I’ve always been a fan of simplicity. As few knobs as possible, killer tone and no frills. While some companies seem to compete in making the most outrageous boutique pedals with more knobs than all your pedals combined, some go all old school and offer nothing but tone. North Effects is one of the latter with a wide range of clones all based on classic effects. Here’s my review of the 22/7 Violet Ram.
The 22/7 Violet Ram is based on a mid 70s model Electro Harmonix Big Muff – the so-called “ram’s head” (after the ram logo image). The pedal is housed in a typically dull DYI kit box about the size of a MXR. It features heavy duty Neutrik jacks, Alpha pots and footswitch. It runs on either 9V Boss-style adapter or battery and feature true bypass switching.
David Gilmour has since 1976 and the recording of Animals preferred the Ram’s Head Muff for his lead tones. The old Cornish boards featured slightly modified original mid 70s Muffs but he also used the now legendary Cornish P1 – a Muff said to have been cloned after one of David’s ram’s heads.
The 22/7 Violet Ram has a distinct ram’s head-ish tone with a saturated aggressive gain, fat lows and scooped mids (very little mid range frequency). Ram’s Heads aren’t known for being silent but the 22/7 Ram has surprisingly little hiss and rumble. The pedal goes nicely with both low output vintage style single coils and EMG DG20s and if you prefer the heavier stuff it sounded quite deadly on a pair of Gibson Classic 57 buckers.
Although I’m a Triangle Muff fan my self (first Muff model from 1971) the Ram’s Head is a must for those Animals, David Gilmour 1978, The Wall and Final Cut tones. The 22/7 Violet Ram sounds almost identical to my original Electro Harmonix but a little brighter and slightly more aggressive than the BYOC Large Beaver. Perhaps a bit too bright for my taste but it depends on where you want to go. David’s Animals tones in particular can be quite spiky. It could do with a more pronounced attack though although this is easily fixed with a nice transparent booster like the ThroBak Overdriveboost. Another drawback is the fact that it doesn’t feature a led. Neither did the old Muffs but I expect that from a clone.
The North Effects 22/7 Violet Ram isn’t your typical Delicate Sound of Thunder or PULSE Muff but highly recommended for David’s Animals and late 70s tones. A small footprint and a very reasonable price tag makes this an excellent choice for even the tightest budgets. Check out the North Effects store for more classic effects.
The 22/7 Violet Ram was tested on two different Stratocasters, one with Fender CS69+Duncan SSL5 (bridge) pickups and one with EMG DG20 pickups, a Telecaster with custom Cream T Pickups SSL5 bridge pickup and two different amps, a Laney Cub12 15w stack and Reeves Custom 50w – both with Weber Thames 80w speakers.