The Big Muff – tone tutorial

February 7th 2012 | Posted in Big Muff | 98 Comments

This feature will soon be up – brand new and lots of new tips!

Thanks for your patience!

98 comments so far

  1. Jay says:

    friggen splinded article Bjorn! Ive been waiting for one like this! lol while cool but yet sad I purchased the BYOC Beaver last July and im still building the damn thing..mainly because i built it all the way up to triangle specs..then i listened to some clips of the two versions and i decied to go back and change out all the components to Ram specs..kinda wish i didnt because obviously ive had some problems since im still a moderate begginer in soldering and pedal makeing (love doing mods though!) so i finally said screw it and called up my Guitar Tech (Former Jackson Guitar shop master Reid Rogers) and asked for him to do just finish the damn thing for me lol but im not discouraged, Ill still make pedals, especially since i found which sells replica PCBs of the CS Overdriver , Skreddys Luna Fuzz, and bunch more (of course these are copyrighted and inteded for (“experimenting/prototypeing”) but ill put them to the test and give you my review. anyways great article and oh ya! The next time you do a Fuzz review and make a video can you show us riffs and the solo from Time off the live Wembley track if you know it? trying to get an visual idea how to play it. Thank You!

    [Thank you Jay! Good luck with the soldering :) – Bjorn]

  2. Toni says:

    Once again, thanks for such an inspiring post, not only have you answered plenty of questions I had but also you’ve answered questions I had never even considered… amazing!
    I’ve just added a Jam’s Red Muck to my pedalboard, it works great with the colorsound power boost and it exceeds my expectations, I must thank you for your review on that muff clone. I’ll send you an updated picture for the gallery within a few days ; )
    Congratulations from Barcelona!

    [Thanks Toni! – Bjorn]

  3. Matthias says:

    Hey hallo, I’m very interested in your BIG MUFF articles / clone reviews, thank you Bjorn ! I own a great BIG MUFF AM’S HEAD clone for a few weeks now, and I’m very satisfied with it. If you are interested, look at it there is a comparison video to the RAM’S HEAD ORIGINAL. Best regards, matthias

    [Thanks for the tip! I’ll check it out :) – Bjorn]

  4. ViniciusBraga says:

    what are your thoughts on the DMM XO for delay? Great article, love your site/blog!

    [I don’t think neither of the new EHX Memory models comes close to the old Deluxe in terms of warmth but all of them works nicely for David’s Binson 70s tones. For the more accurate settings and modern tones I recommend a digital unit like the TC Nova Repeater or any Boss model. – Bjorn]

  5. Rory says:

    Great article Bjorn! I picked up the Musket based on your review, and love it. I was also able to find an Analogman BD-2 on eBay, and was amazed at how useful it is. I had a stock BD-2, and traded it. Your advice has really helped my rig. For fuzzes, I have a good silicon Fuzz Face (the Fulltone 70), so I’m pretty well set for fuzzes.
    I did have a question about overdrive-boosters. I’m mostly a bedroom/small gig person, and use either a Egnater Tweaker 15 or a late 60’s Fender Bassman into a Marshall 12″ cabinet. It is plenty loud for my uses. I’ve got an Xotic RC Boost for clean boost and very mild overdrive. Do you think this would be fine, or would a Throbak Overdrive Boost be a better choice for the Muffs and Fuzz Face?

    [The RC is very similar to the old Colorsound and the ThroBak so I think you’re set in that area. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  6. Shane says:

    Bjorn you’ve out done yourself this time, This artical has so much great info. I can’t even begin to say how much I’ve enjoyed this. So many ideas, this one artical is going to keep me busy for a while, experimenting with different tones. Thank you Thank you

    [Thanks Shane! Glad you enjoyed it :) – Bjorn]

  7. Brandon Humphreys says:

    Great one-stop Big Muff article, Bjorn. I have to say thanks for turning me on to Muffs. Before I found your site a few years ago, I had only heard the stock reissue EHX models, and was thoroughly unimpressed, though I’d heard people raving about them. After reading your articles and watching your tutorials, I decided to gamble on a Little Big Muff that I found for quite cheap in a pawn shop. Even though it wasn’t the best sounding Muff model, it still worked very well with my Fender SuperSonic and Strat (inspired by David’s red Strats). My experience with the LBM led me to move up to a BYOC Large Beaver “Triangle” model, which is what I use now. I absolutely LOVE that pedal!! I have it set a little more aggressively for my original music than what’s probably appropriate for David’s tones, but it definitely gives me the sound I’m looking for on my solos. I don’t use it much for rhythms, but for leads – especially on my Strat, but even on my LP copy w/P-90s – nothing else comes close. Thanks again for unlocking the mysteries and helping me get a tone I’m very proud of!!

    [Glad to hear! – Bjorn]

  8. MG says:

    Thank you again for being there for all of us. I always anxiously await your new articles, and each time read it over and over – amazing ! I just got TopTone DG2 and BK tube driver (also have ThroBack OD) – would you also recommend settings for that combination ? My guitar is black strat inspired with TTS crazy diamond pickups into Blues Deluxe Reissue. Thank you !

    [Thanks for your kind words! Try the settings suggested in this article. Do the needed fine tuning for your rig, how loud you play and how you play. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  9. Michael Streichhan says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    “The current Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi US reissue is a bleak cousin compared the classic models but it’s well worth checking out the new EHX Bass Big Muff Pi, which is very similar to the early Sovtek pedals and David’s PULSE tones.”

    Wow, did I get that right: You don’t appreciate the Big Muff Pi / Little Big Muff, and recommend the Bass Big Muff instead (when buying a new regular EH Muff in an Online Music Shop)???
    Have you checked it out so far?

    A review would be great. It may be of interest for a lot of guitarists searching that classic sound – most of whom, including me, didn’t even think of buying a regular bass pedal…

    Cheers Michael

    [Yep. The Bass Big Muff is very similar to the old Sovteks. Highly recommended! – Bjorn]

  10. Bart Logtens says:

    Hey Björn,

    Like I said before, Exellent article again. I really like the stylish new website aswell. All good!

    What I would like to ask you is; what is your take on Dave Kilminster. Especially his approach to gear. As you probably have noticed from several youtube clips (Eventide, Dunlop, D’addario have clips online where Dave talks about his gear) He uses different gear than originally used by David. As i recall: his mail setup is A Suhr Custom built guitar (known as “Rose”) equipped with a Seymor Duncan Custom-Custom Humbucker in bridge position, and Flechter-Landau in de neck and middle then goes into a Dunlop CryBaby Wah, Suhr Riot distortion pedal, TopTone DG-2 (overdrive), Boss CE-5, MXR Van Halen Flanger and a Eventide Timefactor Delay/Reverb. Then there is another pedal on his board that looks like a red colored Boss pedal, but it may bee a Keeley moddel pedal as the indicatorlight on top shine green or orange… (Just judge for yourself: around 1:20)
    It then gets send into 2 Brunetti Mercury Heads with 4×12 cabs. He occasionally uses the amp overdrive (for instance on Young Lust).

    What strikes me is that allthough he is assigned to cover most of Gilmours parts, note for note, as the album was. And he has pretty much nailed it. (I am talking about the album version here). He pretty much did the same on the DSOTM tour a couple of years back. What do you, as a respected Gilmour Guru, think of Dave Kilminster? Does he do the parts justice? Or do you think he’s way off and I just like Dave Kilminsters sound and style?

    I have to say that I have come to like Dave K over these last years. The first time I saw him was in 2006 when he just joined Rogers band for the DSOTM tour. And my first thought was “Who is this long-haired show-off, playing a tobacco burst Tele, exactly copying Big Dave Gilmours parts… I don’t like him… But when I saw him again a year later I had gone t respect him, since he’s open and honest in what he does, what gear he uses, and how he got the job in Rogers Band. I have fallen in love with that tobacco burst Tele aswell, and so now it stands proudly next to my self made Black Strat. (I’ll send you a gear pic soon)

    Another thing I been meaning to ask you is about “White Walls” from “All Rights Removed”. Is there a possibillity that a backingtrack will be uploaded for us gearheads to play along to? Or possibly start a site called Bjö where alle the ins and outs of your gear will be shown. …Just an idea!

