• Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head review

    Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head review

    My first Big Muff was a bubble font green Sovtek. I still got it and nothing beats that larger than life, thunderous tone. Still, I’ve always preferred the ram’s head. There’s something about that tone. I recently came across the 73 Ram’s Head from Vick Audio and been eager to check it out. Here’s my review.

    I’ve lost count over how many Big Muff clones I’ve tested and played over the years. It seems that everyone making pedals are offering one. No wonder really, given the fact that it’s one of the most popular fuzz pedals. Still, I would imagine that the more Muff clones there are out there the harder it gets to be noticed. Unless you got something really special to offer.

    The 73 Ram’s Head is housed in a MXR-sized enclosure featuring a bright stage ready led, neutrik audio jacks, 9V Boss style power jack and true bypass switching. In addition to the standard volume, tone and sustain (gain) controls, the 73 Ram’s Head also feature a mini toggle switch for switching between three different mid range modes: scooped (stock), flat and boost.

    As expected the 73 Ram’s Head deliver tons of saturated gain, fat lows and sweet singing sustain. In fact the sustain on this thing is just unbelievable! Even at low gain settings it rings on for ages. Typical of Big Muffs it doesn’t clean up that much when you roll back the guitar volume but setting the gain at about 30% or lower and backing down the guitar volume a hair takes the pedal into overdrive territory and sounding much more dynamic and responsive than most Muffs that I’ve tried.

    Compared to the much more aggressive and top boosted violet Ram’s Head this one’s got a smoother character. It’s a fairly dark sounding pedal and perhaps a tad too dark for some but the tone control can be set quite high without getting any harsh overtones. The 3-way toggle also gives you a wider palette of tones. I prefer the flat mode. It adds a hint of mid range, without sounding boxy and allows the pedal to cut through a band mix.

    There’s really not much to put my finger on. It could do with just a hint more top to make it open up a bit more. A bit less gain would also have made it easier to tame the pedal especially since I prefer combining Big Muffs with boosters. Still, that’s really just being picky.

    The 73 Ram’s Head sound huge on a large stack but I think it really shines on smaller amps and typical bedroom setups. That’s why it’s also found its way to my studio pedal board. The fact that it has more gain and a slightly darker tone than most Muffs, makes it sound equally big and smooth on low wattage amps and neighbour friendly levels.

    So, what’s the verdict? Love it! If you’re searching for classic ram’s head tones or a Muff that sounds great on smaller amps then look no further. Check out vicksaudio.com for more details.

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124 Responsesso far.

  1. Pete Walsh says:

    Great review! I’ve been a fan of Vick Audio for a while now and I’m happy to see this review. Their product is great and their prices are very budget friendly. Would like to see more players using their stuff.

    [Yep. Great stuff indeed! I ended up placing this one on my studio board. – Bjorn]

  2. Tom from Chile says:

    OMG!! Bjorn, yesterday I was looking for a video featuring the Belle Epoch with a muff, and I saw Vicks Audio’s muff and I though “damn, I would love to see Bjorn playing this one” and to my surprise, you are !!! Hahah, great review as always Bjorn; those EMG’s sound really like Dave in Division or Pulse
    IMHO, the boosted mode was the one I liked less, but that’s just me
    Cheers, and keep shining!

    [The boosted tone sounds perhaps less as a Muff when you record but it comes in handy when you’re playing with a band. The pedal cuts nicely through, whereas Muffs often tend to drown a bit due to the lack of mid range. – Bjorn]

  3. Scooter says:

    Hi Bjorn sweet demo! I’ve been looking at this pedal for sometime after seeing this I had to pull the GAS trigger AGAIN!!! But I was wondering is your Blues jr a stock amp? Or you have changed the stock tubes for something different seems to sound better than the ones I’ve demoed

    [I’ve changed the tubes to JJs and the Screaming Eagle speaker to Rex Cannabis. Sounds much warmer. – Bjorn]

  4. Marcello C says:

    Hi Bjørn,
    Great Review and playing!
    I really need your help here. I`ve decided to get a Big Muff and I`d like to know your pick between the Audio Vick 73, the Patriot or the Pig Hoof MKII. Just one, please, eh eh. I have just ordered the Buffalo Power Booster, so I´m wondering which one of the three muffs pairs best with this pedal. My gear setup is a Knopfler Strat with texas special pickups into a Blues de Luxe Fender (or a Fender Super Champ X2 combo for rehearsal).
    Cheers,
    Marcello

    [The Patriot, as you know, is a clone of the early Sovtek Muffs. It has a warmer tone and lots more mid range compared to the other two. I think it will be the best choice based on your amps. – Bjorn]

  5. Tom from Chile says:

    Yes, indeed. The mid boost feature is great for live use. Thanks for another great review Bjorn!

    [Cheers! – Bjorn]

  6. KEITH says:

    I wish my life wasn’t one issue after another these days so I could find the time, and energy to do a V2 clip, or that you’d get one to review. I listen to all these lively sounding Muffs out these days, and while they all sound good, I’ve yet to hear a single one, from P-1, to BYOC, to this one, that has that perfect tone, and with almost no effort, I found the exact tone we’d ask Stu to emulate. The clip will come, and all will see what I mean! No joke, and maybe it’s just my ears, but they’ve never let me down, and I just think it’s perfect!

    Peace, Keith :)

    [Hope to hear the clip one day, Keith! When you’re ready. As you know, these recorded clips will always be coloured by how I (or others making similar clips) want the clips to sound, the gear and recording techniques we use and a whole range of other factors. It’s always difficult to do a 1:1 comparison to how the pedal actually sound in my studio and in many cases although the V2 may sound like the ultimate clone for you it may not work that well or sound that good to me. Generally speaking of course but you know that. Although I tend to use the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof the most I tend to use Sovtek style Big Muffs on low wattage amps and often when recording, a triangle or stacked Muff will sound better… to me. Anyway, I just think it’s relevant to point this out… in regards to my review here as well :) – Bjorn]

  7. Chris says:

    My Big Muffs sound awful through the bright channel of my JTM 45 clone… Straight in or jumpered. is this normal? I thought Gilmour played through the bright channel?

    [Yes, he does but he’s using different amps than you, with different settings too I would imagine. I’ve never tried a Muff on a JTM45 but those amps are fairly bright and they don’t have much mid range, which is quite the opposite of what most Big Muffs prefer. The Hiwatt is fairly dark, with a bit of mid range, which makes the Muff sound smooth with lots of presence. In your case I’d either go for a Sovtek kind of Muff, like the Buffalo Patriot or ditch the Muff all together and go for something more versatile like a RAT or the Buffalo Evolution. – Bjorn]

  8. Josetxu says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I’ve got a Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head for about 3 – 4 months now. As you I find it a bit warm (I have to set the tone quite high) and I would prefer also a bit less gain and maybe bass. What muff do you think would do it? (more bright and less gain and bass but more or less the same character). I usually use either a vintage blackface ’65 bassman or a ’63 vibroverb clone.

    Thanks!

    [The Buffalo Ram’s Head maybe or the BYOC Large Beaver. – Bjorn]

  9. Carlos says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    How would you compare this pedal with the Buffalo FX Ram’s Head NOS BC239c? I recently purchased the Ram’s Head from Buffalo FX and was wondering if this pedal was similar. Thanks for maintaining a great web site and I love the new site as well. Cheers.

