• The Big Muff tone tutorial

    David Gilmour - Big Muff tone tutorial

    Whether you’re set on nailing David Gilmour’s huge lead tones or just want something that will make your listeners jump in their seats, you got to love the Big Muff. In this feature you’ll learn how to choose the right Big Muff model for your setup and how to achieve those killer tones.

    The Big Muff is a moody beast. Nothing sounds quite like it and it’s certainly not for everyone or every musical style. It’s actually quite limited in its use and having a Big Muff paired with the “wrong” guitar and amp can sound pretty horrible. Still, the pedal has put its familiar stamp on countless recordings, including perhaps the greatest solo of all time, – Comfortably Numb.

    A very short history lesson

    The Big Muff was designed by Mike Matthews, who in the late 60s formed Electro Harmonix and went on to produce some of the most iconic pedals in the business. The initial goal was to create a sustain pedal, which would sound different from contemporary fuzz circuits. The Big Muff has gone through many changes since then, with the so-called “triangle” and “ram’s head” models as the most recognisable.

    After closing doors in the mid 80s, Matthews moved to Russia and founded Sovtek, which produced tubes and a new version of the Big Muff housed in huge tank-like boxes. Today, Electro Harmonix, with Matthews in charge, is as successful as ever and the Big Muff is surely one of the most popular pedals of all time. See the Big Muff Pi Page for a complete history on the Big Muff.

    Vintage, reissue or clone?

    Back in the digital era of the 1980s, the old Big Muff pedals were considered very uncool and was either thrown away or stashed away in an attic somewhere. When the grunge bands appeared in the early 90s, the Big Muff was back in favour and since then they’ve pretty much been some of the hottest items on the vintage market. Especially those pre 1980 models but the prices on the Sovtek models are also rising fast.

    Common for the pedals Electro Harmonix produced in the 1970s was they were often inconsistent with their designs. New models would sometimes feature old parts and there were a lot of so-called transition models. They also used parts of varying quality, which often meant that the pedals often sounded different and couldn’t handle much abuse. Add 40 years of ageing in different climates and you have a very fragile circuit.

    gilmourish.com - Big Muff tone guide

    Any Colour You Like! An original early 70s Ram’s Head (left), the current US reissue (middle) and one of the many clones, the Caprid from Wren and Cuff (right). A clone is often the best buy. These have better parts and build than the vintage models and they sound much more authentic to the early 70s versions compared to the current reissues.

    In most cases you never know what you get when buying a vintage Big Muff and you may end up being very disappointed and broke. Unless you’re very sure of what you’re doing, my best tip is to stay away from EBay and the whole vintage hype.

    Few pedals has been as much cloned as the Big Muff. Literally every brand has at least one clone in their portfolio. Some try to nail the classic design, while others are offering something new, with varying success. While owning an original early 70s Big Muff might be a dream come true I would say that it’s a much better investment tonewise to go for a clone. The size is smaller. The construction and parts much better. The noise is much lower. And the pedal is considerably more reliable. If you can’t find the exact specs you’re looking for you can even ask nicely and most builders will accommodate your needs.

    The current reissues from Electro Harmonix has little in common with the original models. It’s understandable, as Electro Harmonix has always been about evolving and coming up with new designs. They have a wast line of different models that may not be ideal for replicating David Gilmour’s tones but then again, the Big Muff appeals to many different guitarists.

    See the Buyer’s Gear Guide for recommended Big Muff models.

    Fuzz or Big Muff?

    It may be hard to tell the difference between a fuzz and Muff especially in terms of David’s tones because his fuzz tones on Live at Pompeii and Dark Side of the Moon are almost as smooth and sustained as a Muff. The difference, apart from the circuit, is that Big Muffs generally has a more saturated tone, more sustain and a tad more compression.

    Although most Muff models will cover David’s Pompeii and Dark Side tones, the “triangle” and “ram’s head” are closer to the silicon transistor fuzz, with much of the same edgy and raw fuzz tones. However a Muff is far too aggressive and saturated for the 1968-70 tones so for authenticity you might want to consider a germanium fuzz or simply an overdrive.

    See the Buyer’s Guide for recommended fuzz models.

    Volume

    There are no rules on how you should operate or use a Big Muff. Obviously, it depends on what tones you want. It terms of David Gilmour’s tones, to achieve those silky smooth sustained notes, you need volume and lots of it. The secret to David’s huge tones are his loud Hiwatt amps. They can play incredibly loud, while maintaining a rich headroom. The hot tubes creates compression and the speakers gets pushed hard, which makes a Big Muff sound smooth and dynamic.

    gilmourish.com - Big Muff tone guide

    Adjusting the volume on your Big Muff, will alter the pedal’s tone and character. Don’t over do it though. Too much either way can do more harm than good. Note that the actual position of unity level on the volume control may vary from model to model.

    It can be hard to achieve the same smoothness on smaller amps and typical bedroom volume levels and in many cases a Big Muff might not be the pedal you need or should choose. Still, as described in this feature, there are ways to compensate for the lower volume and the physics created by a loud tube amp.

    The volume control on the pedal it self also determine what sound you’ll get. Unity gain, meaning no raise or lowering of the volume when the pedal is on, is usually a good starting point and it will often be the truest tone in terms of the circuit design. The more you turn the volume up, the more you’re pushing the amp and the more compressed the tone will get. This can compensate for the lower amp volume on bedroom setups but it will also change the character of the pedal and roll off the harmonics and other characteristics you want to maintain.

    Rolling back the pedal’s volume will often reveal more harmonics in the tone and making the Muff sound more like a fuzz. Again, rolling back too much will make the Muff sound thin and you’ll also lose much of the sustain. Personally I prefer the volume just a hair below unity, to get a bit more of those harmonics but still maintain the characteristics of the pedal.

