EHX bass big muff pi + Malekko Assmaster, but smaller...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by edr, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    TLDR: Recs for general purpose fuzz and a really synthy fuzz. Can be in 1 or 2 pedals. Small analog pedals preferred.

    Here we go, another dirt pedal rec thread. I'm hoping this is a little more specific, though.

    Something(s) to functionally replace my Bass Big Muff Pi and Malekko B:Assmaster. I'm not looking for an exact sound match.

    The details:
    • Small Footprint: My pedal board is small, which I like. These pedals, together, take up the majority of the board, which normally is supposed to comfortably seat 5. Mini pedals, or pedals with the connections on the short end are a plus.
    • Synthy: I want an aggressive, synthy type of fuzz. Probably an octave fuzz? My band covers a Black Keys song (Gold on the Ceiling), and it needs to shine there. My Assmaster does this very nicely, but that's all I seem to be able to make it do. It's also a pain to use if I swap basses during a show (not that there's any shows any time soon here) since it respond differently to each one. I still haven't been able to make good sense of what I would use all the switch settings for. Feel like I'm not getting my money's worth out of it, possibly due to my own incompetence. If there's a good micro pedal option for this, I might just only replace this pedal.
    • General purpose: I'd be happy with just my Big Muff if it could nail the synthy tones I get from the Assmaster. Trying to get aggressive upper harmonics from the Big Muff seems to cost me some bottom end. Maybe there's a setting that I'm missing? I feel like I tried everything.
    • Cost: I'd prefer not to be in the boutique price range. The benefits of anything that expensive would probably be lost on me. Definitely aiming for under $300 total.
    • Analog: This isn't a rational preference, I know. But I'll still entertain digital options as long as they don't rely on external software (like a mobile/pc app). It's just that I deal with computers enough at work.
    • Easy to use: I don't seem to have a very good ear for tone (lots of adjustments I make to my pedals and amp just sound the same to me. Or I can notice a small change in sound but can't tell whether it's a useful difference). Fewer knobs is probably better?
    Okay, now I know that whether you read all that or not, you're likely to just list your favorite fuzzes (and hopefully why they're a good idea). I'm fine with that, since idk if all my preferences can even be met. I wrote WAY too much. Thank you for putting up with me.
  2. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Behringer SF300 Super Fuzz.
    HCF likes this.
  3. Bead fuzz or diabolik will get you brassmaster Proper octave up synth fuzz...
    If you like your muff keep it as there’s a bajillion clones...may as well save your money but there’s a lot like stomp under foot sonic generator... eqd hoof, pickle pie b, way huge Russian pickle etc
    IronLung1986 likes this.
  4. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Size of a bass big muff, but how about the Team Awesome Fuzz Machine for a 2-in-1? Can be dialed in for a nice hairy general fuzz on the first footswitch, and then kick on the Gate footswitch on the left to bow the gain wide open and make it aggressive and a bit synthy.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  5. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    Re: The BEAD and Diabolik, I'm having trouble finding them for sale online. Which sucks, because the BEAD sounds delicious.

    After some research yesterday I'm starting to lean towards maybe the 3Leaf Doom 2. Do you think it can kick off both of my fuzz pedals? I'm not incredibly attached to the muff, I just find it more versatile than the assmaster.
  6. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    Sounds like it's worth a look.

    Right now, here's what I'm liking the most (but might add the fuzz machine):

    3Leaf Doom 2
    Hiero B.E.A.D. (but I haven't had luck finding it)
    GGG Brassmaster clone (cheaper, smaller size than assmaster, and I love soldering kits)
    Mastotron, because why the hell not?

    Almost all of my basses are passive (my only active is acoustic so I probably wouldn't use it with dirt anyway), but some of my basses run significantly hotter than others. Any idea if these effects are going to play nice with that? For example, my passive warwick runs very hot, and most of the sensitivity knob on the assmaster is just not useful on it. (I was originally considering the Mooer bass fog as a cheap micro alternative, but I've heard it doesn't play well with other pedals, as well as high output basses)
  7. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    So definitely the BEAD and GGG are going to get you your Assmaster sound (i'm a massive fan of it myself), while the mastotron is going to be more Woolly Mammoth, I believe - Bass Fog is also Mammoth style.

    The TAFM is sort of its own sound with hints of the others - it's germanium I think, but with the gain way up it's aggressive, and the gate switch both turns on the pinch (a la mammoth) AND cranks the gain, so you can flip from smooth and warm to nasty and crackly. All my basses are passive with rare exceptions here and there so I've not had a problem with any of the mentioned pedals.
  8. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    If you can find a JHS modded EHX Green Russian Reissue, you will hit your bullseye. Toggle between a stock Green Russian and a super synthy, gated if you want it, crazy splat fuzz.
  9. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    PLBR Effects Narwhal is a great Muff with no need for a blend control, it actually ADDS lows in some settings.

    I'll second the Hiero BEAD is the best version of the Brassmaster ever built, and it's tiny.
  10. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    My Band Plays Gold on the ceiling and tighten up and the closest Fuzz I have found is the Red Witch Zeus plus it has octave down. The thing with the Zeus is you have to open it up and adjust the trim pots once to get what you need out of it but then it is just right. The other one that got real close for me was the Zevex Mastotron. It does not get as sputtery as the Zeus but it is close.
  11. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    Good to know. I've heard great things about the zeus, but I'm hoping for something smaller if I can. I missed out on a great opportunity to pick one up used the other year... still a little salty about it.

