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dif. big muffs

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by nathan, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. nathan


    Jul 16, 2004
    Hey i'm sorry if this has been discussed before but....

    I know there are three or four different types of "Big Muff" fuzz pedals... could anybody explain to me what the differences in these are?

  2. Every muff I've ever tried has had some kind of difference - even when some of them looked alike - so I'd try before you buy.
    The russian muff (like mine) tend to be a little more harsh sounding, whilst the USA ones are a bit smoother - other than that, the muff's seem to change a bit from year to year.

    The search function will tell you more.
    Good Luck
  3. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    The English Muff'n is in the Muff family - only a distnt relative, really. The EM uses 2 tubes for its gain stage and gives a whole heap of tubey warmth to your tone.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have no idea why it is, but it's true. All Big Muffs seem to be slightly different. The earlier models from the 60's and 70's are the best, though. The new USA ones aren't bad, though. They all basically do the same thing...nasty mosquito tone.
  5. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    i find the russian muff a bit more tight and fuzzy than the usa... the usa seems to "break" a little more... like an overdrive-fuzz.... haven't tried the little big muff yet.
  6. It was always an adventure when you found a Big Muff- just seeing how that one would be. I've owned a bunch of 70s and early 80s ones, each one was different.
  7. dumelow


    Feb 8, 2006
    yeah, my big muff sounds nice, i want one with a 9v adapter mod on it, but i darent get rid of this one cause i like the sound so much, probably gonna have to end up modding it myself, but i hope that doesnt affect the sound at all
  8. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    We were just talking about this in a recent thread:


    Should be helpful.

    Also, there's been a million discussions in the forums on the differences between the various Muffs. Just use the "Search" function and you'll see :D
  9. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    I was the same with my muff, so I had it rehoused. Now it's smaller, has a 9v adapter and not identifable as a Muff :cool:
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    There are a bunch of different Big Muffs and variants over the years:

    USA Manufactured in date order
    Model 3003 Original Triangle Knob BMP
    Model 3034 Ram's Head Logo BMP
    Version III Big Muff Pi w/ Transistors
    Version III Big Muff Pi w/ Op Amp
    Version IV Big Muff Pi
    NYC Reissue Big Muff Pi (currently in production)

    Sovtek Manufactured in date order
    Red Army Overdrive
    Blue Big Muff
    Green Big Muff
    Black Big Muff (currently in production)

    American Variants
    Muff Fuzz
    Little Muff Pi
    Little Big Muff Pi (70's)
    Deluxe Big Muff Pi
    Muff Fuzz Crying Tone
    Big Muff Crying Tone
    Double Muff (currently in production)
    English Muff'n (currently in production)
    Metal Muff (currently in production)
    Little Big Muff Pi (currently in production, recycled name)


    Starting from the top:

    Model 3003 was the original Big Muff Pi by Mike Matthews. Known as the triangle knob Muff because it's three knobs were in a triangular shape with the sustain knob up top. Did not have an LED or power jack but had an on-off switch for the battery. I have no experience playing this model

    Model 3034 was the second incarnation. This is known as the Ram's head logo version. The knobs were now in a row as we know them. Graphics were simple and had the Ram's head logo adorned the bottom right corner. On/off battery switch moved to the top side of the box between the in/out jacks. I've played one of these only very shortly and recall a very smooth tone.

    The Version III was a transitional period, graphically similar to what we know, no LED, and some may have had power jacks and tone bypass switches, others had on/off switches for the batteries. These were the last of the transistor versions as the op-amps started sneaking in during this era. I have no experience playing this model

    The Version IV was around in the 80's before EHX went bankrupt. The graphics changed a lot, some had no black patch, some had blue patches, and they had some funky knobs. I have no experience playing this model

    NYC Reissue Big Muff is the version we know and love today. All have 1/8" power jacks and recent models are true bypass. These are all op-amp versions and vary from unit to unit as I've owned a few. These tend to be rather smooth sounding, and generally offer good amounts of bass response. I've only needed to modify one of thse out of about six I've owned. The tone is smooth and silky and they do have a status LED. These used to come in a pine box, but are now being shipped in cardboard boxes because the pine boxes tended to damage a few units.


    Disclaimer regarding information on Sovtek Big Muffs:
    In regards to the Sovtek Big Muffs, there is debate over the origins of the Sovtek relationship with Electro Harmonix and Mike Matthews. Some say the '70's but from what I can tell, the relationship began in the early 90's. I do not believe there are "Vintage" Russian Big Muffs that date back to the '70's, but others do. User Tedintheshed is doing some fairly hefty research regarding Sovtek Big Muffs.

