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I don't "get" the Big Muff

Jack DeVille

Member
Messages
2,436
Really. And I'm not trying to rile feathers or troll here.

I just never "got" that pedal/circuit.

I've played probably 100-ish versions, and one genuine EHX big metal box one that sounded good, but I've always found that when I played them with other people, in a rock-band setting, my guitar would just disappear once that thing got turned on. And I tried as many settings, amps, guitars, configurations as one can imagine, but I always got the same result: "What happened to my guitar? I can't hear it!!" Even volume couldn't solve this for me.

So yeah. I don't get the Big Muff, but I know most people love them, and all the variants and versions and tweaks/takes on the basic circuit.
I want to learn WHY?!

Is it just me? Do I just not like that circuit, like some people don't like pickles on hamburgers? Am I missing something? What gives?
 

fishleehooker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,088
I kinda struggle with them too. But I keep trying. They are kinda beguiling. So many other fuzz circuits instantly click with me, but not really Muffs. I do love their liquidy lead feel though.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
15,081
Siamese Dream ;)
Hard panning L/R and an absolutely austere soundscape.
- fuzz, bass, drums... no other keys/guitars except for some simplistic plucked noodling on the chord.

Any more complex than that, and a flat-out-fuzz usually gets swallowed up.

Somewhat different if we're talking 'just a bit of fuzz' on a Gilmore line...
 

HERSCHEL

Member
Messages
5,595
Is it just me? Do I just not like that circuit, like some people don't like pickles on hamburgers? Am I missing something? What gives?
Firstly, people who don't like pickles on their burgers are the spawn of Satan.

That aside, the Black Arts Toneworks Pharaoh made me a convert. That and running something after it to give it some mids instead of just being scooped audio mush.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
15,081
oblig (since we have a 'Jack' in the room)




But serious.... Just find yet another, common, old tranny with an hfe of about 350,
Shove it in amongst the noisiest carbon-comp resistors you can find at a HamFest,
and grab a bunch of model-car-paints and start putting stripes on brown panasonic mylar caps.

viola.... a million-seller.
 

IAE

Member
Messages
1,135
I have over a dozen Big Muffs; 7 vintage, many modern, and others I’ve made. EHX and Sovtek.

I love the circuit. If you want to use it in a band then check out J Mascis’ rig and settings (Of Dinosaur Jr) and you will get an idea on how to use them live without them disappearing.

A Ten band EQ pedal, which is an absolute necessity for live playing in my opinion, will allow you to increase mids and thus be heard. You need something to boost the mids, be it a dedicated EQ, booster or overdrive with a three band EQ.

Sonic Youth used them Live, as did a guy I don’t listen to but many of you probably do, David Gilmour.

The Nirvana Track Lithium is all Big Muff. Anything by Dinosaur Jr is Big Muff. Any Track by Mudhoney is either a Big Muff or a Super Fuzz.

The point being, they can work fine. It’s easily my favorite Fuzz.

Edit: The Smashing Pumpkins Big Muff is a model that was made for around 2 years or less; it uses a 741 and 4558 IC rather than 4 silicon transistors. It has a crunchy quality and the second version of it has a tone bypass rather than on/off switch as well. It definitely cuts easier than the transistor version but many don’t like it. I love it.

I direct you to a site of an old acquaintance of mine, Kit Rae:


But then, if you don’t like it, why not just move on to something else like John Quinn says below?
 
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John Quinn

Member
Messages
1,289
Really. And I'm not trying to rile feathers or troll here. I just never "got" that pedal/circuit. Is it just me?
I doubt 'most people' like them. And if you don't like it - then just move on and stop questioning your sanity. I don't like many Fuzzes or Distortion boxes - I also don't understand
the fanatical dedication to them. My advice? Just play what you like.
 




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