    Anyway, see you in Zoetermeer in April. Can’t wait!

    Greets, Bart Logtens

    [Hi Bart! I think the orange/red pedal is a Boss MD2. I only know Dave as Roger’s guitarist trying to fill the shoes of Gilmour so I have no idea what kind of guitarist he really is. He’s a bit too flashy for my taste but no doubt he’s a great guitarist. It’s not fair to compare him with David because no one will ever come close and I don’t think that’s Kilminister’s intention either. He nails the notes but obviously wants to put something of him self in there as well. Personally I don’t care much for his tones. I think that if you’d place a Floyd tribute guitarist in his shoes it would have been closer to David’s tones but Roger need someone with experience and one that he can depend on. I think Kilminister is the right man for that.
    We’re looking into different stuff for Airbag at the moment. Stay tuned on our site :) See you in April! – Bjorn]

  11. Dave says:

    Bjorn, Do you have any thoughts on the EHX Nano Series Double Muff, or had a chance to check them out? I picked one up but having a little trouble dialing it in.

    [The Double Muff has little to do with the old Muffs. More like an overdrive. It’s been a while since I tried one so I don’t have any settings. Sorry. – Bjorn]

  12. Bart Logtens says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    “Flashy” was the right word. I thought Dave K wa too flashy when I first saw him in Rogers Band, And its true that het brings his own style trough gimours notes. But I think anybody would. After all, there’s only one David Gilmour.

    I found what tha red Boss pedal was on Dave Kilminsters pedal board. It’s a PSM-5 Power supply & Master Switch. Apperently its not for sale anymore (Couldnt find it in the Boss Site.’) But i found a similar pedal mounted on Snowy White’s DSOTM board.

    Another question: What do you thingk about the Line6 MM4 modulation modeler? I’m thinking buying one to cover Phase, Flange, and Rotary sounds for my Floyd Tribute. Any good?


    [It’s OK. The Phaser and chorus sound pretty decent but I don’t think the flanger, UniVibe and rotary works that well. The flanger is too jet-ish so you’ll have a hard time getting those warm Mistress sounds. I’ve never been able to figure out the UniVibe, so you’re either better off with the phaser or a stand alone pedal like the Electronic Orange Moon Vibe or MJM 60s Vibe. The rotary is too dark I think and doesn’t work that well for David’s tones. An alternative would be something from TC Electronics or simply pedals. – Bjorn]

  13. Brad says:

    hey Bjorn. Nice review! as always man this stuff helps out ALOT! thank you very much! I got my violet rams head from north effects. it sounds reaallly good! Very agressive sounding! and as Ive said before I usualy use my muffs with my hartman flanger, and for leads ill add to the two, a booster. now…heres a question, just out of curiosity…Im picky I know but before practice or a show, I will spend HOURS tweaking my muff and flanger for the desired sound. and EVERY time I play somewhere i change my settings. sometimes its just a little bit…other times its extreme. lol am I alone in this?? I mean, it always sounds good, its just one day it may sound a bit less agressive and other days it sounds like a mean som bitch lol idk. i think its funny. I was just wondering if you do the same! thanks!


    [This is quite normal Brad. Each venue has its own characteristics and it’s not really the pedals or the amp that changes in tone but how the tone resonates in the room. The size of the venue and stage, building material, placement of your amp according to the walls… everything will make your rig sound different and you will have to tweak your amp and pedals just a little bit every time. Read more about preparing for a show in this feature. – Bjorn]

  14. Martin says:

    hi björn!
    just saw a pedal on ebay for sale with the name “gilmourish”. it seems to be a cornish g2 clone. ever heard about it? the company (mvo) seems to build typical gilmour pedal clones – but i could net get enough info.ör&hash=item256c55f14e#ht_500wt_1060

    [Haven’t heard of these. Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  15. Thomas R says:

    Hi Bjorn, cheers for the great tips and advice. Muffs can be a (rewarding) handful so the pointers are much appreciated!

    I was wondering if youd seen the boss fb-2. One of its functions is as a booster which sounds ok in the clips ive heard but i doubt my coloursound will have much competition, but the other function is a “feedbacker”. Im hoping my local shops have one i can try at the weekend but the idea of big amp feedback at bedroom levels is very appealing. As gilmour himself said “where would rock n roll be without feedback?”. im not sure if the feedback will be useful for during solos for helping smooth a muff or if it will prove to be too dominating, but at the very least it’ll probably make the sorrow intro a lot easier to do at home without blowing a wall over!

    [I don’t think you should expect feedback at bedroom volume levels unless you’re able to really crank the amp. Most of us have neighbours that puts a stop to that. Besides, I’m not talking about that loud uncontrollable feedback you get from just playing loud with lots of gain but the kind of feedback that appears when you stand close to the amp and allow the amp interact with your playing. Anyway, I haven’t tried the FB-2 so I can’t really tell. I also recommend the excellent Boss BD2, which is very close to the old Colorsound Powerboost. – Bjorn]

  16. Thomas R says:

    Yeah i probably didnt explain it very well – the pedal has two circuits in it – one to use it as a booster but a separate one where it creates feedback for you rather than just making your amp louder. Based on the clips it sounds like it can let you get the violin type feedback rather than just screaming feedback, and you dont need a loud amp for it to work. Im doing this on a phone so im afraid i cant post a link.

  17. Rod says:

    Björn, I’m going nuts over here! I recently redid virtually everything in my setup, and here’s what I’m working with now.

    MIM Stratocaster (just upgraded this week with an all-steel block / bridge, locking tuners, and DG-20 pickups.)
    Laney Cub 12 Head and cab (also just picked up in the last week)

    TU-3 Tuner, MXR Dynacomp, RAT II (LM308N chip), BOSS DS-1, DS-2, SD-1, BYOC TS808 Clone, DOD FX-65 Chorus

    I have a Keeley-modded BD-2 on the way, will hopefully arrive later this week. No delay yet, unfortunately.

    I have the amp set at your recommendations ( Bass 5, Mid 4, Treble 6, Gain approx. 2/3 of volume) and I have the RAT set to around Dist-1, Filter-2, Volume-2. I’m having a hell of a time getting something usable out of this, almost sounds like I’m overloading the clean capabilities of the Laney. Very metallic / fizzy sounding.

    I also have a Classic 30 that I’m comparing with the Laney. The 30 is an amazing amp no doubt, but it’s just WAY too loud for my apartment. It’ll probably have to be sent back to the store soon. The power light on the Laney flickers, which is a bit alarming, but it seems to be a common issue caused by dirty contacts.

    I realize you can’t provide custom advice for every reader of your (completely amazing) page, but I know you have experience with this amp and was hoping you could provide some tips. Thanks!

    [I think you may have set the treble and gain too high. Try setting the treble at 4 and the tone to 6. With the level at 6 I usually keep the gain at 2. The EMGs are quite hot so you may want the gain at 1.5. The Rat has a sweetspot on the filter just between 2-3 so try different setting and see what fits you amp and guitar. Keep in mind that the Rat has a lot ofmid range so you might want to keep the SPC control at a minimum. I rarely use the EXG. Hope this helped. – Bjorn]

  18. Michael Streichhan says:

    Hey Björn,

    did I get that right: the regular Big Muff Pi (and Little Big Muff) is very different to the classic ones and not recommended at all? How come, is it too muddy or has a completely different character?
    So rather buy a Rat instead of a Little Big Muff?

    Cheers, Michael

    [The Little and Tone Wicker are quite OK. Depends on what you’re looking for. Both sound better than the US reissue but I think there are better sounding clones on the market. – Bjorn]

  19. Rod says:

    Also, when I say I “redid” my entire setup, what I mean is I finally got a setup. I’ve spent the last twenty years playing a 15w solid state practice amp! This is my first tube amp and the first time I’ve messed with pedals, so I’m still trying to figure this voodoo out.

