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#1
Just relax, OK? Let me type first.

I've been quite vocal with my dislike for the Big Muff and the reasons why aren't exactly a mystery to me or to anyone.

However, there seems to be many Big Muff related threads recently. Many people recommend them. There are many of these "jus get a big muff" posts after dozens of posts telling you NOT to get a Big Muff.

The resurrected "Show Your Pedalboard" thread revealed dozens and dozens of Cliff setups including guitar wahs and Big Muffs.

Basically, I want to know - why is there so much love for the Muff? I've given it a fair shake and haven't found a redeeming feature for it. Why do people buy this pedal? What do you use it for?

If you could also post your setup as well, so I can kinda gauge what kind of rigs use the pedal.

Also, spelling and typing is important. Why? Because "i uze the big muff on mah behringer 15w amp and my epi thunderbird and its so sick its so loud and strong i sound so much like cliff lol hes the best" says more than you think it does.

Anyway, I'm not trolling here. I just want to know why. Seriously - try to sell me a Big Muff.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#2
Cliff used it...that's the only reason they can give you.
Last.FM

Quote by Applehead
There are some things in life that are universally "good":

Sex, pizza, the smell of fresh washing and slap bass.
#3
Oh. . .

I didn't realise this was a bass thread, and i was like WTF?
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#5
I greatly enjoy Chris Wolstenholme's (Muse) bass tone. I've heard that he uses a Big Muff, along with some other stuff.

I don't personally have one, but if it will bring me closer to being able to play with that sharply distorted tone, I may think about it in the near future. Any tips on that one?
#6
Guitar wahs can be modded to bass wahs!
Big Muffs can be modded apparently, but they still sound crap, idk.
Quote by Deliriumbassist

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i can only keep it up for about 30 seconds before my fingers cramp up =[

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#7
Quote by Confused4930
Cliff used it...that's the only reason they can give you.


And why does he get so much praise?
#8
Quote by hamish5178
Oh. . .

I didn't realise this was a bass thread, and i was like WTF?


You were surprised to see a bass thread on the bass board? Are you lost?
Last.FM

Quote by Applehead
There are some things in life that are universally "good":

Sex, pizza, the smell of fresh washing and slap bass.
#9
Quote by fortysix&2
Guitar wahs can be modded to bass wahs!
Big Muffs can be modded apparently, but they still sound crap, idk.

Lowering the frequency doesn't make a proper bass wah. A low-pass filter does, and that's something you can't simply mod. Anyway, that's another story.
Quote by surethingmrvai
its simply the best pedal out there.


Geta Beebaa if ya don't like it.


What was that about!?
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#10
Quote by Confused4930
You were surprised to see a bass thread on the bass board? Are you lost?


haha no, I always just hit 'new posts' so I get stuff from the whole forum, I am however, utterly clueless.
Gibson SG Standard
Fender 52 RI Telecaster
'77 Deluxe Reverb
Sunface w/ SunDial
MXR Carbon Copy
Crybaby



Quote by Sid McCall
Epic win. He speaks the truth, boys and girls.



Founder of the Neutral Milk Hotel club PM to join~
#11
Quote by hamish5178
haha no, I always just hit 'new posts' so I get stuff from the whole forum, I am however, utterly clueless.


Ah I didn't even know you could do that


Just checked that out now, and why am I surprised to see mostly Pit topics?
Last.FM

Quote by Applehead
There are some things in life that are universally "good":

Sex, pizza, the smell of fresh washing and slap bass.
#12
I have a "Little" Big Muff. Which I actually like as a bass fuzz. Mine seems to have alot of low end, and like mentioned above, it gets a very good Muse sound, as well as a good Mastodon sound. I completley agree that there are probably much better fuzz boxes and distortion pedals out there, but the big muff fills a dirty niche, and whether you like it or not, it's the only the way to get that true big muff sound. Theres no "selling" it to anyone, either you like it or you don't. If I could choose though, I would probably much rather have a Sanford and Sonny Bluebeard fuzz, but don't have the time or money to pursue one. It is probably wrong to tell people just to buy Big Muffs (lets not get lazy UG). The best advice would be for someone to go try some stompboxes and find the fazz box that you like the best, whether its a Big Muff, of a Boss, or whatever.

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#13
Quote by X_BassGuitar_X
I greatly enjoy Chris Wolstenholme's (Muse) bass tone. I've heard that he uses a Big Muff, along with some other stuff.


