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Stmp Under Foot C.W.M. "Civil War" Big Muff

Kit Rae

Member
Messages
1,304
I just got this pedal and thought I would do a review. I am a Gilmour tone addict so I wanted to check out the Stomp Under Foot C.W.M, which is Stomp's version of the rare Sovtek "Civil War" Big Muff. As far as I know, Matt at Stomp is the only guy making a clone of this pedal.

The CW Muff was made in the mid 1990's and is a lower gain, but smoother sounding version of the later green Sovtek Muffs. David Gilmour made this pedal famous in his huge Pulse touring rig in 1994. Originals cost around $400-500 and are hard to find, and harder to find in good condition.

I paid around $140 for mine, which is not bad for a Muff clone. Matt's communication was great and the pedal shipped a few weeks after I emailed him about making one. The pedal came in a simple white box. No frills. Simple white graphics on a metal flake blue finish. Runs on AC or 9V battery. Guts looked nice and clean, good wiring and soldering. Matt just started making this version, so I got #4. Matt does a tone mod so the tone sweep is a bit more broad than the original Sovtek CW Muff. I have three original CW Muffs, each typically sounding slightly different from the others (about 95% the same). I used those to compare, and used my favorite CW for these comparison clips.

This clip is noodling around with some solo leads. The real CW Muff is first, then the Stomp version second. I matched the tone of the C.W.M. to my favorite CW Muff settings. Strat with SD SSL-5 bridge pickup into a Fender Twin Reverb.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/CW Muff VS Stomp CWM 3.mp3

Clip of some low notes and strumming chords, palm mutes. CW Muff first, Stomp C.W.M. second.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/CW Muff VS Stomp CWM 1.mp3

Another clip checking the clarity of the notes in a chord, at high guitar volume and low. CW Muff first, Stomp C.W.M. second.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/CW Muff VS Stomp CWM 2.mp3

Overall I think this is an excellent clone of the CW Sovtek Muff. Seems to have all of the character the originals have. Me likes it. Maybe a bit small in the bottom end than the real deal, but that did not bother me. The gain is not crazy like a Musket or anything. It has the dark tone like a Sovtek Muff should, and more mids than a typical vintage USA Muff. Nice clarity and smooth tone. If you want a small Boss sized version of the CW that does not have knobs and jacks that will break like a real Sovtek from the 1990s, and one that can be plugged into an AC adapter, this is it.
 
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Kit Rae

Member
Messages
1,304
Now here are some more Gilmourish clips. First, here is the real thing. Sovtek "Civil War" Big Muff playing the Pink Floyd On the Turning Away solo. Strat with SD SSL-5 bridge pickup > Boss CS-2 compressor > Muff > Boss CE-2 chorus > TC Nova delay set at 480 ms > Fender Twin Reverb. Sure Sm57 mics into a Presonus Firebox interface. Recorded in Garageband.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/Turning Away w_Civil War Big Muff 1.mp3

Now here is the Stomp C.W.M. doing the same. Same guita, effects, and amp.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/Turning Away w_StompUnderFoot CWM 2.mp3

This thing comes alive with some light compression in front, and some light chorus behind, just like a real Sovtek Muff should.
 

gmr1

Member
Messages
35
Is it the russian transistors that make this one sound different? If so - does this clone use those? (I don't actually know what make/model they are - any idea?). I've seen from the schematic that there is several different values of components from other BMP versions as well.
 

whateverdude

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,957
i've got one of these too

awesome big muff!

same here, i love it, i took it off the board for a split minute then i came to sense and fired it up. man wtf was i thinking?

:messedup

it seems like it has more then enough mids to cut through and it sounded good with my bass also.
 

azrael

Member
Messages
91
Is it the russian transistors that make this one sound different? If so - does this clone use those? (I don't actually know what make/model they are - any idea?). I've seen from the schematic that there is several different values of components from other BMP versions as well.
It's of my opinion that gains are more important than transistor type, in the BMP circuit.

Good review, great clips.
 

mike361

Member
Messages
591
Thanks Kit, this is a great review. They are very close, the original is little more bassy. That could be compensated for with the amp control. Matt did a great job with the clone, I suspect He will be working overtime after this demo. Looking forward to the Ram's Head lead work.
 

gmr1

Member
Messages
35
It's of my opinion that gains are more important than transistor type, in the BMP circuit.
Agreed, that's been what I've found in the ones I've built. I guess I should have been more specific and said "Is it the lower hfe of the Russian transistors that give the Russian BMP a different sound?" I don't know the make/model of the trans, so I've never been able to reference data sheets to find out this answer.
 

fuzzfoot

Member
Messages
451
Nice comparison clips! This is how it should be done. I much prefer comparisons of pedals this way vs. YouTube.

Interestingly, I still like the original CW Muff best, but the SUF sounds great!

To think that we live in a time where we can be so picky about our Muff tones! I love this era!
 

azrael

Member
Messages
91
Agreed, that's been what I've found in the ones I've built. I guess I should have been more specific and said "Is it the lower hfe of the Russian transistors that give the Russian BMP a different sound?" I don't know the make/model of the trans, so I've never been able to reference data sheets to find out this answer.
it's hard to say, since there have been many types of transistors, with varying ranges of hFes, used in them. Can't be arsed to look em up, but there's plenty.

I think one of the big determining factors in the Russian vs NYC sound the size of the caps. NYC has 1uF, and all the Russians have .1uF.
 

Lolaviola

Member
Messages
8,695
I'd love to spend some time w/ this pedal. Back in the day I had about 3 grey muffs. I thought they were cool how they backed off to a nice distortrd rhythm. A very thorough clone, thanks Matt, I'll be in touch about this one soon!
 

Bryan29

Member
Messages
727
Well I'm sold on the pedal. So much that I sold my prized Green Sovtek Muff to clear room for it. I hope I'm making the right choice here.
 

Kit Rae

Member
Messages
1,304
Both are Muffs, but two different pedals. The Pig Mine does not sound like any stock Muff. It's tuned for a specific tone Marc was going after. I guess it's more of a vintage USA Muff tone with some drive added to it. Mids are different than the CWM and it's grittier. The CWM is a Sovtek Muff, so it has a bit less gain and larger bottom end. Really two very different pedals.

If you compare my raw Pig Mine clip below to the CWM raw clips here you can hear the difference. Both clips were recorded with the exact same gear. Here is the PM clip.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/Raw Pig Mine Tone.mp3

Here's the CWM again.
http://www.kitrae.net/music/CW Muff VS Stomp CWM 3.mp3
 

Bryan29

Member
Messages
727
Thanks for all the great comparison clips. I just placed my order with Matt for my CWM today. I got the first one of the new year!
 




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