    [Ok, see my last reply and let me know if you’re still having problems. Try the tips with just the guitar, rat and amp connected. The buffered Boss pedals might make the signal sound brighter… – Bjorn]

  20. Nick Veekens says:

    Hi Björn,

    Very good article! I’m still trying to find a vintage Muff but they’re rather hard to come by overhere.

    I did miss the Royal Beaver in your article. Are you still as positive about this one as well? I bought one a few months ago and I think it sounds great. Do you still use it regularly? Any tips on settings? The settings from the manual are okay but I thought you might have better ones.

    Grtz from the Nehtherlands,


    [I’ll post a Big Muff buyer’s Guide soon with all the models. I’m using the Royal all the time, mostly the ram’s head setting. Check out the picture of my board in the My Gear section. You’ll see the settings there. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  21. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn, really inspiring article as always!

    I have only a little question, you often say to set the master level to “unity”, but I’m not so sure of the exactly meaning of that.

    Could you help to understand better?


    [Sorry for the late answer. By “unity” I mean flat with the amp volume. When you engage the pedal there should be no volume boost or drop. – Bjorn]

  22. Jon says:

    Great article Bjorn I’ve never really looked at the Big Muff much until recently. Learning a lot.

    You’ve mentioned you liked the Skreddy pedals any thoughts on the Skreddy PI9?

    [Thanks! I haven’t had the chance to try that one yet. I think my initial response to the Pig Mine was quite positive but after some extensive tests I found it way too aggressive and noisy for my taste. My favourite ram’s head model at the moment is the Pig Hoof from Electronic Orange. – Bjorn]

  23. Ville says:

    Hi Bjorn, did you that, in newest Guitar techniques magazine (march 2012) theres lesson about David Gilmour and in that lesson they recommend for “complete breakdown of Gilmour´s rig through the ages”.

    [Didn’t know… Thanks! – Bjorn]

  24. George says:

    Have you tested Earthquaker Devices Hoof? I recently tried one and found it to be very quiet and quite versatile for Muff type tones. As you have said, getting a recorded tone that matches what I hear live is difficult though with many of these fuzz pedals- they tend to sound ‘fizzy’. Any hints?


    [Haven’t had the chance to try it yet. Check out this feature for some tips on recording your Gilmour tones. – Bjorn]

  25. Dave says:

    Bjorn, well since the EHX Double Muff ain’t gonna cut it, I ordered a BYOC Triangle Version Large Beaver as a pre-built.(Just don’t have the time to build a pedal) Should be here in a couple days(ordered last week) Hope it is all you said it is since I couldn’t try one first, but I trust ya, haven’t had any bad info from you’re site yet. I’ll check back in with you once I get it and have a chance to put it through its paces.

    Cheers, Dave

    [I think you’ll be very pleased. As you know, all Muffs are quite demanding and you need to have a guitar/pickups and amp that can handle it but the LB is also one of the easiest to use. A nice transparent booster behind it smooths out any harsh overtones etc as explained in this feature. – Bjorn]

  26. Brad W says:


    Long time lurker, first time poster! Fantastic site. Two questions–

    I have a Dano Transparent Overdrive (the first ones similar to the Timmy) that I use for a light overdrive as well as a mild boost with the drive down and the volume up. I have always used it before my other dirt pedals. For example I have a MXR Classic Fuzz that needs its buffer on to work with my wah, but that makes the fuzz pretty shrill and weak. My CTO overdrive as a booster before it with the bass bumped helps restore the fuzz to a nice silicon fuzz face sound. It just doesn’t work as well when I tried the CTO after the fuzz. Is the od/booster AFTER the dirt more of a Big Muff thing? Could you talk a little more about pros and cons of od/boost before or after other dirt pedals?

    Lastly, psyched to hear the EH Bass Big Muff gets such an endorsement from you. But would you put this pedal in the league of some of these fancier boutique clones? Would love to be able to save about $130 if you think the EH Bass Big Muff could be near as rewarding a pedal as say the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof!

    Many thanks,

    [I recommend placing the booster/overdrive after all gain pedals. The most efficient way is to arrange by tone – fuzz > distortion > overdrive > boost. Most vintage style fuzz pedals needs to be placed at the very beginning of the chain but whatever works for you! The Bass Muff is a great pedal and IMO the best sounding of the current EHX line but it lack some of that sophisticated dynamics and musicality of the top clones like the Pig Hoof, Large Beaver, Musket etc. You can’t really compare them but it’s definitely worth a shot… especially for a tight budget. – Bjorn]

  27. Alan says:

    Great article as always. I am awaiting a delivery of an Electronic Orange Pig Hoof next March, ordered on the back of your review and video clip so it’s great to hear that it’s currently your favourite model at the moment.

    [It is! Great pedal and I think you’ll be very pleased. – Bjorn]

  28. Eric Nyberg says:

    Hey Bjorn, I just got my first Les Paul, a Gibson Standard Traditional, a special model that Guitar Center sells (it’s got a 57 in the neck and a Burstbucker 3 in the bridge), do you know if David reinforced the sound on The Wall at all with hum buckers?

    [Congrats! There are no records on David using hum buckers on any album or song… as far as I know. He has a large guitar collection though so there might have been a couple of moments when he reached for a Custom :) He used the Goldtop with P90s extensively on Wall, Bell and Island. See the Album Guide for the setups on each song. – Bjorn]

  29. Dave says:

    As far as amps for the BYOC LB I have a Fender Blues Deluxe RI, and a Egnater Renegade. My guitars are both Fenders, a 57 AV Hot Rod, and a Jimmie Vaughan sig series with the EMG DG-20 set-up. Then as far as boosting the muff which do you think would be better the Boss BD-2 or a EHX LPB-1 ?
    Thanks again, Dave

    [Definitely the BD-2. It’s a much more versatile pedal than the LBP-1 and IMO an overall better tone. – Bjorn]

  30. Euan says:

    I love the big muff tone in sorrow. I’ve seen it live at a famous cover bands performance several times and the lead guitar intro always seems like it is being played from a distance! Does anyone know how to achieve this? Is it just panned far left or right in the mix? Does anyone know what I mean or is it just my ears?!!

    [I think it’s just the fact that this tone needs a lot of delay with long time and repeats. This, and possibly some reverb in the PA mix, makes the tone huge and ambient. – Bjorn]

  31. Eric Nyberg says:

    Hey Bjorn do you have any opinions on the Egnater Rebel 30 as a Gilmour type amp? I have a Fender Deluxe Reverb RI that I’m happy with but I was wondering if the Egnater might be more appropriate. I don’t want to lose the Fender clean sound but it is a bit too bright. Maybe I should get a Weber speaker for the RI?

    [I don’t think I’d replace the Deluxe but the Egnater is a nice amp indeed. Especially for bedroom playing. Perhaps a bit too much mid range for my taste but it handles most of the typical Gilmourish pedals nicely. – Bjorn]

  32. Gabriel says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I will go way offtopic here, but have you seen this video?
    Is David talking about The Wall… but the most interesting thing is the final comment of the interviewer, though I can´t get what David replies.