Yeah, like two amps to split his effected and dry signals. He has to, or he may as well be playing a kazoo.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
#14
Personally, I feel that the Big Muff Pedal works great for upper register solos, and to get a decent mid-range dry-fuzz.

However if you want a good low-end and midrange distortion I seriously suggest a different pedal.

But the Big Muff works great for mixing with other effects, if you keep its volume low. And it works great for fast high-end solos.
#15
I bought my Muff because I preferred it to the other distortions I tried (Boss DS-1 and ODB-3 are all I can remember), and I think it gives a neat sound for chording.

I also find it fun to use with my flanger to give some farout sounding stuff. I also plan on getting a bass wah sometime to continue with the messed out sound thing, as well as normal stuff.

Currently I use an Ibanez SR500 and ATK300 through the Muff, through a Boss BF-3, to a Traynor Bloc80B.

I like it, end of story.
#16
i like big muffs because i can get just about any distort tone i want out of it (russian model)
i can get us crunchy or as smooth as i want...
thats why i use it
(i also use the morely power wah i still have from my cliff burton fetish phase)
but yeah, diff tones is why i use it
#18
Chris from Muse uses an Akai Deep Impact along with a Russian (I'm pretty sure) Big Muff.
Thats how he gets his fuzzed out synth tone.

I do not know whether or not he uses a wet and dry signal and/or two amps however.
#19
Quote by Frobot!
Chris from Muse uses an Akai Deep Impact along with a Russian (I'm pretty sure) Big Muff.
Thats how he gets his fuzzed out synth tone.

I do not know whether or not he uses a wet and dry signal and/or two amps however.

Yes, he biamps.
#20
What I don't get is why you have to question why people want to use a big muff or not? They're not searching for your sound, they are searching for theirs ( or a celebrity-bassist they want to model their sound after). I agree with you that its kind of sucks lows, etc. but who cares? I hate envelope filters. They are not my sound, yet I don't tell people they shouldn't use them because of how I think they are pretty unusable, don't maintain that bass tone that I want. If I'm seeing your reaction towards people and their Big Muffs differently, please tell me. (Oh, and since you can't really express emotion over the internet, this is in no way angry or anything )
Last edited by the_hoople at Oct 10, 2007,
#21
First because Cliff is a big inspiration to me and second because it doesn't cost very much. My money has priorities and bass ain't the major one. So if I can get Cliff's tone for cheap, good for me. You could say I suck up to Cliff, to that I say I don't care. It's not any better than the ones who get like 100 pedals to do like the bassist from Tool.
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#22
(to the_hoople) Well, this is an interesting point. You say that people are not looking for my sound, they're looking for theirs. Yet, many people mention the sound they want, and the sound they want is from other bands (Muse, Mastadon, Metallica). To me, many people are searching for someone else's sound, not their own. Saying they search for their sound/a celebrity's sound is a contradiction.

Are you really saying 'who cares?' to the pedal sucking lows? When you step on the pedal, you'll blend into the mix. My sound, your sound, their sound, you won't get any sound.

Anyway, I just see so many functional problems analogous to the Epiphone Thunderbird. In both cases, the design worked well for guitar, but on bass, it doesn't. However, that doesn't prevent either product from getting some die-hards.

Basically, the point of this thread was for me to get an understanding about why people actually use this pedal. As of right now, most responses are either 'because someone else uses them', 'it's nice for solos in the guitar register', and 'because I want to.'

Also, not many people mention their rigs, or at least the amp the pedal's feeding. I'm working on a conclusion that if many Muff users had 'proper' thundering rigs, this loss of bottom would simply not suffice. On smaller amps played alone, however, it might be the case.

My main issue with the whole thing is that the bottom end is needed to get a band sounding properly. The Big Muff makes the bass as effective as a third or second guitar. I'm wondering if there's some more underlying reasons why one would effectively compromise one of the functions of the bass as an instrument.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
Last edited by thefitz at Oct 10, 2007,
#23
I didn't post my rig because it's already in my sig.
Quote by joeyj123
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#24
Fitz, the only time I use my russian muff is with the sustain at 9 o'clock, the tone at 3 o'clock, and in front of my Dunlop 105Q. It gives the best synth sound. Beyond that, I never really use distortion. If I ever start, I'll probably end up buying a Blow Torch or a Sansamp.
"Comedy's a dead art form. Now tragedy, that's funny." -Bender Bending Rodriguez
#25
Yeah I agree on that. I'm not much of a distortion user either unless I play some Metallica. If I were to use more distortion, I'd probably start with the Muff and wait so I can afford something with way better quality. Sadly this would probably take a long time considering my budget.
Quote by joeyj123
I am in awe of your sizzling wit. please, accept this congratulatory e-cookie, and accompanying basket.
#26
I'm not a muff fan but i do use a marshall jackhammer. It's not ideal because i can lose a lot of my low end if i don't set it up right but even then it starts to sound muddy. I'm gonna try out my girlfreinds Arion bass distortion at a gig/band practice and see how that compares with the jackhammer. I'll let you guys know.

