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EHX English Muff'n vs. Z. Vex Vexter Box of Rock

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Sep 2, 2008.


  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I thought this seemed like a fair comparison because both of these pedals are Marshall style overdrive/distortion, are medium gain, have a gritty texture to the overdrive, keep the lows, and are in the same price range. So for people who have owned these, can you compare and contrast these pedals? Also, I am looking at these pedals because I want a gritty medium gain overdrive in addition to the Barber LTD SR I am getting soon, which will be a warm smooth low gain overdrive. Thanks!
     
  2. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Where is Mark Olson when you need him?
     
  3. All I can say is many people here like the English Muff'n, and I've only seen one who priased the box of rock. Though he has had both. And he liked the Box only in certain cases. So really I'm no help. Cool
     
  4. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    Having both the English muff'n and the barber ltd SR would seem kind of redundant.

    The english muff'n was my go-to overdrive for a while until I started playing in a louder effects-crazy band and it wouldnt cut through despite cranking the midrange knob. I went without OD for a while until I heard on here that the LTD SR was the flattest sounding OD they had heard. Tried it at my local shop, bought it immediately.

    Costs a lot less too. And its not SUPER low gain, it can get pretty crunchy if you want. And still sounds better than the Muff'n IMO. Good luck!~

    -tyler
     
  5. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I was going by other people's posts that said the LTD was smooth low-gain, and the Muff'n was gritty medium-gain, but thanks for another opinion. I was leaning towards to Box of Rock for another overdrive anyways but I will still like other opinions.
     
  6. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    Again I did not notice more grit with the muff'n, the opposite actually. The LTD has a lot better attack charactaristics, but wayyyy less gain range and tone tweakability.

    Another thing to maybe think about is how much of a different you'll really notice when playing in a band setting between low and medium gain overdrive. Personally I go for opposite ends with light OD and s*** your pants heavy fuzz. Its more dramatic that way :smug:

    -tyler
     
  7. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks! Personally, I like different stages of OD, I don't find fuzz on bass very useful, but it does sound cool. This is the post I was referring to - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5763252&postcount=1
     
  8. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
  9. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I thought the SR has less mids? Quote from tonefactor -
    "The LTD SR came about when "and yet another early beta" LTD came to our attention from a good friend and excellent player/listener. Our beta friend asked for a clone of his early beta LTD, to have as a backup for traveling, after listening to and cloning his beta LTD we realized what a nice voice this version LTD posessed...so the custom shop has made this cool third LTD version available for players seeking a cool, flatter voiced LTD...very faithful to your guitar and amp.
    The LTD SR has a nearly flat response when the tone control is dead center, even flatter than our Silver LTD, yet the tone control on the SR is very strong for players who need more powerful eq options from their mild sweet toned overdrive."
     
  10. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    Ill try and make some clips tomarrow night to see if I can convey you futher :p
     
  11. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Michigan
    First of all, what bass and amp are you currently planning on ending up with? Of course I'm extra particular about my sound and would probably disagree with most people on this board as to what sounds "good", but if you're going to spend the money on a decent effect it seems to me like a waste if you're not going to plug an appropriate sounding bass into it and it into an appropriate sounding amp. But don't think I'm saying you need expensive gear, I don't mean that. There are just a lot of combinations that sound inappropriate to me personally, and if you do in fact want my opinion I'm going to tell you about what I think sounds appropriate and musical.

    Second, is there any danger of you actually purchasing either of these units in the somewhat near future? I don't mind sharing my opinions and I'd like to think I could help someone find the gear that would make them happy and enjoy playing music, but if you're just going to want something completely different next week it'd kind of be like I'm wasting my time, wouldn't it? You see my point.
     
  12. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I'm using a Fender Bassman 150, which has a great tone, but when I do get a new amp it will probably be a Little Mark II. I'm using a Squier P Bass w/ flats and an SX Jazz Bass w/ rounds, and I'm planning on buying one of the new classic vibe squiers soon. I could be purchasing these within the next year or so. I have realized that fuzz or heavy distortion aren't going to be useful for me, so I would like a low-gain overdrive and a medium/high gain overdive. I think the LTD would work quite nicely from the clips I have heard and the reviews I have seen. After listening to a lot of pedal demos, I like the sound of the English Muff'n and Box of Rock the best for that next gain stage after the LTD. So, could you compare the two? I assure you that you won't be wasting your time, but if you think you do that's fine too. Thanks as always
     
  13. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Michigan
    Well, personally I wouldn't choose to run an overdriven sound through a Little Mark II. It's not about tubes so much, it's more that certain brands of amplifiers I have noticed to be more accomodating to a good overdriven sound. If you're really serious about your overdriven sound, I strongly recommend you look into an Ampeg or an Ashdown or something like that. I cannot guarantee you that any amount of money spent on overdrive pedals would sound what I would consider good through a LMII.

