How many more Big Muffs do we need? Well, if you ask me I say keep ‘em coming! One of the latest additions comes from Buffalo Effects – a clone of the monstrous mid 70s ram’s head sporting NOS BC239c transistors. Well worth checking out, don’t you think? Here’s my review.
12-13 years ago, the Big Muff was all but extinct. Now everyone seems to offer at least one in their portfolio of pedals. Interestingly though, few have tackled the authentic nature and sound of the classic ram’s head, which I’ve missed, being a ram’s head fan my self!
The Buffalo Ram’s Head is about the size of an MXR but almost twice as high. Perhaps not the most appealing pedal I’ve come across but then again, it’s what’s inside that count. Anyway, the pedal feature the familiar tone, gain and volume controls, a stage ready led, true bypass switching and an easy access battery compartment on the side of the pedal. More interestingly the Ram’s Head feature NOS BC239c transistors.
The 70s ram’s head Big Muff is known for its high gain character, bright cripsy top and silky smooth sustain. The Buffalo Ram’s Head is no doubt in that same category but compared to most ram’s heads it has a bit more low end and mid range, giving the pedal a slightly darker character and a nice hint of compression. Make no mistake though, this one angry beast perhaps best described as a mix between a brighter sounding ram’s head like the Pig Hoof and a darker more middy Sovtek.
You might find that it’s just a bit too dark sounding on some amps and I haven’t quite been able to make it work with humbuckers but the fact that it has a more mid range than usual, makes it a great alternative for your low volume bedroom setup and brighter sounding amps.
The Buffalo Ram’s Head covers Gilmour’s classic Big Muff tones from Animals, Wall, Final Cut and On an Island/Gdansk and it does a pretty good job covering the PUSLE era as well. I prefer having a transparent booster after it for tightening up the frequencies but it stands well on its own too – especially if you crank the volume control up to 3-4 o’clock for that tube amp feeling.
One of the best sounding Big Muffs I’ve come across and I think Buffalo has managed to do justice to the old legend by offering classic tones with a slight (and much welcomed) twist. Check out Brett Kingman’s review too for more on the different settings and tones. See Buffalo-FX.com for more details.