    [Thanks, Carlos! Both are based on the ram’s head so they’re very similar. The Buffalo is perhaps a tad milder with less gain. The biggest difference is the 3 way toggle on the Vick, which gives you a few more options. Both sound great! – Bjorn]

  10. KEITH says:

    Yes, the process of recording, can make a vad pedal sound great, and a great pedal sound awful, as in the case of the one V2 clip now up. I will make every effort to record the pedal with as little variation from it’s actual sound as is possibke. And since our rigs, and guitars are very close to the same, I seriously doubt you’ll be as blown away by it as I am. You have said several times that you love a violet Ram’s Head, well, it has all the correct characteristics, and is unbelievably quiet, and the easiest Muff ti dial in I’ve seen, played, or heard. Only actually getting your hands on one will truly show you it’s greatness, but a clip will come, as soon as life allows, and then everyone can make as much of a decision as can be made by YouTube clip, which is as you know, not a very good medium, but it’s what we have. I do agree with your reply 100%, but think you’ll like it as much as I do!

    Peace, KC

    [Can’t wait to hear it! – Bjorn]

  11. Josh says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Love your work. Love your site and look forward to more. I am a massive Gilmour fan and have a tatt of DSOM on my left forearm. Anyway, with the equipment I have, I was wondering what your expert opinion would be. Its not the greatest equipment but I am moving from an LP Standard to a Strat. I purchased an entry level MIM Fender Strat and I am quite impressed with it so far. I am running it through a 1990 Marshall 50 watt JCM900 Dual Reverb combo. I am keen to get a muff type pedal and noticed some of your comments above about what suits different amps. My current pedal board is made up of BOSS pedals with a DD7, OCS and CS3. I love the sound of the 73 Ram’s Head in your clip and was wondering if you thought it would be a good choice or if you had any alternate suggestions. Any advice would be much appreciated. Cheers, Josh.

    [Hi Josh! I haven’t tried the Vick on a Marshall but I would think it sounds great on a JCM900. Still, a Muff isn’t that versatile. It kind of sounds like a Muff and not much else so if you’re looking for a distortion pedal that’ll cover as much ground as possible, including a Muff, you might want to look into a RAT or the excellent Evolution from Buffalo FX. – Bjorn]

  12. T.Quay Williams says:

    Bjorn,

    SO does this make it into your top three Muffs? I had a Pig Mine and it was very good but a bit too grainy and boomy. The things I like about a Muff are the violin-like singing, silky sustain as opposed to the crunchiness-though some is acceptable. I am playing through a Laney Cub 12r (about to upgrade the cab to Reeves Vintage Purple speakers) and wonder what is the most versatile Muff for me. The Skreddy Pi9 is tempting, though the Black Musket sounds like a frontrunner too. Is this Vick pedal even better for the high notes? I kind of wish you had recorded your review with SSL-5’s so I can appreciate the difference more. Anyway, Thanks.

    [The Vick found its place onto my studio board so it’s definitely one of my favourite. I can’t really set up a list of my top three Muffs because like any pedal it all depends on what tones you want and for what application. I do prefer ram’s head Muffs and in that regard the Pig Hoof and Vick, which are on my boards, are great sounding. Still, I love the triangle, Green Sovtek, Buffalo Patriot, Skreddy P19… all of them sound different, are based on different Muffs and suit different tones. – Bjorn]

  13. John Barnett says:

    Bjorn,

    Thanks for posting this review. I have been looking at, and thinking about, and deciding which Muff to buy for almost 7 months now and in the mean time, I’ve had to suffer through the challenge of trying to get a decent or even recognizable sound from my NYC reissue Big Muff Pi. I bought that before I realized they were so different and so crappy. Anyway, when I saw this review the Vick 73 just stood out. It sounded great and I use a bedroom setup for the most part especially in my personal quest to achieve “the Gilmour Tone.” You were using the same basic equipment I have so I got a great idea of what the pedal would sound like through my setup. So, I just got word that my Vick 73 Rams Head is at my house waiting on me to get off work and hopefully dial in some wicked 70’s tones. I only have a few questions. I have been interested in an analogue delay pedal and I saw online that Boss was reissuing their original Delay DM-2 with a modification done in partnership with a Japanese company called Wazacraft. They keep pushing the release date back here in the US so I gave up on it and went with the MXR carbon copy. I am glad I went this way because I love the pedal but I was wondering if you have heard of this Boss DM-2w reissue and/or if you think its even worth trying. Also, I’ve only had a few days to mess around with my MXR and I am having to use my Telecaster and my Jazzmaster at the moment because my EMG loaded Strat is in the shop having that awful pearloid pickguard replaced with a vintage white one like DG. Just in reference to Floyd and DG, what era or song examples are more suited to analogue delay/tape echo sim as opposed to Digital Delay like my Boss DD-3? One last question: My set-up=Fender 57 reissue USA Strat w/ EMG set + Fender “Black Strat” project guitar with Mexican body & CS69, CSF50, SSL-1. I use either a Blues JR custom or a 65RI Deluxe Reverb. Pedals: MXR DynaComp>Vick73<OCD<BD2<Mistress<RT20<DD3<MXR CarbonCopy. I've read so much recently about how close the Skreddy P19 is to the sound you hear from The Wall, especially through a bedroom setup. Since I bought the Vick, is it worth buying a Skreddy to get even closer that Comfortably Numb tone? How similar are these pedals? My ideal DG tone would be the DG78. So given my equipment, any advice would be much appreciated. Sorry to write such long comment. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
    John

    [Hi John! You probably got the Vick by now. Hope you like it :) David used analog tape machines between 1968-75, so up until WYWH would be appropriate although you can use it on many songs after that as well :) The P19 is a so called stacked pedal, which means that it was designed to produce the same tone as a ram’s head Big Muff and Colorsound Powerbooster combined, which was David’s setup for Animals, DG78, Wall and Final Cut. It has somewhat the same voicing as the Vicks, both being based on the Ram’s Head but the P19 has much more mids and an overall smoother tone. I love them both but I must say that I prefer the Vick as it allows me to have a bit more control over the tone. – Bjorn]

  14. Matt Rubenstein says:

    Hello Bjorn. Thanks for the review. I was wondering with the toggle switches on the Vick if you could approximate the hugeness of sound and bottom end of the Buffalo Patriot. I’m am trying to find a lower cost, smaller footprint alternative to the amazing Patriot. Thanks Bjorn!

    [The boost feature is somewhat similar but they’re really two different pedals. I guess a better match would be the Nano Bass Muff from EHX. Great sounding Sovtek-type Muff. – Bjorn]

  15. John says:

    Bjorn,
    I need a little advice I think you can help. I just got my new Vick 73 Rams Head in a few days ago. It’s my first rams head clone and right away it sounded light years better than my NYC BM Pi. I plugged it first into my pedalboard that runs into my 65 Deluxe Reverb. After reading your list of small wattage bedroom setup amps, and hearing your review of this pedal through a Blues Jr, I decided to try it through my tweed Blues Jr NOS. I have tried everything I can think of but I can’t get that throaty full sounding warm lead tone out of the Blues Jr. I can’t get close to what you sound like through the same amp in the review. I’m using a USA Strat. My other Strat with EMGs and one with Cs69/SSL1 are in the shop. But I plug it back into the 65 and it immediately smooths the tone out and I’m getting more of those throaty sounds from The Wall/Final Cut. I want more if this tone though. Can you help me understand why this is happening with the Blues Jr? Also, will you recommend another amp that might get me closer to the DG78/The Wall Live sound? I have all the usual suspects as far as pedals as per your recommendation. Thanks again, John

    [The Blues Jr comes with many different speakers. Mine is a Green Eagle, which came with an Eminence Screaming Eagle. It was VERY bright so I swapped it for a Cannabis Rex, which has a darker tone and more mids. This goes very well with the Muff. Still, my goal was to show that the Vick sounds great on low wattage and low volume. Fender amps are, IMO, not the best option for Muffs because they need a bit of mid range to really get that smooth tone. In case you want to replace the Blues Jr I recommend checking out the Laney Cub amps or Hiwatt Tube series. – Bjorn]

  16. John says:

    Bjorn, just wanna says thanks for helping me out with these issues. I am loving the Vick and I’ve just ordered a Laney Cub stack! I’m pumped and can’t wait to crank these pedals through it. Thanks for the hard work and certainly for the advice!
    John

    [Glad to help, John :) – Bjorn]

  17. Jorge Morgado says:

    Hi,
    How do you compare this with Mojo Iron Bell.
    I own a Fender Blues Junior stock speaker and Strat with ssl-5 pickup.