    Mid range

    Like most of the vintage pedal circuits, the Big Muff has a so-called “scooped” tone, meaning that there’s very little mid range present but lots of bass and treble. This is the nature of the pedal but it can also result in your guitar drowning behind the bass and cymbals on stage or on a recording. Our ears are focusing on the mid range and the lack of it makes it harder to detect the sound.

    Hiwatt amps has a good portion of mid range, which is essential to David’s tones and the smooth character he gets from his Big Muff. Vox, Fenders and similar amps has very little mid range and are therefore not ideal for a Muff. At least not in terms of David’s tones.

    You can compensate for any lack of mid range with different pickups, like the EMG DG20s, an EQ pedal boosting the mids or using Big Muff models that either has more mid range in the tone, like the Sovtek models, or a clone with a mids boost.

    See the Buyer’s Gear Guide for recommended Big Muff models based on different setups.

    Bass

    Most Big Muffs has a considerable amount of low end so adding too much bass into the setup, can often make the pedal sound both saggy and a bit spiky depending on the amp. Don’t be tempted to crank the bass on your bedroom amp but keep it at a moderate level or even roll it off a bit. This will make your cleans sound smoother and your Big Muff more open and tighter.

    Boosting the Muff

    Boosting is nothing new. When the first pedals arrived, the treble boosters and fuzz pedals, guitarists used these to get more gain from their amps. EQ pedals can also be used to boost (and cut) certain frequencies like one does in a studio.

    Contrary to Hendrix, who cranked his Marshalls and kicked in a fuzz on top of that, David’s amps are always clean and he’s often using a combination of pedals to get his tones. Sometimes three gain pedals at once – compressor, distortion and overdrive.

    Here’s a clip showing an early 70’s ram’s head Big Muff being boosted by a Colorsound Powerbooster (9V reissue with master volume). The Powerbooster is place AFTER the Big Muff. As you can hear, the effect is very subtle but that’s the point. The Powerbooster acts as an EQ adding a bit more presence and enhances the sustain and attack or click when picking the string.
    Big Muff: Volume set slightly below unity level, tone 40%, gain 60%.
    Powerbooster: treble 35%, bass 25%, gain/volume 25%, master volume at unity level.

    During the 1973-75 Dark Side of the Moon tour David used a Colorsound Powerbooster for overdrive but for the solo on Time he would add a (silicon) Fuzz Face on top of the already overdriven Powerbooster that were used for the rhythms.

    Later, on the 1977 Animals tour, David’s new pedalboard featured both a Powerbooster and Big Muff. It is not documented whether he actually paired the two pedals. The ram’s head Big Muff that he used at the time could very well operate on its own and most of the time it probably did so. However, live recordings from the tour reveal that the combination was often used on Dogs, Pigs and also during the jam section on Shine On You Crazy Diamond 6-9.

    For the 1994 Division Bell tour, he would often combine a Sovtek Big Muff and a Tube Driver for the solos.

    David rarely boost the gain and volume but rather uses the overdrive/booster pedal much like an EQ, enhancing certain frequencies and adding character to the tone. It also rolls off any harsh overtones from the Muff, enhances the sustain and also adds a bit of compression and mid range.

    There are very few details from any of the Pink Floyd and solo recording sessions but it’s almost certain that the Muff would be used alone, without a booster. Too much gain would only cause noise and feedback and in a controlled environment, like a studio, you can crank the amps and set the gain on the Muff higher for the desired tones. Studio compression and heavy use of delays would also make the tone sound bigger.

    As a rule (or guideline) I would say that the early Muffs, the ram’s head and triangle, could do with a bit of boosting to open up the tone and even compress it, making it sound tighter. The Sovtek Muffs and similar clones does not need boosting unless you’re aiming at a specific effect or tone.

    gilmourish.com - Big Muff tone guide

    A transparent (little midrange and gain) overdrive or booster allows the Big Muff’s character to shine through, without being darkened or choked. The Boss BD2 is similar to the Tube Driver that David’s been using since 1993. The Spark Booster is an all clean booster, with a mids boost switch that can come in handy if your amp lack mid range. The Buffalo FX Powerbooster is an excellent 18V clone of the original Colorsound pedal that David used from 1972-83. It’s glassy tone and huge headroom is a perfect match for the ram’s head and triangle Muffs.

    I also strongly recommend using a transparent booster with as much headroom as possible, like a clean booster, the Boss BD2, TC Electronic Spark Booster, Powerbooster etc. Pedals with lots of gain and mid range, like the TS808, OCD and similar, will make the Muff sound dark and muddy. I also recommend placing the booster after the Muff. This way the Muff will dominate the signal and the booster act like an EQ.

    I know there is a bit of debate on this – what booster to use and where to place it but the fact is that David has his boosters after the fuzz and Muff. It makes sense, since the booster acts like an EQ and not a dominating effect. Whether or not this works for your setup is a different matter and also down to taste. Experiment and decide what sounds best for you.

    Setup and settings

    Above anything it’s important that you find yourself a Big Muff that suits your guitar and amp and your playing environment. It doesn’t matter what I recommend or what David Gilmour is using if it doesn’t sound good on your setup.

    Amps with little mid range, would require a Big Muff with boosted mid range, like a Sovtek or similar clones. An amp with a pronounced mid range, is better suited for the majority of the Big Muff models. If you’re using humbuckers or an amp with little headroom, then you might want to consider a more versatile distortion like the RAT, Boss DS1 or similar clones.

    See the Buyer’s Gear Guide for recommended alternatives to the Big Muff.