    That disclaimer aside, English Muff'n sounds great with the gain about 12 o'clock and starts to sound crappy if you turn the gain up too high. I don't like the high gain settings on it. It sounds absolutely fantastic through a live rig, but when I tried to mic it up the tone was complete buzzy crap. This is where you have to start thinking, what are you going to do down the road for gigging and recording? Are you going to have a direct out on your amp that you'll use? A direct box post effects? Or are you going to try to mic your cab when possible? I recommend trying to mic your cab when possible when using overdriven sounds, but a direct out on your amp is the next best thing provided your overdrive isn't going to clip out the audio equipment in a nasty way or sound plastic (which is the case with a lot of gear). I can't recommend the English Muff'n if you're going to plan on mic'ing up your rig because I got terrible results when I did that, but if you're going to use a rig that is not in the ballpark of an Ampeg or an Ashdown I would go for the English Muff'n over the Box of Rock because I could count on it more to "tube" up the rig. Not that tubes are the issue, it's more about having the appropriate sounding preamp, which is where the English Muff'n is handy because it IS a preamp (which still doesn't cancel out a less than ideal sounding preamp on your amplifier though).

    So with that said, the Box of Rock is just the best overdrive pedal I have ever tried. Side by side the Box of Rock kicks the English Muff'ns ass. But keep in mind a few things. First in order for it to keep the low end, you've got to have the tone knob at like 12. That's fine for a midrangey tone but there is going to be a high end cut that is especially apparent if you're planning on stacking it with other overdrives. It makes them sound much quieter, which is not handy if you're planning on stacking things. Second the Box of Rock is designed to be used with a passive guitar and a Marshall stack, or in other words not with active basses and with an amplifier that is very accomodating to a good overdriven tone. If you're going to plug the Box of Rock into a LMII, it's not going to sound it's best. That's why I would recommend the Muff'n over it with that amp. A good amp is a must with the Box of Rock, whereas like I said the Muff'n IS it's own preamp.
     
  14. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks for all the opinions. I think I would be using these mostly for recording purposes, so thanks for the tip on mic'ing. I am also considering the Ashdown ABM 500 EVO II, so my purchase will depend on how often I am using overdriven tones. What mic do you find works best for overdriven bass? Also, do you think having the LTD and Box of Rock (what I am leaning towards) will be redundant? Thanks
     
  15. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Michigan
    I strongly recommend you think about that Ashdown amp. And if you go with the Ashdown you might find that the switchable preamp will give you the overdrive you want. It's footswitchable, so you can use it just like having an overdrive pedal. I'd recommend you get that amp before buying a dedicated overdrive pedal to see if you even need a dedicated overdrive pedal.

    As for mic's most of the time my amp does all the work and I don't need to go through a PA, or I'll use the direct out on my amp because I'm lazy and then the sound guys don't freak out. But when I record in the studio I think we use a Blue Ball bass drum mic, which I think is fairly inexpensive but I don't remember the exact model we use, and for my soundclips I've done here I just used a 57, though frankly with that a lot of my soundclips are lacking a lot of the bite and aggressiveness of my live sound.

    And as for the LTD and the Box of Rock being redundant, yeah I think they would be. The Box of Rock sounds good on every gain setting, so it can really give you your variety in one convenient box. Buy one pedal and put the extra money towards the amp, which should really come before the pedals anyway.
     
  16. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks again
     
  17. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I was considering the LTD for a very light overdrive, just a subtle fattening and grit, less than the low gain clip of the Box of Rock. I see many guitarists with multiple overdrives, and OD is an important effect to me so I might benefit from both.
     
  18. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Michigan
    Well if subtle fattening and slight grit is what you want, I wouldn't recommend anything tubescreamer-ish. Some people say they do, but I don't think they really "fatten". I'd really recommend looking into a DHA pedal for fattening and slight grit, I have a DHA pedal that really excels at that.
     
  19. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks I will look into that.
     
  20. totalimmortal08

    totalimmortal08

    Jan 21, 2008
    +1
    I have a DHA pedal that does that and I love it
     

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