    [The Iron Bell is a stacked pedal, meaning that it’s closer to hoe a Vick would have sounded paired with a booster. The Iron Bell is perhaps a more versatile pedal and I think it works better with Fender amps due to its boosted mid range. – Bjorn]

  18. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Really great review. Been wondering about this one for a while, glad to hear your opinion! I just wanted to ask, what did you use for the Dogs rhythm tone? It sounds double tracked, but I can’t put my finger on it. I know the amp and guitar already, but I’d love to know the pedals, mics, and studio “trickery” used for it. Thanks mate, and I always love reading your reviews!

    [Not much trickery going on there really :) Mic’ed the amp with a Shure SM57 about 1.5″ off axis and angled about 30 degrees into centre. The rhythms for Dogs was done with a clean tone and a Dunlop RotoVibe. Double tracked. – Bjorn]

  19. Ryan says:

    Hi Bjorn, first off than you for your diligence in deciphering the magic of David Gilmours work in Pink Floyd and thourogh work in bringing ushe Davids gear through the years and what and he used and what is accessible now adays. I just bought a Vicks73 Rams Head in conjunction with the Boss BD-2 and I had In the flesh on as I was tuning new strings and i’ll be damned if there was the same tone and on his first solo album, but even playing the solo on Obscureds Free Four and the Gold its in the… I was impressed at the clarity and tone and sustain of this pedal . (especially after owning a 78 co op amp Big Muff that sounds anything like Gilmour but I bought the BD-2 to try anything lol) im a pretty happy dude , hey did he use a Roland re 201 around that era , cause I got one too but I use a Dana Electro Reel Echo and it has a warble switch to simiulate tape etc , but it gives a flangy leslie vibe. Anyhow bro than you so much for your efforts and bringing so much to light. Even though by far my favorite Album is Obscured by Clouds I prefer the Muff booster idea, whether i’ll bother with the electric mistress I dunno as i’ll just use the chorus fer now. It all takes money.
    Best Wishes and thank you!!!

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Ryan! – Bjorn]

  20. Huy Tran says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I just purchased the Vick RH. Just a quick question. The IB/P19 you said is smoother and more middy than the Vick’s with mid boost on. Is it far apart though? I prefer the scooped RH tone but it’s for those times I want a mid boosted option.

    Also I am currently using the Buffalo PB after the RH as a booster. If I wanted a bit of a mid boost do I just leave the bass and treble at 12?

    I also have the gain on the PB at a bit more than 10 oclock. I used to have it at 9 (25%) but I find I like it more at 10clock. Also when using the Laney Cub12r do you use the 15w or the 1w at home?

    Thanks for answering the questions again.

    Forgot to add, in your last sentence you made a mistake on the website addres. It is vickaudio.com not vicksaudio.com, I do think vicksaudio sounds more natural though.

    That’s all folks.

    [Both the IB and P19 has considerably more mids than the Vick. The “problem” with the other two though is that it’s harder to get that classic mids scooped tone you get from the Vick. They kind of serve different applications.
    The Powerbooster won’t give you much mids. If you need more, try increasing the mids on your amp or use an additional EQ and raise it slightly around 1200-1300Hz. – Bjorn]

  21. ed says:

    I got my Vicks 73 rams head today and I must say it’s the best.My other muffs will sit on the shelf and collect dust.

    [Congrats! – Bjorn]

  22. Simon says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    very useful review, as always ;)
    Following your activity on this site, I understand that the market is now offering a lot of alternatives of big muff sounds. Listening at your clip I would say that this is one of the best, but I’d like to ask to you something before clicking on the Vick site: you used the emg pickups in this video, don’t you think this could “mislead”? I mean, I bought those pickups just a week ago and I notice a huge difference in terms of power and cleanness of the sound (my other guitar is a gilmour signature).
    Do you think this pedal could be so good even with “standard” pickups?
    The last question: you wrote it would be great for studio recording and “home setups”, what about big stages and live concerts? Do you think it would be the same or you think I should look at something else (pig hoof, costalab, etc.)?

    Thanks for your help and for your precious work with gilmourish.com ;)

    Simon

    [Hi Simon! The EMGs will colour to some extent. They have a tone of their own and I did use a bit of the mids boost. However, that’s what you get from listening to all of David’s recordings between 1987-94. The Vick goes very well with passive pickups too and on bigger rigs. It’s become one of my favourite Big Muffs and I highly recommend it! – Bjorn]

  23. John says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Didn’t know where to put this but I had to tell the Gilmourish community about my recent acquisition. I threw all good judgment and reason out the window, let the GAS take over, and bought a vintage 74 Rams Head Big Muff! Now, I did have the common sense to memorize Kit Rae’s entire section on the V2 including which transistors to look for, how to spot a fake,etc…. It is awesome!! I have a few of the amazing clones you have kindly reviewed here for us, but something about the attack and the sustain of the original is blowing my mind. Not to mention the sheer volume. I’m playing my Black Strat (project guitar yes but accurate to the T) via Evidence Lyric HG cable into the Muff>Buffalo FX Power Booster>76 V2 Electric Mistress>RT20>TC Nova Delay>Laney Cub stack. I feel like I’m at Earl’s Court 1980.

    [Wow! Congrats! Thanks for sharing :) – Bjorn]

  24. Huy Tran says:

    Hi Simon,

    I use the Vick’s with passive pups. Namely the SSL-5. At home or live it is a beast. Like Bjorn I use it in flat mode. I can’t get along with the mid boost, but that is because I chucked a PB behind it. I actually prefer my muff’s to not be as smooth as Bjorn so I set the sustain a bit higher. The Vick is excellent for that as it stays incredibly tight and smooth even if you turn the sustain up to 2-3 oclock.

    I prefer using the Vick live as I use the Caprid at home and I find nothing beats it (Disclaimer: I have the Vick’s, the new DBM pi, Wren and Cuff BOW and Skreddy p19 which I sold. Yep I love my RH muffs) . It has very little gain so I actually need to turn the gain to around 80% to match 55-60% of the Vicks but it sounds better to me. Scooped but still ginormous. The Vick with a hint of mids on flat setting kills it live though.

    My wishlist for muffs is the Iron Bell and the top tone dg1. I really really want to try those pedals but can’t justify it at the moment. I find it too hard to sell my old pedals. I like hoarding.