    Distortion or fuzz isn’t just noise but the tone has a distinct character and rich harmonics. Perhaps much more so than a modern distortion. Allow your Big Muff to shine through and don’t overdo any settings or pedal combinations. Spend some time using only the Big Muff and familiarise with its character and nuances before you add any booster, EQ or compressor.

    It’s easy to think that the sustain, the crisp attack and the throaty voice of David’s Big Muffs comes from a huge setup but it’s really just the guitar, pedal and the amp in most of the cases.

    Amp settings:
    Always start by plugging the guitar straight into your amp when you’re setting up a new tone. Adjust your ears to the tone and experiment with the settings until you have the right basis for your pedals.

    David Gilmour’s 2006 Hiwatt setup
    Linked inputs (guitar plugged into the upper bright, with a short patch cable linking the lower bright and upper normal).
    Normal 2:00, brilliance 1:00, bass 11:00, treble 10:00, middle 1:30, presence 3:00, master 9:00.

    Most amps have a neutral setting with the controls around noon but you might want to tweak the controls to taste. Keep in mind that the settings on David’s Hiwatts are for his rig and taste. These settings may not apply to amps with a very different character, like a Fender, so always trust your ears rather that trying to duplicate someone else’s setup.

    See this feature for tips on setting up your amp in a bedroom.

    David Gilmour’s Big Muff tones

    Animals – The Wall
    David’s typical setup for the period covering Animals, his 1978 solo album, The Wall and Final Cut was based on the Black Strat (DiMarzio FS1 bridge pickup 1976-79 and a custom wound Duncan SSL1 bridge pickup 1980-present) and the Pete Cornish 1976 pedal board split into a Hiwatt/WEM rig and Yamaha RA200 rotating speaker cabinets (he used a smaller Cornish board for the recording of The Wall). The Yamahas were mixed lower than the Hiwatts for a mild chorusy tone.

    Pink Floyd performing Mother at London’s Earl’s Court in 1980. David’s tone is bright, with an unmistakable Big Muff character cutting through the layers of rotating Yamaha cabinets and the Electric Mistress flanger. The Mistress might be hard to detect on this clip but the liquidy character of the ’76 model is there, blending with the rotary cabs.

    Electro Harmonix “ram’s head” Big Muff

    sustain 50-60%, tone 40%, volume 50-60%

    Colorsound Powerboost
    The pedal was mostly used as a dedicated overdrive. For boosting set the volume to unity level or slightly higher, keep the bass moderate and adjust the treble and gain as desired. Depending on how hot your pickups are and how much gain your Big Muff has, you probably want the Powerbooster just at the edge of break up.

    Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress V2 18V 1976
    rate 60%, range 40%, color 60-70%.

    Note that these settings are based on the 1976 model. David’s actual settings would depend on whether the pedal was modified and how the trim pots were set. On a more recent Deluxe model you probably want to set the rate and colour at 10:00 and roll the range all the way off. The Mooer ElecLady should be set with the colour at 9:30, rate 2:30 and the range off.

    MXR Digital Delay
    time 370-440ms.

    These were typical time settings for the era, with varying feedback and level settings depending on the song.

    1994 PULSE


    David’s setup was based on the red Stratocaster, with the EMG SA pickups and the SPC and EXG tone boosters, an extensive pedal and effect rack setup and the amp rig, consisting of a split between the Hiwatts and the Doppola custom rotating speakers. These were mixed lower than the Hiwatts for a mild chorusy tone.

    Pink Floyd performing Sorrow in London’s Earl’s Court 1994. David’s huge tone is drenched in modulation and spread out in lush stereo. It’s much smoother and darker sounding, compared to the 2006 tones but apart from all the rotating speaker cabinets and chorusy stereo, the essence of the tone is the red Strat with EMG SA pickups, Sovtek Big Muff, Chanlder Tube Driver and delay.

    Boss CS2
    level 2:00, attack 11:00, sustain 11:30.

    You don’t need to use a compressor to achieve these tones. In most cases you’re better off without one, avoiding noise and feedback.

    Sovtek Big Muff Pi “Civil War”
    gain 50-60%, tone 40%, level 50-60%

    Chandler Tube Driver
    level 2:00, hi 2:00, low 2:00, drive 8:00

    David had two of these in the rig. One for overdrive and one for boosting. The one dedicated for boosting was often used in combination with the Sovtek Big Muff. Depending on how hot your pickups are and the voicing of your amp, you probably won’t need to boost your Sovtek model or similar clone, as these has enough gain and mid range to operate alone.

    Boss CE2
    speed 11:00, depth 1:00

    TC2290 Digital Delay
    time 700-750ms

    A typical time setting used on most of the Big Muff solos, with feedback and level settings based on each song.

    2006 Live in Gdansk


    David’s setup was based on the Black Strat with a custom Seymour Duncan SSL1 bridge pickup, the Pete Cornish (2006) all tubes pedalboard and the Hiwatt amplifiers.

    David Gilmour performing Comfortably Numb in Gdansk, Poland in 2006. His tone is stripped to the bone, with only a Pete Cornish P1, BK Butler Tube Driver for boosting and delay.

    Pete Cornish P1
    sustain 1:00, tone 10:00, volume 11:00

    The P1 is a clone of David’s first Big Muff, a “ram’s head” model, that he acquired around 1975 and has used on just about every Floyd and solo album since. Read more about David Gilmour’s different Big Muff models here.

    BK Butler Tube Driver
    level 2:00, hi 2:00, low 2:00, drive 8:00

    MXR Digital
    Delay

time 650ms

    A typical time setting used on most of the Big Muff solos, with feedback and level settings based on each song.

    Big Muff on a budget

    Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on the tone. Given that you have a decent sounding guitar and amp, there are tons of great sounding pedals out there that doesn’t cost a fortune.