But i'm not complaining about the hammer, i scored it for free as it it had some pot damage that i fixed to a reasonable standard.
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#27
right now i got a Bassballs (envelope filter/autowah/talkbox/what have you). I'm curious how it would sounds when used in conjunction with a Big Muff. I don't go to college near a "good" music shop (by good I mean that they have a poor selection of bass effects) so I can't go test it out. So how do you folks think it'll sound? By the way. My band will soon be having a second bassist so I will be delegated to the position of a bass player that is more like a 3rd guitarist. Right now I use the Bassballs for it's kick ass vowel like sounds on the high end to simulate vocals (we're an instrumental band).
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#28
this entire reply is spam, totally unrelated to the thread. i should be reported.

i don't like the Big Muff for bass. not spam, now.

most younger players don't realize that most bands, using a distorted bass, also have a second signal to the board that is not distorted, thus maintaining the low end.
distorted bass on it's own, sounds like a rythym guitar providing zero, low end reinforcment. for the effect to be re-created, you should have two amps(one distorted, and one not) or have two lines to the board. none of the above will work effectivly, unless the kick drum is mic'd, and loud. the kick drum gives the bass power, the bass gives the kick drum, tone. true kick ur ass sound is achieved only when the kick drum, and bass, work as one. thats my 2 cents.

Edit: just for the record, i don't use effects pedals, by choice. i can play Metallica, but my sound has balls, not pedals. i have yet to find a sound i can't achieve with my Jazz and my amp, without all the guitar player crap. i'm not a "hide behind the effects" player. my effects are added at the soundboard. what you see(and hear), is what you get. sorry! i'm old school. lol
Last edited by 83lespaulstudio at Oct 11, 2007,
#29
Quote by thefitz
My main issue with the whole thing is that the bottom end is needed to get a band sounding properly. The Big Muff makes the bass as effective as a third or second guitar. I'm wondering if there's some more underlying reasons why one would effectively compromise one of the functions of the bass as an instrument.


First my rig, and my situation as a muso, FYI.

Hartke HA3500 head into a VX115 Cab. (240w into an 8ohm 1x15" cab, plus horn) Only bass pedal is a 2006 black Russian Muff, I don't biamp or use a clean ton as well, when the muff is on it's the only sound I've got. Not a massive thunderous rig, but can handle outdoor stuff and practicing alone I can't turn it above 1 without making things rattle. And it's far from a ****ty practice amp.

Anything I say about muffs from here on is about the russian ones, the others are no good for bass. If that's what you're judging muffs on then go play a russian one cause you've got the wrong idea. Every thing I'm saying refers to bass into muff into amp, nothing else in the chain.

I play bass in a rock band, two guitars, drums, vox, sometimes keys. I've used the muff with the band regularly. I don't lose myself in the mix when I step on it.

You say that it cuts your lows, well, I can still shake things just fin when my muff is on. Granted, the tone has to be in it's lowest position to about 10 o'clock, and higher and it will sound thin and buzzy. You're not meant to turn the tone up higher, the pedal wasn't designed for a bass so not all tone settings are usable. The muff is a cheaply made mass produced pedal, not every tone setting is good like on some boutique stompboxes.

Also, if the distortion is up too high you will blend with the guitars too much and lose definition, just don't turn the sustain on full. Any decent guitar player won't turn their gain on full either, it' the equivalent of a bassist pumping their lows by like 15 dB, mud and no definition.

I don't see how you guys say that the muff cuts your lows. When used right I sound full, I don't get buried, and I can still feel the bass.

I'm not saying the muff is perfect, but to tell people to blindly ignore a pedal that might be exactly what they want is a bit over the top. You should try everything.


Why is the muff loved so much? Because lots of famous people used them and they are in fashion now. People want to emulate their idols sound, so they recommend them. People know the muff name, so they recommend them. Most people probably don't buy them for the right reason, just like alot of people buy a Fender/Ampeg/etc. for the name.

I bought my muff because it was the closest thing to the sound I had in my head, and I tried a load of pedals.


