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#1
I'm looking for a fuzz pedal, but there's not much variety on the shops around here, so i can't just go out and try a bunch of them so that i can decide which i like best.

I'd like suggestions on fuzz pedals that would allow me to get mainly Dinosaur Jr.'s kind of fuzz.
But i'd like for it to be versatile enough so that i can get also the kinds of fuzz used by The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Silversun Pickups, The Smashing Pumpkins or The White Stripes, for example...


Here's the obligatory information:
Budget?
Around 100€. Preferably less, but willing to spend more if it's worth it.

Genres?
Rock, alternative rock, blues rock...

New or Used?
Preferably new, but i'm open to suggestions on used equipment.

Home or Gig?
Both.

Closest City?
Doesn't matter, local shops have the usual kind of stuff: Boss FZ-5, Fender Blender, EHX Big Muff (the one i liked best out of the three)...
So probably i'll end up buying online, from Music Store, Thomann or DV247.

Current Gear?
Squier Strat, PRS SE Singlecut, other effects pedals, Laney LV300H (fuzz pedal will be used mostly [if not always] through the clean channel) with a Crate 4x12" cab.

Thank you very much for your help.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#2
Check out the barber electronics trifecta. Its priced good for what it is and is very versitile
#3
If you liked the Big Muff, check out the Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker. Makes it a little more versitile.
#4
See if you can find a deluxe Big Muff or one of the Op Amp Big Muffs. J Mascis used a Deluxe Big Muff, and Corgan is famous for using the op amp Muff on Siamese Dream. You'd have to look on ebay for them though.

New, obviously the current Big Muff is good, Swollen Pickle is good, Blackout Effectors Musket fuzz is great.
#5
The Tone Wicker Muff is going to be the most versatile muff. Alternatives like the Swollen Pickle are versatile too though.
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Last edited by Emperor's Child at Apr 14, 2012,
#6
What most of the bands you mentioned have in common is using some kind of Big Muff, so look into that. The Big Muff Pi w/Tone Wicker is the best name-brand version. The better boutique clones are the Blackout Effectors Musket Fuzz, the Earthquaker Devices Hoof Fuzz, and the Black Arts Toneworks LSTR.
#7
Also look at the Blackout Effector Musket.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Apr 14, 2012,
#8
The Blackout Effectors Musket Fuzz would be a great buy for you, but it is a little over your budget. I think it would be worth it though.
#10
Quote by Emperor's Child
The Tone Wicker Muff is going to be the most versatile muff. Alternatives like the Swollen Pickle are versatile too though.


Personally, I like the tone of the regular Big Muff better than the Wicker, and if you want something that versatile, a Swollen Pickle or Musket Fuzz would be a better choice.
#11
The NYC Big Muff would be a good choice, but the Tone Wicker isn't really worth it imo because I've done identical mods to my Big Muff and still use it stock. If you're willing to spend a little more I've heard great things about Stomp Under Foot and they recently released a pedal that's supposed to do the 90s alt rock sound really well.
#13
This would be fantastic for what you're looking for and this would be the pedal in your price range for that 90's Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr fuzz. It would also work really well for a Silversun Pickups sound. Both fall into your price range new are are definitely better pedals than the current offerings from EHX and whatnot IMO. Not that there's anything wrong with a standard Muff, but if your budget allows for better why not go for it?
Board:
Pitchblack - Fulltone Octafuzz - Hardwire OD - Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina - MXR Micro Chorus - Diamond Memory Lane Jr - EHX SMMH - Neunaber Wet
#14
Quote by Polar13
The NYC Big Muff would be a good choice, but the Tone Wicker isn't really worth it imo because I've done identical mods to my Big Muff and still use it stock. If you're willing to spend a little more I've heard great things about Stomp Under Foot and they recently released a pedal that's supposed to do the 90s alt rock sound really well.

SUF pedals are really awesome, but once you start talking about that price range a lot of other really cool options also start popping up.
Board:
Pitchblack - Fulltone Octafuzz - Hardwire OD - Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina - MXR Micro Chorus - Diamond Memory Lane Jr - EHX SMMH - Neunaber Wet
#15
Apparently, there's a lot of love for the Big Muff Pi, and most of you think it would suit my needs... Good news for me, since it's available in nearby stores.

Judging from the video demos, the Musket sounds a bit more "modern" to me than the Big Muff, and that's not what i'm looking for.
I don't know if that's true or if it's just me, but it's the impression that i got.

As far as the others listed here (like the Swollen Pickle) go, in the demos i watched they didn't sound much different than the Big Muff Pi.