    See the Buyer’s Gear Guide for recommended budget guitars and amps.

    Having a bunch of pricy pedals is great but it doesn’t get you far if you don’t know how to set up your rig for the tones you want. The budget range, whether it’s guitars, amps or effects, has come a long way in recent years and most companies are putting a lot of effort into this segment because they’ve finally realised that most people don’t really have that much to spend these days.

    gilmourish.com - Big Muff budget

    Tone 1 – Animals/DG78/Wall/Final Cut: The Mooer pedals are very close to the original pedals they are designed to clone. The Flex Boost is a clone of the Xotic AC Booster, which is very similar to the Colorsound Powerbooster. The ElecLady is possibly the best Electric Mistress model on the market today, regardless price.
    Tone 2 – Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk: The Bass Muff is as close as you’ll get to the old Sovtek tank Muffs. The Boss BD2 could easily cover for a Colorsound Powerboost but it’s really a close resemblance of the Tube Driver and it works just as good as a booster as an overdrive. The Mooer Ensemble King is very close to the classic Boss CE2 chorus and it has a mix level control.
    Tone 3 – Alternative, versatile setup: The Mooer Black Secret is an excellent clone of the RAT distortion, including the hyped LM308 chip. Extremely versatile pedal that can cover anything from overdrive to Muff and fuzz tones. The EHX Soul Food has a bit too much mid range for boosting a Big Muff but it’s a hard to beat overdrive that can easily double for the Tube Driver. This alternative setup goes equally well with either the ElecLady or Chorus Ensemble and even a phaser or UniVibe.
    The Flashback Delay is one of the best delays on the market, with studio quality tones and the extremely versatile Tone Print function. Treat yourself to this pedal. It’ll cover all the delay and echo tones you’ll need.

    Get the best guitar, amp and pedals you can afford and no matter what that is or how much it costs, learn how everything works and how you can get the most from it. That’ll save you a lot of hard earned bucks in the long run.

    If you need to prioritise, then I suggest that you try not to focus too much on a specific tone. That will only limit your options. Go for something versatile that will cover as much ground as possible.

    With David Gilmour’s Big Muff tones in mind – you don’t need a compressor, no EQ and not even a booster. A distortion, overdrive and delay will allow you to cover most of the rhythm and lead tones. If your budget allows it, then you might want to throw in a modulation pedal like a flanger for the late 70s tones or a chorus for the 80s and 90s. If you do want to boost the Muff, then go for a transparent overdrive that can double as a booster as shown in the booster section above.

    My favourite Big Muff setup

    This setup is based on my Stratocatser with a Seymour Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup into a Reeves Custom 50, with a 4×12″ cabinet loaded with Weber Thames 80w speakers. The tone is inspired by David’s Animals live setup in particular but applies to the whole 1976-83 period.

    Airbag performing White Walls (All Rights Removed 2011) in our former rehearsal studio back in late 2010. My tone on the solo is heavily influenced by David Gilmour’s Animals and The Wall live tones, with the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof (red), ThroBak Overdriveboost and EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress.

    The combination of the Reeves amp and the Weber Thames speakers, is a close resemblance to David’s Hiwatt amps and Fane Crescendo speakers. Both the Reeves/Hiwatt and Weber/Fane has a bright tone, with slight boost in upper mid range, which makes the Big Muff sound open and focused.

    The SSL5 bridge pickup has a high output, rolled off highs and pronounced mid range, which fits a Big Muff perfectly. I usually roll down the guitar volume to about 9, to smooth out any harshness in the tone and bring out the harmonics of the Big Muff. I also use a heavy gauge 1.14 pick, which adds to the attack of the tone.

    In this clip I’m only using an Effectrode PC-2A compressor, Vick Audio ’73 Ram’s Head, Mooer ElecLady flanger and delay. No boosting. The Big Muff has almost a fuzz character to it, with the attack and sustain of a Big Muff.

    Electronic Orange Pig Hoof (red)
    level 10:30, tone 11:00 and gain 1:00

    The pedal is a clone of the mid 70s “violet” ram’s head, which has a bit more gain and brightness compared to the earlier ram’s heads. The Pig Hoof is also very loud, so unity level is around 11:00. I’ve set mine just a tad lower to bring out as much of the harmonics in the tone as possible. I’m using a booster to compensate for the slight volume drop.

    Buffalo FX Powerbooster
    bass 9:00, drive 2:00, level 1:00, treble 10:30

    This is a clone of the 18V Colorsound Powerbooster, with an additional master volume control. The pedal has a lot of headroom, so I’ve bumped up the gain quite a lot but it’s still just at the edge of breakup. The bass is rolled down considerably to avoid the Muff sounding boomy.

    Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress V4 1999
    rate 9:00, range off, colour 10:00

    The Deluxe model has a bit more of that “jet” character compared to the late 70s model. I’ve rolled the range all the way down for a more subtle effect but you might want to turn it up to around 10:00 for a more authentic The Wall tone.

    Boss DD-2 digital delay
    level 11:00, feedback 12:00 (aprox 7 repeats), time 1:30 (440ms), mode L

    The DD-2 sounds similar to the MXR DDL, with a typically digital accuracy but a warm analog touch to it. These units are old and I’ve had pedals that differ in the time settings so use a reference delay or metronome to get the right time.

    So, to sum it up my best tip is to find a Big Muff that sounds great with your setup, regardless of what David Gilmour or any other guitarist might be using. A Big Muff is a Big Muff, true, but it’s the fine nuances between each model, your guitar and amp, your playing and how you set up everything that makes the magic. I think that once you realise that the Big Muff is so much more than just the pedal David Gilmour used on Comfortably Numb, a whole new world of tone and inspiration will emerge.

    Please feel free to use the comments field below and share your setup tips and favourite Big Muff models!