    [The Iron Bell is really great. Not really a true Muff as it tends towards a Rat but I often come back to it and it sounds really great! – Bjorn]

    • Max says:

      hey, the caprid cut through well in a mix ? i like the vick audio too, i don’t know what i have to buy … thanks

      • Bjorn says:

        Depends on your amp and how heavy your mix is. None of the early Big Muff cut very well, as they lack the very needed mid range. If presence is a concern, then use an EQ and boost the upper mid range, crank the mids on your amp or get a mids oriented amp, like a Marshall or Hiwatt. Or, get a Sotek Muff, or a clone, or a distortion like the RAT or Buffalo FX Evolution, which will nail those tones pretty well and cut effortlessly through the band.

  25. Colin says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Great stuff on your site as always, digging the samples from your album! Anyways, quick question- I’m torn between getting a Vick rams head or a Vick V1 triangle muff. I read in the review that your only minor critique was wanting a bit more top end and a tad less gain. My problems always with muffs in the past is how muddy they can be, especially at low volume. I would rather get the tamer of the 2 Vick pedals for my playing, which do you think would be a better fit? Playing a tele with Vox ac15 and a Bugera v5.

    [The ram’s head is no doubt the brightest and most open sounding of the two, while the triangle is slightly darker and smoother sounding. How a Muffs sound depends very much on your amp and pickups. Placing a transparent booster after the Muff will help opening it up a bit more and give it a bit more character. Using a Vox you should be aware that these amps has very little mid range, which often result in a more muddy and less open sounding tone. – Bjorn]

  26. Colin says:

    Well I ordered the rams head, literally came in under 48 hours. After 20 minutes I can say I haven’t been this surprised by a pedal in a long time. I was very skeptical of how it would sound at low volume and it really amazed me how rich the harmonics are at super low bedroom levels. And the useability & range of the knobs with the EQ. I don’t know how they’re doing it at this price point. Thanks for steering me in the right direction Bjorn, this one is a keeper!

    [Glad to hear, Colin! – Bjorn]

  27. Tim K. says:

    Hi Bjorn, great site. You have been very helpful. I wanted your opinion on which muff, fuzz or distortion would be the best setup for my home rig. I play at bedroom levels through a Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special. I have several guitars but mostly use my Gilmour NOS strat. My overdrive pedal is a Lovepedal Kalamazoo (I’m also thinking about buying a Fulltone OCD). I have a good echo setup with my TC Electronics Nova delay and a EHX Memory Man. I’m slowly getting there with my overall setup. Thanks for any possible help, Tim

    [Thanks for your kind words! One of the most versatile and bedroom friendly pedals out there is the Buffalo Evolution. It can produce anything from TS9/OCD overdrive to creamy distortion and fuzz. Among the Muffs, I recommend the Vick as reviewed here. Both pedals should go very well with your setup. – Bjorn]

  28. Tim K. says:

    Hi again Bjorn,

    Just a quick follow up to my post 2 days ago about your opinion on the best fuzz, muff or distortion to use for my bedroom setup. The sound I’m trying to capture would be to the songs Time and Have a Cigar. Thanks again, Tim

    [Check my reply… :) – Bjorn]

  29. victor says:

    Hello bjorn riis,

    I ‘d like to know what would be your advice for the best straight clone of david gilmour famous rams head used from animals till the division bell sessions (i guess he started using sovtek big muff just after the division bell sessions for the pulse tour).

    So, about that rams head clone, i’d like to be able to use it in front if a colorsound overdriver or a bk tube driver style pedal, just like david did.

    What would be your choice? Byoc large beaver rams head specs, or vick audio pi 73? Or any other competitor?

    Best regards.
    Victor.

    [Well, as I always say… it depends on you amp :) The wrong Muff with the wrong amp can sound pretty bad. David paired his ram’s head with Hiwatts and their slightly boosted mid range is what creates those smooth tones. The closest to David’s own ram’s head would probably be the Cornish P1. Personally I find the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof (red) to be the closest. It’s based on the same ram’s head model. The Vick has a slightly darker sound and a bit more mid range, as well as a mids boost. Compared to both the Pig Hoof and P1, I think this is a slightly more versatile model. – Bjorn]

  30. JAIME says:

    Bjorn:
    I can’t get the Pig Hoof because they do not send worLd wide or at least not to some country.
    Which is your alternative or second choice to the P-1 sound purpose??
    CHEER

    [The Vick Audio ’73 Ram’s Head… :) – Bjorn]

  31. KEITH says:

    I doth protest perhaps too much, and it is my fault for not posting a clip, but the Castledine V2 IMO, and to my very educated ears, is dead on the Muff DG used on ANIMALS , and therefore the Wall, I believe it’s called Muff #1! Hahaha! Got to get my licks in whenever I see an opening! Even better would be if a certain Norwegian guitarist/web site Jedi Master, working Dad, and husband, would talk to Stu about a review! Please don’t take offense, I just love this Muff, and the two clips I’ve seen are by guys who don’t play Muffs, and therefore those clips sound nothing like my V2, which is #1 by the way, hehe :) much love Bjorn, KC

    [I was waiting for this one :) Thanks for sharing :) – Bjorn]

  32. KEITH says:

    Haha, you know me perhaps too well!!!!

  33. Uwe says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    You’ve once written in a an article that the muffs sounded better on the drive channel of the Lionheart head (with drive very low).
    But in your personnal website you seem to say that you use your live pedalboard with Pig hoof + powerbooster + tube driver etc…, on the clean channel of the amp…

    So what is your choice eventually?

    Best regards,

    Uwe

    [Depends on the amp and what tones you want. A clean channel is usually more transparent but it can also lack some mid range, which can make it hard to cut through the mix. I swap around with my setup, sometimes using the clean and sometimes using the gain channel on the Lionheart. If you do use the gain channel, you need to set it all clean or else it will colour the Muff too much. – Bjorn]

  34. Isaak says:

    Hi Bjorn Riis,

    I’m looking for a long time for a pedal that would be the best match for the Gilmour’s rams Head used from the Wall to Div bell, and that he uses combined with the clean Tube driver (I’ve read your past posts). The problem is that the Pete Cornish P1 is toooo expensive for a pedal. More expensive than My Lionheart.

    You seem to be a great fan of both BYOC Large Beaver and Pig Hoof.
    Which one would work the best for a straight Gilmour’s Rams Head clone, to be used with a clean booster like he did? (And like YOU do on your live pedalboard I guess)?
    And of course it has to work well with my Laney Cub Head (I can push it hard no problem).

    Thank you and keep on rocking.
    Isaak

    [My all time favourite would be the Pig Hoof from Electronic Orange. It has that slightly more aggressive “violet” character. The tone is super smooth, with a hint more top and gain than the earlier ram’s heads. The Vick Audio 73 ram’s head is also a great alternative I think. Slightly darker sounding. Both works great with the Cub. – Bjorn]

  35. Danny says:

    Hi Bjorn !
    I love your site and your great attention to detail to all things Gilmour . I just received the Vick 73 Rams Head today and I love it ! . Your demo inspired me to get one and I’m glad I did !…Thanks !

    [Awesome! – Bjorn]

  36. Ian Hamilton says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Just received the Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head pedal today based on your review. When I saw that review video, especially the piece on the Flat-mids setting, and thought to myself “Wow, now THAT is what an electric guitar is supposed to sound like!”

    My comparator is the Iron Bell, which I love, but I have to say that I like the 73 Ram’s Head pedal even more. It seems to have a purity of tone and yet the beautiful, rich harmonics at the same time. And the sustain is sweet indeed – it goes on, and on, and on…. Anyway, thanks again for the great and tone-inspiring review!!! Also really enjoying your solo album.