Quote by Polar13
...the Tone Wicker isn't really worth it imo because I've done identical mods to my Big Muff and still use it stock.

After watching this video, the Tone Wicker version seemed really interesting.
We're talking about a 7€ price difference to the regular Big Muff Pi for those added options... If i understood correctly, with the Wicker switch off and the Tone switch on, it sounds exactly like a Big Muff Pi.
So, even if i end up not using those options much, at least i know they're there in case i want them.
Is there any advantage on getting the regular Big Muff Pi over the Tone Wicker version, besides the 7€ savings?


P.S.: a friend of mine lent me a Z.VEX Fuzz Factory yesterday, and in over 3 hours of experimenting with it, i couldn't make it sound exactly like i wanted.
It was, by far, the most complex pedal i ever tried. The knobs' sensitivity is off the charts; when it seems you're about to nail that perfect tone, you move one of the knobs by a hair's thickness, and you completely lose it.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#16
^The Tone Wicker Big Muff without the wicker on sounds exactly like the Little Big Muff not the regular Big Muff. Not as loud, not as noisy, you lose some low end, but it's a smoother tone.

I don't like it as much, but that's just me. There's a few youtube videos demoing them together I would recommend checking them out.
#17
Quote by iwannabesedated
^The Tone Wicker Big Muff without the wicker on sounds exactly like the Little Big Muff not the regular Big Muff. Not as loud, not as noisy, you lose some low end, but it's a smoother tone.

I don't like it as much, but that's just me. There's a few youtube videos demoing them together I would recommend checking them out.

Well, then that's something i have to consider...

On their website, i read that
Quote by EHX.com
With the Wicker switch off and the Tone switch on, you have the original Big Muff Pi

(http://www.ehx.com/products/big-muff-pi-with-tone-wicker)

so i though the Tone and Wicker switches were just an addition to the regular Big Muff.

In the past, i heard lots of people saying that the regular Big Muff is much better than the Little Big Muff, so maybe i'll just go with the regular Big Muff.

But i'd like to see the YouTube demos of the Big Muff Pi versus the Tone Wicker version together, anyway... I'm having trouble finding them, though. Can you please point me towards one or two?


EDIT: nevermind the last paragraph, i just found the videos.
But i'm still kinda undecided, they both sound good to me...
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
Last edited by Linkerman at Apr 15, 2012,
#18
Big Muff! or try one of Earthquakers fuzz pedals they make some pretty decent ones
#19
Fuzz pedals, imo are one of the hardest things to give an objective opinion on as far as what they will sound like because they are really dependent on the amp and guitar they are being used with, so take things like online demos or videos with a grain of salt.

I would see if you can try some of these fuzzes through your exact amp and guitar. Imo, I've had very bad experiences with big muffs into solid state or hybrid amps, but I love the sound of it through my JTM45.
Last edited by al112987 at Apr 15, 2012,
#21
Quote by Linkerman
Apparently, there's a lot of love for the Big Muff Pi, and most of you think it would suit my needs... Good news for me, since it's available in nearby stores.

Judging from the video demos, the Musket sounds a bit more "modern" to me than the Big Muff, and that's not what i'm looking for.
I don't know if that's true or if it's just me, but it's the impression that i got.

As far as the others listed here (like the Swollen Pickle) go, in the demos i watched they didn't sound much different than the Big Muff Pi.


After watching this video, the Tone Wicker version seemed really interesting.
We're talking about a 7€ price difference to the regular Big Muff Pi for those added options... If i understood correctly, with the Wicker switch off and the Tone switch on, it sounds exactly like a Big Muff Pi.
So, even if i end up not using those options much, at least i know they're there in case i want them.
Is there any advantage on getting the regular Big Muff Pi over the Tone Wicker version, besides the 7€ savings?


P.S.: a friend of mine lent me a Z.VEX Fuzz Factory yesterday, and in over 3 hours of experimenting with it, i couldn't make it sound exactly like i wanted.
It was, by far, the most complex pedal i ever tried. The knobs' sensitivity is off the charts; when it seems you're about to nail that perfect tone, you move one of the knobs by a hair's thickness, and you completely lose it.