    [Yeah, I saw that! Quite interesting! – Bjorn]

  33. Eric Nyberg says:

    I think I might go and have the bright switch feature on my deluxe’s vibrato channel clipped, that might make a difference, but I won’t do it until I hear more opinions. Or change the speaker to a Weber or Jensen C12N? For the time being I’m only doing bedroom level and recording but I would like the headroom to be there for gigging later on with the same amp. I have a very wide interest tone wise and I want it to be as flexible as possible. That being said the tone of The Wall is my very favorite and I’m playing a SUF Ram’s Head through it at around 1.5-2 on the voume, with a TD as a boost. In addition to that I also really like Mick Taylor and Keef type tones, Buddy Guy, the who, bluesbreakers etc and some slightly harder stuff for my Les Paul. Maybe I should trade the Deluxe for a Mesa or something? Versatility being my main emphasis. I have a brain cramp…

    [Ha ha! I know what you mean… I get head cramps even when there’s nothing to worry about. I always have a notion that something could sound better :) Anyway, the Webers are great but if brightness is your problem then these won’t solve the problem. I haven’t tried the Jensen but all of these Fane type speakers are bright. Based on you saying that you’re mostly playing at home I wonder if the Tube Driver is the right choice for your rig. It’s bright and sometimes a bit harsh on lower volume so a Keeley BD2 or even a ThroBak Overdriveboost might be a better choice for taming the brightness. Just a thought… – Bjorn]

  34. Eric Nyberg says:

    I was actually a little bit off in reference to the Tube Driver, when I play at home the amp volume is usually between 2 and 3. As far as the Muff goes, that is usually boosted by the Tube Driver. I just read that the normal channel does not have the bright switch like the vibrato channel does, so maybe I’ll switch to that. To keep this on topic, I just have to say how fond I am of the SUF violet ram’s head, it’s a great pedal.

    [I haven’t had the chance to try that yet… I have the SUF ’73 but it’s just too wild and aggressive. – Bjorn]

  35. Eric Nyberg says:

    last update. I replaced the preamp tubes in my deluxe with 2 jj at7’s and 3 jj ax7’s. I noticed an improvement immediately. turns out that the groove tubes that came with my deluxe were complete junk.

    [Thanks for the update! hanging tubes can definitely make a difference :) – Bjorn]

  36. Euan says:

    Sorry. Slightly off topic but I was just wondering your thoughts on pedals for low volume playing! I have several muffs, tube driver etc into my reeves custom 50ps but since the arrival of my baby boy 5 months ago I can’t really crank it at the moment! Specially with the wife at home all the time :-).. Does that have to be so loud etc etc etc. what pedals would be good to cover most eras at lower volume. I was thinking bd2 with mod to start with! What would you recommend? Just got the EMG dg20 set second hand on eBay! Lookin forward to some shine on!

    [The BD2 Keeley should work fine. Check out the Fulltone OCD as well for a bit more warmth. Distortion-wise I’d go for a RAT or perhaps better, the TC Electronics Nova Drive, which allows you to mix both classic distortion and overdrive. I have one for my Laney Cub and it sounds amazing even on the very lowest volume levels. The TC Dark Matter is a stripped down version of the same pedal. – Bjorn]

  37. Rod says:

    Bjorn, thanks for the tips! I’m not there yet (is anyone?!?) but I’m definitely getting closer. Turns out just the Laney and a bit of compression can get a great SOYCD tone as well.

    Still experimenting, hoping to pick up a Musket in the next couple of months. That should work well with the Laney at bedroom volumes.

    For now though, everyone has moved out of my apartment building except for the Rap producer next door and he doesn’t care how loud I get, so we’re plugging into the 15w input and cranking it up!

    [Rock on! – Bjorn]

  38. João says:

    Check this out:

    [Sounds very interesting indeed! I need to check that out :) – Bjorn]

  39. ferdinand says:

    Great article Bjorn, much valuable information.

    Recently I saw a video on youtube with a great Pulse tone ” of Confortable Numb “, a Top Tone DG – 1
    apparently in a transistor amplifier (Laney) , but still one of the best pulse tone I have ever seen.

    Do you know anything about this amp?

    [I’ve never tried the LV300T my self but I understand it’s a high wattage solid state with a tube in the pre amp section. Way too loud for a bedroom I’d imagine but great for studio and smaller venues. The LV100 might be better for bedrooms. Based on sound clips and reviews it sounds right there in the middle of a Hiwatt and Fender with lots of headroom and a fairly bright character. – Bjorn]

  40. martin says:

    hello björn,

    my pedels in chain are: mxr dynacomp – muff clone – ocd (used for overdrive) – boss bd 2 (as a booster) – mxr phase 90 – deluxe electric mistress – trex reptile 2 – ibanez de 7 – boss rt 20.

    i want to buy a vibe and ditch one or two of the pedals. which univibe do you recommend and which pedal to ditch (phase?, rt 20, de 7?).

    ps: i replaced my bridge pu (ssl 5) with a fat 50 – works better for me. the duncan was a little too powerful and had less hight.

    [Of the ones you’ve listed I’d ditch the DE7. Having said that, having two delays on the board allows a few more time settings and combination of delays. Why do you need to ditch a pedal? I’d rather save up for a better sounding second delay unit. Anyway, I’m using the Electronic Orange Moon Vibe at the moment. I’ve tested a lot of different models and this is in my very subjective opinion the best sounding. It’s also worth checking out the MJM Sixties Vibe. Click the links for my reviews. – Bjorn]

  41. josh says:

    D. Gilmour´s B-day…no new post???

    [Well, perhaps I should have but I did it on the Facebook page instead :-) Cheers! – Bjorn]

  42. martin says:

    btw. what do you think about the retro-sonic phaser. it seems to sound like a mixture of a phase 90 and a vibe. and it has a level knob (dry/wet mix).

    [It’s basically a Phase 90 with some additional controls. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it sounds like a UniVibe but you can certainly substitute a UniVibe with this classic phase tones. Retro Sonic makes some great pedals so I wouldn’t hesitate on this one if you consider it. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  43. Eric Nyberg says:

    Well, I got a new pedalboard and am going to replace my DD20 with a Nova. Now what I want to do is have my board set up so that I can blend my gain effects with my mod effects using a line selector. Does this sound like a good signal chain to follow? Guitar-Skreddy Lunar Module,Barber Tone Press,SUF Ram’s Head,BK Butler Tube Driver,Line Selector,MXR Phase 90 (74 script RI), Electric Mistress, DD20 (replacing with Nova). What I want is to be able to make it so the mistress is not so dominating in the mix, more like the studio Thin Ice sound. Thoughts?

    [Not quite sure I understand what you mean… You’re using two amps? If so then one dry amp with only gains and one wet amp with all effects will give you a milder blend. – Bjorn]

  44. Eric Nyberg says:

    It’s a single amp that I’m using. What I want to be able to do is have the OD,Muff, and fuzz on the line selectors A channgel and the mod effects on the B channel and use the level controls on the line selector to blend them together.

    [I see! I haven’t tried that my self but I recon it would work. Let me know how it turns out :) – Bjorn]

  45. Dave says:

    Well I received my BYOC Large Beaver Triangle version and just love it. I’ve tried other ones in the stores and just never cared for them, and like I posted earlier even got the EHX Double Muff and just wasn’t right. Thanks for your site and all the work you do, without it I would still be chasing my tail for tone. In a side note have you heard of a uni-vibe style pedal called a Shaky Jimi made by Moen?
    I tried one a buddy had and then ordered one from Ebay, not quite the original, but only $60 or so US.
    Well again thanks for all your work, and keep the goods comming. Dave

    [Thanks Dave! Glad the Large Beaver worked out :) Never tried the Skahy Jimi. Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  46. Lim says:

    Bjorn I want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into this website. Your recommendation for the Laney Cub 12R has been spot on. I got mine last October and immediately changed out the speaker to a WGS G12C ( a vintage Jensen C12N clone ). After a few months breaking in, it now sounds great as a home amp.

    Which now brings me to a clone Ram’s Head muff I just got last week. It’s by Karmafx and it sound so good with the Laney. Smooth sustain. Very quiet too. I used to have the EHX Little Big Muff into a tiny Fender 15W transistor amp and I couldn’t get it any decent tone out of both. I think the muff ( any muff I guess ) needs tube power and adrenaline to squeeze the best out. Forget about the muff pedal if you don’t have a tube amp.

    Bjorn, i have 2 questions. I want to explore the full potential of my Ram’s head clone by improving the Laney amp.
    1. What tubes would you recommend replacing on the Laney? I still have the stock Rubys. EHx, JJ Tesla or Mullard? I read some tubes will make the amp sound harsh and some rounded and too dark. I don’t want tubes that will set my Ram’s head clone pedal useless.

