Bass Big Muff Pi or MXR M85?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jtac422, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. jtac422


    Mar 4, 2017
    Having trouble deciding on a distortion pedal? Narrowed down to the EHX Bass Big Muff Pi or MXR M85 Bass Distortion. Any thoughts or experiences with these pedals? Thanks in advance!
  2. Jakeman

    Jakeman Swamp Thing Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    If I were you, I'd take a look at the new EHX Green Russian Reissue instead of the Bass Big Muff. Far superior in every way, IMO.
    Bolsyo and JimmyM like this.
  3. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Muff if you want more of a background fuzz with a huge low end. MXR if you want a more up front aggressive distortion. I have both styles of dirt on my board, a Green Russian and a Blower Box (which is based on a Rat like the MXR).
    filler83, rratajski and Fuzzbass like this.
  4. IMO, the M85 was very tame compared to what I was expecting. Too much volume, not enough gain, completely useless clean blend and the signal (attack) was far too compressed for my liking. YMMV of course, but I swapped mine out for the high gain, very saturated drive of the Darkglass Alpha/Omicron and I couldn't be happier.
    Unemploid likes this.
  5. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    If you have any M85 questions, I am happy to help. Ask away!
    BrentSimons likes this.
  6. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I'd go with the M85... I have found that Rat based distortions just sound better in the mix.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I've had the M85 for a couple years, just got a new Green Russian Muff reissue, and bought a Bass Big Muff but I returned it after a couple days because it completely disappears in a mix and you can't hardly tell you're even using fuzz because of its pronounced mid scoop. The Green Russian doesn't have as much of a mid scoop and it has a lot of low end. Have not used it on a gig but I can already tell through playing along with tracks at home that I will like it better than the Bass Big Muff. If you go Muff, get that one.

    The M85 is one of my top pedals of all time, though. It's more mid forward, and you can always tell it's on in a mix, which is what I love about it.

    If I could only choose one, I would go with the M85 because it stands out in a mix and has a lot more versatility (makes a killer mild overdrive in LED mode as well), but sometimes it's nice to have one that lays back a little (but not too much) in a mix, hence the Green Russian. So get both :D
  8. jdaunt

    jdaunt Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I have the BBM and a Rat, so similar to the M85, love both but as said they both do very different things. So if you can only get one now, it really depends on which you think you’d use more. I had a bit of the opposite experience with the BBM than most others here, i didn’t think i liked it when just playing by myself, but when i used it in rehearsal with my trio i loved the way it sat in the mix. And the Rat is just dirty goodness if you dial it in right.
  9. LBx


    Aug 23, 2017
    Miss Villeray 5 à 7
    Hey rratajski! Any idea why my M85 has so much self noise? The WET knob blasts something fierce around 120hz as I dial it in (with a battery &/or power supply)... I do dig the LED option quite a bit but it's unusable as is.
  10. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    @LBx gotta use the "@" tag ;).
    I don't have "self noise" on my units here. I didn't design the power filtering, so that is a question for MXR/Dunlop directly.

    Does it do this on other people's rigs when you tested it on theirs?
    BrentSimons likes this.
  11. LBx


    Aug 23, 2017
    Miss Villeray 5 à 7
    @rratajski Noted!

    So... I tried it with a bass with a single coil and a guitar with humbuckers. New cables. Same result with both.

    But I've been reading and digging and it seems the underlying problem is a 120hz buzz coming from dirty power or elsewhere in my home (dimmers or cable tv or ? from the floor above?) being picked up by both types of pickups blasting thru my 1x15. Stepping on the MXR just brings that buzz w a y further up. Dry around 12/Wet around 9/Dist wherever. I tried it with a few other pedals and it's +/- the same so it's not the power filtering or anything specific to this pedal.

    Haven't tried it with anyone else's gear but did try again with a tiny solid state amp in the same room. Same result.

    So I guess this is a general troubleshooting issue for another thread but if anyone wants to jump in I'd appreciate it for sure...
  12. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    The #1 thing you can do to troubleshoot is to bring this pedal and your rig to your band's practice space or a friend's house and test there. That tells you about dirty power in your home. Perhaps you have a fault in the pedal and would need to contact MXR directly for support, but first troubleshoot fully.
  13. vlsndgrdn


    Oct 21, 2013
    Big Fan of Rats and Big Muffs here.

    Get the green russian reissue not the bass big muff and the M85 then put the big muff in front of the M85 and enjoy life.

    If you can only get one go for the M85... Why?... Well

    The M85 is more versatile in most bands and music styles for soloing as a fuzzy distortion or as an always on drive.

    The big muff in the other hand has a more ground shaking low end but not very versatile in a band and or music styles the sound of the big muff with bass just have its precise moments (glorious moments) during some songs or guitar solos use it with reponsability just there where is needed.