Dumb Big Muff question

ABKB

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3,167
I am curious. Way way way back in like 72 was the last time I played a Big Muff, so it has been a while since I heard them. Recently a friend of mine lent me his Russian Big Muff. Dont know when it was made, he said he bought it used about 5 years ago. Has no AC, batteries only, Dark (army) green. Anyway, plugged it in, and for my ears it sounded pretty good, but "tame" from what I remembered the BM to be.

My question is, are my ears just not remembering the old BM correctly? Or is the Russian model more tame than the US? I thought I remembered the old (US made) BM to be this loud super fuzzy almost out of control sound. This was cool, but not super fuzzy, seemed to be more of a distortion than a fuzz. So could somebody tell me the difference between the Russian and the US and if the sound has changed over the years? Thanks guys!
 

KRosser

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14,323
I used a Big Muff throughout the 70's, you are definitely not imagining things. The reissues are no comparison.
 

ABKB

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3,167
Originally posted by KRosser
I used a Big Muff throughout the 70's, you are definitely not imagining things. The reissues are no comparison.
Thanks KRosser. I was shocked when I plugged that friend of mines Muff (that sounds weird lol) in at how tame it was. And I was pretty sure that it wasnt what I remembered. You confirmed it.
 

cerebralpaul

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265
If 2 Big Muffs look different, that means they sound different. In fact, even if they look the same, chances are they'll sound different too... and if you think I'm joking, my wife will confirm that i've spent too much time and money comparing every type of Big Muff I could get my hands on(I think that's an even better sentence than ABKB's :D). Anyway, I like the early 70's "rams head" version best, and I just got a fantastic D*A*M clone of one- never compared it to a Meathead though...
 

ABKB

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3,167
Originally posted by cerebralpaul
If 2 Big Muffs look different, that means they sound different. In fact, even if they look the same, chances are they'll sound different too... and if you think I'm joking, my wife will confirm that i've spent too much time and money comparing every type of Big Muff I could get my hands on(I think that's an even better sentence than ABKB's :D). Anyway, I like the early 70's "rams head" version best, and I just got a fantastic D*A*M clone of one- never compared it to a Meathead though...
Lol CP, cool word play there :D

Knowing EH, I kinda figured that one unit never sounds the same as the other, the cheap sheet metal is kind of a giveaway to EH "quality" :rolleyes: I was just trying to get a general idea of how the Big Muff has changed over the years from version to version, old vs. new, Russian vs. US, rams head vs. whatever. Thanks CP.
 

somedude

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7,603
I find the early 70s version (EH-3003) to be alot smoother than the re-issues.

On the other hand, the RI seems alot more aggressive in the midrange.

The thing I'm noticing is that the 3003 seems to have alot more muffled sound, but still keeps definition (for a Muff), even with the tone rolled way down.....whereas the RI seems to not be as bassy, and gets really muddy when the tone is rolled off.


Lastly....I remember my RI having a volume drop when you turned it on...the 3003 I have now has no shortage of volume.

I can't compare to a Sovtek as it's been too long since I've used one.
 

Shemp

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981
Do you have the "original" Russian Reissue with Green box, shoddy workmanship, ****** switch and black lettering? If so, I don't agree. I bought one out of the first shipment and it is the loudest blattiest sounding fuzz box i've ever played. In front of a marshall it's sick.
 

ABKB

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3,167
Originally posted by Shemp
Do you have the "original" Russian Reissue with Green box, shoddy workmanship, ****** switch and black lettering? If so, I don't agree. I bought one out of the first shipment and it is the loudest blattiest sounding fuzz box i've ever played. In front of a marshall it's sick.
Lol, no, this came in a pine box with (it's downstairs and I dont feel like getting up right now, I'm old :( ) white lettering if I remember. But the switch is the same as is the workmanship! :eek:
 

cerebralpaul

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265
Originally posted by screamingdaisy
I find the early 70s version (EH-3003) to be alot smoother than the re-issues.

On the other hand, the RI seems alot more aggressive in the midrange.

The thing I'm noticing is that the 3003 seems to have alot more muffled sound, but still keeps definition (for a Muff), even with the tone rolled way down.....whereas the RI seems to not be as bassy, and gets really muddy when the tone is rolled off.


Lastly....I remember my RI having a volume drop when you turned it on...the 3003 I have now has no shortage of volume.
I'll agree with all of these observations, in fact the unique tone control on the 3003(this is the one I referred to as the rams head) with the definition you describe is probably the main factor to my preference for that model.
 