    A big thanks to Big Muff guru Kit Rae for the inspiration! Visit the Big Muff Pi Page for a wealth of information on the various Big Muff models.

157 Responsesso 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 GuitarPCB.com 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 http://www.ebay.de/itm/130618879440 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 positions.it 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoiFX_UyZMk 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 Björnish.com 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.

    http://www.snowywhite.com/files/photographs/Guitar/effects.jpg

    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?

    Cheers!

    [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!

    Brad

    [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.

    http://www.ebay.at/itm/Gilmourish-G2-Dual-Buffered-Distortion-Fuzz-Boutique-Pedal-no-Pete-Cornish-/160731361614?pt=Allgemeines_Musikinstrumente_Zubehör&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)

    Pedals:
    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 (http://t.co/T6IWkA40 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,

    Nick

    [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?

    Cheers,
    Luca

    [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 Gilmourish.com for “complete breakdown of Gilmour´s rig through the ages”.

    [Didn’t know… Thanks! – Bjorn]

  24. George says:

    Bjorn,
    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?

    Cheers,
    George

    [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:

    Bjorn,

    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,
    Brad

    [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:

    Bjorn,
    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.
    Cheers,
    Alan

    [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:

    Bjorn,
    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? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InG6RAZ0KWs
    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.

    Cheers!

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

  33. Eric Nyberg says:

    Question
    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:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3LSfEEaJmQ

    [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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbfMsYfw22Q

    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:

    Bjorn,
    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? :)

    Thanks!

    [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.
    Thanks!

    [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:

    Hi
    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?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yssxGzXNhPM&list=UUXT6G8O3its4RLZ4kzjMr_w&index=3&feature=plcp
    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 http://wrenandcuff.com/site/
    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.

    STRAT>
    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:

    Hey!

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

    Cheers!!

  59. Brad says:

    Bjorn,

    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!
    Brad

    [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!

    -Yoel

    [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:

    Bjorn,

    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…..do 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?

    Thanks,
    Ben.

    [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 ;-)

    Regards,
    Mark

    [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!

    Thanks
    Noah

    [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]

  99. Mr Muff says:

    Brilliant stuff!Been looking forward to reading this for ages.Great work Bjorn!Site looks great by the way.

  100. Debargho says:

    Brilliant article Bjorn. I’ll echo what everyone else has said before: I think the article has been worth the wait and you’ve outdone yourself. Thanks!
    Since this is a big muff tone tutorial, wouldn’t adding some info/settings about the latest Deluxe Big Muff really round off the topic?
    I know Kit Rae has a comprehensive section about the DBM on his website but still, it shall really be useful to include this info as for most, your excellent site has become a one stop- shop for all things Gilmour.
    since the DBM can do both Ram’s head as well as the Sovtek era muff tones pretty well and has a knob for noise gate too – this helps eliminate the booster option for some of the Gilmour tones.
    Well, it’s certainly something to consider, when you update the article :)
    Thanks for the article Bjorn. I’ve awaited this for a long while :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! The article is meant to cover Big Muffs in general and not a particular model, although DBM needs some explaining. It will be featured in the 2015 Buyer’s Gear Guide but I don’t have any immediate plans to make review.

  101. Arne says:

    For the DIY types out there, General Guitar Gadgets also has some nice Muff-kits. I built a triangle version 9-10 years ago that’s still going strong. There’s no option to buy pre built, though, so you’d have to break out your trusty soldering iron.

  102. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. Like your website update! Did you already tried the Mooer Blues Mood? They say it’s a Boss BD-2 with Keeley mod… is it correct? Cheers.

  103. Brendan says:

    Guys i have wah,comp,bass bigmuff,formula No.5,mxr phase 45 into carbon copy where would i place a LPB-1 that was given to me, thanks

  104. David says:

    I bought a Vick Audio Overdriver. I love it’s EQ and very full “hi-fi” tone, but it has a quick decay, especially when I am using it with drive lower, just for mild effect like on “Shine On…” When used alone it has little sustain and cuts quickly, yet when used after a Muff it does well, I presume the muff is driving the sustain. Is this how the original Colorsound Overdriver behaved???

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes. These vintage style overdrives and boosters has a very different circuit and nature than the more modern equivalents like the Tube Screamer. It’s a crude tone, with little compression and sustain. Having said that, paired with a loud tube amp there’s certainly a lot of sustain present.

  105. Joby Hook says:

    Ace as always,loving the new look site Bjorn.Thankyou for keeping us all inspired and informed.’Gilmour,Rothery,Rhiis’ = Superlative.

  106. Jeff says:

    Bjorn,
    Where can I download the (Near the End) sound track that you use for jamming? Also, any chance you will release the backing tracks for LIACC?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    • Bjorn says:

      I can’t post the NTE track since it’s a loop of original material. Sorry. I’m looking into the possibility for some Lullabies tracks. It’s a bigger operation as we have to open the projects and create new mixes but I’ll see what I can do… if the record company lets me :)

  107. David says:

    Thanks. At “bedroom” levels does it make sense to go Compressor> Muff (SUF Civil War or Basic Audio Tri/Ram)>Vick Overdriver? Is adding Buffalo Fx overkill?, it seems so good and I found it recently as the rest of their products which on the Internet at least sound better to me that most pedals. I also have the Mooer Blues Mood which seems nearly every bit as good a a real Keeley modified BD-2. But I like it more for other things than for Gilmourish tones, although it certainly smokes a Tube Screamer circuit and other pedals I have.

    • Bjorn says:

      Try it. The Overdiver should be set near clean as explained in this article. That being said, I think the Sovtek models and clones, operate just as good on their own. They have much more gain and mid range than the early 70s models and on bedroom setups it’s often redundant to boost these pedals.

