Big Muff Pi review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (120 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: Big Muff Pi

Price paid: £ 57.75

Purchased from: Andertons Music

Sound — 10
I use an Epiphone SG, Squier Strat with a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and a Fender acoustic. The amp I use is my dad's old Marshall solid state MG15DFX with a Boss DS-1 Distortion, EHX Big Muff and an EHX Small Clone Chorus running through it. I thought the big muff wouldn't sound as good as it could do through a solid state amp but actually when I set the controls to my tastes I was blown away with the sound. You just get so much sustain from it, I had to keep on soloing with it on.When you go into heavy barre chords it sounds brilliant and it encourages you to keep on playing. When you roll back the gain you get perfect Led Zeppelin tones and also some pretty impressive Jimi Hendrix sounds, as this pedal is supposed to be based on his sound. You get a really accurate sound with this pedal and don't have any unwanted noise over what you're playing. I don't really think you could get a bad sounding tone out of it by using the 3 dials on the the pedal. Overall the sound you get is just that classic fuzz tone-brilliant. You can get really mellow sounds to really "In your face" sounds - powerful high gain fuzz distortion. The sounds just brilliant.

Overall Impression — 9
I mostly play Grunge/Alternative rock and it just sounds brilliant for it.When you step onto the Big Muff for the chorus of "Today" by The Smashing Pumpkins it just sounds exactly like the recording. I'm really pleased with it and if it was stolen I'd probably save up for a new one. I didn't really read loads of reviews on it because I just sort of knew that it was going to sound good. It's easy to use, sounds good and is fairly versatile. I'm not going to go into lots of detail to try and find faults and things to be improved because it's just a brilliant fuzz pedal. I really recommend getting this one because it sounds brilliant. One thing I would like on it is maybe 2 sort of distortion modes. 1 for the classic Big Muff sound and then maybe another one for more modern sounding stuff. Maybe it could be just that bit more versatile for other styles because I have seen people complaining about this and in some ways I agree. Overall, brilliant pedal.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This pedal looks and feels sturdy and I've read reviews on it where people have dropped it several times and it hasn't broken into pieces. So it must be sturdy. The pedal is made of metal so it's not going to go down without a fight. You'd really have to drop it everyday from quite a height onto something really hard like concrete for it to break or stop working correctly. I've never gigged before because I'm not old enough and my band is sort of "In the making" so half the people can just about play something or haven't even got an instrument yet. I probably wouldn't take a backup because it's one of the best fuzz pedals and also because I don't think it's so delicate that even just from going in a van to the gig and being put on a floor it would break that easily. I'll give it a 7/10 because it is sturdy but it's not indestructible.

Ease of Use — 8
The Big Muff is probably one of the best fuzz boxes you can get. You can get warm and bassy sounds to really crisp sounds with plenty of treble. I'd say the big muff is pretty easy to use with only 3 controls (Volume, tone and sustain). You can use all the controls in many different ways to get the sound you want which is really easy- You won't really have to spend ages tweaking the controls to find your sound. I mostly use the Big Muff for The Smashing Pumpkins, Jimi Hendrix and some Nirvana and it really does do a brilliant job. The big muff produces a really heavy fuzz tone which I personally really like, where as the Boss fuzz pedals just sound in my opinion really noisy and have an overly bright tone (I'm not saying Boss are a bad company because I have some Boss pedals that are brilliant, It's just their fuzz pedals I don't like). I haven't upgraded my one because firstly I don't think you need to unless your looking for a really specific sound and secondly, I don't have the time, money or knowledge to mod mine. Generally, you don't really need to mod this fuzz box because it's great as it is. The manual(or piece of paper) you get with it tells you how to set it up and what the controls do but doesn't give you any sound suggestions or safety hazards etc. Which if you were new to pedals and didn't really know what they did or how they sounded would be pretty much useless in helping you.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Nightfyre wrote: just how heavy can this stompbox get? any good for metal? i'm not talking death metal or anything, but could it concievably play metal or should i stick to rock-type stuff with this?
    metal? get a metal muff unless you want to make hardrock like judas priest etc then you can use the big muff