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Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by de la mocha, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005



    Just comming from the guitar center and I'm perplexed which one to get. I'm using a Fender Precision Bass with Chrome Flatwound strings. I was at lunch break from work so I didn't have my bass but used a Fender Precision with roundwound strings in the store. Here's what I've discovered.....

    Big Muff: Excellent tone, the best distortion tone I ever heard, ever for a bass. The only down side is it seems to be a one trick pony. I can't really play around with the distortion as much as I'd like. I couldn't get just a hint of fuzz, or light distortion. In fact, it seems I could only muffle the distortion or have it full blast. Another thing I'm concerned with is soundind too much like other bass players who have this in their effects chain since the tone is so limited. But it is the best distortion tone I ever heard though! Hands down!

    BOSS ODB 3: Excellent pedal. I like the Eq functions on the bass and highs which are seperate, the ballance and gain knob along with the over all level knob which makes this pedal very, very versitile! I can get just a light hint of distortion, some grit, to heavy fuzz and even death metal (which I'm not a fan of but it's in there)! The tonal options are good but doesnt sound as horny as the Big Muff.

    So in conclusion, sacrificing one absolute gorgeous tone (Big Muff), for the versitility of creating ten or more other tones (ODB 3), I think the Boss pedal wins this in the bang for the buck category, hands down. Plus, it's not as big as the big muff and leaves more room. But since this a discussion forum, I'd love to hear your opinions on each of these wonderful pedals! :D
  2. you should change your bold headers for clarity...is it the english muffin or the big muff π??
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    My first pedal was an ODB-3, sold it and bought a Muff, then another, then another. That's me.

    You've weighed them out yourself, it sounds like you're sold on the ODB-3. It's your opinion that matters, not ours.
  4. You want a bad ass pedal that can go from light fuzz to chunky distortion?

    Check this out.


    Robert Keeley is a genius and this Rat with the bass mod is out of this world chunky bottom end goodness...
  5. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Interesting. I had a Keeley-modded Rat, and it sucked the bottom end right out of my sound. It was quickly sold.

    dlm - You said that the Muff has, "the best distortion sound...ever". Why in the world would you talk yourself out of it? :confused: So what if others use it. If the Boss gives you a wide variety of mediocre tones, that doesn't sound like a good pick to me. If you love the sound of the Muff, but don't like it's size, try a Little Big Muff - very similar sound (nearly identical, some say) in a smaller package.

    I'm running a English Muff'n and a LBM on my board for one reason - they both sound amazing to me. Whether Timmy Chancellholme uses the same thing or not makes no difference to me if I'm getting the sound that I like from my equipment.
  6. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    The question I have to ask is, what are you planning on using the pedal for?

    If the answer is playing live w/a band:

    -Do you really want to be bending over and tweaking knobs during a set to get the 'correct' sound from a pedal that only the most hard core fan/bassist is going to notice? (ODB-3)


    -Do you want to set the pedal once and turn it on when you need it, sounding great every time. (Big Muff/Little Big Muff)

    If the answer is playing around in the garage or by yourself:

    -Get whatever is more fun.

    That all said, I also owned a ODB-3 and I liked it when my bass and amp were pretty basic (read: starter).

    I found that when I moved on to better equipment and started developing a more critical ear I noticed significant low-end loss (espically on 5 string)
  7. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    +1 to the Little Big Muff!

    I should point out that with any Muff, the input level, Tone knob, and Volume knob are very useful in changing the character of the distortion. A high-output active bass will drive the Muff differently than a lower-output active or passive bass, and playing with the volume on your bass is useful in getting some softer fuzz tones out of the Muff. However... it's distinctively a fuzz pedal at any level of distortion. That's the beauty of it to me.

    I started out with a Big Muff Pi and a Boss ODB-3 when I started playing bass. I was initially unimpressed with its lack of versatility, but in retrospect, I blame my lack of skill and my old crappy practice amp. Almost a year later... I have a sweet-sounding Little Big Muff, and that old Boss ODB-3 is tormenting some other beginning bassist :D

    The ODB-3 was decent on low settings for me, but it couldn't do a decent high-gain distortion without frightening small puppies and children with the excess noise it generated. It's definitely a pedal to couple with a noise suppressor, IMO.

    You say the Muffs are one-trick ponies... in a sense, they are - they're fuzz pedals regardless of their settings. However, I also disagree with you... for the fuzz fanatic, they're very flexible and worth every penny for the sounds they can create!

    Perhaps I wasn't ready for a fuzz pedal back when I started playing, because I hadn't learned the basics yet... but now, I don't need anything besides my Little Big Muff and my amp's overdrive channel for all of the unclean tones I want :smug:
  8. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    The boss doesn't have mediocer tones, it just has more tones that I can work with, they sound good and will do, but not as good as the big muff! I'm still debating its like this: Versitilaty Vs. The one best tone! I like to read others opinions because I can see other angles I may not have thought about. Plus a lot of you guys are more experienced though ultimately it comes down to my own judgement!

