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What's the difference b/w fuzz and muff?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by taylor16, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    Any simple explanations?
  2. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    A muff is a type of fuzz circuit. Fuzz is a more general type of distortion.

    A Fuzz Face is a Fuzz. A Tone Bender MK II is a Fuzz. A Muff is a Fuzz. A Brassmaster is a Fuzz. A Fuzz Face is not a Muff.
  3. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    RickyT, Matthew_84 and gregmon79 like this.
  4. rjovin

    rjovin Supporting Member

    May 27, 2011
    tampa, fl
    fuzz is the extreme end of the dirt spectrum (overdrive, distortion then fuzz)
    a muff is a type of fuzz.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  5. Tourniquet Man

    Tourniquet Man

    Jun 12, 2015
    A fuzzy muff aint no laughing matter
  6. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    What did you not get out of Shu's answer? It's spot on.
  7. Max Blasto

    Max Blasto

    Nov 29, 2010
    San Diego
    Can't believe I'm reading this title.....
    Ekulati, Herrick, Matthew_84 and 4 others like this.
  8. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    You can have fuzz without a muff, but you can't have a muff without fuzz.
  9. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    "Fuzz" is the deep end of the "dirt" spectrum. Overdrive < Distortion < FUZZ!

    "Muff" has a few definitions. Specifically, it refers to the type of fuzz circuit first used in the Muff family of fuzz pedals made by Electro-Harmonix. More broadly, "Muff" also refers to the countless fuzz pedals which are built around copies or variations of the Muff circuit. Which is why you can often read statements here about some pedal or other being "a Muff clone" or "a Muff with a blend knob" or something like that.

    In short: a Muff is a type of fuzz. But not all fuzzes are Muffs.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    Roberto Nunez likes this.
  10. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    This thread title is like asking what's the difference between a bird and a chicken.
  11. CoreyI35


    Sep 23, 2012
    Chickens can't fly.
  12. fasto


    Mar 4, 2007
    Amsterdam, NL
    Can´t? So what are the chicken wings for?
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    chuck3, Al Kraft, KingTaco77 and 21 others like this.
  14. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    You missed the point. Also, they can!

    HolmeBass and BadExample like this.
  15. Plucky The Bassist

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

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    OP, it's the same as the Hot Tub/Jacuzzi analogy...all Jacuzzi are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are Jacuzzi. Reason being, Jacuzzi is a brand of hot tub, people just associate the name with that product so much that they use it generically. Same as in the south people will say "I want a coke" and actually want "a soda". Asking someone for a "Kleenex" just means you want a tissue, regardless of the brand.

    the "Muff" term comes from the Electro-Harmonix pedal, Big Muff. Since many people like the circuit, there are many "Muff Clones" out there, so people sometimes use it interchangeably with "Fuzz" since it's a very popular and sought-after sound. Hope this helps.
    taylor16 likes this.
  16. deathness


    Jan 19, 2015
    Son, we have a lot to talk about...
  17. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    A classic fuzz circuit like the Fuzzface will have more pronounced mids and the Muff type fuzz will have a distinct hole in the mids somewhere giving it more of a smiley face eq. Also, muff's are much higher gain.
  18. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    To me, muffs have a very particular type/style of fuzz tone. It is a fuzz. But its a muff. That's pretty plain. I know. But if you were to sit down with a muff and say a b:assmaster, you will most def hear a difference.

    It's just like any baseline fuzz variant, they all have their own timbres. A muff, b:assmaster, fuzz face, beebaa, wooly mammoth. It's just different types of fuzz. So unless you really want a technical answer, that is the best way I can describe it. The one thing I can say about muffs, bassists have always seemed to have gravitated towards them becasue a lot of them are great with keeping your low end in tact. Take the Green Russian for example. Its been a popular bass fuzz for decades. Very deep low end on that one.

    That's the best I can think of explaining without getting technical. Which I wouldnt be that great at anyway haha Hope it helped! ;)
    Bassist4Eris and taylor16 like this.
  19. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    Thanks for those who provided helpful responses. Didn't know how to describe the difference in tone between a Civil War vs Green Russian vs Sasori vs Supa Dirty Rooster. I've played them all and love them each uniquely but the terminology never made sense to me. I always assumed a muff was a more clipped/compressed version of a fuzz tone. But I thought I'd just ask.

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