The reason you see a lot of Muff recommendations (the Musket and Swollen Pickle are also based on the Big Muff circuit) is that all of the bands you listed besides Zeppelin (who generally used Tone Benders) use/used them. Like I said before, I would really avoid getting an Electro Harmonix Muff unless you really just can't order from anywhere else. More standard Muff clones like the two I posted lack switches the Wicker has, but the gain and tone will have much more usable ranges and will definitely sound a lot better. I used the EHX NYC RI Muff as my main distortion sound for years and loved it, but as soon as I plugged in a Supercollider (based on a Russian Muff, similar to what the Black Keys have used but with more knobs and such, not something I'd say particularly matched what I was trying to play) I noticed a very immediate, striking difference in sound. I currently own a Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina, which is based on the IC Big Muff like the second pedal I posted on the previous page, for my main fuzztone and couldn't be happier (well, until I get my Ram's Head him ). With it set up like a traditional Muff with no clean blended in and the mids rolled all the way off it pretty much nails the Siamese Dream sound and the 90's Dinosaur Jr sound you'll hear on albums like Where You Been. I really do mean "nails" too, especially in reference to the Siamese Dream stuff. It's pretty uncanny when you're playing the same riffs.
Board:
Pitchblack - Fulltone Octafuzz - Hardwire OD - Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina - MXR Micro Chorus - Diamond Memory Lane Jr - EHX SMMH - Neunaber Wet
Last edited by IsThereLoveInSp at Apr 15, 2012,
#22
I had both the Musket and Swollen pickle at the same time. They both meet in the middle. I wanted it more aggressive so I stuck with the Musket. They will both do Kyuss, but the Pickle is definitely more traditional.
You won't go wrong with either.
#23
Quote by 667
I had both the Musket and Swollen pickle at the same time. They both meet in the middle. I wanted it more aggressive so I stuck with the Musket. They will both do Kyuss, but the Pickle is definitely more traditional.
You won't go wrong with either.

Yep, that's what i thought. The Musket seems too aggressive, too "modern" for what i want... From what i've been studying (guided by everyone's advice), i need a more traditional, vintage kind fuzz.

Quote by IsThereLoveInSp
The reason you see a lot of Muff recommendations (the Musket and Swollen Pickle are also based on the Big Muff circuit) is that all of the bands you listed besides Zeppelin (who generally used Tone Benders) use/used them. Like I said before, I would really avoid getting an Electro Harmonix Muff unless you really just can't order from anywhere else. More standard Muff clones like the two I posted lack switches the Wicker has, but the gain and tone will have much more usable ranges and will definitely sound a lot better. I used the EHX NYC RI Muff as my main distortion sound for years and loved it, but as soon as I plugged in a Supercollider (based on a Russian Muff, similar to what the Black Keys have used but with more knobs and such, not something I'd say particularly matched what I was trying to play) I noticed a very immediate, striking difference in sound. I currently own a Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina, which is based on the IC Big Muff like the second pedal I posted on the previous page, for my main fuzztone and couldn't be happier (well, until I get my Ram's Head him ). With it set up like a traditional Muff with no clean blended in and the mids rolled all the way off it pretty much nails the Siamese Dream sound and the 90's Dinosaur Jr sound you'll hear on albums like Where You Been. I really do mean "nails" too, especially in reference to the Siamese Dream stuff. It's pretty uncanny when you're playing the same riffs.

Well, i've contacted both MadeByMike and Blakemore Effects, let's see if they can ship to Portugal, and how much would cost. (If the info is up-to-date on MadeByMike's website, the pedal + shipping would be 106€, which i could definitely do.)

If those two end up being an option for me, i'll have to look into them even further.
But the Deus Ex Machina demo on Blakemore Effects' website sounded a bit aggressive and modern, like the Musket. I'm only considering it since you own one and said that it absolutely nails the 90's Dinosaur Jr. and The Smashing Pumpkins fuzz tones.

One of the things i'm not very fond of about the EHX Big Muff Pi is that it always seems to scoop the mids a bit...
On the other side, i love that it is pointlessly huge. There's something about its aesthetics that i just really like. But hey, what matters is how it sounds, not how it looks on the pedalboard.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#24
If its a Big Muff then I recommend the Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi. Somebody already recommended you the Trifecta and the Musket, both are great versatile fuzzes, actually those are the ones that ProGuitarShop recommended me. I'm getting the Twosome though, Musket + Fix'd in the same unit!

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#25
Quote by Linkerman
Well, then that's something i have to consider...

On their website, i read that

so i though the Tone and Wicker switches were just an addition to the regular Big Muff.

In the past, i heard lots of people saying that the regular Big Muff is much better than the Little Big Muff, so maybe i'll just go with the regular Big Muff.

But i'd like to see the YouTube demos of the Big Muff Pi versus the Tone Wicker version together, anyway... I'm having trouble finding them, though. Can you please point me towards one or two?