      • David says:

        thanks. I really needed the Overdriver to get the “Shine On…” little extra boost and mild dirt on certain parts while still mostly hearing just the DG-20 EMGs Im using. It adds just the right amount without too much that no other OD pedal seemed to be able to dial in, for me at least. I like it with the Bass turned all the way up, treble about half way, and drive just past the middle. It sounds pretty close to the record and some live recordings, especially if I dial in compression just right.

  108. joao bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    What is the best option for booster a muff, like bass big muff or big muff tone wicker, a bd2 or the soul food nano? I’m talking about bedroom levels.

    Do you think the hiwatt t20 head with a marshall cab with 2x25watts grennbacks would sound better than 2x70watts V30?

    Last question:
    I have a boss dd3 that i use a lot but a also have the vox time machine delay, i would like to give a go with the time machine of being my main delay. Do you know that pedal? And do you think it can be better than dd3 for pink floyd tones?

    Cheers.

    Joao bicudo

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Joao! There’s really just one answer to all your questions: whatever you think sounds best. Personally I think the BD2 is better suited for boosting, as the Soul Food has a bit too much mid range, which often will make the Muff sound dark. I prefer V30 speakers. They will give you more headroom but the Greenbacks are great too. The Time Machine sounds great and you got a lot of different options with it. Whether or not it sounds better than the DD3 is down to taste.

      • joao bicudo says:

        Hi Bjorn! Thanks for your reply!

        I have the same opinion about bd2 and soul food for boosting muffs but i wasn’t shure. I think bd2 stock (that’s what i have) sound better!

        As i told you before, in other comments, i have a Hiwatt T20 HD and last weekend i try it in a studio with my 1936vintage cab with 2x25watts greenbacks. (Probably one of this days, i will try with my “old V30″).
        This time i could crank the amp a bit and it sounds great! I’m still trying to find the best EQ for David’s tone, but the first impressions is very promessing! Even in 10w mode it’s sounds loud,!!!

        I have a stereo elecrtic mistress that i made the error of buy it. I never couldn’t spot a decent EQ in this pedal! It sound too metallic and the effects is dificult to tame, so i’ve see your review about the Mooer elecmistress and i love it! Like you said it’s pretty close to the real deal, the ElecLady. So, once again and following your advices, ( I have to say it, every pedal that i bought sugested by you, it was the exact sound that I was looking for!) So i just order the ElecLady.

        Thank you one again for your time.

        Cheers.

        Joao bicudo.

  109. Lukas Schmidtke says:

    Hey Bjorn ! Just wanted to say Big Big Thanks again ( I guess there is time for BigMuff, and there is time for Big Thanks ;) ) … You offer so much insight throughout your whole site and in such an organized manner… it’s simply stunning and incredible !!! I can not begin to tell you, how much you have helped me along..

    ..and when a german says that, it means something, you know:)

    Lukas

  110. Sebastien says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Please what would be your choice between Electro harmoniX Bass Big Muff or Nano bass big Muff in order to replicate the Pulse tones? I don’t care about the size… Which one sounds the best? Did you try both?

    Regards,

    Sebastien

  111. Sebastien says:

    Hi again,
    I have another suqestion Bjorn, about the Boss BD-2 as a replacement for the Chandler TD. I’m considering the Keeley BD-2. Is the PHAT SWITCH an improvement and should it be left ON in order to replicate those Chandler TD tones?

    Best regards

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on your guitar and amp but I think the phat mode makes it sound better and closer to the TD. I also recommend the Wampler Plexi Drive. It’s even closer to the Tube Driver.

  112. Ed says:

    Bjorn,
    I have a Vick audio 73 ram head, a stock bd2, a blues junior and a strat with ssl5 In the bridge. What settings do you recomend for the muff and for the bd2 to get tones similar to the gdansk?
    Also, do you have any tip about achieving a eric johnson lead tone with a big muff like the ram head?

    • Bjorn says:

      I think you should focus more on the amp settings and get those right before you adjust the pedals. The pedal settings suggested in this feature should be a start. See the Setting up your amp feature for amp settings.

  113. Joel says:

    Awesome article! I recently got a violet rams head clone by chicago stompworks and I find that a) unity volume is around 25 % and the pedal is true to the original with the hi cut knob as opposed to a regular tone knob b) if i run my TS-9 after the muff it really muddies everything up! My question is if I were to use an eq pedal to tame the beast should I run it before or after the muff or keep it in my fx loop? I really like the tone of the violet version and I will also purchase the chicago stompworks Rams head clone. It is a very delicate beast when it comes to pedal order any advice would be much appreciated. I am using a wampler compressor, TS-9, big muff and MXR 10 band eq as well as a TC Electronic Flashback X4 in my FX loop running through a Marshall DSL40C thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Joel! You should always place EQs after the pedal you want to EQ or else you’ll be EQing the guitar or pedal in front of it.

  114. Dusko Isakovic says:

    Hi Bjorn

    I have followed your tuition, knowledge and experience for while and I guess I do not have to stress how I admire all of that and how much I have learned from you.

    Now I have a question. I know it is a matter of personal taste, but I would like to know how you would arrange the order of following 3 pedals: BSM RM treble booster, Buffallo Patriot and Fulltone Clyde deluxe wah.

    I play old MIJ Squire Stratocaster with Dimrazio Virtual Solo (bridge) and HS3s (middle and neck) or 72 Telecaster Custom with Creamery pickups (Baby 71 Wide range and Broadcaster) through Marshall Bluesbreaker RI or Deluxe Reverb clone.

    Best Regards

    Dusko Isakovic

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks a lot for your kind words, Dusko! Sorry for my late reply. I’d try something like this: wah > patriot > booster. Cheers!

