Price paid: $ 145
Purchased from: Stomp Under Foot
Sound — 10
The CW has massive gain without being overly noisy, all Muffs are noisy but I suspect that higher gain Transistors like the 2N5089s used here deliver less noise than lower gain transistors (like BC239c) biased to produce more gain. I would best describe the CW tone as BIG. There is also a degree of clarity that may come from the lower noise floor. There is a good range of Gilmour tones to be had here - In the flesh, Sorrow, On the turning away, Mother and C Numb appear readily with the usual settings. Tweak the Sustain down a bit and the tone up and you get a very useable Time, Money and Echoes! Setting it like this delivers an almost "Fuzz Face" like but richer. There seems to be less muddiness when using the neck pickup as with other clones like those from General Guitar Gadgets or BYOC.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for 38 years and currently play a Warmoth Strat fitted with DiMarzio Area series Pups in a Pink Floyd Tribute band. I have been building Pedals on and off all my life and spent a year collecting the pedals I needed for a "Floyd tone" and much of that time messing about with Muff clones. I got pretty close to the tone I wanted but the Civil War is a lot closer. A match for David Gilmour's Lead Sound has been my Holy Grail for a long time - Hallelujah! If my Pedal Board was stolen THIS is the first pedal I would replace.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The build quality of the Civil War looks solid. Wiring is neat and looks professional with no burnt insulation or tiny stray solder blobs, it's not quite as obsessive compulsive as Keeley or Cornish but better than most (my own included!) Component Quality looks like the best you can get. The Jacks look like switchcraft. There does not seem to be any coating to protect the copper side of the circuit board - mine is brand new and the copper is tarnishing. I do not consider this a threat to the units lifespan and I expect it will last a long time.
Ease of Use — 10
The SUF CW comes in a plain white cardboard container with a description and Serial Number written on the outside in felt tip. Inside was a Business card designed like a pedal and a Civil War pedal. There is no manual or slip of paper with instructions. One hardly needs it though as It is very easy to get a good sound out of the Civil War. Mine is serial number 59. I had read that Matt at SUF was very helpful and I too found this to be true. He would not however do a custom mod for me (I wanted the Power and Jack sockets on the back to save pedalboard space - instead of having them on the sides).