• 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.


    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.


    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.

352 Responsesso far.

  1. Daniel says:

    I just love how to explain the tones in that diagram! So complete information

  2. Kyle says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First of all Thank you! Your website always a treasure whenever I need information and GAS attack :)

    I want to ask what is your preffered pedal chain order for Rams Head Big Muff, Colorsound Powerboost with master volume and BK Butler Tube Driver?

    Which one you prefer will be the overdrive and the Booster?

    Thanks and stay safe Bjorn

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Depends on what type of overdrive tone you want. The Tube Driver and Power Boost are similar but not quite identical. Personally I like to have the Power Boost as a booster and the Tube Driver as an overdrive. guitar > muff > powerboost > tube driver > amp.

  3. Michel T. from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada says:

    Hey Bjorn, I’ve been enthusiastically ingesting all of the great info on your site for awhile now and just wanted to say thanks for everything you have done and continue to do here, it has been and unbelievably helpful resource to me as I attempt to put together my first “Gilmour Pedal Board” after 35 years of fandom and I just made my first donation to the site, thanks again. I have followed many of your suggestions/recommendations: I am playing an American Strat with the EMG-DG20 pickup set, into a little board that includes a newer EHX Big Ram’s Head Big Muff, MXR Dynacomp and Carbon Copy Delay, and just recently acquired the Mooer ElecLady. You are absolutely correct when you say it takes some time to properly dial in the Big Muff (Into the clean channel on my 1980’s JCM800 combo) but I am feeling like I am getting pretty close (without David’s hands or a HiWatt). When I added the ElecLady, it was almost like I had found the missing “it” but I also find that it is a little too much of “it” and is too processed and overbearing of an overall effect. I’ve tried just about everything I can think of with the ElecLady’s controls, but there is no effect level on the pedal, and I can’t figure out how to make the effect a little more subtle, even turning the rate way down, and the range off as you suggest. If you have have any suggestions for other things I could try, and if you have few minutes to answer, I would really appreciate it. I know you get a lot of these requests, so thanks again anything you can suggest.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Michel, thanks for your kind words and support! The Electric Mistress flanger is, like all flangers, a pretty dominating effect. There’s nothing subtle about it. A chorus might be a better option if you want something that just adds a hint of character. David didn’t really use the Mistress that much as most of his modulated tones are coming from rotating speaker cabinets. He would mix these lower then the amp, creating a very subtle hint of modulation. For certain parts he would add the Electric Mistress ontop of that, especially during the Wall era, which certainly created a heavily modulated tone. The E-Lady is based on the Deluxe Electric Mistress, which has a much more noticeable effect compared to the mid 70s 9 and 18V Mistress. I do prefer the Deluxe, for different reasons, but if you want a slightly more subtle tone, then check out the excellent Flanger from Retro Sonic. IMO the closest you’ll get to those original Mistress pedals.

      • Michel T. from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful and helpful reply Bjorn. I’ve just take delivery of a Mooer Ensemble King and am getting acquainted with it now. Again, many thanks for your work here.

  4. Daniel Gusmão says:

    Ok, thanks for the advice and attention. One last doubt… When you use a Laney Amp, like your Lion Heart or de VC Séries, that I own, you use the clear channel, crancking the volume until the edge of the break up, or you choose the overstay channel with a low drive setting? Regards.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones I need. For more scooped pedals, like a Big Muff, I often use the drive channel as it has a bit more mid range.

  5. Daniel Gusmão says:

    Considering that I have other overdrive pedals like friedman small box, hudson broadcast, wampler tummy’s and a tc spark mini. One of these can do the same job of powers boost to boost my muff?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m not familiar with these so I can’t really tell. David doesn’t really boost for more gain or volume but rather tone. Much like how you’d use an EQ. A TS style pedal would colour too much but a transparent overdrive will add just a hint of compression and tone, without colouring.

  6. Daniel says:

    Hi Bjorn, Can I use the new Vertex Steel String Supreme to do the same function of the Coloursound (to use as a boost after the Muff)? I really like to play John Meyer and other clean sounds like it, but also I’m try to find a pedal that can cover my other passion (Pink Floyd). Can I use the Vertex SSS to cover this propose?

    PS: I have another overdrives in my collection (Hudson Broadcast, Jam Tubedreamer 88, Friedman Small Box) and a mini TC spark booster. I don’t know if one of these con do the job better for achieve this propose.

    best regards,

    • Bjorn says:

      A Power Boost is a transparent booster, with a 2-band EQ. It won’t colour your tone but rather drive the front end of your amp into overdrive or distortion. Quite the oposite of a Tube Screamer style overdrive. The Steel String is, as you know, based on the Dumble amp. It will colour your tone more and it has a hint of compression. It will work as a booster but not in the same way as a Power Boost. Depending on your amp and pickups, it might make a Muff sound darker and more compressed.

  7. Paul Rerrie says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned similar but I find the mid scoop of the Big Muff does not make for easy pinch harmonics. I wonder if that is why DG also used the FS-1 pickup and/or Powerboost.

    • Bjorn says:

      Perhaps although I don’t know if he really tried to get a tone to be able to do those pinch harmonix. Keep in mid that a Hiwatt set loud will provide the mid range the Big Muff needs. The added boost, EQ or overdrive is used for smoothening the tone rather than adding gain.

  8. The Lapins says:

    Hi Bjorn, fantastic tone as usual and thanks for sharing…I was trying to simulate your ‘Near the End Jamming’ tone, this is my question, how do you remove the noise created by the pick….I got the tone quite close to yours only for that annoying pick noise as the pick hits the strings is coming out too. I have an MXR Smart Gate, do you think I could place this gate before the Big Muff? Thanks in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      Not quite sure what you mean. Is the mic picking up the pick or do you hear a pick or attack from your strings?

      • Ivan says:

        Apologies for my delayed reply Bjorn, and thanks for getting back to me.
        Yes I hear a pick from my strings through the amp. I am not using a mic at this stage.
        Its a shame, because I got really close to your nice ‘Near the End Jamming’ tone, only for this horrible noise the pick is making when it hits the string, especially when I am fretting the G, B and E strings at the 17th – 20th fret. I tried to eliminate it by tweaking the Attack level on the Compressor and tweaking the EQ (GE-7) settings, I even tried different pick shape and sizes but had no success.

        • Bjorn says:

          I have no idea what taht might be. Have you tried plugging the guitar straight into the amp without any pedals? Are you sure all your cables are OK? Is the guitar properly grounded? Again, hard to tell when I haven’t played your rig.

  9. SoF says:

    I’m wondering about ways of recording the muff but without the loud hum/buzz it produces when idle. Even with the best “quiet” circuit clones, it’s just the nature of the muff to be noisy. When you record the muffs for your reviews, for example, what do you do to keep it so quiet but still produce the compressed, smooth tone? Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      There will be some noise but the hum isn’t loud enough to cut through the tone of the pedal. You would hear it if I recorded just the noise, and I do play loud, but on a recording, you cut that away.

  10. Harold Reid says:

    I have a Pig Hoof MKII on the way.. should I plan to place it first in the chain or can it run after my compressor? I also purchased a power booster that I plan to use last in my drive section. Thanks for your input. Harold

  11. Mikky Whalan says:

    Hey Bjorn Have you heard that ehx released the New Rams Head Reissue? It’s based on the violet rams head model, Just got it this morning, What settings would you recommend I use a Squier Strat with a Dimarzio FS1 in the bridge into a Vox AC30vr (Better than my hiwatt maxwatt)
    Cheers from Australia

  12. Eric says:

    Here’s my current setup: Guitar > tuner > Wah > DOD envelope filter > compressor > TS clone > Big Muff Green Russian > Phaser > Flashback X4

    The problem is when I have the big muff on it seems as though nothing changes when I change my pickup selector. It’s the same on different guitars, 3 single coils on my strat, humbuckers on a hollow body, split coils, and out of phase switch, nothing changes the tone through the big muff. Is this normal??

  13. Mikky Whalan says:

    Excuse me but is the fender hot rod deluxe more in the Mid range category or more Mid scooped

  14. Mikky Whalan says:

    Hey Bjorn I’m doing a review of the EHX Green Russian reissue.
    I’m just wondering. Can I please use some of your backing tracks? Thx

    • Bjorn says:

      Sure. Apart from the one’s that says their made by me, all the others are submission from readers who’ve found these on the net so I don’t take resposibility for any copyright claims.

  15. Michael says:

    Hey Bjorn I have the boss bd2w the settings that recommended me volume slightly above Unity tone 20 30% gain 10 20%
    It has got a switch
    For stock and custom. Custom mode is me is more a modded version of the bd2.
    Would you recommend me to use the stock mode or custom?
    Or is it just a matter of taste?

  16. Jack says:

    Hey Bjorn! Quick Question. I was wondering if the Xotic EP booster would be a good option to put after my muff. I really want to achieve those classic Animals tones. If not what clean drive/booster should I go for in search of that tone?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on the amp and how well it will handle a booster but yes, the EP usually works nicely after a Muff. Compared to a Power Boost or Tube Driver, it will provide a clean boost with a hint of compression and mid range.

  17. Michael says:

    Hey Bjorn I actually kinda manage to get the wall studio tone by using 2 different microphones
    An SM 57 Clone and a Samson condenser microphone. I had the 57 on the cone about 4.5 inches away and the Samson 8 to 1 foot away facing at the edge of the speaker cone having the top of the condenser microphone face the speaker. pedals I just used a Mooer triangle buff
    I used the volume above Unity about 75% Unity in my opinion is at 55% tone at 50% and sustain at maximum. Amp I used a Hiwatt maxwatt g40 12r
    Bass and middle is at 55 to 60% treble around 45%. Then I run into mixcraft 8 using the EQ to cut some boomy low end and cut around 1k to 4k about 1db to 2.5db.
    The I add a mild compressor.
    Then I added 2 delays one is at 370 with mix at 10% with 2 repeats then another delay 480 with mix at 25 and 6 repeats and a mild reverb.
    Wow that took me forever.

  18. Michael says:

    Hey Bjorn what settings would you recommend for the final cut lead tone for the green Russian
    I use a squire Strat with stock neck and middle pickups and a dimarzio FS1 in the bridge I use a hiwatt maxwatt g40 12r setup as bass 50 60% middle 40 65% treble 35 to 60

  19. Michael says:

    Hey bjorn I got a question.
    Any tips on get the wall album tone?
    I am not gonna do it live but in the studio
    for my next album. I got simulations of vintage EQs and compressors. It sounds close. but it sounds like the original tone got more air to the sound. Maybe because he’s playing loud and he needed to put the microphone futher
    I don’t know I’m new to this “engineering” thing.
    Any tips for EQ and compression settings?

    • Bjorn says:

      Studio sounds are almost impossible to recreate because you never know how they really did it. To me, Final Cut sounds much more honest and less produces. David’s tones is pretty much how you’d expect a Strat – Muff – Mistress – delay – Hiwatt – Yamaha rotary cab to sound.

      Wall is tricky because they did a lot to every single track. There’s very little there that sounds like standing next to a guitar amp. The last or main solo on Comf Numb was recorded with a Strat – Muff – Hiwatt – Yamaha rotary. The Yamaha was mixed slightly lower for a slight modulation effect. It’s hard to hear but it’s there.

      He’s playing loud, which will compress the tone to some extent. I don’t know how they recorded it but I know his usual approach is an SM57 4″ of the grille slightly off axis. Maybe even angled a tad to roll off the highs. Meybe they also used an ambience mic.

      If you listen closely you’ll hear that the solo is doubled and panned to each side. Probably by panning the main track and using a bus delay on the other side to create a wide stereo effect.

      How they EQd and compressed the recording is impossible to say but there’s definitely something.

  20. Michael says:

    What blues driver settings would you recommend for a clean boost for the muff?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on your amp and pickups but a good place to start would be with the volume slightly above unity, tone around 9:00-10:00 and the gain around 8:00 or 9:00.

      • Michael says:

        Thx will try it also what settings would you recommend on the ehx green Russian big muff for pulse? :)

        • Bjorn says:

          Level unity, tone 10-11:00 and gain between 75-100% but you need to match that with your pickups, amp and whatever pedal you use with the Muff.

      • Michael says:

        I use a dimarzio FS1 in the bridge and a stock squire neck and middle pickups. I’m thinking of replacing the pickups to David Gilmours black Strat specs. Amp I use a hiwatt maxwatt g40 12r. amp settings bass 50% to 60% Middle 40% to 60% treble 35% to 55%

        • Bjorn says:

          The FS1 and SSL5 are very similar.