    By the way, wanted to ask – would you be willing/able to post the specific backing track (Dogs, I believe) that you used for that “Flat-mids” portion of the review after 1:50 or so? It is beautiful and inspiring.

    [Thanks for your kind words, Ian! Glad you liked the pedal too :) I’ll be making a new Dogs BT soon so I’ll post that. – Bjorn]

  37. JJ says:

    Hey Björn!
    I’m still having a hard time choosing a muff for my setup. Playing a 62’Reissue Mij strat with Echoes pups set through C30. I really would need a Ram’s head muff to go with my Buffalo Power Booster set for a warm clean boost, but don’t quite seem to figure out what would work best, any ideas? Thank you!

    Ps. I’m pretty sure the Patriot would at least work good, but that’s not really the tone I’m looking for :(

    [I’d go for the Vick. It’s a tad darker than most ram’s heads, which would work nicely on your C30. The mids controls also makes it a very versatile Muff. – Bjorn]

  38. William says:

    Hi Bjorn !

    Endless wonderful reading here! Good job.

    I have a Vick 73 under the tree, that I can’t wait to try. As everyone else, I’m Looking for that holy grail Comfortably Numb tone. I have both a JCM DSL100 stack, and Fender Twin for my use. Would a booster be helpful for this tone with the Vick? If so what is a the best option? I have a TS9, and a DOD 250 pre in my inventory? Would a Coloursound clone be in order? Clean boost of some type? Something else? Do you have a specific model of something you like in this situation?

    Thanks again/

    [Actually, I think the Vick ’73 should do alone. David used the Black Strat into a split between the Hiwatts and a Yamaha RA200 rotating speaker cab, with an EHX Big Muff in between. Your JCM and Fender might not be dead on but you should be able to get close. You might also want to consider a chorus or the Boss RT20 to simulate the rotary tones. – Bjorn]

  39. Debra says:

    Bjorn I must know what the song playing at the start of all your demos is! Is it one of your songs or one of Davids? That is spot on the tone I’m looking for! Can you please share some info on it like effects and amp used on that song or link me to a page with info on it that would be greatly appreciated! I’ve finally found my dream tone :)

    [That’s a short snippet I recorded a few years back as an intro for the reviews. I used a Les Paul with an AnalogMan Boss DS1 and Boss RT20 for a hint of modulation into a Reeves Custom 50 amp. The same setup was also used on most of the solos of my band Airbag’s last album, The Greatest Show on Earth, and on a couple of solos on my solo album, Lullabies in a Car Crash. – Bjorn]

  40. Angus says:

    Hi Bjorn have you tried out the Vick Audio V1 Triangle Big Muff? I’m tossing up between that and the 73 Rams Head, they’re both so smooth and great sounding I can’t seem to make up my mind. Great price too!

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Angus. I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet so I can’t comment on it. – Bjorn]

  41. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Having just added the Vick Audio Overdriver to my ‘board I’m thinking of going all the way and buying the VA Rams Head as well! I’m just wondering whether you have checked out the VA Triangle or Black Russian Muffs?

    All the best,

    Ben.

    [Haven’t had the chance to try the Vick models yet. In general the triangle has a bit less gain than the ram’s head and the Russian Sovteks are darker with more mid range. – Bjorn]

  42. Kevin says:

    I bought the Rams head and tried it through my 1982 vintage reissue 1962 strat with a Laney Lionheart 5W amp. It doesn’t sound like your demo though and it doesn’t even sound good in some other way. Do I have the wrong equipment for this pedal? Or maybe I need a powerbooster or something like that? Note, I only just got it yesterday and tried it for a short time so maybe I need to try again (though I tried a few different amp and pedal settings and none sounded good) .

    [Hmmm… sorry to hear. Well, it’s always a matter of taste and combining these pedals with the right equipment. My Vick RH sounds great with my Lionheart so I’m wondering what amp settings you use and how the pedal was set? – Bjorn]

  43. Luiz says:

    Hey Bjorn, great job with the website, your reviews are simply fantastic, and your new album, what a huge tone, beautiful tracks. Could you post here the fender blues jr settings, please? thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Luiz! Depending on what speaker and pickups you have, I’d keep the treble to a minimum. The Jr can be pretty harsh. I usually keep the bass and mids slightly above noon and the gain a hair higher than the master. The specific settings depends on your guitar, the speaker and what pedals you use.

  44. AJ Perez says:

    hello, Bjorn. i recently traded a fuzzmunchkin pedal by gym guitars for a vicks audio rams head 73 pedal and was wondering how it compares and primarily if i made a wise choice by making the trade in the first place. also the decal on the vicks audio pedal i am to receive doesn’t match up with anything i have seen online. it looks like it has an animal head on it or something, the person i am getting it from said that it has gilmourish mods on it done by you or that it was rare or something

    • Bjorn says:

      Vick did a version based on my review of his stock pedal. He raised the top end and lowered the gain stage a tad. The graphics are of the crawling man with a gas mask from the The Wall movie. The “Bjorn’s Mod” version he is offering now has a blue metallic finish.

      • Mike V. says:

        Hello Bjorn,
        I’m looking into this Muff, is the “Bjorn’s mods” as good or better than the stock 73 for bedroom levels? Thanks for all you do on this site!

        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on your amp but what we did was to roll off some of the gain and add a tad more high end, which for me at least, makes it sound much better on bedroom levels.

      • Nick says:

        Hi Bjorn – is the Bjorn’s Mod version different from the Violet Ram’s Head that Vick has on their site? I’m assuming it is different, and needs to be a special request?

        • Bjorn says:

          The Violet is a clone of the mid 70s Ram’s Head, which had a slightly more aggressive tone, compared to the original. The Bjorn’s mod is more or less identical to the stock ’73, with a slightly less gain and a tad more high end.

  45. Marco Crespi says:

    Hi Bjiorn,

    again my compliments to your web site! I recently bought your record on itunes. I really really love the sounds. it is something new with a old school eye to past souds reborn in a modern era!

    I’m right about to purchase a muff or something similar.

    I have a strat with cs 69 +ssl5 a Brunetti TAXI DRIVE as booster + color sound power booster ( giovanetti hand wired check out his website, awsome products! ) deluxe mistress , cat. echorec.

    the amp is a BRUNETTI SINGLE MAN with 6L6 tubes ( fender blakcface in a moder sauce! )

    I really not able to decide whether to go for a muff like the VICK AUDIO which is soundig awsome or to go for a IRON BELL which is maybe less “close-to-the-original” but more versatile.

    consider one thing, i’m almost playing gilmourish things at home so at relative low volume settings. i don’t have any compressors to stack with.

    i’m fan of the DOGS-FINAL CUT era and would like that particular sound but I also love DSOTM , Meddle WYWH .

    could you suggest me which is the best distortion pedal to serve the cause here?

    thanks in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Marco! Thanks for your kind words! Based on your amp, with its Fender character, I think I’d go for a more versatile Muff. The Vick or other ram’s heads works fine but they might get a bit fizzy on your amp and low volume. The Iron Bell is great, with a bit of the RAT blended into the Muff. You should also check out the Buffalo Evolution.

  46. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I have a Boss BD 2 (stock) and a Mooer Blues Mood. which one would work best as a booster for a 73 Ram’s Head – Vick Audio (Bjorn mod) and TopTone DG 1?
    It would problem in using the BD 2 after the two muffs, since it has buffer?

