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NPD! Wren and Cuff Tall Font Russian

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Plucky The Bassist, Feb 24, 2016.


  1. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Ok, so I just got the pedal today and have done some playing around with it alone, so I can't comment on a band mix yet, but hopefully that will change when I play the show with Michael Rowe this Sunday. Please keep in mind, I'm trying to be as level-headed as possible with this review...


    Well I wanted to give a smaller, not just a clean blend and call it a day pedal for fuzz. I read good reviews on the TFR (Tall Font Russian) and watched a few videos with some sweet results. I had a $50 Amazon gift card just dying to be used, so I pulled the trigger on this bad boy earlier last week. I do (did) like my Bass Big Muff Deluxe quite a bit, but like I had expressed in another thread, I was getting mondo clean volume but the guitarist and Michael kept saying they couldn't hear as much "distortion" (fuzz). It came in today, and here is what I have to say about it...


    First Impressions:

    Deceptive looking pedal! It's bigger than it seems, it's not your standard MXR-size pedal like it may seem in pictures. However it's only slightly larger than a Boss pedal since it's longer, it's no BBM Deluxe or certainly not a regular Big Muff. That olive drab green is just sweet on this and the knobs feel rock solid. A very cool looking pedal, especially if you dig military-style stuff.

    Tone:
    Well here's the part everyone worries about when they buy a distortion/fuzz for bass, but dang...it's got a LOT of low end. Now to be transparent, I'm playing a Squier Matt Freeman P loaded with a DiMarzio Area P pickup. It's going into a GK 700RB-II (All in "o'clock" form, Volume 9, Presence 9, 5 string mode, Treble 2, Lo Mid 3, Hi Mid 4, Bass 12, Boost 9, Woofer 9) that's then going through a Kasino 2x15s loaded with Eminence Legends. Should be a fairly neutral to classic rig, nothing super exaggerated.

    The tone knob actually does something, you can get good range from manipulating it. The volume is self explanatory and the distortion is why everyone came to the party. It's thebomb.com/index.html in my humble opinion. Much more organic and sounds different than just having a clean boost, almost seems less nasally than some of the others. A/B'd it several times over and it just plain keeps up when it comes to low end. Mids can be trickier, so I'll reserve my judgment on it until I can get it in a full-volume band setting, but it right now has me hopeful.

    Build:
    Thing is built very solid EXCEPT for one thing that actually agitated me quite a bit....

    As I'm plugging in I felt the power adapter port was a bit loose, I thought it might just be the flimsy power adapter I was using so I just went ahead and played. I noticed when I unplugged it that it was loose...REALLY loose. It's held there by a bulbous piece of plastic with a hole in it and that part is threaded and has a metal not that holds it in place. It was so loose that moving it at all or trying to screw it in was moving the wiring inside. I tried to hold it in place and use some pliers to screw it back down tightly but it just wasn't happening.

    Honestly everything other than this is rock solid, but I use an adapter and this really worries me. In the description on the website, they slam the old vintage units (rightfully so) on using cheap connectors:

    "The bummer about the vintage Tall Fonts? Cheap, cheap, cheap plastic jacks mounted to the circuit-board that beg to be given a hard knock resulting in a cracked circuit board....So pickup your Tall Font Russian and get all the positives and none of the negatives!"


    For dissing on the connectors so vocally, you guys seem to have missed a spot on your own design. I've NEVER seen a pedal with an issue or design like this. I'm really not trying to get anything free here, I just want to make sure the next time I buy a pedal (I very likely will) that it has a solid connector on it.





    Other than that this thing is an A++ grade pedal in my opinion. The tone is unreal and it looks cool as hell. Price is definitely boutique level, but when I read what went into this pedal (Tall Font Russian) I feel it's a steal. Seriously guys, fix the adapter design and you're 100% perfect on this pedal.



    - Plucky
     
    kbakerde likes this.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    That power jack is pretty standard on higher end pedals, just open it up and tighten the nut inside.

    And if you think that's an awesome Muff, You should try a Stomp Under Foot!
     
  3. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Is it a green or black russian clone? I thought it was black but I may be mistaken...
     
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Stomp Under Foot makes a whole line of period correct Muffs. The Civil War is closest to the TFR, but with a lot more mids.

    That being said, the Wren & Cuff Box Of War is also incredible!
     
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  5. Guinness20

    Guinness20

    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Nice one! Just joined a new band so not sure I can justify buying a fuzz pedal just yet, but I really like the look of the tfr. THe only thing would be what it sounded like in a band setting, I've heard split opinions on it. The Blackout Musket on the hand benefits from the mids knob. Nevertheless, hapy for you mate!

    Hadn't listened to any clips of the stomp under foot civil war before bongo but it sounds badass! I think I slightly prefer the sound of the box of war, just a shame that the pedal is so damn big.
     
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  6. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Man, now I REALLY need to try this pedal out lol...two people have mentioned SUF pedals already so I'm assuming there must be a solid following. Compared to the Colorsound Tonebender, how would you say it rates? I feel like that's my holy grail of fuzz pedals.
     
  7. Guinness20

    Guinness20

    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Dude if you read my post it says I hadn't listened to any clips of the SUF civil war until bongo mentioned it. I haven't tried it, haven't tried the tonebender either.
     
  8. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    It's not too big, your board is too small! Anyhow it's not that big, not too far off in size from the standard EHX Bass Big Muff:

    img61436988.
     
    Guinness20 likes this.
  9. Guinness20

    Guinness20

    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Hahaha tbf I didn't realise it was that size compared to the tfr, thought it was bigger. Do you own both? Which do you prefer?
     
  10. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm a big fan pf my TFR- I'd definitely give it a solid run-through in your band before you start reading too much on how people say "X" or "Y" Russian-clone sounds SO much better. The difference between most Muff clones literally comes down to two capacitors that set the range and frequency gain of the Tone control. The TFR is great because it remains relatively punchy due to a full low midrange and relatively low gain- depending on your bass and rig it can really excel (with my flatwound-equipped Rickenbacker into a tube amp it crushes while staying very punchy and articulate). It can get pretty scooped with the Tone rolled down, but unlike many Muffs it retains its low end even with the Tone cranked- I leave mine somewhere between 3 o'clock (ie- most of the way up) and all the way up and get plenty of midrange for my taste. I've had Muffs with more mids (including a few other Russian-derived clones- GGG and Supercollider), but they usually compromised for the added mid by losing some of the beef or punch (the way the Tone circuit in a Muff is wired makes any Muff far from linear in response, but is also a big part of what makes it a Muff!).
     

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