  115. Mario says:

    Hi Bjorn, it’s finally here, the guide we’ve al been waiting for! Amazing article.
    Could you recommend any RAT or Soul Food settings?
    Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      What amp and guitar are you using?

      • Mario says:

        I’m using a Squier Classic Vibe 50’s, with stock pickups, but considering to buy SD SSL1’s, into a Vox VT30.
        My pedal chain is: Dynacomp clone>Rat>Soul Food>Phase 90 clone>EHX Pulsar Tremolo>TC Alter Ego X4> EHX Memory Boy> EHX Cathedral
        If you can help me out I’d really appreciate it.
        Thank you for the website and all your articles!

        • Bjorn says:

          You should start with the amp and find the best basis for your pedals. Check out the amp setup feature for some tips. Depending on what tones you want, I often set all the controls on the RAT at about 2:00. Perhaps with the tone slightly lower. Are you intending to use the Soul Food for boost or overdrive? It has a lot of mids so the settings would depending on the voicing of your amp but for boosting I’d keep the level at unity, gain fairly low and the treble around noon. For overdrives I’d increase the gain and keep the treble at 9:00 o’clock or lower.

  116. Hello from Texas. I recently ordered the Big Muff Pi. The largest of the three. I also have a Blues Jr III. The amp seems to me to be very midrangy in nature. have i made a mistake in getting this pedal?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Brian, the Jr has a boost switch, which boosts the gain and mids. This also means less headroom. In general I would say that Muffs and Fenders aren’t the best combo. At least not for replicating David’s tones, although he’s often used Fender Bassmans and Twins in the studio. I think your “problem” is the pedal. The current Big Muff reissue has a boomy tone and little in common with the early 70s models. Of the ones available from Electro Harmonix, you should check out the Deluxe Big Muff or the Bass Muff. Otherwise a clone would be better. You might also want to look into something a bit more versatile, like a RAT or the Buffalo FX Evolution.

  117. Alex says:

    Hi Bjorn, and congratulations for your excellent site ! I don’t how how many hours I’ve already spent on it !
    Bjorn, I don’t understand why you recommend to boost the mooer black secret with an EHX soul food. I thought that RAT type pedals didn’t need to be boosted contrary to MUFF type pedals to replicate David’s sound ?
    Tanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Alex! Well, you don’t need to boost a Rat. It has more than enough gain and mids to operate alone. However, a booster isn’t just about boosting gain and volume but also adding character and enhancing certain frequencies, which is how David’s using his boosters. The Soul Food, when set all clean, can open up a RAT a bit and also add to the harmonics of the pedal.

  118. Bjorn,

    First off…thank you for the site. It has been a great tool for me. I love reading your articles and reviews. Second….I finally had a chance to listen to ALL Rights Removed. Wow! Loved it. The last 10 minutes blow me away!!! I would like to buy a copy…How can I do so?

    I do have a question for you. I play in a cover band….and have all my tones for that covered…..However, I am always searching for the wall era Gilmour tone….CN especially. I have used you as a guide for this and a year and a half ago bought a BYOC triangular. I have also read your tone tutorials and have come to grips with the fact that it is different for everyone….even if you own the same stuff.
    My rig to achieve a pretty close to what I want CN tone, is as follows: American Strat with Straitcat Biz Gilmour assembly dropped in the guts. I then run through a Hardwire (which I got free in a trade) SC-2 valve distortion, with a Exotic AC Booster Comp, Carbon copy/or some times the digital delay on my TC electronics nova system and lastly an exotic ep booster, out to a Peavy Classic 50 x 410. I had the hardwire for a while before I tried it. I had tried and tried with the BYOC, but just couldn’t get it right. Finally, I plugged in the Hardwire and was like….wow. It got me very close…maybe a bit to smooth but really close. (totally unexpected I might add) When I added the AC boost behind it….it added just enough extra hair. I love the tone I have and honestly am only complaining, because I would like to make that sound with the Beaver! Do you have any suggestions based upon my rig….on how I might do that or what I am doing wronge. I hate to let that cool pedal collect dust!!

    Thank you,
    Chad from Dallas,TX

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Chad! Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like our music :) The albums are available on iTunes, Amazon, Burning Shed etc :)
      I could write a loooooooong answer to your question but I think most of it is already covered on the site and in this feature in particular. The keys ingredients in David’s rig are the guitars and amps. The pedals are the icing and although some of his rigs are huge, the effects used for each song is down to two or three. The Peavey Classic is a great sounding amp but it’s not a 100w Hiwatt with a 4×12″ cabinet. It doesn’t mean that you won’t get close but it’s just not the same. The Hiwatts also have a nice mids boost, while the Peavey is perhaps closer to a Fender, with less mid range. This means that you need to compensate for that scooped mids, to make the pedals sound like his. To get THE Comf Numb tone, you’d need a mid 70s ram’s head Big Muff (or clone), a delay and a rotary sim to replicate his rotating speakers. You might not hear them on the album but they’re much of the mojo in that tone. Hope this helped :)

      • Bjorn,
        Thank you for the reply. By the way, I did download the All Rights removed album. You guys music is just fantastic. I have played it for numerous friends….just in the background as we are hanging out….and every time they comment on how good it sounds and ask me who is that?!! Now they know.
        After your reply…I actually spent a few hours…which I rarely have…no kids or wife in the house and was able to open up the volume on my Muff and the amp. I do actually have a cool rotary speaker that a friend gave me…(he upgraded to a Leslie). I was able to find some fantastic tones, but it had to be loud, very. At high volume, it sounded spot on Sorrowish! Probably will still use the Hardwire for my shows…We play Young Lust and all I have to hit is it and the Carbon copy and I am close enough for our scene.
        I had one quick question. I have never owned any Marshall amps. Would one work better for the Gilmour chase? If so what model would you suggest. It would be for my gigs (in a classic cover band as well). I could spend around 1k.
        Thanks again for all you do! I will continue chasing that Gilmour sound! Lastly……you guys need to come play in the States!!

