Hey guys! I don't often come to GB&C because I don't have much knowhow that would help people, but I hope to be doing a lot of projects soon. I just bought a used black Rusian Big Muff at guitar center because I liked the sound of it and I knew it could be modded to sound similar to the old Muffs like Gilmour used. I was wondering what kind of things I could do to ge a creamier sound with extreme gain?

I read somewhere that the Triangle muff used 390K resistors in the three feedback loops. I don't really know what that means, but I can see three parts in the circuit on the schem that has 470K resistors that look like loops, so I am guessing that is what needs to be replaced.

Black russian muff, trying to get more of a triangle muff sound. What mods and could I get some insight on what does what in a circuit so I'm not so in the dark.
I think the russian big muff sounds better personally.

It'll probably be alot of time and effort to make it sound even close to the us big muff, and youll never get it exact, i mean a new one will only cost you £70 whatever that is in $.

I have the bass big muff, but i use it for guitar, i love it.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
I've got a Russian Big Muff that I hardly ever use because I hate buying batteries. I'm thinking about adding a DC jack, maybe I'll mess with some other stuff while I'm in there.

Here's a schematic for the black Sovtek Big Muff:

^Replaced for the one on singlecoil.com

Unfortunately I don't really know enough to suggest any improvements.
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by handbanana
wiliscool is just plain dumb
Last edited by wiliscool at Oct 15, 2009,
Check eet out-

^Click for high res.
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by handbanana
wiliscool is just plain dumb
I've modded quite a few big muffs now. That schematic is not accurate to most black Russians. The one on singlecoil.com is.

TBH, what I would try first is measuring the values of the resistors in the circuit.

The stock Black Russian, on paper, is identical to the Green Russian, and 4 components away from a Civil War Russian. Gilmour used to use a Civil War.

However, many of its values have a TERRIBLE tolerance. Anything over 100K was usually off by at least 20%. At least. I found some with 30% drift.
Restoring these to "stock" values, using metal film resistors, will greatly increase your sound quality, as well as lower noise.

I did this, and the Muff sang. HUGE violin like sustain and big tone, man. Try it.
Thanks a ton guys!

^Should I be looking for 1% tolerance or is 5% good enough? If I replace all of the components then I might as well have just built a clone from scratch. Oh well, it will be a great project.

Quote by FuzzLove

It'll probably be alot of time and effort to make it sound even close to the us big muff, and youll never get it exact, i mean a new one will only cost you £70 whatever that is in $.

I don't want the US muff sound. I want the creamier sexier Triangle Muff from the 70s.
Ah, sneaky edit, wiliscool.

The blue values are what are in most people's Black Russian muffs. I replaced all the 100K and 470K resistors, IIRC.
I also replaced the ceramic .1uF caps, but that's just because I don't like ceramic caps.

FWIW, here's the Triangle Muff schematic. First Edition:

The biggest differences between the Black Russian and the Triangle, the ones that will make the biggest tonal difference are...
- the 10K resistors in between each gain stage in the Russian. The Triangle has 8.2K resistors, for lower gain.
- Change out the 470 pF caps for 560 pF caps, for a smoother sound. These roll off more of the high end when you enlarge the value. The second edition of the Triangle removes the first high pass capacitor.
- If you want an asymmetrical distortion bloom that begins after you sustain a note, like in the Triangle Second edition, remove the 100K resistor going to ground from the second clipping stage (Q3).

Converting the pedal to true bypass wouldn't be a bad idea. I recently did this. There's a guide on singlecoil.com that works okay. I had some problems with it, but I don't remember what it was - I did figure it out, though. imgooley loves his Black Russian now, after all.

EDIT: Fixed transistor labeling.
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Oct 16, 2009,
Ah, replacing the 100R resistor on Q1's emitter would do the same thing. Might get a bit more harmonics that are odd I believe.

Pretty sure removing that resistor would just throw the bias off and that gain stage would not work. That resistor acts as a stabilizing resistor in a voltage divider network. Without it the transistor is more sensitive and unstable, changes in temperature can change the bias point without the resistor.

Have you tried removing that resistor?

Best sounding BMP is the Skreddy Mayo, Id mod to those specs.
the 100K? Yeah, I did it on an NYC, cause that's what was on the second edition of the Triangle.

Did that bloom, my bassist didn't like it at all.

I've seen that mod documented as such, at a couple of places, too.

Although, my mistake is that I said it was on Q2. Looked at the schem again, and the resistor I removed...and it is actually on Q3. I'll edit my post to reflect that.

EDIT: I've not yet tried a Skreddy Mayo before. May have to do that. So far, I really liked the Civil War Russian with a flat mid response.
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Oct 16, 2009,
I don't know if I'm blind, but I don't see any blue or any 8k2 resistors. Are those theta looking things supposed to be 8s? Also, how can I make sure I buy high quality components instead of the cheap ones used in the stock pedal. Any particular brands?

Anyways, thanks a million to everyone here, especially forsakn. You always seem to give me really great advice. I'll be trying to do some of this stuff and I might put up clips and a tutortial once I figure out which component corresponds to the ones on the schem.