Double Muff review by Electro-Harmonix

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (17 votes)
Electro-Harmonix: Double Muff

Price paid: £ 25

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 7
I use this with a Fender Jaguar, which has a Seymour Duncan SJAG-2 in the neck and a JB Jr single-coil sized humbucker in the bridge, into a Laney VC15. The single muff has a similar character to a fuzz face, but with much less distortion; it provides a light, slightly fuzzy overdrive. Adding the second muff turns it into more of a fuzz/distortion, which is very aggressive. The single muff is VERY sensitive to what guitar and pickups you use: with a bright guitar it can be ice-picky with brittle high-mids, but with darker guitars (or even just a neck pickup) it's generally far too muddy and dark to be at all useable. I've had the best results with a strat, with which I got a fantastic low-gain fuzz tone out of the pedal, which is perfect for Rolling Stones stuff. It's always very mid-heavy, and can be a bit woofy sometimes. In this mode, the pedal is wonderfully dynamic, and cleans up well with soft playing or rolling back the volume on the guitar a bit. With both muffs engaged, these differences become a bit less apparent, and the tone is a bit different. Loads of sustain, and very little dynamic range; you get a huge compression effect, and it's not at nearly as sensitive to guitar volume. The pedal can get noisy, as you're boosting the gain quite a lot, especially with both circuits engaged. This isn't really a problem for me, but it might be for people who already have noisy rigs. An important point is that this pedal does NOT like being placed after a buffer, and it's better to always have it as the first pedal in line, or it becomes painfully bright, and sounds horrible.

Overall Impression — 7
I mainly play old 60/70s-style rock music (Stones, Neil Young) and Indie rock (Pixies, Wintersleep, Deerhoof). This pedal is brilliant for those styles, although I wouldn't use it for much else. I've been playing for maybe 7 years, and also use: EHX Small Stone, BYOC Octave Fuzz, some homemade overdrive, MXR Carbon Copy, Marshall VT-1, DigiTech Digidelay, EHX Deluxe Memory man. The Double Muff stacks quite well with my other dirt pedals, and the Drive channel of my amp. That's one of my favourite things about it: it's great for giving a dirty boost to another pedal or the amp's drive. With it driving my fuzz, I get a really fat, sustainy sound, although it is quite noisy. My only problem with it was the power jack that it comes with, which is different to the standard 2.1mm jacks most pedals use. I recently swapped one of those in, which was very simple, and I don't know why I didn't do it earlier. I don't like using batteries, but if you do, they last for ages, as I said earlier. I don't think I'd ever replace my double muff, as it's a fairly unique sound. If I get really sick of it, or when I get a Fuzz Face/Tonebender I'll mod this before I get rid of it, to see what I can get out of it. All in all, very simple, does one thing pretty well, although it is hampered by having to be first in the effects chain and a little bit by it's response to different guitars, which might make it a bit less versatile.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Everything in it is well constructed, the case is solid, and the pots, Switch and jacks are well mounted. I'd be very surprised if anything happened to it, except with unreasonable abuse that a pedal wouldn't ever go through. I've gigged with it plenty of times with no backup, and it's always held up. In fact I've gigged it without spare batteries, which is stupid, but the current draw of this thing is very, very small. The battery life is extremely long, even with heavy use. And if it does run out of power or break, since it's true bypass it will still pass signal when turned off (unless the Switch breaks, obviously, but that's pretty unlikely).

Ease of Use — 8
This is a very, very simple pedal. On the 'single' setting, there is a volume control. The 'double' setting puts a second muff fuzz after the first, and each of them has a volume control. In this mode, the Muff 1 volume control has more of an effect over the volume, and the Muff 2 volume control has more of an effect over the distortion, although both controls affect both parameters. It takes a little bit of tweaking to find the right volume and distortion levels.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Great pedal. Bought one today and I just had to log onto a forum to say - IT IS AWESOME BUY ONE. Just put it first in your pedal layout as others have said. I don't have an EQ pedal and it sounds fine - playing mine into a Laney VC30. It sounds great boosting the distortion channel but also holds its own on the clean channel.
    Love my muff. It will be worth so much money when it becomes vintage!! Great sounding pedal though.