    Cheers

  47. uwe says:

    Hi Bjorn, Has Mike Vickery sent to you his new Muff Clone ? Violet Rams Head?

    Interesting…. How Does it compare with Electronic Orange Pig Hoof ?

    Regards

  48. Ian says:

    Hi Bjorn, thanks so much for creating such an incredible source of information on everything Pink Floyd and Dave Gilmour on your website. It’s much appreciated.

    After hearing your demo of the VIck Audio Rams head I went out and got one myself ( this also inspired me to research your own music which resulted in me buying the entire Airbag CD catalog – awesome playing! I’ll be sure to check out your recent solo release too once I’ve finished digesting your back catalog).

    I have found the Rams head to be great at moderate volumes, but was wondering whether you could provide pointers for suitable settings at quieter bedroom practise levels. I am running it through a H&K tubemeister 18w head with the power soak at 5 watts but find this pedal really loud and hard to tame compared to my other dirt pedals at these reduced volumes.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Ian! Thanks for your kind words and for your support! I usually run the H&K, like you, at 5w and on the gain channel. Settings are: gain 8:00, volume as desired, treble 9:00, mids 10:30 and bass 12:00 (o’clock). The Vick is set for something like this: volume 11:00, gain 1:00, tone 10:30. I usually use the standard mode bjut sometimes switch to flat for a tad more mids. Hope this helped :)

  49. Gareth says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m torn between the Vick Audio ’73 Rams Head and the EQD Hoof.

    I’m looking for a kind of Black Keys / Neil Young tone. Could you give any tips?

    And, if you recommend the Vick, would you suggest I ask for the Bjorn mod?

    Cheers,
    Gareth

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Gareth! Depends on your amp. Out of the box, the Hoof is probably closer to the tones you describe, with a nice growl and mid range. The Vick is not as aggressive you’d have no problem getting fat Keys or Sabbath tones with it paired with hot single coils or humbuckers. It also has a mids boost, which will come handy. The Bjorn MMods has a tad less gain and a slight top end boost – highly recommended of course :)

  50. Phoenix says:

    Bjorn, thank you for a stellar site–you have no idea how much you bring to all of us guitarists by your knowledge.

    I have a question: I need to buy a new big muff (I had to return the vintage Bubble Front Russian I borrowed for the last six months, and my BMP V6 just doesn’t sound that good to my ear.

    You rate Vick Audip 73 Ram’s Head very high. It’s also very affordable. Most of the BMP clones are 200 USD or more, the Vick is much cheaper.

    I will be playing live in a few different bands, I need a very smooth big muff pi, with LOTS of sustain, but not really dirty or fuzzy, and I need it to cut through a band mix. And I don’t have tons of money.

    What would you recommend? The Vick Audio, or something else? (I know there are so many choices, it’s so hard to pick one).

    Kit Rae also suggested the BMP Deluxe because he says it can do just about any BMP with about 90% accuracy. But I don’t need all BMP sounds–just one good sound–lots of sustain, smooth, not too dirty, cuts through the mix. That’s all I need.

    Can you help me with a suggestion?

    BTW, I mostly play with smaller amps–a Suhr Badger 18 (EL84 Marshall type amp), maybe a Swart AST (6V6 tweed deluxe type) and I have a 100 watt Mark I Mesa Boogie, but just too loud. So the pedal needs to sound good with smaller watt amps.

    Thank you so much!!!!

    Phoenix

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Phoenix! Thanks for your kind words! The Ram’s Head has lots of sustain and you got the mids boost switch, which will allow the otherwise scooped pedal to cut through. It has a bit less low end as well, which adds to the mids. It should work nicely on your setup.

  51. JS says:

    Bjorn – Of all of the Muff’s, which one would be best suited to run with a Klon? As you know the Klon gives everything a nice mid bump, but can also be super transparent. Right now its seems like it’s between the Vick 72, Patriot, and Pig Hoof (both models), unless you can suggest otherwise. Strat and Les Paul running into a ’64 blackface champ and/or a ’65 blackface super reverb. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Patriot has a lot of gain and mids so I wouldn’t pair those. The Vick 73 perhaps, although it has a mids switch. The Pig Hoof MkII also goes well with a booster. You might also want to check out a triangle-ish clone. These goes very well with a booster and some extra mids.

  52. Ahuei says:

    Hi, Bjorn – have you tried the Vick Audio’s violet Ram’s Head? what do you think the Vick Audio’s violet Ram’s Head compare to 73′ Ram’s Head? thanks!

  53. Giovanni says:

    Hi Bjorn! Do you think I could boost the 73 Ram’s Head (set on flat or scooped) with the TopTone Shine Boost (with the upper mids boost engaged)? Do you think this way I can make the 73 Ram’s Head sound with a little more presence and cut through the mix thanks to the upper mids boost offered by the Shine Boost?
    Thanks :)

  54. Giovanni says:

    Moreover… Do you prefer the standard 73 Ram’s Head or the Violet Ram’s Head that seems to be brighter and less boomy?

  55. Simon says:

    Hi Bjorn! In your opinioni, is better the costalab muff or this vick audio ram’s head whit tube driver and emg dg20

    Thanks a lot

    Simon

  56. David says:

    WHY “RAM’S HEAD”?
    I’m a bit confused about the origin of the name “Ram’s Head”. I have repeatedly heard two different explanations for the meaning behind this name, but neither one of them makes that much sense to me so I don’t know which one is correct.

    In his webpage article on the Big Muff Bjorn of our beloved gilmourish.com wrote the following excerpt: “the early so-called Triangle and Ram’s Head (named by the alignment of the knobs) …”. Now I can understand this reasoning as far as the “Triangle Big Muff” is concerned since the knobs are configured in a triangle, but what do 3 knobs in a straight row have to do with a Ram’s Head?

    I considered the fact that Bjorn might have just been talking about the “Triangle Big Muff” and simply put the comment “(named by the alignment of the knobs”) in the wrong place. However, this is not the first time I’ve heard/read the argument that “both of these versions of the Big Muff get their name from the placement of the knobs”.. This makes me believe one of 2 things: 1) I’m missing the connection between 3 knobs in a row and its similarity to a Ram’s Head, or 2) There are a lot of people who are spreading information (or mis-information) without thinking it through. Perhaps, they ran across Bjorn’s article, assumed he was talking about both pedals (not just the triangle big muff), and decided to reword and reprint this info without thinking it through.

    The 2nd explanation I’ve heard is that the Ram’s Head Big Muff’s got their name because of that unique circular logo which contains the head of an animal. From what I understand, this logo first appeared on 1973 (non-triangle) Big Muffs. This argument sounds more believable although the animal in the logo certainly doesn’t look like a Ram to me. Granted, it is a white, fluffy animal, but when I think of the head of a Ram I think of an animal with pronounced horns that should really stand out. (A ram is a male sheep and as far as I know all rams have horns.) Some people argue that they can see something akin to thin horns when they look at the logo, but I’m sure that if you stare at it long enough you can see similarities between this animal and Adolf HItler. :)

    So what’s up … can someone enlighten me on the real meaning behind the term “Ram’s Head”. :)

    • David says:

      Forgot one of my key points: If the 2nd explanation is correct, I think it would have been better to have referred to this version of the Big Muff as the “sheep head” (since it lacks horns or horns that are reminiscent of a ram). At least the word sheep encompasses male and female as well as horny and hornless! :)

  57. Dimitris says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
    I am looking for an early 70s Muff and I would like your opinion.
    Of all your Muff reviews, I like the PigHoof Red Label and VickAudio RH73 the most.
    I am also interested in VickAudio Purple RamsHead and Wren n Cuff Caprid (…$$$$$$…), but none I can try myself in Greece.
    I prefer my pedals vintage styled. Which of these Muffs would you suggest for vintage tones, even if versatility is compromised (I can live with it), hence my Sunface BC109!
    I play a Strat with DAllen 69s (I like the bridge toooo much, to swap it for an SSL5 anytime soon!) and I am going to purchase a LaneyCub Stack, the more Hiwattish amp I can afford.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Dimitris, between the models you list I think the red Pig Hoof is the most vintage sounding. It’s pretty close to the violet, with a bit more gain and low end. It works nicely on the Cub.