    The Red Army Overdrive was the earliest incarnation of the Sovtek Big Muff. They are adorned with Mike Matthews' name and feature knobs in a triangular pattern. These pedals have the really large stomp switches. These feature LED's, a feature not seen in American effects until the early 90's. This leads me to believe that these date to the early 90's. No power adapter. I have no experience playing this model

    This was followed by the Blue Big Muff which looked very similar to the RAO, and feature the same trianular pattern of knobs, large stomp switch, and LED in the same location. No power adapter. Some models had black paint I have no experience playing this model

    The Green Sovtek Big Muff is the source of all the confusion. Some are allegedly dated back to the '70's or 80's, but I believe to be early-mid nineties. All feature the triangular pattern of knobs, army green paint, and LED's. These do not have power jacks either, but have the old large stomp switch. Tedintheshed is working on dating these to make a timeline of their existence, so if you have a green Big Muff, I suggest getting in contact with him. Some were primed, some weren't and chipped a lot of paint, leading to the illusion of 30 years of use. Some were adorned with the birdie logo on the back, and some weren't. This is where the confusion comes in. These tend to have a fairly gritty tone and good bass responce. Pretty much the holy grail for bass players.

    The Black Big Muff Pi is currently in production. Early models had the large switch, and current models have a switch that looks like the switches used on American EHX products. Most recent models have true bypass. I do not recall whether or not these have power jacks, but do not believe that they do. Some may.


    And of course the variants. Many of which I have no experience with but one day hope to add to my Muff collection.

    Muff Fuzz came in two models: EH-2008 and EH-2009. Some featured a jack and a plug, others featured two jacks. Some were op-amp, some were transistor. This was the simplest form of the Muff EVER. One switch, battery powered, and one knob. Early models were intended to be plugged directly into the jack of your instrument and operated as an onboard effect. Later models featured two jacks and could be used in-line, between two cables.

    Little Muff Pi was a Muff Fuzz in stompbox form. Model number EH-1008 and were made with transistors. Can be dated to the early 70's and had no LED's or power jack.

    Little Big Muff Pi was a stripped down version of the BMP. Model EH-1009 and are reported to have either op amps or transistors. One volume knob and a high/low tone switch. Some supposedly had power jacks.

    Deluxe Big Muff Pi were large floor models run off of AC power, and used model numbers EH-1330, EH-3053 and EH-3054. These were op-amp versions and had five knobs due to a built in (EH Soul Preacher) compressor. Knobs were the usual three found on the BMP, plus compressor volume and threshold.

    Muff Fuzz Crying Tone and Big Muff Crying Tone are very rare and were supposedly their respective effects, combined with a wah pedal. Information about these is very limited.

    Double Muff is currently in production and features two fuzz circuits, which can be used one at a time or together. Feature a power jack and status LED. In single mode, I found this to be rather smooth and somewhat tame for bearing the Muff name. In double mode, I noted what is essentially sonic hell as the fuzz was rather overbearing. No tone or sustain knobs, but sound great!

    English Muff'n is possibly my favorite of the Muff family. Albeit a distant cousin, this contains a pair of tubes, and three band EQ. Run off of AC power, have gain and volume knobs. Tonally, this was the most versatile. From a gentle tube grit, to sonic hell, this thing maintained bottom end, even without EQing. Sounds much smoother than any Big Muff Pi I've ever used. Easilly worth the $190 price tag.

    Metal Muff was debuted at Winter NAMM 2006, I believe, and the knob controls include Distortion, Bass, Midrange, Treble, Top Boost and Output volume. Has on/off switch AND top boost switches, and buffered bypass instead of true bypass.

    And lastly, the Little Big Muff is a recycled name and is not to be confused with old-school '70's Little Big Muff. Essentially the NYC Reissue BMP stuffed into a smaller, rounder box and features a Boss style power adapter and true bypass. I gotta get me one of these.
  11. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    ^ Thats a lot o' muff! :rolleyes:
  12. dumelow


    Feb 8, 2006
    I never thought of doing that, thats a pretty good idea

    it annoys me how the other bands im playing with always perve on my pedal board to see whats making that ever so fuzzy noise
  13. i love my muff! its big green and noisy!!!!
  14. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    All this talk about muff...gotta go.
  15. fx.
    f.a.o. tplyons- i bought the muff pictured around 1991 in Glasgow England it came in a wooden box and has an incredible amount of bass responce be that with my basses or my guitar (PRS soapbar SE singlecut) it was my first pedal and it will never be sold, yes its that good!!! hope this info is of some use.
  16. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    ^ sorta off topic, but, nice wah... :D (I own one of those to)
  17. slapcracklepop


    Jun 28, 2005
    Boston, MA
    You forgot the "Muff Dive".. Oops wrong forum

  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Hasn't been made yet, but I'm workin on it ;)

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