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Electro-Harmonix Big Muff

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff v4

Review Electro-Harmonix Big Muff


A review of the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi

Pi in Your Face For many guitarists, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the term “fuzz box” is the Big Muff Pi from Electro-Harmonix. With the new Deluxe Big Muff Pi, the company has added some cool additional features to its classic fuzz pedal. read more…

User reviews on Electro-Harmonix Big Muff products

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff (Electro-Harmonix - Big Muff PI)

By MGR/Rob McCrudden, 22/11/2003
I bought this unit from Nevada, my local guitar shop in Portsmouth UK. It set me back £89.99. I boughtt it because i was in need of a top quality distortion pedal and i was aware of the big muff's excellent reputation as one of the best that money could buy. It is even featured in album titles (Superfuzz BigMuff by Mudhoney) and T-Shirts (Rock Action T-Shirt by Mogwai) by great bands proving it has a dedicated following!

There is a few things that i really like about this unit but the main thing is the range of different distortions in relation to how few knobs there are on it. I've tried out quite a few distortion pedals over the past few months and the vast majority of them use four to six smaller, fiddlier knobs and yield a smaller range of sounds. The Big Muff is so simple and classic and really delivers a wide range of distortion sounds. The only other pedal that comes close tho it is the Marshall Shredmaster but i'd still go Big Muff every time

There's very little that i dislike about this unit. The only thing i can say is that i would have prefered it to have been a pedal rather than a push button as this means that you have to wear shoes to use it or you hurt your foot. It's a little annoying if you're just playing at home or if you like to play bear foot at any point (or is that just me?!). But this really is the only thing i can think of that i didn't like and i'm really just splitting hairs here!

The construction of the Big Muff is first class. The first thing you'll notice is the sheer size of the pedal. It's huge! I'll bet you it's the biggest pedal you ever seen. But it's not just that its big but flimsy, its made out of metal and the unit is heavy and the dials are big and sturdy giving you confidence to really stamp down on it when you're rocking out. Trust me, you wont break it. And if you do go for the big theatrical stamp when you're playing you wont be let down by a feeble sound coming out of it. It' loud!

The bottom line is that the Big Muff is a quality unit. There are other pedals out there that you can get pretty decent sounds out of but they're all too small with fiddly buttons and you have to mess around with them for ages to get a decent sound. If you want a great distortion sound with top quality construction (and dont mind paying for it) the Big Muff is your only option.

This review was originally published on

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff (Electro-Harmonix - Big Muff PI)

By MGR/-Minus-Human-, 14/04/2004
I bought this pedal from (has a good selection and delivers quickly in the UK) for £62.00 [88.10 EURO]. I bought it because I was looking for a good distortion and heard that bassists such as Cliff Burton (Metallica), Chris Wolstenholme (Muse) and others used this pedal.

Although this is designed to be a guitar pedal, it works GREAT on bass, in fact it keeps some of the lower tones (even on a five string) equal with the rest better than some bass distortions I have tried. This pedal has 3 controls, (Volume,Tone,and Sustain) which can be used to create a great sound that fits perfectly with a guitarist distortion, and is also great for any bassist in a heavy band looking to play distorted solos and if can really cut through if the tone is pushed.

No major complaints, one thing that is a bit of a downside is the fact it is quite load on bass. There is some noticably background noise, but this is to be expected as this pedal does boost volume a lot.

This, as all EHX pedals is built like a rock. Strong, heavy and theres no chance of the control knobs causing any problems. The wiring on the inside is a bit messy (lots of wires with a lot of slack). But this is obviously not a major flaw as I have played this pedal for about 2 years now and despite quite a lot of abuse, is still working fully. And the only other slight problem is the paint work, the black surround of the footswitch gets scratched easily.

This is a great pedal for anyone wanting to get a really big sound with themselves and their guitarist but still keeping the low end nice and clear. I would definatly recomend this pedal to all those into bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Muse etc. Bassically any song with bass distortion this thing can emulate quite closely.

This review was originally published on

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff (Electro-Harmonix - Big Muff PI)

By MGR/Cain Man, 21/04/2004
I bought this pedal brand-new for $59 bucks at Sam Ash. Throughout my playing years I've always looked for a distortion pedal that was heavy and thick. I used a Boss Turbo Distortion for many years because that was the closest distortion that fit my criteria. Recently I read a couple of articles in which Big Muff Distortion/Sustainer was mentioned. I decided to buy it, and I'm so glad I did.

I really love the distortion - period. It's the type of distortion I've been looking for forever. The pedal looks great and is very simple to use. If you like heavy, thick, and warm distortion, this pedal is for you. I still can't believe I found the pedal of my dreams.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it is powered by battery only. You can't plug an adapter to it - but who cares.

This pedal is so well constructed that I think it's going to last for many years and still look great. It's very good looking pedal.

This pedal is the best distortion pedal I have used and, believe me, I've used many different ones.