    Interesting! I didn't see the little big muff at the store. I'll check and see. I plan on using distortion for gigging and home recording. Perhaps I'll go play both again at lunch time tommorow before I ultimately make a decision. I was leaning towards the ODB, but now I'm leaning towards the Big muff! Perhaps one more test run will help me to make my decision!
  9. hatebree219


    Nov 27, 2006
    Do you have any soundclips of your rig with the Muff'N? I've always wanted a tube-driven distortion pedal for my rig but they're all made for guitars :rollno:
  10. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    I don't, but do a search in this forum. There have been some posted in the past. The Muff'n isn't designed specifically for bass, but like most EHX pedals it works great with one. As a general rule (and as discussed NUMEROUS times in this forum), don't discount "guitar" pedals. Many of them work fine for bass.

    dlm - Not a lot of stores are stocking the LBM yet, but they are available on eBay from a few different sellers. Trust your ears and your heart (turn your head off, logic has nothing to do with it). Many of us have gone through a bunch of different pedals before finding the one (or ones) that are "perfect" - some of us are still hunting. Whatever you pick now will likely not be the last distortion pedal you buy. Enjoy the hunt. :)
  11. BOSS ODB-3

    I've got one i think its excellent you've gt fuzz distortion anything and everythin ! Its great :D The EQ is very handy! VERY FUNKY:D:D:D
  12. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    I have both and the only reason I use the ODB more then my bigmuff is the blend knob, the muff sounds better to me but when ever I use it my drummer bitches at me. He says it lacks definition and he has a hard time hearing what I am playing. Now, if a Muff came with a blend that wound be cool. I've also thought about getting something like a LS-2 too.........
  13. Unknowndude


    Apr 20, 2006
    Toronto, ON
    I've had both. The ODB-3 is just more usable for my current situation. The standard overdrive (treble rolled off, blend full, gain slightly above 0) is really good, to my ears. I liked the Muff, but I could rarely use it and it was big. I'll spring for a used little big muff when I get the money.
  14. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    Do you think flatwound strings would give it a little more definition, perhaps in conjunction with an eq like device, such as my aphex bass xciter?

  15. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    All I use are flatwounds. This isn’t a new complaint, I’ve had that big muff for over ten years, I've tried EQing it with my boss graphic and perimetric EQs and I still get a better band sound with the ODB. I haven’t tried a aphex bass xciter [I'll have to look in to this] so I don’t know, but the problem is you are still running a distorted signal through the EQ or running a EQ it to a distortion so you may be able to get a little more definition but it really depends on what you and how you play and the sound you need ect. I coming to the point though where I’m thinking of just saying screw it and just getting good overdrive, maybe even a tube one at that! and just not care about getting good lowend through the thing with a LS-2 to mix it with my clean sound which is very bottom heavy anyway so I can have my cake and eat it too. :D :scowl: :bag: :help: :)
  16. Lordcliff

    Lordcliff Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Two different things really, one is a fuzz pedal, the other an overdrive.
    I actually have both.
    Muff sounds best with my Rickenbacker, or anything passive (that I've tried), it seems to not function properly with active basses for some reason... Great mid range fuzz, great with a wah pedal.
    Almost total opposite for the BOSS, I always get tones of feedback with passive basses, but with active basses, it gives me the "god like" overdrive, while keeping (and even boosting) low end. And can run it half way, and not have "Full on" distortion all the time.
    I've actually ran both at the same time, and got some really cool sounds, which also gives you more options while playing.
    So it really depends on what you're going for, if the Muff gives you "THE" sound you want, get it.
  17. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Every red blooded young boy should at one time have him a Muff.
  18. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA


    i'd say get a little big muff. takes up less space than its big bro, and sounds just as amazing (with a little tiny bit of difference there). i also get a nice variety of grit. if you turn down the 'sustain' knob to almost nil, it's nice and gritty.

    but the odb3... eh. got it, played with it for a good couple months, then got rid of it. it didn't sound.... meaty enough, y'know? it was a little thin.

    but whichever one you do get i'll say this: welcome to the first step in your long, long quest of Finding The Perfect Overdrive. many of us can't count on all our fingers the number of overdrive/fuzz/distortion units we have.

    oh, and:bassist:
  19. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    I'm just looking for some bass with the options of a little bit of grit, or fuzz, or billigerant distortion with out losing my low end.... is that too much to ask? :smug:
  20. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    not at all!! you'll just end up needing 19 pedals to satisfy all the necessary sounds.

    that's all i'm sayin'.


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