EDIT: nevermind the last paragraph, i just found the videos.
But i'm still kinda undecided, they both sound good to me...

Keep in mind; the muff circuit has been changed a handful of times over the years. When EHX says 'original big muff pi' they actually mean the current production one. I bought a new one a while back and couldn't stand it. Its far too harsh and grainy for the smooth Gimour-like leads I was looking for. I ended up building a muff based on the 1970s ram's head style muff, that Gilmour used for some time. Its a much more useful effect in my opinion.

I'm not saying this is what you want, I'm saying you should look closely into the history of muffs and decide what you want. If you go with a new production one it is just that; EHXs most recent iteration of the effect. If you go for a boutique clone more often than not it is actually a copy of an older, more highly regarded circuit.

Also, as was mentioned; the oversized enclosure (which is 80% empty BTW) and the stupid 1/8" DC jack are reason enough for me to not buy the modern one. EHX decided that altering the circuit wasn't going against tradition, but changing the enclosure? Oh no, that would sacrifice the reputation of a time-tested effect.
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#26
Quote by al112987
Fuzz pedals, imo are one of the hardest things to give an objective opinion on as far as what they will sound like because they are really dependent on the amp and guitar they are being used with, so take things like online demos or videos with a grain of salt.

I would see if you can try some of these fuzzes through your exact amp and guitar. Imo, I've had very bad experiences with big muffs into solid state or hybrid amps, but I love the sound of it through my JTM45.


I strongly agree with this point!!!!
My muff sounded great through my Blackstar HT-5 and my old crappy MG marshall when I sorted myself out with a decent Laney no tweaking could get the muff to sound good with it.

The Fuzzy-ness of the sound is quite dependant on the amp, mine just sounded too muddy and saturated and lost all those edgey juicey Fuzz tones I loved. From trying the muff on different amps/giving it to friends to try, it definatly sounds better on cleaner amps......My laney is already raw and edgy sounding so when paired with the muff its just too much of a good thing

On the same note has anyone had luck with getting a Fuzz (or tube screamer) to work well with a Laney gh 50???
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#27
You are a fool if you do not get a Fuzz Factory. I use it primarily for a Dinsosaur Jr type sound, and it excels at Smashing Pumpkins, White Stripes, Hendrix, well, anything really. It can do vintage and modern fuzz tones, and about 10 other things that other pedals can only dream of!
#28
Quote by head-case
You are a fool if you do not get a Fuzz Factory. I use it primarily for a Dinsosaur Jr type sound, and it excels at Smashing Pumpkins, White Stripes, Hendrix, well, anything really. It can do vintage and modern fuzz tones, and about 10 other things that other pedals can only dream of!


A tad harsh, plus head said he tried one out for 3 hours and it wasnt suiting, as said, Fuzz pedals above all others seem to react dramatically different with different amps
07 Gibson Les Paul LE
06 Fender Mex Strat - SDJb Jr, duckbucker, lil 59
Floor
Cry Baby 95Q-> Digitech Whammy -> DD3 -> MXR Micro Amp-> TU 2
Loop
Holy Grail ->Boss Rc20 Loop Station
Amp
Laney GH50 with Zilla Fatboy 2x12 (celestion g12-65)
#29
Well, i just got the replies, and the Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina Fuzz is definitely an option for me.
It's the one i'm most tempted to buy... I'm just afraid that i can't make it sound smoother if i ever want to...
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#30
Quote by head-case
You are a fool if you do not get a Fuzz Factory. I use it primarily for a Dinsosaur Jr type sound, and it excels at Smashing Pumpkins, White Stripes, Hendrix, well, anything really. It can do vintage and modern fuzz tones, and about 10 other things that other pedals can only dream of!


I fiddled with a Fuzz Factory for about 45 minutes once and couldn't get a useable sound out of it.

I'm not saying it's a bad pedal (I don't think it is), I just wouldn't use one.
#31
Didn't see anyone suggest Catalinbread. Pick one then fine it used. OMG they look awesome!
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#32
Quote by iwannabesedated
See if you can find a deluxe Big Muff or one of the Op Amp Big Muffs. J Mascis used a Deluxe Big Muff, and Corgan is famous for using the op amp Muff on Siamese Dream. You'd have to look on ebay for them though.

New, obviously the current Big Muff is good, Swollen Pickle is good, Blackout Effectors Musket fuzz is great.


Mascis used a ton of different Muffs. His #1 is a Triangle, IIRC.