        Chad

        • Bjorn says:

          Thanks for your kind words Chad! I have a love/hate relationship with Marshall. The old JTMs, Super Leads and even the JCMs are great and I’ve used them several times. I also think that the new DLS series are pretty good. They offer classic tones and the clean channel is also pretty good. Most of the 90s and early 2000s amps are too modern sounding for me and I don’t like them. I also warmly recommend the Laney Lionheart L20 stack, which has a clean channel close to a Vox AC30 and a dirt channel, with a lot of headroom, close to a JTM.

  119. Marco Crespi says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    how would you set the POWER BOOST to get that TIME rhythm part?

    i’m not able to get a decent tone with mine. it sound too glassy and too much chime.

    regards.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on your amp and how hot your pickups are. In general I’d roll off the treble as the gain increased. The tone on time is a combination of a loud amp, mic placement and the right settings on the Powerbooster. This might be hard to achieve on a smaller bedroom setup as the Powerbooster needs a bit of volume and tube saturation to really open up and gat that smooth character.

  120. Lukas Schmidtke says:

    Bjorn, i followed your advice and got me a Black Secret and a Soul Food, running them through an ensemble king and a flashback … guitar = Telecaster(classic vibe), amp = Laney Cub12r … Boy! I can’t believe, just how amazing that sounds!!! I feel i can pretty much nail David’s Delicate sound … the Soul Food alone makes everything sound better … it adds like a real pleasant kind of subtle saturation to the midrange, even without any drive … playing with just the black secret doesn’t sound too good really … but then you turn up the DRIVE knob on the Soul Food, and …… WOW! You get back all that warm midrange–but now there is heavenly distortion underneath it! It’s just like you said – the black secret sounds best with the Soul Food just before it’s breaking point. Oh sweet midrange! Some people might find it boxy .. i LOVE it! Just nice and warm … TO ANYBODY READING THIS : the combination of these two pedals sounds BIG and WARM – even at bedroom level!! ( though you have to have the right amp and guitar, too, i guess .. ) … by the way – talking of that pleasant kind of Boost, that the Soul Food brings … I’m running my other gain stages (low gain = the juicer, medium gain = green mile, medium high gain = hustle drive – all by Mooer) through the Soul Food as well … it makes every one of these sound just a tad better … only problem: I don’t want to disengage the Soul Food ever again … so now, since the DRIVE on the Soul Food is set to right before the breaking point ( roughly 11 o`clock ), if i want a 100% clean sound, i either HAVE to disengage the Soul Food, OR turn my guitar volume down a bit ( cleans out the Soul Food nicely ) … on the other hand, the overdrive of the Soul Food at it’s setting is so subtle, you might as well call it a clean sound … and after all: these things are so cheap, i might as well get another one, JUST for my clean sound … hmm.. then AGAIN – who needs clean, when it can be ‘dirty’ clean?? ;)

    BIG THANKS for ‘BIG MUFF’ again. Tons of great information on your site!!! … by the way, i just checked out your band’s all rights removed album … i like it:)

    best wishes!
    Lukas from Germany

  121. Lucas says:

    Would the Demeter compulator be a good alternative to the Boss CS2?, The Cs2 is out of production and im searching a compressor that helps me with the sustain before the Drive, and also have a CS2-Like character, Having in mind the Pulse Tones.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Demeter sounds closer to a DynaComp I think. A bit more transparent, with a deeper compression compared to the CS2. It’s a nice compressor though so you’re safe with it. I also recommend the YellowSquash Iron Fist, which is right there in the middle of the Dynacomp and CS2.

  122. Allan says:

    Hi Bjorn!:)

    As always, very informative thanks very much, just awesome. I was wondering if you can try the Joyo Voodoo Octave Fuzz or have you already? I have one and I was surprised on the Fuzz feature alone (nevermind the octave, I don’t use it), I compared it with your demo on Pig Hoof doing Pink Floyd’s solo on “Mother” it’s spot on! I did the same settings you did and it was “OK” boosted it with BOSS blues driver. I did it with my Laney Cub 12r following some of your amp setting’s and mine… To my ear it does a decent if not spot on Gilmour sound (bedroom). Some demo’s of this pedal are just rubbish did not do it justice (I won’t mention:) ) but some are ok. This might be sacrilege but I’m treating it like a Ram’s head Muff. It has 4 silicon transistors 2N5172 on it like the Big Muff Clone Hohner Tri Dirty Booster described in Kitrae’s big Muff What do you think? I hope you try one.

    Edward

  123. Allan says:

    Hi again Bjorn,

    In Addition I’m using a Strat with custom wound Neck & Middle at 5.8k and a Dimarzio FS-1 on the bridge.

    Thanks

  124. Tony says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Of all the Muff type pedals you’ve ever played, knowing that Muffs tend to be noisy by nature of the circuit (which sometimes can drive one nuts), which is the lowest noise you’ve ever played that still gets closest tonally to your beloved standard Pig Hoof?

    Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to pick one out. One of the reasons why I love the Pig Hoof is that I haven’t really found another Muff that sounds quite like it. That saturated fuzz and the fat lows does create some noise. I am very fond of the Vick Audio 73, which has very little noise. Not quite as aggressive as the Pig Hoof but you can dial in similar tones and the mids switch also makes it a bit more versatile. It’s also worth looking into the MJM Foxey Fuzz, which is in the same tone family.

Hey! How about a comment on this post?