So lately i've been wanting to get a different kind of tone out of my amp. With the setup i have now i can get a really good straight-forward rock tone that takes advantage of my amp's natural distortion. I've been wanting to expand on this, however.

I wanted to get some sort of a sustain/distortion pedal. I want to get a heavy, very distorted, almost fuzzy tone with TONS of sustain. Think David Gilmour in Echoes or Matt Bellamy, etc.

So I found the big muff pi, the USA, and the Russian version. Anyone have experience with one or both of them? What would you say are the pros and cons? which one would you guys recommend?

any help is appreciated. Also, if you think there are other pedals that i would like feel free to throw them out there.

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I own and love the American Big Muff. I haven't used the Russian before, but I'm completely happy with my Muff's tone.
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I own and love the American Big Muff. I haven't used the Russian before, but I'm completely happy with my Muff's tone.

same here
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I hear the US version has more of a fuzz like distortion.
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The USA is more of a fuzz, the Russian is more of a distortion. Take your pick.


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yeah, i'm not a huge fan of crazy fuzz. It's more distortion and sustain that i want. The big muff caught my eye cuz it has a Sustain knob on it haha. I know compressor's can help sustain, but i'm not sure if that's really what i'm looking for.

anyways, thanks for the replies everyone.
Traynor YCV50 Blue
epi les paul w/ SD Alnico II pros
Dunlop Slash Wah
EH Deluxe Memory Boy
Moen Jimi Vibe
Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz
Zvex Vexter Fuzz Factory
VHT 2x12 w/ V30's
The only Muff I liked was the old Green Russian models. If you can i'd spring for one of those. It's a little rare and slightly more expensive but the sound is miles better. It'll get closer to those Gilmour tones than the current models being sold IMHO.

Also the BYOC Big Muff clone has been getting alot of great reviews, I would definitely look into that first. Great price and easy to obtain.
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yea the USA one is so smooth and silky its amazing.
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Russian; it's definitely more of a distortion pedal, but it does have a fuzzy texture in various settings. I kind of compare it to taking something like a Marshall JMP that's been cranked and throwing a Fuzz Face in front of it. The USA version is smoother, but it's not super ballsy and is more fuzzy than anything. Russian's a bit more versatile IMO and sustains like mad. Gilmour used an original muff on The Wall but used one of the old "civil war" muffs since like the mid 80s. I'd go Russian, or get a BYOC Large Beaver Muff Clone: Vintage Muff tones but clearer and since it's got an added midrange control it'll allow you to cut through the mix more than a regular Muff will.
I wouldn't say it has any fuzz face character, it's really more of a... well, distortion pedal, a very fat sounding distortion. The USA Big Muff has more of that edginess of a fuzz.
i'm not saying it's like a fuzz face at all; i'm giving him an idea of the distortion: like all already fat distorted sound that's boosted and a tad fuzzy. A Dim ed Marshall with a Fuzz Face is the best approximation for the level of distortion I could give.
As an owner of the Green Russian Muff, I'd say go with one of those if you can. Try putting up an ad on your local craigslist saying you want a Big Muff, thats what I did and I had all sorts of vintage muffs to choose from. If neither of those appeal to you, then I would suggest a BYOC Large Beaver. The sound of the Large Beaver is better than the current muffs and it has a switch that helps you cut through in the mix.
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yea the USA one is so smooth and silky its amazing.

No it's not... The USA one is rougher than the Russian muff. I prefer the Russian Muff, it's smoother and less harsh. Muffs don't really like mids though.
If you're willing to build, take a look at one of these as well:
General guitar gadgets BMP

They're a quality kit and the price is right. They also include all the parts to build whatever version you want. I couldn't be happier with my BMP, or the other GGG pedals I own.
The Big Muff w/ Tone Wicker is a very nice pedal. At $89, you can't go wrong for what it offers.
I haven't actually played the Russian Muff, but the guy at the guitar shop told me it had less sustain than the USA Muff when I asked about his.

If that is a big part of why you want it, definitely play before you buy, to make sure you are satisfied.

I would personally get the Big Muff with tone wicker, it sounds great and has a wider range of sounds than the original Big Muff.



The Russian Muff has a lot of sustain too. I could hold notes for like 20 seconds or so with my Hellraiser into a 1x10 combo. The only bad part about the Russian is the reversed inputs and lack of adapter.
really? wow, you actually answered a question to a thread I was gunna make in the Customizing section of the forum. Thanks!
@TS; The US model, in addition to being larger, more annoying to replace batteries on and having an AC power jack, the US model is a bit sharper to my ears, and, according to others, eats more batteries(I've only had one battery in mine since I bought it in October). It depends on the tone you want, but I liked the smoother gain on the USSR model, so thats what I have.

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If you like Sustain, the Russian muff has more sustain according to others in the forum.
Check harmony-central.com for some reviews maybe?

But I've heard a lot of people really like the Big Muff Pi. I love it. I've gotten the Little Big Muff because the freaking Big Muff was freaking gigantic. Good grief. I love the fuzz and the sound just really gets me into playing guitar. However, I've only been able to play with it for an hour or two before I bought it home and have to wait until christmas. :P