This review was originally published on

A "traditional" distortion pedal. (Electro-Harmonix - Big Muff v4)

By iznogoud, 31/08/2016
A "traditional" distortion pedal.
It differs from other Big Muffs as it doesn’t have the usual solid state circuit but two op amps : a JRC4558 – the same the Tubescreamer has – and a µA741, making it the first AOp ever built.

While some claim these components are rare so as to sell their pedal, they lie: they’re still being manufactured now and they’re easy to get for 30 to 40 cents – or even less if you buy them by 1000, 10000 or 100000.

Connectors include a 6.35 jack input and output, as well as a 3.5 jack for external supply.

Of course, no computer editor, digital i/o, midi or anything of the kind.
This version was sold for approximately 2 years in the late 70s, approximately 1977-78 or 78-79.


Couldn’t be simpler:
A volume, a tone (that can be switched off using a switch behind the pedal) and a sustain knob which actually commands the distortion rate which is generally left full on: you don’t take a Big Muff for a slight crunch or OD, do you? ;)


# Are the effects effective, adapted and realistic?
You don’t ask a Muff to sound realistic: you choose it to get a filthily, heavily distorted sound that keeps playing when you’ve already stopped.

The Muff AOp or V4 has a slightly more defined sound compared with its old, solid state sister models – still it remains a real Muff sound, hence terribly dirty : after all, it was designed by a guy who was all about psychedelism, and I’m not only speaking music here. ;)

I’m still wondering how they managed to keep the same signature sound while changing technology (inversely i don’t find the recent BigMuff Tone-Wicker to have the same sort of sound at allanymore, and the BM Ge4 has nothing in common with it either, even though it’s another really great 60s-style vintage-y fuzz).
As for this version, the Smashing Pumpkins’ own Billy Corgan uses one, I believe one of Iggy Pop’s guitarist does too but don’t ask me on which record.


# How long have you used it ?
I’ve had this one for a year and a half, but I already owned one in the late 80s until the second half of the 90s.

# Have you tried many other models before this one ?
Which guitar player hasn’t tried an infinite number of distortion boxes???

# Quelle est la particularité que vous aimez le moins ?
L'encombrement! Surtout que le boitier est surtout plein de vide et le circuit imprimé inutilement gros pour le peu qu'il y a dessus!!! En fait, ça pourrait sans problème tenir dans un boitier de petite pédale MXR : y'a + de composants dans un Phase90 que dans une Muff AOp, c'est dire! En même temps, ces bons gros boitiers ont quand même un certain charme, mais là, c'est peut être aussi un peu de nostalgie d'une époque où on se marrait quand même bien plus que de nos jours!

# What are the pros and cons of this effect pedal?
It’s a real, dirty-sounding Big Muff, but in the same time you get a little more control and playing dynamics than with solid state-equipped models.

# How would you judge its value-for-money ?
I got it for 354 bucks one and a half year ago !

I had just made a printed circuit board to make myself one when this offer popped up only 2 miles away from my home.
Still, I also saw some offered for indecent prices eg 150+, which is just crazy, especially as most involve replacement parts less effective sonically, such as RC4558 instead of JRC, Indonesian-made UA741 instead of a real µA741, MKT orange condo (plain sh*t!) instead of greenies. Hard to expect a pedal that age to have never been restored, but doing it properly is just the least thing to do, especially as EHX doesn’t use high-end components. By the way, I’d definitely NOT recommend to use high-end components in a Muff, at risk of making it sound Mr. Clean-style which is definitely NOT what it’s expected to do! I can even easily reproduce this model’s circuit , and there’s even a website which sells printed circuit boards designed in a way, way more compact format!
The only reason I bought it is so as to not waste time assembling it – plus, yeah, granted, this old, vintage box definitely DOES look good.

# Would you do the same choice again ?
I’ve already done it again: I’d owned an original for 6 to 7 years, then a homemade clone, but as I needed money I had to sell both. I then went with digital stuff as I only played my guitar very rarely (so no need to keep all that stuff), then when I took back music I wanted another good old Muff AOp.
Now, such a device isn’t for just anyone: if you like psychedelic, space-rock, grunge or punk, then the Muff is bound to suit you. If you expect a clean, defined distortion, well… wrong direction here: feedback comes quickly, gain has to be at 200, the sound destroys everything around and it all sounds like getting stoned – legally or not. It’s not a hobo, pop-rock distortion, but for anyone fancying Pink Floyd, King Crimson or looking after a really filthy sound: yeah! Actually I suspect the AOp version will even better suit fans of Gilmour or Fripp compared with their solid state counterparts : you really get a better touch control and it sounds more airy and acid while remaining just as dirty.
Otherwise, it’s also very good as a bass distortion, but you’d better have an all-tube bass amp as I only find it so-so on a solid state bass amp.

News Electro-Harmonix Big Muff

The Bass Big Muff Pi gets Nano

Published on 05/20/14
Along with the Deluxe version of the Big Muff Pi for guitar, Electro-Hamonix shrinks the effect for bass players.

Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff Pi

Published on 05/20/14

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