Need a replacement for my Black Russian

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Godbody, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    To keep it short, my Black Russian Big Muff recently needed repairs, and I just can't fool myself into thinking that it's reliable enough for a gig.

    I need a replacement that can absolutely replicate the sound of the Black Russian. If its range extends beyond it, that's a great bonus. I won't say the replacement has to be indestructible, but certainly better built than what Sovtek cranked out (i.e. no plastic jacks, parts that won't corrode at the drop of a hat, knobs and pots that don't move at the slightest breeze, and a case made out of something tougher than 24 gauge pig iron).

    My budget is $200 or under, and I'm not loyal to any brands.

    Suggestions, please?
  2. Gilian24


    May 23, 2010
    You have to take a look at wren and cuff. They have the tall font russian which is based on the old russian muffs from the early 90's.
  3. xtaftx


    Mar 1, 2010
    I agree with the wren and cuff. I used the black Russian big muff for a while and liked it, then I got around to getting a Pickle Pie B and I haven't been happier with my tone. The newer pedals they put out are pretty rad as well.
  4. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    I checked out the Wren and Cuff site. The write-up for the tall font Russian alone was quite impressive, and the sound samples did things to me in my pants.
    But I couldn't find one in stock at any of the dealers!

    Perhaps an effect that's quite close will suffice for live use, and I'll reserve my muff for recording. I happen to be planning a trip to Guitar Center to trade in quite a bit of used gear. Is there perhaps something more mainstream that will fit the bill?
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    The Blackout Musket is another good option.


    Nov 13, 2009
    Fuzzrocious Grey Stache.
  7. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    Another black russian. Seriously, these pedals are built like tanks. They are cheap as hell, easy to find, and reliable.

    I have never had one go "bad", and the one that I had to replace had a 2x10 PA speaker dropped on it from 5 feet up... It still worked after that, but you were unable to adjust it, or turn it on or off without using your hand.

    It is your money, but if you want cheap mainstream reliable sound, in a well recognized package and an easy to sell/replace effect... There is no substitute.
  8. DrStein


    Nov 8, 2009
    Athens, Greece

    Especially if you have a local pedal guru around to iron its disadvantages a bit...

    Here is mine with a 9V DC, true bypass, new jacks, white pots and a blue led :D

  9. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    Pre-holiday bump.
    I'm still hoping for more suggestions.

    Built like a tank? Mine has plastic jacks, a thin sheetsteel case that's starting to rust, and pots that move if stared at too intently, just like every black Russian I've ever seen.

    Despite those glaring flaws, mine had a blowout on the ciruit board, which I had to repair myself. That wouldn't be fixed by rehousing, new pots, jacks, etc. It's simply not gigworthy at any price.
  10. I'm searching for a fuzz substitute for my BRM as well.I've had it since the 90s and I don't gig much but I do bring it to jams and the size, no 9v, opposite jacks and lack of blend/mids has me considering other options. I could have had it modded but I could also buy a new pedal.
    Today I recieved my wooly mammoth clone and have a gnomeratron vtf scheduled for delivery tomorrow. We'll see which stay and which go.
  11. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I feel ya, I ditched my Black Russian but now I'm missing its tone. I'm looking for basically the same pedal, in a smaller package, standard power input, normal jacks, and if it had a Blend that'd be gravy.
  12. Damascus


    Aug 9, 2008
    Another member of the W&C Tall Font Russian army here. It does not disappoint. Just order it directly from W&C. Under $200.
  13. Inconnu


    Nov 1, 2005
    My bass-ment
    How about the obvious answer: The Bass Big Muff.
  14. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    To my ears, the new Bass Big Muff is perhaps in the same category (not quite fuzz, not quite distortion), but it still sounds like a part of the NYC Muff family. It can't replicate the tone, and doesn't produce the same feel as the black Russian for me. I've seen reviews that say as much, so I know I'm not alone.

    A fine pedal in and of itself, but no substitute for a black Russian.
  15. change-jug


    Oct 11, 2008
    I love my gnome! Only down side is the volume jumps are a bit crazy when going through different diodes.
  16. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Stump Under Foot Civil War would be my first choice.

    Depending on which generation of black russian, you could also look at an EH Bass Muff.
    Most Tbayer's will disagree with me but I A/B this pedal with a black russian muff Version 8 and I liked the EH Bass Muff better.

    Fuzzrocious Grey Stache is fabulous and is predominantly voiced in the mids which is great for cutting through a busy mix.

    The Tall Font Russian from Wren and Cuff is lower gain and has the most bass of all the pedal listed here. It's a dark gorgeous pedal. I have a Box of War on the way from the same builder so I'll post later this month on this one.

    The Musket 2 is a good recommendation, this pedal is a bit a jack of all trades but if you are going to have a single fuzz that's not a bad one to have.

    Hope this helps in your quest.
  17. Flymo Wang

    Flymo Wang

    Jan 5, 2011
    Bristol, UK

    would be interested in your thoughts on the grey stache and the TFR - I have a grey stache (and a mammoth clone), and wonder if you think the TFR is different enough to warrant getting? does it cop any tones you can't get out of the stache??
  18. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Yes, unless you roll the mids back/off, then it's dark and scoopy like a Russian/civil war.

    It's just the nature of diodes ;)
  19. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
  20. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    They all look like great pedals, and some day I'd love to have tried them all. But in your experience, which best emulates a black Russian manufactured circa 2008?