    2. Have you replaced the stock transformers on your Laney for better tone? if no, are u not remotely interested or curious? :)


    [I don’t think any tubes will alter the Muff to too much. There are about 2-3 tube manufacturers operating today and these sell licenses to all kinds of brands. I’m no expert on tubes but I’ve used JJs for many years and find them to be the best match for David’s tones and the typical Gilmour gear. Check out EuroTubes for some tips on how to select tubes for your rig. I haven’t really thought about replacing the transformers. For an noticeable upgrade you’d probably have to spend more than the amp it self. – Bjorn]

  47. Ross says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’m thinking of adding a big muff pedal to add to my modest setup!..and not sure what might suit. I have a 2011 Fender Strat, maple neck, 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio. Pedals are maxon od808, TC Electronics Flashback Delay. Amp is 15w Tube Fender Superchamp XD. I’ll be playing at bedroom level, I was wondering about the BYOC Large Beaver Triangle version? ….or any others you might recommend, my purchase will be from eBay.

    [I’d either go for the Large Beaver or the Musket. These seems to work best on smaller bedroom setups. However, you might have a hard time dialing in the right tones since the Muff really needs a minimum of volume to smooth out – as explained in the feature. Check out this article for some tips on choosing alternatives for your bedroom setup. – Bjorn]

  48. bailey says:

    Hay Bjorn

    I gest sall the wall at the memorial coliseum in la, it was a great show I give it a 9 /10. (Imo) I think I was a bit scripted, bar to bar, q to q .kilminster tone was great and vary soulful ,and snowy is gest snowy  ,but enough of that . I was wondering about the Sovtek ,you said there are similar to the late 70s muffs but with better midds .but I always thought it was the boss eq’s adding the midds ? At one point during the lapse tore “87”, he had 5. plus during the lapse tour he did use the rams had but it sounds like and defind as P*U*L*S*E? So what muff can cover it all and better than the current us reissue, it sucks (imo). Also do you know anything on a new DG solo album?

    Thank from the stats 

    [I guess there’s no pedal that can cover it all. Depends entirely on your setup. A Muff can sound great on one amp and horrible on another. It seems though that the Sovtek models, which has a bit more gain and mid range, are the most versatile. Check out the Blackout Effectors Musket. – Bjorn]

  49. Dr. Gone says:

    I think it would be really cool if someone who has a Line 6 POD HD would share the settings they use to replicate Gilmour pedals and overall sounds.

  50. Ed says:

    Just wanna say that if you bought the American Big Muf you must have noticed it sounds very NOT Gilmourish (in fact it sounds horrible). This is due to the high gain transistors that were used. BUT if you can find someone to remove these transistors and change them for 2n3904 or 2n2222´s with a low Hfe you will not believe you ears how good it sounds.
    Have fun.

  51. John says:

    Just got a BYOC Large Beaver built to Rams Head specs and it is awesome. I had the Triangle version and really liked it, but I got rid of it after I bought a Top Tone DG-2. It has been a few months since I had the Triangle so I haven’t done a direct A/B to the Rams Head, but it definitely is more in line with David’s tone. I hear more grit and breakup in the Rams Head than I remember in the Triangle. It nails In the Flesh and Dogs and as a bonus I actually found it more useable for other than Gilmour tones because the grit is closer to a standard distortion than other big muffs. Highly recommend it and you can’t beat the price.

  52. Peter says:

    Hi Bjorn, Ty so much for this info! :D I wonder if u have checked out this pedal?
    Its a reciation of the Big muff rams head! I wonder if its good for the “gilmour” sound, Or is it just a pice of shit? Here is the site check it out :D
    Best regards Peter

    [I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet. Wren and Cuff makes high quality pedals and I’m sure the Caprid nails those classic tones.- Bjorn]

  53. Rod says:

    Man! Finally built a Triangle Large Beaver and I am in love with it so far. This is what I’ve been looking for. In the coming months I’m going to try to build out a Ram’s Head version too! Great tone, plenty of options with the EQ switch, and so, so quiet.

  54. Brad says:

    Bjorn, just out of curiosity, wonder why David doesnt modulate his lead tones with a chorus, flanger, or rotating speakers anymore? Its all dry tones now. Dont get me wrong, I love his tone now! Its great! Im just wondering why on his last album he never did or on tour.

    [Well you have to ask him :) I guess some modulations are a bit dated. Perhaps not in the sense that they’re out of fashion but a chorus can sound very 80s while a flanger is very 70s. I love recreating those old sounds but I think David likes a pure tone based on his guitars and amps with just a mild crunch from his pedals. It’s a more classic and honest approach I guess. – Bjorn]

  55. martin says:

    i think i would choose the p19 from screddy pedals for a rams head style. but not so easy to find in europe …

  56. james says:

    Just got my first ever muff plugged in.

    Large Beaver>
    colorsound, mild crunch+volume boost>
    catalinbread echorec 300ms>
    laney cub 12r, 0 gain 1 watt channel

    Its sounded great. But then I switch to 15 watt and maxed the volume, and it sounds just incredible. Alas I then got scared (shared house), and turned it down again. You’re spot on about the role volume plays with the muff tones. Thanks for all your advice, my guitar improve beyond recognition.

    [Glad to hear you found your tone! Yes, volume plays an important role. Once you get the power stage of the amp and the speakers working, the Muff really opens up and get that smooth sustain. On the 1w setup, try placing a transparent booster in the fx loop of the amp. I use an Electronic Orange Bananaboost CPB clone. Max the volume, set the treble and bass neutral and roll the gain all the way down. Try with your CPB. This will boost the power stage and emulate a full blown amp. – Bjorn]

  57. james says:

    Thanks Bjorn, that’s a great idea about the booster, in fact I have taken it one set further. I was reading the Catalinbread Echorec manual last night, it stated that the preamp had a load of clean headroom available via an internal pot. So I increased the internal gain volume on mine and plugged it in the fx loop. I can now use it as a clean boost for the power amp section and a delay. The pedal resides on top of the amp, a la Gilmours ER, and is easier to make adjustments. When you review one, I recommend giving this a go, it sounds so incredibly close I recon Gilmour used his ER as boost also.

    MUFF large beaver>
    COLORSOUND POWER BOOST mild crunch & treble boost>
    LANEY CUB 12R gain=0 volume=10>
    ECHOREC 300ms in the loop with clean volume boost.

    All pedals, other then the ER, are set to unity volume.

    [Awesome setup! Yeah, I think he did. Sounds to me that there’s some boost for the slide/echo stuff on the intro of Echoes and during Saucerful on Pompeii… – Bjorn]

  58. MVO Custom Shop says:


    On one off the comments, Martin referred to a MVO Custom Shop Gilmourish.
    You can find more about this and other builds here:


  59. Brad says:


    What are your thoughts on a Tonebender MKII or MKIII type pedal doing the work of either a fuzzface or Big Muff Pi type pedal for Gilmour tones? An Earthquaker Devices Tone Reaper just came into my possession, and I can’t stop playing this pedal! I own a silicon FF and a green Sovtek Big Muff, and the TR seems to sit right between the FF and BMP in an extremely musical and versatile way–with the added benefit of the tightness you need for a Zeppelin sound, if you want it.

    Many thanks!