    I guess I'll revisit the mastrotron. It's got a similar size to a 'typical' boss pedal, but sideways, right?
    I'm looking back as to why I thought the Assmaster fit so well in out cover of the Black Keys song, and I think maybe it's just that I was the only one handling the synth-y sounds, so having the octave in the fuzz helped carry the song. Maybe I need to reconsider what I'm after for my 'synthy' tone.

    Prior to reading this reply, I was almost at the point of just going for the Doom 2 and hoping for the best.
  12. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    Every video of the BEAD makes me GAS, and then I can't find it anywhere :(
  13. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    For Octave fuzz univox superfuzz is a aggressive fuzz for sure.
    Likewise the Boss FZ2 is similar circuit. But has added beef with Active 2 band tone control. Basically the original superfuzz with EQ. Expensive hard to find but many many clones have been made since in compact cases.

    A green ringer is just the Octave portion of a fuzz pedal. It's unique because you can add it in front or after any distortion and get the classic Octave sound. Mild to wild depending on where in the chain you put it.

    Also another very aggressive octave fuzz is the Foxx tone machine and many many clones of it

    Danelectro did the French toast a exact tone machine copy. Cheapo way to test it out.

    Behringer did the SF300 fuzz which is a exact copy of the boss FZ2
    Same idea , cheap way to test it out.

    Far as the fuzz for the cover your doing. I don't remember the pedal used. But it is a clone based on a well known 60s fuzz.

    I know what you mean though the brassmaster was a favorite of mine. First I hated it lol. But it had it's large case charm.
    Gift from the 90s. Think I paid 20 bucks for it.
    Nobody wanted it lol. It was big and I had to fix some switches.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  14. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    Okay, so I've managed to restrain myself from pulling the trigger on anything, but I think I'm starting to narrow it down.

    First off, I'll sell both the BBMP and the Assmaster, since there's smaller equivalents to both.

    That leaves me a few options:
    1. A muff and a synthy fuzz, but smaller for both. For example: EQD Hoof + GGG. That specific combo will likely leave me enough room to move my BYOC bass chorus onto my board. Maybe substitute the Doom 2 for GGG? Or some other compact Russian muff clone? having the in/out on the top really is a nice feature!
    2. Something that does it all. At first I was thinking I just splurge on the Doom 2 (Zach Rizer's demo has me sweating), but I'm not sure if it can do all I need, plus I'd only have one choice available during a gig (not into the idea of required with my board during a set). But.... @DDXdesign damn, the TAFM is really growing on me, also helped by this lovely thread.
    3. f*ck it, synth time. Go all out with the Doom 2, slap a Mooer tender octave in front (since it's small) and maybe a mooer bass sweeper in back. Probably not the most practical idea for the music I do, plus if I really wanted lots of synth pedal goodness in one box, I'd get that Boss SY-1 that's making the rounds. I sold off my EHX BMS because although it was so much fun at home, it was huge and I never made much use of it with the band. So I think this route may not be practical.
    So for potential purchases:
    • Just get the 3Leaf Doom 2, since my heart seems kind of set on it. I really like the control setup. I can see if it covers all my bases (and basses), and if it's not general purpose enough, add on a Hoof or some other thing. It leaves me the option to go down route 1 or 3, as mentioned above. I don't want to be messing with pedal settings on stage if I don't have to, so it might be a problem to only have this one fuzz. My only other dirt would be the OD section of my MXR M80. I suppose this is a potentially pricey route.
    • TAFM! It took a lot of demo videos for me to get it, but now I can see how to use that second switch to have access to two very different options. It's the biggest pedal I'm seriously considering, but if it can really do it all then I can rest easy, especially at its price point. I was skeptical of germanium instead of silicon, but my ears are saying "who cares?"
    Other thoughts:

    I'm not considering the BEAD, diabolik, or the IE Oxide anymore, due to availability.
    I'm leaning away from strictly Brassmaster clones at this point, because I just find the controls to be difficult, and aside from the BEAD, they're big boxes.
    The Mastotron seems like a great idea because of the impedance control (and size) (and price), but I'm not sure if I actually like what I hear in the demos.
    Green Russian Mod isn't doing it for me, not sure why.

    I keep coming back to the Hoof (even though I need to listen to more demos) because of its Black Keys heritage, and I have the impression it plays well with a variety of basses and effects.

    Since I've already spent so much time typing, I'll be sure to post my uneducated review of whatever I do wind up getting. :)

    Coming back to the bass question: Are the pedals I'm considering good for both low output and very high output passive basses? My main gigging bass runs very hot but I want to eventually add a fretless during sets someday.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  15. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    I just pulled the trigger on the TAFM. As much as I love synth sounds, It's really not my priority right now bandwise. The versatility has sold it for me.
  16. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Please tell me there isn't really an effect called the Assmaster. I saw the video (I believe it starred Jenna Jameson), and I don't want anything that sounds like that.
    edr likes this.
  17. I think all bets were off after the Big Muff Pi.
    Iristone, Sascha Erni and edr like this.
  18. edr


    Mar 28, 2019

    Note the switch labeled “ass” and the knob labeled “ass volume” (not my photo)
  19. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    As for my board: The Prophet, Assmaster, and Big muff are all going. BYOC bass chorus (The unlabeled one) getting added to the board along with the TAFM. I’m pretty excited for how this will turn out aesthetically. Monochromatic look will be sick. Just ordered some Pig Hog black woven patch cables to complete the look. About time I get better quality patch cables anyway I suppose. After I sell those 3 pedals I’ll still come out ahead.
  20. Sloppy Hack

    Sloppy Hack

    Apr 11, 2020
    I love me some big muffs. I particularly like the green Russian reissue. I don’t know much about synthy sounds but I do like the Danelectro French Toast and the MXR Blue Box which are both octave fuzz. You can probably get all three for substantially less than your max price.

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