber Trifecta throws down a decent muff, although it was a little too refined for my tastes.
     
  5. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    I like my MJM Foxey fuzz alot had it for years now and it's not super pricey.
     
  6. markezgotez

    markezgotez Member

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    beautiful collection!! nothing gets my blood boiling quite like a fuzz shoot-out
     
  7. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    If you haven't tried an original Triangle Big Muff, then you don't know what you are missing.
     
  8. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    To me, no muff shootout is complete without at least one offering from skreddy. Marc is pretty much the muff authority these days.

    also maybe check out The Sweet by frantone. Fran designed the BMP reissues, but of course The Sweet is the pedal she "wanted" to make.... cut costs, etc. and you get the BMP reissue.
     
  9. heykenny

    heykenny Member

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    I actually do have The Sweet pedal and I have heard it compared to a BMP, but though I really do like the pedal it doesn't sound like a Muff to my ears. The Sweet was on my board for a while and has it's own flavor, but a different sound - at least to me.

    And I definitely would like to try a Skreddy - just don't know that I want to pay $400 to do so! Anyone in the Minneapolis area have one I could try??
     
  10. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    I don't think the Top Fuel is a Big Muff design.
     
  11. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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    If it doesn't go away in 4 hours you should call a doctor.

    Oh, and definitely get a Mayo. I've never played any of the original Triangle or Ram's Head muffs so I can't comment on those but it definitely beats anything being made today. You shouldn't have to shell out $400 for one...$325 maybe but if you can't get it at that price then wait til you can.
     
  12. Improviser

    Improviser Member

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    +1 for the original Triangle Big Muff
     
  13. btmish

    btmish Member

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    I think it is.
     
  14. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    Here's a quote from Marc about the differences:

    The Top Fuel (aka Pinkmour) is a Big Muff that has been altered in the following ways (and basically every component has been tweeked & isn't necessarily what you'd normally find in a Big Muff--it's very much a smooth, articulate, sustaining distortion tone with a healthy dose of "clean" in its voice)...

    1. input stage changed from bjt to mosfet
    2. clipping diodes changed to mosfet
    3. tone stack changed to a unique Skreddy-tuned mid-hump
     
  15. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. So to me, this isn't a Big Muff, with all of the changes made.

    :JAM
     
  16. ungarn

    ungarn Member

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    Hoof...nuff said...
     
  17. Geetar_Will

    Geetar_Will Supporting Member

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    I'd like to hear where The Baja Tech Custom DA MOAF fits in line. I had one for a while and loved it for over the top stuff.
     
  18. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a Euthymia ICBM, and it's a replica of the few vintage Big Muff's that had the IC's in them. I think it's a great-sounding pedal. Don't hear a lot about them here on TGP. Maybe people don't like the IC version of the Big Muff?

    Also, on a sidenote, I had a civil war Sovtek Big Muff, and I let a friend long-term borrow it when he was starting to play guitar and wanted a distortion pedal, about 7 or 8 years ago. That was a mistake, as I tried to get in touch with him to try and find out the whereabouts of that pedal, and try to get it back, and all to no avail, as I can't get in touch with him. I didn't know it was that great, because it was a sovtek, and I remember them being real inexpensive, plus I got the pedal free when someone from my brother's old band left it at their old practice room when I was cleaning it out...now that I see how great it really was.....I wish I still had that pedal!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. fellsilver

    fellsilver Member

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    Can't believe no one has mentioned the RonSound Hairpies yet. Definitely a great option for the shootout.

    Speaking of shootouts... I was cleaning out my attic today and stumbled upon a '92 issue of Guitar Player (the "Distortion" issue... Oct., I believe) in which they all-but-dis the "Civil War" Muff... and give big props to the DOD Thrash Master. Very amusing!
     

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