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Loss of love for Big Muff PI

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by hallo, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. hallo


    May 1, 2007
    Staffs, UK
    I've finally given up on my Big muff for 2 main reason; loss of low end, can't be subtle enough. When I want rich creamy distortion playing the mid-ranges I simply love this pedal. But unfortunately the cons outweight the pros. So what do i replace it with, could get a blender pedal i suppose but ideally id' like to replace it with a tube pedal. So can anyone suggest a rich creamy distortion tube pedal, than can go from gentle warm fuzz to almost insane fuzz without losing the low end and clarity?
    My problem is highlighted on the 2nd song on my bands myspace, i like the sound to start off with but as soon as the others come in it gets lost so i had record 2 bass tracks.
  2. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I feel the same way about my Big Muff - I'm selling it on to a guitarist friend because I don't like the way it sounds in the low register. Lovely creamy tone higher up though - shame.

    First replacement attempt will be a Bad Monkey O/D, which should have arrived in the post already but hasn't. I only really want to add some crunch to fatten up the synthy noises from my octave pedals.
  3. UnDoNe


    Dec 6, 2002
    The DHA VT2 will do what you want. go to davehallamps.co.uk.

    What muff were you using? I used to have a green russian one and it was the best thing i've ever heard. no loss of low end and deep growl to all out hell if i wanted it.
  4. hallo


    May 1, 2007
    Staffs, UK
    I'm using the US reissue, already had a chat with Dave as i'm using one of his vt-1 for mild overdrive and his suggestion was to use a blender pedal. Ideally id like to have something that can go as fuzzy as the muff, if he had a bass fuzz pedal I wouldn't think twice as im extremely happy with my VT-1. Just want similar tones of the muff but maybe a little warmer that doesn't lose low-end and can be subtle (when recording).
  5. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Not much on muff, however, I do own a Krank Distortus maximus. Tons of low end, I use it more for an overdrive rather than a "full out" distortion, although it works for that too. I especially like the high,mid and low manipulation, built like a "tank" too.
    Note: They do cost about $150 though (probably somewhat due to being U.S. made)

  6. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    The easiest way for a bassist to disappear in a mix is to kick on a Big Muff. I'd just get a blend pedal and use the mix to control how fuzzy you want your signal to be.
  7. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Take a look at the English Muff'n -- I've been told you can get regular muff tones. So there's your warm tube fuzz, but with no mid loss (if you don't want it) so you won't disappear from the mix. When I tried it I couldn't push it far enough to be happy with it as a fuzz, but great OD/distortion tones. Maybe throwing a tube screamer in front would do the trick and then you'd have a one-button distortion to fuzz switch instead of having to tweak knobs on stage.

    By the way OP, what you want seems a little contradictory. "Insane fuzz" pretty much entails loss of low end or tons of mud. Maybe you could be more specific..?

    Last thing -- I use a Tube Works 301 distortion when I need tubey goodness in my signal path. It's got the exact same controls as the English Muff'n but I've been able to push it farther. It's a bit quirky (weird shape, odd choice of soft switch, knobs are notched, etc) and the company went under long before I bought the pedal, but I love it.
  8. hallo


    May 1, 2007
    Staffs, UK
    Well the most fuzz would still have some clarity, just want something thats really warm and deep. I've got a keeley ts-9 coming in the post at the moment which i intend to use before my valve OD but not sure if that will get the true fuzz sound im after. Similar to the early BRMC sound like the song 'Spread your love'.
  9. UnDoNe


    Dec 6, 2002
    mmnn, the vt2 is just 2 vt1's. when i had mine i used channel 1 for mild overdrive (as you do), then kick in channel 2 for fuzz and distortion. i may pick another one up soon. i only sold it due to lack of money, but they're lovely!
  10. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    there is a pretty easy modification that can be done to the big muff that will allow all that low end through.

    It involves replacing a capacitor with a different valued capacitor.
  11. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    I haven't listened to your clip yet, but if you happen to be rather fond of higher tone settings on the Big Muff, you're going to lose some low end.