  58. DocDave says:

    Watched your review of Vick’s ’73 Ram’s Head. 2 questions- 1. Did you get that ending to Comfortably Numb from a performance of his or just your interpretation???, because I stole it I like it so much! 2. Do you happen to have or able to point me to good tabs for Mahalis? and 2b. – what other effects are u using when you are playing Mahalis? Thanks in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! You mean that double bending up the neck? That’s something David does on almost all the live performances since the mid 80s. A nice lick :)
      I don’t have any tabs for Mihalis. Sorry…
      For the cleans on Mihalis I’m using an Electric Mistress flanger.

  59. Mike says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I really love this site and what you have put together here. I just received a 73 Rams Head today and paired it with my Vicks Overdriver.. what an amazing combo for (mostly) quiet playing through my Egnater Rebel 20.

    Your reviews, tone guides, and knowledge are just amazing. Please keep it up for us fellow Gilmour fans :)

  60. Tim says:

    Hi Bjorn, Great demos by the way. I am looking for a Rams Head muff style pedal . I have narrowed it down to 2 pedals. Both Vick audio, problem is, Do I buy the 73 Rams head or the Violet Rams head. I read somewhere David Gilmour used a Violet Rams Head. is this correct.? I am looking for the Animals / Wall tones. i play with USA Strat with BareKnuckle pickups through either Fender Deville or Mesa Boogie Roadster. I also Use a Skreddy BC 109 Silicon Fuzz.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tim

    • Bjorn says:

      For those amps I’d go for the 73. A violet may be too aggressive and bright sounding. You may also want to look into a Sovtek model or clone, like the Vick Black Russian. It has a warmer tone and more mids, which goes nicely with your amps.

      • Tim says:

        Thanks for getting back to me… How would the Buffalo FX Patriot be. Love the tone and sheer power it seems to have. Looking at the VA 73 now.

        Big thanks look forward to your next post.

        Tim

  61. Roberto says:

    HELP…
    -Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head-
    -SKREDDY Screw Driver Mini Deluxe whit 73 ram Head-

    Hello, now that vick audio is doing you a double pedal on one. very good advetising.
    but i have a 73 ram head and on the side a screw driver skreddy deluxe, 73 short i sound line and annulled me the skreddy turns the volume down to me or i directly ran out of sound. vos tried playing with those two?
    vickery had two days and not be if you did something, but my every now and again to do the same.
    and now i have no response from this friend that has 0 commercial courtesy.
    well not with you’re a good publicity for the

    Bjorn ago while to you a special pedal.
    i do not solves me what makes 73 ram head.
    if i can send you a video so you can see.
    you can review your knowledge.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Roberto. I’m sorry but I’m having a really hard time trying to figure out just what your problem is. Perhaps you used an auto translation for your post, I don’t know. If you have a problem with your Vick Muff, then I suggest that you contact Vick Audio and try to explain the problem to them. They’re very helpful and I’m sure you’ll figure out a solution.

  62. Mark says:

    Bjorn, how would compare this to the BYOC Ram’s Head? Are they very similar?

  63. eric says:

    Hello Bjorn, I’m looking for a muff and a between this one and the Patriot, i’m using a tele with Texas specials into a vox ac10c1 with a greenback speaker. I play off the clean channel and would like to combine my Full drive 2 with the muff as a booster. Considering my setup what would you say would hold its integrity the most efficiently? thanks a lot – eric

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply. Not quite sure what you wanted to do… use the Muff as a booster? Usually, you would want the Muff first, then a booster or overdrive for boost. Anyway, the Vox doesn’t handle Muffs that well but it might work better with the setup you’re suggesting, although I would perhaps try to use the FullDrive after the Muff and get the Patriot for its mid range and slightly darker tone.

      • eric says:

        Yes, I did intend to use the FD-2 after the muff for a boost, iv’e tried that combination on my old fender hot rod deluxe, finding that the full-drive added a much needed layer of mid-range on such a dark sounding amp. Though the ac10c1 has a similar sounding clean channel to the fender, I find the top end to be a lot more pronounced along with a tighter bass response on my telecaster. The decision now is a Ram’s head style muff, or a Rat style pedal like the Evolution. Thank you Bjorn for your response.

  64. kevin says:

    Does this pedal work well with the ibanez ts9? If not are there any versatile fuzz pedals that do? I would like to find a pedal that could cover gilmour tones and hendrix tones. I play a fender stratocaster with a fender super champ x2 amp.

    • Bjorn says:

      That all depends on the amp, its setting and how you combine it with the pedals. Personally, I don’t like using a TS9 as a pedal booster as it often makes other gain pedals sound dark and muddy. Especially the Muff. Also, the Fender amp might not be the best choice for Big Muff in general so you might want to look into something a bit more versatile, with more mid range and compression. Pedals like the Rat, and similar sounding clones, works nicely on most amps and you’d have no problems dialing in a tone similar to a Muff. Having said that, the Vick 73 has an onboard mids booster, which might make the Muff work better on the Fender amp. I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell.

  65. DocDave says:

    If I may pipe in…..I had a Fender and now have a Tone King Imperial MKii I replaced it with because it was too noisy and had many problems, which the dead silent when not being used Tone King is a better clone of a vintage blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb (as well Tweed on the 2nd channel although it doesnt sound voiced like any tweed I owned or tried, still getting used to that one) . I have 3 Big Muffs (Basic Audio Tri-Ram (used basically on the Triangle setting), Stomp Under Foot Civil War, and Wren and Cuff Violet World). All sound great thru both channels but I actually prefer the DR channel (called RHythm channel on Tone King). They sound equally good or perhaps a hair better on my Vox AC15H1TV. I’ve goosed each with a Keeley modded blues driver clone (the Mooer Blues Mood) very effectively. But also found that using a Wampler Ego Compressor boosts it just enough without it getting crazy. I never used a TS to boost one, it doesnt sound good. I can also say I never ever use the Vick Audio Overdriver without the Ego Compressor to add all the sustain back it doesnt have, and to give it that Shine On tone when needed. All my muffs can sound a little Hendrix-y if you turn up the treble a lot, but not really a true fuzz face sound, and certainly not Germanium IMO, but u can fake it well enough if u can actually play it. Although Ive all but stopped using my Fuzz Face for Hendrix and my MKII Tonebender for Led Zep (actually sold that one) and using Tech 21 Hot ROd Plexi (yeah the most under-rated pedal I ever came across) goosed with a JHS Morning Glory (Marshall Blues Breaker clone) or recently the new Lovepedal Super Six Stevie. So its all about experimenting and seeing what sounds good to you. Im happy with my decisions and have gone through many, many, many pedals. The Blues Mood is a solid inexpensive investment that wows me every time I remember to turn it on. I have lots of expensive boutique pedals and yet I’ll never sell the Mooer’s Blues Mood or ElecLady Flanger, the size and price and tone just provide no motivation to go elsewhere. Im actually sorry I sold the Yellow Comp Compressor they had. Did all I needed and decided, well, I the Wampler has to be better and let me tell you, I spend too much time dialing in a tone and recently played a Mad Profession Green Forest Compressor and think I like it more even though the Wampler wins every contest. Its bigger but its got a little more than the yellow comp, even the real diamond, which both sound greeat, but I love being able to just have a sustain mode. So again, you gotta try things. Even if u order from mail, go with the big guys who will always take something back if it doesnt sound good to you. It doesnt have to be broken.