Shemp

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981
Originally posted by ABKB
Lol, no, this came in a pine box with (it's downstairs and I dont feel like getting up right now, I'm old :( ) white lettering if I remember. But the switch is the same as is the workmanship! :eek:
You need to hunt down one of these:



Seriously, all the later reissues sucked. This one is BAAAD! I bought it new for $40 back in 1993 or 94. They're selling for $125+ on ebay now when you can find them.
 

cerebralpaul

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265
Originally posted by Shemp
Seriously, all the later reissues sucked. This one is BAAAD! I bought it new for $40 back in 1993 or 94. They're selling for $125+ on ebay now when you can find them.
I think thats the one that ABKB is describing as "tame"- IMO those green ones have roughly the same amount of gain as the old ones but the tone knob is quite different. Even when wide open the green one doesn't get very trebly, but on all the 70's versions you could get some insane treble along with all that fuzz. If that's what ABKB remembers about trying a Muff in the 70's then I could understand him perceiving the green Russian as tame.
 

Shemp

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981
Originally posted by cerebralpaul
I think thats the one that ABKB is describing as "tame"- IMO those green ones have roughly the same amount of gain as the old ones but the tone knob is quite different. Even when wide open the green one doesn't get very trebly, but on all the 70's versions you could get some insane treble along with all that fuzz. If that's what ABKB remembers about trying a Muff in the 70's then I could understand him perceiving the green Russian as tame.
He mentioned white lettering on his. If that's the case it is one of the later RIs.
 

ABKB

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3,167
Originally posted by cerebralpaul
I think thats the one that ABKB is describing as "tame"- IMO those green ones have roughly the same amount of gain as the old ones but the tone knob is quite different. Even when wide open the green one doesn't get very trebly, but on all the 70's versions you could get some insane treble along with all that fuzz. If that's what ABKB remembers about trying a Muff in the 70's then I could understand him perceiving the green Russian as tame.
Yeah, it has white lettering, the tone knob is workable, but isnt insane either in bass or treble. The volume knob didnt get me to unity till about 3:00, and the "sustain" (I use that term loosly lol) even cranked wasnt very impressive. It sounded like a decent distortion, not like a fuzz. Or at least not like the fuzz I remember. And now that I think about it, it did seem like the old one (boy I am having to remember way back) had a lot more treble than this green one.
 

cerebralpaul

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265
Originally posted by Shemp
He mentioned white lettering on his. If that's the case it is one of the later RIs.
There are no late-model RI's with a green finish OR white lettering- if it's green it's got to be an early RI. FWIW I've never seen a green one with white lettering either, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist- or that ABKB isn't having a memory puke ;)
 

ABKB

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3,167
Originally posted by cerebralpaul
There are no late-model RI's with a green finish OR white lettering- if it's green it's got to be an early RI. FWIW I've never seen a green one with white lettering either, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist- or that ABKB isn't having a memory puke ;)
Lol, memory puke is quite correct. The lettering IS yellow. Sorry guys.
 

cerebralpaul

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Messages
265
Heh, I've never seen a green one with yellow lettering either- here, look at this page and see if it looks like any of these:

http://electroharmonix.ronsound.com/articles/sovtekbm.html

Those are all old RI's that basically sound the same- the newest Sovtek BMP is also black w/yellow but it's a smaller box with a different font and sounds totally different, and then there's the NYC RI BMP which looks a lot like the late 70's model.
 

ABKB

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3,167
Originally posted by cerebralpaul
Heh, I've never seen a green one with yellow lettering either- here, look at this page and see if it looks like any of these:

http://electroharmonix.ronsound.com/articles/sovtekbm.html

Those are all old RI's that basically sound the same- the newest Sovtek BMP is also black w/yellow but it's a smaller box with a different font and sounds totally different, and then there's the NYC RI BMP which looks a lot like the late 70's model.
Thanks for that page cerebralpaul. This one looks exactly like the 5th one down, except the switch is a more standard type, and the knobs are chickenhead. And like I say, Dark army green. Could be that this one is kind of a "tweener" when they were switching colors and graphics. It could be too that since this one was purchased used, the old owner might have altered it some with a new switch and knobs (though the switch still feels very flimsy lol).

Do the new RI "US" models sound anything like the old (70's) ones? I know no 2 sound exactly alike, but just as a generality.
 

somedude

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7,603
Originally posted by ABKB

Do the new RI "US" models sound anything like the old (70's) ones? I know no 2 sound exactly alike, but just as a generality.
I think the USA RI sound alot like the late 70s/early 80s VerIII Muffs, but not like the early 70s VerI.
 

JPF

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8,739
I've been playing through my 1970's Big Muff Pi Deluxe ever since I bought it in the late '70s, which has a combined Fuzzbox and compressor, with the blend knob and seperate controls - it's sick and devastatingly effective.

The Russian reissue Big Muff I bought for a friend's son didn't sound the same as mine when deactivating the compressor - kind of harsh and grittier to my ears.
 




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