Either way, nowadays my distortion tones are different. I use the muff as a boost (tone min, sustain min, volume full) into a MI Audio Crnuchbox with it's tone on min, and distortion on 3/4. Very thick saturated sound, sorta close to the break 4 mins into Know You Enemy (RATM) but with more bass. I didn't get the Crunchbox for bass, it was a complete accident that I happened to love its sound, but only when the muff is driving it.

I know you'll baulk at the fact that I've got a guitar fuzz used as a boost running into a guitar distortion pedal, but it sounds full and fat with a band. In fact, it was my band mates that suggested using it like that.

So my point is, you should experiment and try everything, don't tell people to ignore a muff, it may be perfect for them.
"You can practice to attain knowledge, but you can't practice to attain wisdom." - Herbie Hancock
#30
I Use a fender P and a Laney amp (can't remember name)

I got my big muff cheap from a guy who was having a clear -out, If i was going to pay £50 or so I probably would have looked for a better distortion from Boss/ digitech.

To get rid of a huge change in tone when turning it on I have to set the controls quite carefully , with some fiddling its pretty usable.
#31
I never liked a big muff, or bass wah's for that matter (unless you're setting them at a constant 5th up, for example, none of this foot jive malarkey).

Those who do like them, fair enough. I just prefer putting a bit of natural dirt into my sound. The muff just seems to suck tone, yet is slightly overpowering at the same time.

It's better than the ODB-3 though.
#32
I bought a Muff a while ago now, and at first, loved it. I actually think it can get a good sound if you mess around with the EQ, and I found the perfect sound/tone for me.

...Then one day, I decided to bring it to band practice. As soon as I turned the damned thing on, my sound was completely shot and I couldn't hear myself playing over my drummer, nevermind my 2 guitarists. It's a very nice sound, but, it's just so impratical in a band setting. It's near-impossible to distinguish.
#33
I personally like my signal all clean. Every once in a while I use a pedal or two, but only hardly, because I don't need to. I use an Ibanez PD7 Phat-Hed for my distortion for the fact I can still get a harsh distortion or a slight distortion out of it and still save the low end. Unfortunately it's not a true bypass pedal, which sucks for me because I usually only have one or two pedals in my signal at max (usually none), so yeah. But, I've only heard the Big Muff on YouTube and from those bands mentioned, and even though they are some of my favorites, I really hate the live sound for the bass with the muff on even when biamped.
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Wading in a cesspool of forgotten memory
An insignificant host to the collective subconscious


~Sacred Slumber
#34
Quote by Deliriumbassist

It's better than the ODB-3 though.


I take exception to this because the ODB-3 can actually be used without having to completely rework your setup in order to be heard.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
#36
Quote by Deliriumbassist
I hate the sound of ODB-3's, that's my beef, lol. I never EVER found a setting I liked with it.


Haha, not many people do. They approach it thinking something called an overdrive pedal is actually an overdrive pedal, which is their biggest mistake :P

PD7 is definately better, though.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
#37
still, I say the blow-torch and fulltone are the best two distortions out there. They're definately worth the extra $100.
"Comedy's a dead art form. Now tragedy, that's funny." -Bender Bending Rodriguez
#38
I originally bought mine because I loved the fuzzy sound, plus anything that might change my tone was an improvement as I owned a Behringer, now I own a decent amp the difference is much more noticeable and the lack of low end depresses me, I am putting an order in for a Fulltone some time very soon, I start my new job next weekend so it should be around then!
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#39
Quote by indie-bassist
I originally bought mine because I loved the fuzzy sound, plus anything that might change my tone was an improvement as I owned a Behringer, now I own a decent amp the difference is much more noticeable and the lack of low end depresses me, I am putting an order in for a Fulltone some time very soon, I start my new job next weekend so it should be around then!

You won't be disappointed. If you can get your paws on a Sonic Maximizer, it'll be even crazier!

And I'm not comparing the Muff to my Fulltone, I'm comparing a Muff to a clean signal.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#40
Quote by thefitz
You won't be disappointed. If you can get your paws on a Sonic Maximizer, it'll be even crazier!

And I'm not comparing the Muff to my Fulltone, I'm comparing a Muff to a clean signal.

Yeah I tried the fulltone out last weekend and it definitely lived up to all the praise you gave it!

I'm currently trying to buy a 362NR off a mate for £50 but my parents aren't too happy about it, they'd rather I got a new one .

Ah well, I told them they can pay if I have to have a new one, their loss.
Quote by Bumper
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