  66. Joel says:

    Awesome review Bjorn! Influenced me to purchase this pedal. I was wondering what type of boost you are using in this video? I have a Tele or Les Paul running into a Marshall DSL clean and was wondering what inexpensive boost would work with my set up, possibly a BD-2 because I have a tubescreamer and it definitely makes the Rams Head very dark and muddy. Any thoughts would be appreciated!! Keep living the dream!!

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m not using any boost for these clips, although the EMG pickups will add a hint. What you hear, is the pedal alone. The mids boost feature, allow you to get more prensence and boost.

      • Joel says:

        Thanks! Im still trying to dial in this along with my main pedals ie Comp, OD and delay. I did find that a Tube Screamer muddies it up quite a bit. Any recommendations for EMGs for a Tele? Specifically bridge, however, I have the FSR Ash Tele and the pickups have great volume control and would not want to lose the volume control of the Tele. i.e. cleans up well when rolled back and vice versa. Thanks!

        • Bjorn says:

          Overdrives with a boosted mid range and lots of compression, like the Tube Screamer, OCD etc, are not ideal for boosting Big Muffs. Especiallt on amps that already have a lot of mids and compression. You’ll get a muddy and almost choked tone, with too much gain. I’d try running the ’73 alone, using the mids boost to compensate and a setting on the amp that matches the pedal. Or, you can try a booster with less mids, like a Vick Audio Overdriver, Boss BD2 or TC Spark Booster. See more in this feature.

          • Phoenix says:

            Sorry to jump in on your post, but Bjorn, could I ask–do you recommend the boost before or after the Muff? I use a Blackout Effectors Musket these days as my muff (I like it better than my V6 Big Muff), and I use a JHS morning glory after as a boost, and a wampler ego compressor before.

            thanks, Phoenix

            • Bjorn says:

              A compressor should always be first as you want to compress the signal that’s fed into the gain pedals. Boosters should be placed after high gain pedals. It’s obviously not a rule, but what you want is to give the main pedal a slight volume boost for solos and use the booster for EQing, adding a bit of tone to the main pedal. Placing a booster first, will produce a tone similar to boosting the front end of a tube amp, which is great if you want more gain for certain stuff. In general I would use transparent, mids scooped or mids flat pedals for boosting.

  67. Rob says:

    I have Blues JR Tweed, strat with same pickups as the black strat, and the 73 Rams Head, but is sounds nothing like what you have in the video.

    Do you recommend adding a booster? is so what would work with my setup?

    What settings did you have the amp on?

    • Bjorn says:

      The clip features only the pedal and I’m using the onboard mids booster for more presence. It’s been awhile since I did the review so I honestly don’t remember how I set the amp. In general I would keep the treble low and the mids slightly above noon. Try finding the best balance bewteen the drive volume and master. The Blues Jr works very well with Big Muffs as it has more mids than most Fenders. Sorry I couldn’t be more specific.

  68. Paul says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I read your article about mid scooped amps(Fenders) not getting along with Big Muffs and other clones. Owning both a deluxe reverb ri and a hotrod deluxe, and wanting a big muff clone quiet badly after watching your review on the Vick ram’s head, would I be able to fix that mid scoop issue by putting an Earthquaker devices Tone Job EQ/boost after the Vick ram’s head? The tone job has a bass, treble and mids knob so I’m hoping this to be an easy fix.

    I also read about fuzz pedals getting picky with buffers in front. Is the Big Muff an exception? Some guys have claimed the Big Muff and other clones to be fine after a number of pedals in the chain. I have a cmatmods ratified in my board & while it does get trumpet-like fuzz at high gain setting, i’d also like a violin-like sustaining lead tones from a big muff.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Paul. Sorry for my late reply. Muffs goes well with buffers. Yo’ud probably have a better result with the Deluxe but Fender amps in general have less mids and compression and both is crucial for getting those violin-like tones from a Muff. You could go for a Muff with more mids, like the Vick or a Sovtek clone, but you’d still be lacking the compression from the amp. I’m not saying it doesn’t work at all but it will sound different as to pairing a Muff with a Marhsall, Hiwatt or Fenders with more compression.

  69. Phoenix says:

    Sorry to butt in, but here’s a quick comment on the Musket. Originally, I had really wanted the Vick’s Audio Ram’s Head–it’s such a good price and I talked to the maker on the phone and he sounded like a good guy. But I got the Musket instead, partly because the company was located near my home and I met the builders in person before buying it. Anyway, I love the Musket. I have a V6 Big Muff, that I like, but it’s noisy, and the Musket has all kind of sound and tone options and you don’t have to run it in front of your chain. I run it further down the chain and follow it with a booster. Just my two cents. ;-) Phoenix

  70. David says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I was wondering if you had tried the Vick Audio Violet Ram’s Head, as I have the opportunity to buy either the Violet Ram’s Head or the 73 Ram’s head (I can only afford one or the other, not both) I would very much appreciate any insight you (or others here) may have on the Violet version. I’ve watched videos and the Violet seems a bit harsher/darker than the ’73.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi David! I haven’t tried the Vick Violet but in general, the Violets do have a bit more gain, low end and compression compared to the early 70s ram’s heads.

  71. Bryan says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    How is it that you can turn the volume up so high on this and all your other pedals? I’m running the same pedal and I can’t possibly turn the volume past 9:00. I run a HI-TONE DG 30w with the Hall Variable Voltage Reducer and I get unity volume between amp running clean and most of my muff pedals at around 9:00 give or take. When I turn the volume to try match your settings, windows almost blow out even when I run the amp on 5w..

    • Bjorn says:

      Mine are always just a hair above unity. Depends on how your amp is voiced and how that blends with the pedal. An amp with more compression and mid range, can make scooped pedals sound louder than the same pedal on a scooped amp.

      • Craig says:

        Hi Bjorn:

        I have question on something that has always confused me a little. When setting a pedal for “Unity Gain” and the pedal has both Volume Control and Gain Control do you first start to adjust the Gain then set the Volume? What characteristics are you listening for when you set the Gain vs setting the Volume?

        • Bjorn says:

          Good question, Craig :) Most boosters, overdrives, distortions and fuzz, have a volume or level control that will need to be adjusted according to the amount of gain produced. The highter the gain, the lower the volume. This is because more gain will produce more compression, and sometimes mid range, which will increase the overall output. Unity gain is perhaps a bit misleading, because it refers to the output level and not the actual gain. Anyway, unity gain/level is the volume you get from your guitar and amp without any pedals. Experiment with your gain pedals and hear how the output volume changes when you increase or decrease the gain on the pedal.

  72. Russ Torres says:

    Awesome review, Bjorn! I took a leap of faith and went ahead placed an order for one. Until I can pick up a Laney Cub head / cab, I’ll be using a Fender Blues Deluxe 40w (Fender Am. Strat). Still need to update my pickups though. Great site and information!

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