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Green Muff resurrection

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jimmy rocket, May 5, 2010.

  1. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    I check CL pretty obsessively, and every once in a while there's a diamond among the overpriced "Fender" Squiers and Epiphone Les Paul Juniors.

    This weeks find was a Muff duo, and we all know two muffs are better than one (especially if they're Russian!)




    You can see they've fallen upon some hard times, so I took these sisters home to give them some love. The black one works, after reconnecting the battery clip, and she'll probably get a 9v mod and a mid control (and maybe a creamy dreamer if I'm feeling adventurous), but she's on the shelf for now, because the her big green sister, to whom I will hereafter refer as "Sonia", needed the most help.

    When I got that one home it was missing the tone pot. Well, technically someone had tried to incorrectly solder a 250k guitar pot in there, but it was just hanging around inside. I didn't have a 100k linear pot but I did have an audio, so I stuck that in there just to verify that it worked, and it sounds pretty good. I'm planning on replacing all of the pots for good measure.



    One weird thing is that capacitor on the input jack side. I've only ever seen big silver 100uf electrolytic caps in there, but this is some sort of tantalum looking thing. Anyone ever see something like this?


    I'll also probably have to replace the jacks because the plastic nuts are long gone.


    And hopefully she'll look like this when I'm done.


    As for sound, it certainly has the classic green muff sound, but for anyone who's ever rehabilitated one of these, any thoughts on the capacitor?
  2. moose23


    Dec 27, 2007
    Builder Moose23 Electronics
    Mine has quite a few variations on that one. Where there's jumpers beside the blue caps I have 1n caps which are green, the blue caps on yours are also green on mine, same value.

    If the tant cap is the same value I wouldn't worry about.
  3. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Good to know! That's what I suspected, I was just curious :)

    This thing sounds massive as is, and there's very little noise, so I'll probably just replace the pots and find some nuts for the jacks. I may also swap in better wiring and add a 9v adapter to it just for ease of use on a pedal board.
  4. I'm glad to see someone else willing to mod a vintage pedal for ease of use despite what it might do to the value. I'm eyeing a Sovtek that could use new pots, new jacks, and probably a new footswitch, but all my tech-savy friends and my gear elitist friends won't stop giving me grief.
  5. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    If it needs that much work, it's only adding to the value. Document with pics for resale, Anthony.

    Jimmy - good finds!!! I recommend the Civil War mod to one of the Russians!
  6. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    honestly, with what I paid for these, it was like getting the black one for free, so I'm pretty free to experiment. For those of you who've added a mid control how much more control do you have over your sound?

    Any clips?

    I'm pretty much restoring the Green Muff to "better than stock" with the wiring, pots and jacks, and I'll take plenty of pictures. When I got it the cover was just sitting on top in what looked like an act of surrender, as if it had finally baffled whoever was trying to fix it. :)
  7. No experience with any specific mod for the Black Russian, but I love the mid control on my Bluebeard. Maxed out is pretty close to flat, but even that does wonders for presence in a mix. Be warned, putting those mids back in can cause eruptions of feedback when not actually playing.
  8. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Cool project man. This is the first time I've seen the guts of a Green Muff,...can the board mounted jacks be replaced? I hate board mounted jacks.

    EDIT: I wish these gems would come up on our CL,...nothing but crap these days.
  9. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    They can. They're a little of a PITA, but proper desoldering leaves you with a pretty clear path for putting new ones in.

    I actually found some metal nuts to try on them, and if they fit I'll probably just leave 'em for now.

    As for the mid knob. I wonder if I haven't ever really felt the need for one on my green russian clone because I never really crank the tone control. That SOB just sits in the mix perfectly w/o a mid control, but I usually leave the tone at around 12 or 1 o'clock.
  10. faceinbass


    Apr 20, 2008
    Do a google search on rehousing big muffs.
    There are pages and pages and pages of pics, layouts and diagrams available.

    If I were you (and I am not) I would consider a complete rehouse.

    I don't think you reducing any percieved value if you UPGRADE the switch to true bypass, add a 9v in, use better jacks, pots and wire. Also, you get to have fun designing a look for your new pedal.

    If you are comfortable with all that, you can even add a blend circuit to make it truely bass centric.

    My $0.02
  11. I really wouldn't recommend a blend control on a big muff, sounds dreadful in my opinion :meh:.
  12. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    I think I'll forgo the rehouse. I've already got what is essentially a Green Russian in a Hammond 1590 size case:

    I'm also not convinced I need to true bypass either of them (although I may do it to the black one just to try it and get rid of that weak-ass led). The bypass on the green muff is just fine to my ears.

    I agree though that I don't think these mods would really decrease perceived value all that much. In fact, I could totally see this upping the value for folks who are concerned with the original parts / limitations of the design.
  13. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    blend controls are pretty much "hype" IMHO. I can see the case for using loop blenders (and have done so) for certain applications, but most ad hoc "blend" controls in pedals seem to denature the effect in some way if they're not part of the original design.
  14. Well, the thing is, you ultimately would, at least in an instance where it wasn't totally necessary. As Ryan said, in my instance, I can document the problems, fix them, and then advertise it for what it is: a repaired Sovtek Muff. Not, technically speaking, an original.

    I would happily pay $150 for a repaired Sovtek Muff, especially seeing as how even a nonfunctioning one could probably fetch $100. But that's about as high as it really goes, which is a shame because totally stock ones go between $250-350 all day, depending on condition.

    And on other notes:
    -I don't mind the bypass on the Sovtek very much. I'm not very picky about bypass to begin with, though. I haven't tested the model I'm eyeing out yet, but the owner seems to think it's broken, which is the only reason I'd replace it.
    -Muff + Blend = Poop. I think the Muff sound does so much for your sound that putting the original side by side with the distortion just sounds funny. Just my opinion though.
  15. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    The footswitch on mine was messed up when I got it, but fixable. As it turns out it was just a latch inside the switch that was off (probably from the same person who tried to "fix" the rest of the muff) I wouldn't be surprised if the one you're interested in doesn't have a similar issue.

    I'm with you on the "resale value" / "work that needs to be done" front. What I'm working with here is clearly a Muff that needs some rehab, so we're already at the point where I'm not going to be fetching top dollar if I ever do decide to sell (which is highly unlikely). I'm not sticking this one behind glass. I'm slapping it on a pedalboard and rocking it out.
  16. Definitely agree on this!

    The only time I like a clean blend on a dirt pedal is when I'm blending/layering 2 different fuzz tones.
  17. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    So, as it turns out this was a bit more of a find than I thought. According to this website the black version is a "version 7" and is functionally the same circuit as the green version 7. Subtle differences I'm sure, but sonically very similar.

    Guess I'll have to A/B them to find out :smug:
  18. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    thats crazy, I bought mine about 10 years ago for 35$.
  19. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    I threw a 9v plug on there today for ease of use on my pedalboard.


    I'm still up in the air about what I want to do with the black one since it's sort of rare and all original. I may just sell it as is, or keep it until it's super rare :)
  20. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Good on ya,...batteries = evil.

    I feel I should clarify about the board mounted jacks. I was wondering if they can be easily replaced with the regular jacks.


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