Electro Harmonix Big Muff pedal is a line of fuzz stompboxes with a signature sustain that’s been used by the icons of Rock’n’Roll since the late 60’s.
Price: Around $80
With growing appreciation for fuzz and singing sustain, Electro Harmonix founder Mike Matthews went on a venture to create big fuzz pedal which will be able to reach very high maximum gain. Shortly after, given that Matthews was great at his job on top of being passionate about music, the first Big Muff was manufactured replacing the existing Axis Fuzz pedal.
Electro Harmonix Big Muff pedal was an instant success. It provided a very long sustain with a growling fuzz sought after by the musicians of the time. Jimi Hendrix was one of the first buyers of the EH Big Muff, followed by David Gilmour, Jack White, John Frusciante, Dan Auerbach and countless others. The list gets even longer with guitarists who purchased the pedal but did not record with it.
There is a bass version, a Little Big Muff (pocketish size), a Germanium (based around a specific transistor) and a Sovtek (Russian sister company) version of the distortion pedal. While Electro Harmonix pedals range is big, probably the most wide-used pedal from the line is the EHX Big Muff Pi.
The Big Muff Pi is not your smallest stompbox by any means.
It dimensions are:
Width: 13.8 cm (8.6 inches)
Length: 17.3 cm (5.9 inches)
Height (High/Low point): 5.6/3.5 cm (2.2/1.3 inches) since it’s top side is at an angle which makes it easier to jump on the on/off button.
Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pedal has true bypass and an in/out jack at the back. There is an option to get a Big Muff with tone and wicker switches which enhances your tone even further with high frequency filters or a complete bypass of tone control.
The pedal has three knobs:
The actual visual look of it (not like anyone gives a crying wink) is hideous. It looks like it was attached to a terminator ankle at some point before a big explosion tore it off. Which proves that looks don’t matter when it comes to the feelings. And man this thing can make you feel…
You know those solos that close your eyes for you at the moment of absolute culmination. Those sounds that literally move your body from the inside when put at the right moment into your ears. Playing with Electro Harmonix Big Muff pedal gets you pretty close to that. It’s just empowering to hit that long note and listen to it take a ride around town and stop for a drink on it’s way back before it dies out. It’s one of the best feelings a guitarist can have and it’s one of the things worth chasing for.
Big Muff Pi is made for one purpose – to keep your sound where you left it and make sure its remembered.
The best sample would probably be the one provided by the manufacturer themselves. In the video below, EHX has invited a local guitarist to show how versatile this pedal really is. The man speaks as if they rolled one before recording started.
If you are a visual, then Marty Schwartz has a great in-depth video review of his Big Muff…
As always though, don’t listen to me – go out and find your own tone. Try everything made by everyone until you are at home with your own sound.