Tonebender mkiii vs Big Muff?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by neosoulchild, May 31, 2015.

  1. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    This is not really a "vs" thread, but more about the comparison between a big muff and a tonebender mkiii, or any other tonebender.
    I ask because I recently picked up a tonebender mkiii type pedal, but it sounds very close to my big muff. The big muff gets more low end, but they sound pretty similar. Are tonebenders generally darker voiced? I was expecting something more trebly, like my ehx Satisfaction fuzz but with more tonal range.. I also notice the mkiii does not clean up well with the volume knob. It tames the fuzz a bit, but can't go clean to fuzz like some other fuzzes I've tried.
    Is the muff and mkIII redundant? Is there a tonebender with more tonal range that cleans up, or am I needing something else like a Fuzz Face?
     
  2. NakedInTheRain

    NakedInTheRain Member

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    tonebenders are more raunchy in the mids. you'll find yourself boosting a muff for leads, whereas the tonebender is already there.

    if you need clean-up, get a fuzz face. if you want a muff that cleans up, get a frantone peach fuzz.
     
  3. ElectricWarrior

    ElectricWarrior Member

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  4. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    Which one's? I have a JHS Firefly, which is supposed to be the tonebender side of the Bun Runner..

    Will an mkii have less of the "dark" sounding fuzz?

    Dig your username btw.. you a T. Rex fan?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  5. ElectricWarrior

    ElectricWarrior Member

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    Yes, I am.
    My vintage unit cleans up well and I've played another one that also does. But I'm sure there are also plenty that don't.
    I know the Sola Sound MKIV reissue doesn't clean up either. I have no idea who makes a clone that does, sorry.

    I don't think the circuit sounds all that similar to a Big Muff, but I haven't tried JHS's interpretation of it.
    I don't find them dark either. The tone control gives you plenty of options. I percieve the MKII as darker sounding.

    This pedal seems to sound pretty similar to mine:
     
  6. aaronmcoleman

    aaronmcoleman Member

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    MKIII is quite different from MKII.

    MKIII is a lot closer to an overdrive kinda sound. So, I could see how it could sound a lot like a Big Muff. I think they sound fuzzier with the tone closer to the bass side.

    MKIII don't clean up like fuzzfaces though, they almost always have a bit of hair. And they start to sound a little dead if you really roll off the guitar volume.
     
  7. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    That's exactly what sound I'm going for.. trying to recreate something similar to Bolan's tone, and I'm pretty sure he used a 3 transistor tone bender, main reason I wanted one. Not saying I dislike the JHS Firefly, just was expecting something a bit different I guess. It does sound cool stacked with my Rangemaster clone..

    Maybe I need to try an mkii..
     
  8. ElectricWarrior

    ElectricWarrior Member

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    I haven't seen any evidence of Bolan using a Tone Bender yet (but that doesn't mean he didn't have one, he was a Colorsound endorser at one point). The T.Rex album has the Hornby Skewes Shatterbox all over it (pretty nasty thing; Bolan makes it sound better than it is). He also had a Rangemaster at that point. I'm not quite sure what the Electric Warrior tone is. The Vampower Amps he used at that time had a rather fuzzy distortion. But he could have used the Shatterbox on that one as well.
    By the time he recorded The Slider he mostly used the Rangemaster into an HH IC100 (solid state amp). That's probably THE signature tone.
    I've seen shots from the Zip Gun session in which he uses a Colorsound Overdriver into a Pignose amp.. :)
     
  9. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    Ok, thanks.. I assumed the Shatterbox was an approximation of the tone bender, the 3 knobs and such. The Rangemaster gets me pretty much there, but I've heard some different tones.. like he stacked fuzz at times, which I've gotten into.
    So I guess I need a Shatterbox clone, or maybe try an mkii..
     
  10. ElectricWarrior

    ElectricWarrior Member

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    It's mostly a combination of amp tone and the Rangemaster. Those HH amps have a very particular sound. But there sure might have been some studio trickery here and there, like direct injecting a fuzz pedal into the console. I believe Tony Visconti mentioned it a couple of times.

    The Shatterbox has two knobs and two switches. It's a Hornby Skewes Zonk II fuzz followed by a Hornby Skewes Treble Booster in one box. I built a clon once. It's pretty bad, but if the 1970 T.Rex album is your thing, you might find it pretty awesome. It sure nails that sound.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015

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