OP, you want a Catalinbread Manx Loaghtan or similar Muff variant. The Manx is just easy to dial in with different set ups.
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#33
Quote by tubetime86
When EHX says 'original big muff pi' they actually mean the current production one. I bought a new one a while back and couldn't stand it. Its far too harsh and grainy for the smooth Gimour-like leads I was looking for. I ended up building a muff based on the 1970s ram's head style muff, that Gilmour used for some time. Its a much more useful effect in my opinion.
I managed to squeeze some Gilmour-ish sounds out of a EHX stock Big Muff...

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/al112987/music/play996038

It's not as good as a boutique muff, but it got the job done. I might re-do it with a strat.
Last edited by al112987 at Apr 16, 2012,
#34
Quote by mmolteratx
Mascis used a ton of different Muffs. His #1 is a Triangle, IIRC.

OP, you want a Catalinbread Manx Loaghtan or similar Muff variant. The Manx is just easy to dial in with different set ups.


http://www.kitrae.net/music/J_Mascis_Big_Muff.html

According to this, his first one he used was the Deluxe that he liked, but it was stolen, so then he switched to a Ram's Head. He said he's used the Triangle a little bit, but his favorite is the Ram's Head.
#35
+1 to Earthquaker Effects Hoof Fuzz if you ever need a single pedal to nail the Black Keys
#36
Personally, my favourite Big Muff is the Ram's Head but the Little Big Muff and the tonewicker have a higher gain, and utilise SMD components.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#37
Quote by iwannabesedated
http://www.kitrae.net/music/J_Mascis_Big_Muff.html

According to this, his first one he used was the Deluxe that he liked, but it was stolen, so then he switched to a Ram's Head. He said he's used the Triangle a little bit, but his favorite is the Ram's Head.

Yeah, it depends which era you're talking about.


Quote by Linkerman
Yep, that's what i thought. The Musket seems too aggressive, too "modern" for what i want... From what i've been studying (guided by everyone's advice), i need a more traditional, vintage kind fuzz.


Well, i've contacted both MadeByMike and Blakemore Effects, let's see if they can ship to Portugal, and how much would cost. (If the info is up-to-date on MadeByMike's website, the pedal + shipping would be 106€, which i could definitely do.)

If those two end up being an option for me, i'll have to look into them even further.
But the Deus Ex Machina demo on Blakemore Effects' website sounded a bit aggressive and modern, like the Musket. I'm only considering it since you own one and said that it absolutely nails the 90's Dinosaur Jr. and The Smashing Pumpkins fuzz tones.

One of the things i'm not very fond of about the EHX Big Muff Pi is that it always seems to scoop the mids a bit...
On the other side, i love that it is pointlessly huge. There's something about its aesthetics that i just really like. But hey, what matters is how it sounds, not how it looks on the pedalboard.

Yeah, I suggested the Made By Mike stuff because it's pretty close to you and I'm sure he'll ship that way. Blakemore is based in the United States so it'll definitely be more expensive from there, I'm just using that as a reference because I have experience with it. The IC Muff/Deus Ex is definitely the most aggressive of the Muff family, I wasn't expecting the difference to be too big switching from a Russian to IC but it really was huge. Great stuff in their own right though. You'll find pretty much any Muff without a mids control will have the mid scoop. Turning up the volume can help it cut (something I did when I used one, it worked well but it sure was loud) and running an overdrive into or after it can help boost the mids.

It's kindof interesting to me that Frantone designed the EHX NYC Reissue. I do think it's better than most people make it out to be, but for certain things. In retrospect, the sound was a lot like a not-as-good IC Muff. The range of useable gain and tone is pretty limited IMO, but with the gain maxed and the tone at about 1-2:00 I got a pretty good shoegazey/garage rock/90's alternative sound for the money.

And yeah, big pedals rock. I could almost buy the Wren and Cuff stuff for the enclosures alone. Ugh
Board:
Pitchblack - Fulltone Octafuzz - Hardwire OD - Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina - MXR Micro Chorus - Diamond Memory Lane Jr - EHX SMMH - Neunaber Wet
Last edited by IsThereLoveInSp at Apr 17, 2012,
#38
106€ sounds excessive for shipping on a pedal.
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#39
I'll give a vote to the Manx and the Musket (musket can do both modern and vintage, believe me). http://www.gilmourish.com/?p=1664 hope this is helpful.

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#40
Quote by Cathbard
106€ sounds excessive for shipping on a pedal.

That would suck. Seems about right for the pedal and shipping though
Board:
Pitchblack - Fulltone Octafuzz - Hardwire OD - Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina - MXR Micro Chorus - Diamond Memory Lane Jr - EHX SMMH - Neunaber Wet
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