    [I don’t have that much experience with the Tonebenders. Need to explore them more to really comment… – Bjorn]

  60. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I just finished my new BYOC Triangle, and I’m running it through a BD-2 (Stock, soon not to be! :) ) and Electric Mistress, with a Fender Champ 600 (Saving up for a Cub Stack), and an Epiphone Les Paul Standard with Seymour Duncan Phat Cats. I read on another article that you said you didn’t like the Triange & BD-2 combination. I can’t really tell you my opinion because my amp just can’t handle it, so I can’t accurately tell you what it sounds like. If I can make it work, how would I do that? And if I can’t, what’s a good budget-ish model transparent overdrive/booster? Is modding the BD-2 for true bypass an option as well? One more question. I just started listening to your band Airbag, and I was just blown away at how good you guys are. I never thought there would be a band comparable to the Floyd, or even in the same vein. I like other prog, but it never really captured me. Bands like Yes, Jethro Tull, and all those guys are very talented musicians, but none have that same atmospheric ethereal quality that the Floyd has. I thought I could never listen to another modern band again until I listened to Airbag. All Rights Removed was a brilliant album, and probably the best I’ve heard since Floyd, and I don’t mean that lightly. The atmospheric keyboards, tight drum work, groovy bass lines, and most of all, the unbelievably stellar guitar work by you. It’s earthy, bluesy, raw, ambient, powerful, and full of emotion. Everything that made Gilmour great, and what set him apart from all the other guitarists. If you guys ever come to the US, or I come to Norway, I will definately make it my first priority to see you guys. Anyway, I would like to know your settings [Guitar, Amp, Pickups, and Pedals] (if you don’t mind, I know some guitarists see themselves as magicians who don’t reveal their secrets) for that funky blues breakdown in the middle of Never Coming Home, Homesick III, All Rights Removed solo, and White Walls solo. I know this may be too much to ask, and I apologize in advance if it burdens you too much, but ever since I heard that album I’ve been dying to get those tones. Thank you so so much Bjorn for giving us guitarists and Gilmour freaks alike this website and your amazing band. Cheers friend!


    [Hi Yoel! Thanks a lot for your kind words! Glad you enjoy our music! We plan on having a guitar section up on our website soon so all the info will be there. I mostly used a Les Paul on that album and some Strat. It’s been awhile since I recorded those tracks but I used the Tube Driver a lot for both rhythms and some of the cleaner solos. All of the distortion solos were done with either a Big Muff or a Boss DS1 AnalogMan.
    I use the BD2 for boosting Muffs all the time, so I don’t know why I might have said that it doesn’t work. Its buffers might affect the tone to some extent but not nearly as much as with fuzz pedals. The Champ 600 is, as you point out, not the best amp for pedals. It was never intended either. The Cub, if you decide to buy it, will give you a much better basis for your pedals. The BYOC and BD2 will work nicely. Personally I prefer a modified BD2 with a bit more warmth and smoother breakup. For clean boosting, check out the TC Spark Booster. – Bjorn]

  61. Clark says:

    Hey Bjorn i would like to start off and say thanks for this website, seriously it has improved my playing and tone, and all these facts on gear is splendid since gilmour gets the best tone and thats who im trying to model it after. My question is, i have new big muff pi tone wicker (its great, does tones from animals fantastically.) and i want to boost it with my sparkle drive by voodoo lab, but i cant seem to get it be powerful and clean like gilmour. His tone from gnask has that dirt but its really transparent and clean if that makes any sense. I was wondering how much gain should i use on the sparkle drive and how much clean should i blend in also. Thanks, and keep up the website its the best website on internet.

    [Hi Clark! Thanks for your kind words! As it says in the feature, the tone is a combination of many things and not least you amp. The amp’s voicing and settings will colour the rest of the pedals, and in this case, you Muff and overdrive. See this feature for some amp setup tips. The Sparkle Drive is based on the TS9 circuit, which has a lot of mid range. This is not the best option for boosting pedals like the Muff and it can often result in a dark and muddy tone. Try different settings as explained in the feature and if needed, consider getting a more transparent booster like the Boss BD2 or the TC Spark Booster. – Bjorn]

  62. Josh says:

    So I have a fender exccelsior, There are three imputs, One labeled guitar, the others labeled mic. and accordion( they are all for guitar however) would it be beneficial to link two of these imputs and plug into the third, as described for the upper birght ect. or are these not the same? If it would be, do you know witch ones i would link and witch one i would plug the guitar into?

    [I don’t think that would make much of a difference since the all have the same tone stage. Try it and hear how it sounds. – Bjorn]

  63. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I know its a bit off topic, but what kinds of pedals and settings would you use on those pedals for the DSoT On The Turning away tone, if you had a Strat with the Black Strat pickup combination, and a Laney Cub 15w stack? Also, nowhere does it mention what kind of overdrive David used on the 1986 tour, if you could help me find that out, I would be very grateful! Thank you so much man! This time I’m hoping the snow is starting to melt in Norway! :)

    [Ho Yoel! Sorry for my late reply. David used several different distortions on the tour, including a Boss HM2. RAT, Cornish P2 and a Big Muff ram’s head. Judging by the tone he’s got on Delicate Sound of Thunder I’m guessing either the ram’s head or the P2 with Boss CE2 chorus and delay. He might be using a booster or overdrive as well, which would be the TC Booster +. See a full listing of David’s 1097-90 tour setup here. Check out my version of On the Turning Away here.

  64. Cesar says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Im loving your hard work with the page! Keep it up! you rock

    Bjorn i will love to se you making a Tc Electronics Nova Drive demo, a friend of mine have one but i cant seem to make it sound right for some Gilmour tones, i was thinking in buying one of these because i have a G system but im not sure.

    Hope you can do one, you are amazing!!

    [Thanks for your kind words! I haven’t planned on doing a review but I’ll see what I can do in the future. I have one myself and although I don’t really use it for Gilmour’s tones, I think it sounds great. The distortion section is like a RAT on steroids :) – Bjorn]

  65. stephan says:

    Hi Bjorn:)

    How many pedals does David normally has turned on? I mean you could have 10 or more on your board but is that really necessary? When I watch the pedals used on OAI tour 2006 it seems like he’s used mainly a G-2/P-1, Delay, TD and a Compressor. It’s a pretty basic setup in my opinion.
    [Yep. Normally just 2-3 pedals. However, his large pedal boards are more for being able to cover multiple sounds from different albums and eras. See the David Gilmour Gear Guide for setups on each song. – Bjorn]

  66. Brian says:


    Left my guitar in for a setup today, was just leaving the shop when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a Muff Pi tucked away behind a load of junk in a glass display. 55e in the box. Probably a reissue clone clone clone, but hey!! My question – Do/Would you place a comp before the Muff?

    [Nice! You should be careful with using compressors with high gain effects. Gain is a super boosted and compressed signal. A compressor is basically also a gain pedal so when you add gain and gain you will get more noise. Even if the compressor is 100% clean. Try but you should adjust the settings on the Muff accordingly. – Bjorn]

  67. Brian says:

    Understood and thanks!

  68. Josh says:

    What settings would you use on a jam pedals rattler to get that so far away tone?

    [About the same as I’ve listed for the RAT. Depends on how hot your pickups and amp are. – Bjorn]

  69. Maarten says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    In this video David’s distortion is explained in a workshop. This guy is saying the overdrive should come before the big muff, in stead of after the muff like you are saying…

    I’m confused now! :p

    see at (6.44min)

    [Yes, I’ve seen this clip and I don’t agree with what he says. You can place the boosters anywhere you want. First in the chain, after the distortions, last in the chain, in the effects loop… whatever suits your rig and tone. For some, placing the booster in front of their fuzz or Muff to replicate David’s tones, might work better than placing it after. However, David has and always has had his boosters after the Muffs and combined them that way. All the pedal board schematics, pictures and interviews with Phil Taylor and Pete Cornish confirm that so I’m really not sure why this guy claims he knows otherwise. That beings said, he’s a good teacher and has a pretty nice tone. – Bjorn]

  70. Laurence says:

    I love listening to your clip doing the Mother solo. I had listened to the Skreddy Pink Flesh pedal and really thought that one was the best, and it is good, don’t get me wrong. But it’s discontinued, and I thought I might have to build me own unit. But the Hoof put the hook in me, and as I listen to them all, for me the Rams Head is the cats behind! So brilliant. It sounded very WALL to me even though you are using EMGs. Like the live album (I much prefer listening to PFs live stuff much more than the studio albums, so much more to hear, more soul,and nothing tells more about a band than hearing/seeing them live) I’ve owned the DG20, and I like them very much even though I’m going all single coil now. But both setups are great and I’m more about the playing than splitting hairs over the small differences. It’s obviously the player that makes it great, and you’re playing sings of love for the tone as well as the repertoire. Hoping you give us a rendition of “hey you” one of these days (pun intended)

    I might add that your Laney is also a real winner. I figured I was going to have to go out and get a hiwatt in order to get British tone, and pay lots for it. Since I’m not playing Earls court anytime soon, I wasn’t really thinking I needed 50-100W at this time. The Laney seems perfect for developing ones tube sound and chops, and the price is a fraction of a vintage DR103. I’m also intrigued by the 1W input, for overdriving it without blowing my ears out (more than they already are from playing bass in clubs for years with an 800W Eden Rig). I’m thinking if I need it louder, well, that’s what PA systems and an SM57 is for. Well done, and very deft chops you have as well, mate! Very well done. I’ve gotten a lot out of watching your hands as well.

    Sorry if I’m long winded, but this website has really caused me to turn Pink like I was when these records first came out.

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Laurence! Glad you enjoy my site :) – Bjorn]

  71. Clark says:

    Hey Bjorne I was wondering how to dial in OD before a big muff. Every time I have tried the tone sounds choked and just awful, if I run the OD behind the muff there isn’t any issue, but in front just doesn’t seem to work. Thanks.

    [If it works having it after, why do you need to have it in front? A booster is usually placed after the high gains. What kind of OD is this? ODs with a boosted mid range will make the Muff sound dark and choked. Also, if you add too much gain into the Muff, this will happen. – Bjorn]

  72. clark says:

    I am using a chandler tube driver after a skreddy p19 and wren and cuff caprid. I have just been using it after but i’ve read in alot of forums to try it in front of also to see if you prefer the tone that way, but it just becomes too choked. I also tried the chandler with pretty much almost no gain, to the point that the volume severely dropped off, and it sounded less choked but it still was not as good as after the muff. I have been just sticking with running it after but i do like to try different things to see what sounds i can get and how it affects the tone.

    [Well, then you’ve pretty much eliminated the possibility of having boosters in front of your high gains :) Depends on your amp and pickups and how they interact with the pedals. With a bright amp with a mids scooped Muff and transparent overdrive it might work but once you start adding mid range and darker sounding components, it will choke up. Nothing wrong with that but it’s perhaps not the tone you’re looking for. The fact that others says that this works for them, doesn’t say much about how it really sound on their setup. – Bjorn]

  73. clark says:

    I know your right, i just wanted to see if what tonal possibilities could come out of it but it works better to leave it behind so thats what i do, thanks and take care.

    [To experiment and try different combos and setups is always the right approach :) At least then you can hear what doesn’t work. – Bjorn]

  74. Josh says:

    just wanted to say that I purchased the large beaver and i love it, thanks for the info. I also have a question that has nothing to do with big muffs, I was wondering if youve had any expirience with delay modeling pedals like the line 6 dl4 , or boss dd-20. Are they any good? Also the boss dd-20 say it has Sound on Sound… they mean the same thing that david uses on the meltdown concert?

    [Most of the delay modellers and multi effects are very good and feature a wide range of versatile modes and tones… DL4, DD20, Eventide Time Factor, TC Electronics Flashback and Nova etc etc… I haven’t explored the SOS feature that much but it wouldn’t be quite the same as David did with Shine On. See this feature for more details. – Bjorn]

  75. Ben says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    great review of one of the greatest pedals of all time!
    I had some questions regarding unity volume on BM clones. Some pedals are said to have unity between 1 and 3 o’clock(BE Musket), while others (like the SUF Violet Rams Head) are around 9 or 10 o’clock on the volume knob. Does this matter in regards to tone and bedroom level playing? How does this effect the relationship with other pedals and the amp itself? Do you have a preference on which you feel is more useful?


    [How the controls operate depends on the circuit and how the pedal is designed and tweaked. The actual settings doesn’t matter. Unity level is unity level, regardless of whether it’s 10 or 3 o’clock. Most gain pedals operate on a combination of the gain and volume controls and Muffs and fuzz in particular are very responsive to how you set the volume. Unity level or lower will often produce a softer tone with less compression and edge but a more pronounced gain structure. Increasing the volume produce a more amp like distortion with a smoother break up and more compression. It also allows you to lower the gain, because you’re driving the amp harder. This also means less noise and feedback. – Bjorn]

  76. clark says:

    heey Bjorn hope you are doing well, I have a small problem that i cant seem to fix. When i use my 15watt zinky on the clean channel, every thing sounds wonderful, the caprid just sings. When i use any other amp like the twin or egnater the muff and even the RAT just sound really trebley and fizzy. Volume doesnt seem to be able to compensate for it either, no matter how loud i crank it, the distortion doesnt really seem to smooth out and open up. Thanks

    [Amps have different characters and tones so you can’t compare two different models. Some amps like pedals. Others don’t. Some handles all sorts of pedals. Others are picky. You also need to set each amp individually and not apply settings between them. I’m not familiar with the Zinky so I can’t tell about that one but the Twin is a very bright sounding amp so no wonder the gains sound trebly. Try lowering the treble on the amp considerably, keep the bass at about 50% and try raising the middle to 7 or even 8. Always match the channel and master volume also. Just a hair can do wonders. Likewise, your pedals needs different settings with different amps. – Bjorn]

  77. Mark says:

    Thank you for this excellent article! I knew David Gilmour used Big Muffs, but I could never coax anything remotely Gilmourish out of mine before reading this ;-)


    [Thank you, Mark! Glad to help :) – Bjorn]

  78. Roger says:

    Hi, Björn, can we possibly get those guitar tabs for the On The Turning Away live version?

    [Don’t have any tabs, I’m afraid. Sorry. – Bjorn]

  79. Tom says:

    Hey Bjorn i need help, im between a big muff and a hendrix fuzz face, which one is more versatile ?
    Also i would like to get a boss blues driver to boost the muff or the fuzz
    (cant found another booster in Chile)
    Thanks in advance :)

    [I would say that a fuzz is more versatile than a Muff, because a Muff sounds like a Muff no matter how much you tweak it but a fuzz can be manipulated to sound like anything from overdrive to distortion and screaming fuzz. However, it depends on what guitar/pickups and amp you have. If your rig isn’t up for it, both the Muff and a fuzz can sound horrible. In that case, you’re probably better off with a RAT or similar, which easily can be tweaked for both Muff-sih and fuzz-ish tones :) – Bjorn]

  80. Tom says:

    C: thanks for the quick reply
    Emm so the RAT can come up pretty close to a Big Muff and a Fuzz ? How close ? I mean, it is a lot cheaper than both the muff and the fuzz face, do you have a video with the rat and dark side of the moon tones ? That would be great
    Anyway, thank you so much, you are the boss :)

    [The RAT is based on a germanium Fuzz Face but it has a lot more mid range and gain obviously. Check out this clip that I did covering David’s Dark Side tones. At the end you’ll hear the RAT. – BJorn]

  81. Sebastián says:

    HI B:
    Your web site IS amazing, your playing outstanding.
    Y Have a Fender Telecaster and a LANEY LIONHEART 20 Watts y want to ask you What IS the best combination of a muff and a boost/ overdrive for THIS?
    THANK YOU very much indeed.

    [Thanks for your kind words! Glad you enjoy my site :) Your guitar and amp will handle most pedals so it really depends on what tones you want. In general I would say that a triangle or ram’s head Muff with a bright and transparent booster will give you vintage tones, while a Sovtek or mid range boosted Muff with a darker sounding overdrive will give you a tone closer to Delicate and PULSE and perhaps even a more versatile setup for different tones and genres. – Bjorn]

  82. jp says:

    I use a Diamond compressor > Blackstar HT-Dual clean channel on light crunch > Big Muff TW > KoTB 7 knobb (Boost stage only… amazing boost) > Wampler Euphoria OD on 12v for more headroom. Use a Twin Reverb and a custom passive attenuator from Savage Audio. If I have the amp cranked up I don’t use the comp on fuzz distortion tones. I find the Muff boosted with a Tube OD set to a natural light crunch really elevates the Muff well.. then the KoTB boost just beefs up every aspect of the tone Bass treble… beautiful boost… then the Distorted+clipping fuzz is tamed with a light OD from the Wampler. Distortion’s waveform is /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Fuzz is clipped and a boxed waveform and Od waveform is like a ripple ~~~~~~~~ I use a light clean distortion to boost the fuzz and then smooth it out with a boosted transparent OD. It’s kind of a balancing act if you do not set everything right you can get lots of extra noise….. but while using a ISP Gstring and a Decimator II combo’d it works out well… I use a programmable loop switcher also.

    [Thanks for sharing, JP! – Bjorn]

  83. jp says:

    I also use a WA grade tube in V1 of my amps to cut out Microphonics/noise, and also in the Blackstar HT-Dual, and I usually only go about 40-45% on the muff’s sustain. everything else is set on unity except the boost.

  84. jp says:

    For my really dirty tones I use the Blackstar or the Wampler with Kotb boost my Savage Glas 30 jumpered and at a nice crunch.

  85. Brian says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    I have been trying to replicate and record David’s Comfortably Numb tone from The Wall album. Ridiculous I know, but I’ve decided to go for it. I use GarageBand, got the “Echoes” pickup set in my Strat, a Shure SM57 (for loud stuff) or a Behringer B-1 (for less loud stuff), but I am having trouble with my Caprid, Rams Head clone, being very loose and flubby sounding, and I can’t seem to get sufficient gain even with the sustain maxed out and with my amp very loud. I have to play like a stiff to compensate for the looseness, which compromises the soul of the music. According to your site, Gilmour sets the sustain on his muffs around 70%, but after hearing mine I can’t imagine how he gets anything like that tone from 70%. I always have my Tube Driver if I need it, but I find it sounds closer to The Wall without it, I’m going for a more authentic approach to the setup but I keep it close by just in case. It seems none of the muffs you’ve demoed have these problems. But contrariwise I can get extremely close to DSOT tones like Sorrow with a comp>Caprid>Tube Driver setup (especially for the pups I have). I just don’t understand why my muff is so hard to work with in a “Wall” type setup when it can make even my “Echoes” pups sound just like DSOT with the other appropriate pedals for that setup. Please help. Btw congrats on the site and your band, I really dig your music. Thanks again.

    [Hi Brian! Two questions first – what amp are you using? Does the Caprid sound dull in the room or only on the recording? – Bjorn]

  86. Nathan says:

    Do you know what settings David would have set his Alembic F2B on for PULSE? I have an F2B also and love it, just wanted to compare how he sets it. I’ve gotten my best tone so far by maxing all of the tone controls, turning the bright switches off and setting the volumes to about 5.

    [I haven’t tried one myself so I can’t really tell but obviously it’s set to match David’s rig and the fact that it acted as the main pre-amp for the whole rig. From what I can see he only used the right channel on the 94 tour but I might be mistaken. Bright off, volume 6, bass off, mids full and treble 7. – Bjorn]

  87. Brian says:

    Hello again,
    I am using a Mesa MkV full stack on the “clean” mode with 6L6GCs and Celestion V30s. I have been using the 45w mode (naturally biased hot) with the solid state rectifier. The Caprid sounds dull in the room, and the recording sounds close to what I hear. It sounds weak and loose, just wrong and not Wall like, but man with a Tube Driver and compressor it nails DSOT, but with the sustain on 100% and a slight volume boost on the comp. From day 1 I never thought The Caprid sounded like the demos I’ve heard tho. I might try a compressor in front or maybe a Sunface or two could help or replace The Caprid. I may just be in over my head, wouldn’t be the first time. What other muffs do you recommend for Gilmourish stuff in general, (doesn’t necessarily have to be Ram’s Head) besides the Pig Hoof because they aren’tt for sale in the USA, bummer, cuz that was my #1 choice. Thanks again Bjorn!

    [Hi Brian! Sorry for my late reply. Muffs behaves very differently on different amps and a Mesa is a different beast compared to a Hiwatt and Fender, which are perhaps better suited for a Muff in regards to David’s tones. The Caprid should be able to give you the tones you want but first of all, – don’t pay much attention to David’s settings or other recommended settings. Start with setting your amp up for a nice clean tone and then set the controls on the Muff to match that. Increase the gain and/or volume on the Caprid if needed. Also, a booster is a good way to get more bite and punch from a Muff and the ram’s heads in particular. A TS9 might be a good choice for those 80s and 90s tones but try a transparent booster or overdrive for the Animals and Wall tones. A TC Spark Booster or the Boss BD2 should go nicely with the setup. – Bjorn]

  88. Mr Muff says:

    Hope this article is back up soon.Dying to read it.Great site btw

  89. Przemek says:

    I guess many people would like to see this article back :)

  90. Loic says:

    Please, I’m waiting for this great article. :)

    [… and it will be even better :) – Bjorn]

  91. Mr Muff says:

    Ha, Im checking this every day to see if its back up.Think ive read all the articles now,bar this one.Hopefully its up soon :)

    [Soon… – Bjorn]

  92. Enemayer says:

    Recently discovered this site, loved it and waiting to see this article! Checking this site everyday, I’ve learned so much, thanks Bjorn!

    [Thanks! Welcome to the site :) – Bjorn]

  93. john says:

    hope this article comes back!!! looking forward to reading it!

    [Soon :) – Bjorn]

  94. Debargho says:

    Bjorn, this article has been on hold since 7th Feb, 2012! Please, please start the tone tutorial on muffs ASAP. I’m sure like me, there are virtually many others who’ve been waiting patiently to read this. Taming a big muff can be sometimes daunting and articles such as these shall go a long way in addressing this issue.

    [Sorry for the delay. I’ll have it up before christmas. That’s all I can promise. It will be worth the wait :) – Bjorn]

  95. Debargho says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    Please start the muff tone tutorial. It’s been a long time coming.
    Also- when can we expect the review of the Vick Audio Coloursound power booster clone? (Btw: what is it being branded as, by the company?)

    [Both will be up soon. The Vick Overdriver review will be ready before christmas. – Bjorn]

  96. Andy says:

    Nearly Christmas!;)

  97. Troy says:

    Awesome website. What year is your BYOC Large Beaver Triangle? I note on the BYOC website that in 2008 they stopped offering a particular transistor (2N5133) for use in the Triangle setup and I want to make sure that the clip you posted does not included that particular transistor (i.e. I want the sound of the pedal in your clip). Can you confirm that your Triangle pedal sues the BC239C transistor? Thanks so much!

    [I think it does. Mine is from 2006. – Bjorn]

  98. Noah says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I recently purchased a boss BD-2 w/ Keeley mod and immediately placed it on the pedalboard behind the large beaver and went to town. Well, for about 30 seconds. With the BD-2 engaged, the sound kept dropping out, like the system was being overloaded. Sounded horrible, major distorted tone and garbled. Extreme feedback as well. Alone, each pedal sounds as it should. The large beaver sounds a bit rough by itself, but I think this is to be expected and thus I bought the BD-2 to clean it up a bit. Any thoughts on this? I tried several things and modified the settings on both pedals and the amp, but just cant seem to get it dialed in correctly. I have a GE-7 which I can add in to the mix as well. Playing my black strat replica w/ a marshall solid state 2×12 combo. Im thinking the amp just can handle this type of signal at lower volumes, but Im at a loss. Any advise is greatly appreciated!


    [Sounds to me that you have too much gain from the Muff, BD2 and Marshall combined. What settings do you use on the three? What guitar/pickups do you use? – Bjorn]

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