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What's the difference between Big Muffs?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Disco_Gee, Feb 1, 2004.


  1. I'm looking to buy one, but I'm not sure which one to get. I have the option of getting the Russian made one (black case) or the NYC one (silver case). I don't have the opportunity to play the NYC one before purchase though, so I thought I would find out what the differences are sound-wise. I did a search on here, but couldn't find the answer anywhere. Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. Electricmayhem

    Electricmayhem

    Dec 18, 2003
    NH
    Make that two people looking for an answer here!
     
  3. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Dunno, I've never played the NYC. I can tell you though, that the Russian one is quite nice. It is my distortion of choice!
     
  4. wingnutkj

    wingnutkj

    Mar 27, 2003
    Scotland
    I've got both - give me a moment and I'll try to do some kind of A/B for you.

    Basically, my Russian one has a warmer, bassier tone and my US one has a hotter, more distorted tone. They're very different beasts.
     
  5. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've answered this many times and somewhere is the GREATEST Big Muff breakdown ever, but I can't find it, so I'll try again:

    There are four variations:
    *Sovtek Green (Huge, discontinued)
    *Sovtek Black (Smaller, current)
    *NYC Reissue (Reissue of the original)
    *NYC Original (The original EHX Fuzz)

    I can't vouch for the sound differences between the original NYC Big Muff and the reissue, but my weapon of choice is a modded NYC RI BMP, the blue light special. The Sovteks are obviously imported from Russia, but that doesn't mean they're bad; they're different. The Ruskies tend to be a little colder sounding as they're made with different parts, the interior work isn't as clean and they don't come with a power adapter, but everything can be fixed.

    The American's tend to be a little warmer sounding as they're made with quality parts. The case is a tad more flexible under weight, but they hold up for years. I recently came across a 1977 BMP that was still rockin' hard after 26 years. Though it was after my Blue Light conversion so I couldn't A/B the tones.

    The difference, as far as I know between the Green and Black Sovteks is the case. The Green one was massive and the black one is smaller, both are sturdy and contain the same circuit.

    But when looking for a Muff, they tend to vary a bit in tone from model to model, some warmer, some crispier than others. I suggest you try each before buying.
     
  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Like I said, the two vary. LOL. Perfect example, my RI is very warm and bassy. The only Sovtek I played was rather crunchy.
     
  7. wingnutkj

    wingnutkj

    Mar 27, 2003
    Scotland
    Hopefully, if I've attached the file properly, there should be an MP3 of me doing Clean (Jazz -> Behringer Bass VAmp on preset 5E) then Black-boxed Russian model, then US ressiue. To my ears, the US Reissue sounds more aggressive, but lacks a bit of the bottom-end punch that comes through with the Russian one.

    Russian:
    Volume - 11 O'Clock
    Tone - 7 O'Clock (as far down as it goes)
    Sustain - 2 O'Clock

    US:
    Volume - 9 O'Clock
    Tone - 7 O'Clock (as far down as it goes)
    Sustain - 2 O'Clock

    I've found that with my US one, if I put the volume at 11 O'Clock there should be a big difference between clean and dirty, but what actually happens is that it sort of "chokes" and kills the attack of the notes. Not nice. Well, bass through a Big Muff's not /meant/ to be "nice", but you know what I mean...
     
  8. imonfire,dude

    imonfire,dude

    Jan 22, 2004
    the us sucks compared to the russian in that clip, somthing about the sound of the russian makes me smile in the clip. it's beautiful :) gas.
     
  9. sounds like i like the us one better
     
  10. Electricmayhem

    Electricmayhem

    Dec 18, 2003
    NH
    I should have known, Tplyons.
     
  11. Hmmm....interesting stuff. I do like the sound of the Russian one in the clip. It would be really good tho if I could a/b them somewhere myself.

    There is a place near me that has the russian one in stock, might go and play with it today sometime.
     
  12. Ok. Well, GAS got the better of me and I'm now the owner of a Russian Big Muff. I know it's only an effect, but I'm excited because it's been a long time since i bought anything for my bass...like 16-17 months at least (strings not included). I played around with it in the store and I really like the warm distortion sound... and the fact that it is impossible to get bass effect units anywhere around where i live made the choice even easier!!

    Haven't had much of a chance to play around with it yet because it was 11o'clock when i got home and everyone was sleeping. Thank you everyone for your input and advice!
     
  13. Electricmayhem

    Electricmayhem

    Dec 18, 2003
    NH
    Glad to hear that you got rid of your gas.