Big Muff Pi review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (120 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: Big Muff Pi
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Price paid: £ 35

Purchased from: ebay (second hand)

Sound — 10
The sound is terrific. I use it with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus, with which the sustain can become too much for some ears, and a 1980 HH Studio50 combo which is a good clean and loud solid-state amp, but the distortion is far too mild and limited for me. I tried using a Vox V847 Original Wah, but the big muff sort of drowned it out- probably a bit too much sustain/gain. The sustain is just endless after 1'o clock on the knob. Of course it is completely subjective, but I think the fact that greats like Santana and Jack White and Muse like this for the same reason that I do. Versatility isn't the aim of this pedal, however, and it is of course hard to get anything sounding like organic, valve-driven Overdrive. I play mostly classic rock like Zeppelin, Clapton, Dire Straits, and I enjoy just jamming. Honestly, it doesn't suit these guys- for them you're better off getting a HardWire Valve Overdrive or a Boss of some sort. However, for jamming and simply rocking out I think it's amazing. It can handle metal quite well with its sustain as one might expect, but I don't venture that much into that area. One of the first things that impressed me with the big muff is how clear it sounds when not turned on. The specs of the reissue versions say they have true bypass, and it really is much better than my DigiTech Hot Head when clean.

Overall Impression — 10
Like I said, I play classic rock, but using this to just jam is the best use I can think of for it. I've been playing for about three years and this works quite nicely with my Epi Les Paul and my HH Studio50 amp, though it's kinda mean to other pedals when used together. I'd like to buy another even if I didn't loose it just to show off that I have two! So obviously I'd get another one if it were stolen... What do I love? Unique, immense tone with fantastic sustain, awesome Vintage vibe and very nice true bypass. There honestly isn't much comparison though I did compare it to a DS-1 and an MT-2 and I think it soudns nicer, more unique and better when clean. I'd have liked it to have a mid control or mid boost button, but I don't know many distortion pedals that have this feature, plus that's what EQ pedals and amp EQs are for.

Reliability & Durability — 9
It's a decent build though it is huge being a normal sized big muff. It's nice and metallic but it's going rusty, which I personally don't mind, so long as the electronics inside are OK! It's a sturdy stomp box despite being clearly quite old and worn. So yes, I would definitely depend on it, with an extra battery of course and I wouldn't bring a backup. Though as far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many distortion pedals.

Ease of Use — 8
It's fairly simple with just 3 nobs, but you do have to fiddle with the tone knob to get the sounds you want. I find it's a little over the top after you go past about 1'o clock. However the other two controls are fantastic to work with. Volume can go from nothing to mindblowingly loud, whilst the sustain knob can go from mild distortion to heavy distortion with a gradual increase in sustain too. Don't know much about the pedal really, doesn't have a manual or paperwork. Just a damn good pedal that looks and sounds like a big muff

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