Why on Earth would I ever buy a Fuzz pedal designed for bass guitars?
Because my current obsession with Muff pedals is just out of control and I can’t stop scheming to get the craziest sounds for my band’s gig in July.
The other day I read this huge webpage documenting the history of the ElectroHarmonix Big Muff Pi pedals, including the stretch of time in the 1990’s when the company was out of business but a new company based in Russia, called Sovtek replaced it.
Since then I’ve been listening to demos and perusing ebay and reverb.com checking out prices on old pedals. The first few versions of the pedals are selling for massive amounts online. There are some monstrously wonderful sounding clone pedals that are also incredibly expensive, but not as expensive, that not only are more attainable, but are actually more consistent. One beef with the old Muffs is that there are so many variations on the circuitry that two identical pedals might sound very different.
The Russian pedals though… that’s something I hadn’t been considering. The resale on those is much more manageable. They are expensive, but not bank breakingly so. There are also some really good sounding clones. Again, more reliable and less expensive. I guess the beef with the Russians had more to do with the quality of the hardware. The pedals themselves are built like tanks, but the input and output jacks are plastic crap and fall apart easily. I don’t really want to spend the money on a pedal just to have it crumble when I plug into it.
Then I started reading about the current pedals. ElectroHarmonix came back to life and started selling new versions of the old pedals. They never put out a reissue of the Russian models, but they did start selling a Bass Big Muff that is supposed to be really close to those Sovtek Muffs. I read some reviews and listened to some demos.
This one sort of sold it for me…
So the idea is this… on the band pedal board. Take off the NYC Muff pedal and bring in my Nano and one of these Nano bass Muffs. The two pedals next to each other on the board. The Communist with the volume knob matching the amp’s clean volume, the tone at about one or two o’clock, and the sustain at about 12:00. right next to it I’ll have the non-bass pedal. The volume up a little higher than unity, the tone a little higher than the commie, and the sustain cranked. The Rusky will be on for rhythm parts and the American will be on for leads. The two pedals are small enough and close enough together that I can switch them both with one foot.
Then, just when I get into the swing of awesomeness things I will replace them both with this: