The history of the Big Muff is a long and convoluted one. Therefore you’ll find a lot of different Big Muff model variations on the new and used market. The Big Muff has been produced both in New York City, by the Electro-Harmonix company, as well as in Russia, by Sovtek.
The Big Muff first made its name in the early 1970s as the pedal of choice for guitarists such as David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Carlos Santana. The creamy lead lines of both these players provide a glimpse of what the Big Muff is capable of.
In the 1990’s the Big Muff surged in popularity thanks to band like the Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr. and, then later, Korn. It’s around this time that a lot of Russian made Big Muffs hit the market, prior to the newer NYC re-issues.
Tone wise, things can vary between models. Older, original NYC models fetch a high price and are highly sought after. Some of the Russian models seemed to produce more low-end, and therefore might be well suited for bass players. Not all models are fitted with true-bypass switching. Many Russian models are not true-bypass for example.
The Big Muff is definitely one of my favourite pedals, and would probably be the first fuzz pedal I’d add to any board.
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