    Despite what people say, I'm convinced the USA reissues must lack low end... no one ever complains about the massive low end on the Little Big Muff. But while the Little Big Muff could be a possible alternative with the tone of its bigger brother, there's still one "flaw" common to all Big Muff pedals: you'll lose some midrange regardless because of the tone stack - and it's the slight midrange scoop which is most likely killing your presence in the mix.

    The best sounds I ever got out of the Big Muff came under circumstances like these:

    - Three-piece bands (Guitar, bass, drums) where I would stand out with little overlap from the guitarist... here, my settings weren't as important.
    - Dialing the Tone knob to a higher setting on the Big Muff, and using a blend loop pedal to bring in my instrument's natural low end.

    The English Muff'n or DHA's tube-based overdrive pedals could be an excellent solution for your problem. The Muff'n is a warm tube-based overdrive that can sound Muff-like when cranked, but you have a three band EQ to work with, and there's plenty of low end. :)
  12. UnDoNe


    Dec 6, 2002
    i'll also add, the muff'n i tried was nothing on the DHA's.
  13. I owned a Big Muff and used it about 10 minuts total, and could get the sound I wanted out of it. Now I'm using a BAZZ DAZZLER from Dr. Scientist for all my fuzz needs. It`s the same as their guitar pedal Frazz Dazzler, but with a extra knob to mix in some of your clean signal. It`s got more Low end than you`ll ever need, and has a very nice tubey sounds, break up very nice. I don't think I'll ever have any other fuzz on my pedal board.
  14. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I had a Boss line selector turn up in the post just now so I gave it a go sticking the muff in one loop and blending it with just my bass (loop B just patched straight into its return).

    Conclusion: I don't think I'm selling my Big Muff! It really makes a huge difference with a 50:50-ish blend - the Muff seems to still dominate the sound in the higher register because of the thick wooly tone, but lower down the bass you get the full presence of the clean bass signal.

    I also tried putting my OC-2 in the clean loop with just the two lower octaves dialled up. Another winner.

    How I'm going to find space for my Big Muff on my pedal board I've no idea, but I'm keeping it.
  15. hallo


    May 1, 2007
    Staffs, UK
    Looks like in swaying towards a blender pedal now, thanks for everyones input, question is which blender pedal now?
  16. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Some popular blend loop pedals to check out:

    Xotic Effects X-Blender
    Barge Concepts VFB-2, or VB-Jr., or VFB-X
    Radial BigShot MIX
    Boss LS-2 Line Selector

    Now, go start reading. :D
  17. blondmix3

    blondmix3 Supporting Member

    May 30, 2007
    Evansville, Indiana
    I've got the Big Muff and a Radial MIX and it's the perfect setup...
  18. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    To anyone interested.

    i can help you save your muff. Please PM for values to change if you are confident with a soldering iron and desoldering braid.

    if not - then sell it to someone that is.

    I'm dead serious too.

    Just PM, that's all - a simple PM. With you model of Muff of course

    You basically do 2 things

    1) you change the transistors to lower gain values. like a 2n4401 or 2n2926

    2) you change the tone stack to flatten the mids and bring up the bass. this requires a few resistor changes and cap changes.

    it's not brain surgery.

    Oh and I won't touch a LBM with a ten foot cable and you shouldn't either - as it uses super super tiny parts.
  19. hallo


    May 1, 2007
    Staffs, UK
    I managed to borrow a Boss Line selector for rehersals last night, problem solved!! Simply putting the Big Muff in a loop by itself and with around 50-50 mix it was spot on, no loss of low end and the creamy mids and highs that the Big Muff stand out and cut through. Anyone thinking of getting rid of it should at least try it with a blender pedal 1st.

    All in all im back in love with the muff:smug:
  20. I have solved this problem with my Ampeg V4. I have an early 70's model with 2 channels. Just out of my bass I split the the signal and run signal A direct to channel 1. Signal B is patched through all my effects and into channel 2. The dry bass signal is present regardless of effect i happen to be using.....it is the ultimate way to preserve tone while enhancing your sound with any effects pedal (even crappy pedals sound ok now!)

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