Bass Big Muff Pi review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (30 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: Bass Big Muff Pi
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Price paid: € 74

Purchased from: musicstore.com

Sound — 8
I play an ESP LTD AX104 bass through a Behringer BXL3000 amp. I have also used this on a 175w G&K and a Roland Cube 60. I basically got this pedal after I got enough money to spend it on a nice pedal with some fuzz/distortion. Why? I am a fan of distortion in general and Cliff Burton. He used an original (guitar not bass) Big Muff or some of the sorts, so I thought I couldn't go wrong with something Burton played, but then "optimized" for bass. Aside from the three knobs "Volume, Tone, Sustain", it has a tiny switch which has "Dry, Normal, Bass". Now, the knobs are pretty straightforward like I said. You get the sound you want out of here, I turn Tone and Sustain on about 2 o'clock to get a sweet Motrhead sound (with the according amp settings - no bass and pumped mid's), and all the way for the Pulling Teeth/Anesthesia sound. I also use it on a 9 o'clock stance for some light fuzz. It all sounds fantastic. HOWEVER! It goes completely lost in a band's mix. Maybe this goes for all bass distortion, but what sounds great in your bedroom sounds like a "detuned low volume nasty Chinese guitar" or goes completely unheard when you play with a heavy metal band or a band with distorted guitars. Also, which can be annoying as well is how much it can... Well, sustain. If you turn it down, you lose the sound you want. If you keep it there and you play like some open E's and then a single note on another string and not mute it, it will ring and dominate your whole sound. You can use the switch on Bass to get your clean sound with the distortion being like an addition, or Dry to get well, a dry sound. I usually just put it on Normal and only use distortion when it's needed, rather than using light fuzz all the time.

Overall Impression — 9
I wish I looked more into stuff I could use to "crank up dat bass" when playing with a band, rather than having the epicness only during solo's or the bedroom/two person jam. It is however a top above other Dist pedals I have or have tried. It is much better than any Boss or DigiTech stuff. To be honest, the one that comes closest is an early 90's Boss HM-2 guitar distortion pedal. If it were stolen, it wouldn't be the first I'd buy, but I would want it back sometime soon. Also, this thing freaking rocks with a WahWah pedal!!!

Reliability & Durability — 9
It's very very strong and tightly built. I would throw it off the Empire Building and take it to a gig without checking if it works. But I would change the battery, because it can eat a cheap battery in about a month, and I'm too lazy/poor to buy an adapter.

Ease of Use — 9
It's very easy to get a great sound out if it, any setting from a little bit of fuzz to the wall of distortion it creates. Packaging was simple but good, don't think I looked at the manual, and then again: 9v battery, use the switches and knobs which are all labeled. Pretty straightforward.

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