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I don't "get" the Big Muff


Silver Supporting Member
Totally agree. it's a cool flavor or whatever, but I hate the way you basically lose all of your dynamics more or less. Literally adds nothing to my playing style these days. Which reminds me, I need to sell this Basic Audio Tri Ram I have sitting around from the last time I tried to give the BM another go round.

Jess 1971

Silver Supporting Member
I've had Muffs for many years of playing guitar, but it was really only the past year or two that became truly obsessed with the Big Muff and its variants. Earlier this year I finished tracking my band's latest album and I used some sort of Big Muff for almost all of the guitar solos. My current crop of favorites are the Skreddy Mayo, Ram's Head Reissue, Stomp Under Foot Amherst, EQD Cloven Hoof, and Wren and Cuff Eye See '78. I used the Ram's Head Reissue on a ton of solos and it just sounds so wonderful, especially with a little EQ. I think this might be the single best pedal that Electro-Harmonix has released in years. It's really awesome.


For me I can only use them if the song arrangement has enough space for it

If my song has a busy arrangement and a more dense mix, then I’ll never use it.


I've tried many and I have the same issue. For me it's a one-trick pony -- for superthick, violin-like lead lines.

As soon as I try to play chords, under any settings, I get mush.


Silver Supporting Member
I didn't either but then I started watching some of the 70s stuff with Ginger Lynn and Nina Hartley and I grew to appreciate it.


Years ago I also tried using a Muff in a live setting and just like the OP my guitar got lost in the mix. While I do enjoy the Muff sound, they often don't work in my setup, and I gravitate towards the Fuzz Face sound or variants of. The only "Muff" sound I found useful was my friend's Skreddy P19, and one day I will probably own one.


Silver Supporting Member
Agreed with you... I've never been able to get along with the BMP circuit. However, the best feeling and sounding unit I've played that did work was the Pete Cornish P-2. That's a hole different ball game.

At the end of the day, I'd take a Fuzz Face, Tone Bender or even better and closer to that low end oomph... a Buzzaround.


Gold Supporting Member
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?
The Mr.Black Big Muck is a vastly improved take on the Beeg Muff featuring tap tempo, TTMB (Totally Transparent Mid Boost), a brown sound hemorrhoidal output transformer, a “True Volume” knob and if you run it at 75 volts, well, it just smokes the competition ...or at least it just smokes.

-bEn r.


my experience: muffs need something in the middle -- frequencies I mean -- to be heard in a band situation

a pedal with mids would definitely help. a middy-amp is even better, the best is a cranked up amp that sends power tubes into compression and make mid frequencies more prominent

push a peavey classic 30's power section, put a muff (like EHX russian re-issue) in front of it, that can be heard above drums and rhythm guitar, if its a really large venue, push a peavey classic 50


Silver Supporting Member
There's no question that Muffs have a unique voice for the singing guitar solos: Ernie Isley, David Gilmour, J Mascis. It's definitely a sound I've been known to ape, but even then, I go for something more astringent than a Muff most of the time.

Even when you've got some mids, they lack a bit of dynamics, even compared to other wall-of-fuzz sounds.


Your amp needs some mids dailed in. Many fuzzes need some degree of mids to not get buried, but the Big Muff especially needs it.

I have my own custom built fuzz. It can deliver a Supa-Fuzz, a SolaSound Tonebender or a Fuzz Face, depending on the settings. I love it.


Out of curiosity what do you like on your hamburgers? the answer could help with the Big Muff question, seriously ....


Reply to Jack: I quickly scanned this thread and the newer one. I have loved BMP tones, but found them impossible to use in a band setting until I went with a rig that placed a volume pedal in the amp's effects loop. BMPs have very little dynamic range, which is to say that the level coming into the pedal doesn't have much to do with the output and I've never seen one in a volume pedal package where the output adjustable on the fly.

Am I making sense?

Set the BMP for a bit higher output than the rest of the board -- not unity gain. Be on top of a downstream master volume immediately.
My favorite BMP tracks are all tracks -- recordings where the levels could be fixed after the fact. I especially love Baby's On Fire which is Fripp on the first Eno album iirc. I don't know how Gilmour controls his, but he runs a complicated rig. I'm not sure I've seen a live band where someone successfully used a BMP unless it was just loud and only one guitarist.

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