          • Michael says:

            Can you tell me the difference between the FS1 and the ssl5 as in EQ wise? Also is the FS1 capable for on an island tones?
            Cheers from Australia

            • Bjorn says:

              Any guitar is capable of On an Island tones. It’s the combination of the guitar, amp, pedals, your fingers and not least, knowing how to use everything :) Pikcups alone won’t get you there. But, the FS1 and SSL5 are very similar. They both have a fairly high output, with lots of upper mids and a nicely balanced top and low end.

  21. I use Mooer Green Mile (no gain) before Big Muff in Fender Bluesbreaker. Sounds great to me!


    Even if you sometimes use the dirty channel of the amp?

  23. Felipe Miranda says:

    Bjorn, I have a doubt. My amp has two channels. If I put the Big Muff and the boost in the front of amp and modulations like Chorus or phaser or flanger into the loop of the amp, I will have the same sound? What is your opinion?

    • Bjorn says:

      Why would you use the effects loop?


        Because sometime I use delay or reverb with the amplifier drive channel.

        • Bjorn says:

          OK. What I recommend is that you only use the loop if you use the amp for gain. If you’ve set the amp clean, even on the drive channel, it’s often better to run all the pedals into the front end of the amp for a better signal and, in my opinion, a better tone.

  24. Simon says:

    Hey Bjorn.

    I would really like your help, I’m almost starting to feel really sad and frustrated about my tone searching.
    I’ve read pages and pages of comments and all your guides on this site but I still can’t seem to figure this thing out.. I started out with no pedals and a Yamaha THR10 before deciding that I wanted to chase the Gilmour tones (comfortably numb/in any tongue @ Pompeii 2016 in particular).

    So I bought a loaded gilmor pickup with SSL-5, ’69, Fat 50’S pickups to my black MIM strat, and
    Boss CS-2 -> Maxon OD808 -> EHX Green Russian -> TC Flashback -> Boss GE7..

    Turns out Yamaha THR10 is not a good platform for pedals.. So today I also bought a Boss Katana 100w.

    Didn’t help.. As soon as I activate the Green russian it sounds super muddy and bending a string doesn’t even feel right.. It’s like I stuffed the entire Katana amp full of pillows… Also the volume goes up by SO much when I activate it. If I activate it while I am on the clean channel and just strumming chords in a bedroom level, it will literally go “boom” if I activate the green russian..

    I am on the Clean channel , tried different variations of Gain / Volume and also used your settings from your EHX Green Russian review video..

    I know I still need to purchase the flanger to complete the comfortably numb effect chain and I am going to order the Mooer E-lady but that will hardly fix these issues..

    It’s so weird that other people seem to get the gilmour tones from the same pedal chain and a Boss Katana. Maybe my Green Russian is defect.. Just have a look at this video, it’s basically my goal tone.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8gfKFXAwFU and I have the same gear except for 100w instead of 50w and I don’t have the Electric Mistress…

    Do you have any suggestions what I should try?

    • Bjorn says:

      Always hard to comment on issues like this because it could be a number of things. It could be as simple as where you’re positioned in regards to the amp to more serious problems like defect pedals etc. My experience is that the Katana is a great pedal platform but as with everything you need to set the amp up right to match your pedals. The Green Russian is very different to your Tube Screamer so I don’t think one setting on the amp will match both of them. I guess my best tip is don’t try to make David’s or my settings fit your setup. It’s just not possible because you have something different, you play in a different environemt and your playing and technique is probably different too. Nothing wrong with that at all but you need to set up the amp and pedals to match your setup seen as a whole. If that means setting the Muff level really low then that’s what’s right for your setup. Increase the tone in the pedal if needed. Don’t use a booster if that cause too much compression. Increase the treble and mid range you amp if that’s needed.

    • Boris Brala says:

      On yamaha thr 10 use the bass amp ,gain around noon ,master 5 o’clock, bass 11- 12 ,mid 13 – 14 treble 13 o’clock ,guitar input level from 12 to max. and your big muff should sing on bedroom levels.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Simon

      Were you able to sort this out? I have the exact same issue. I haven’t spent much time with it since I just got the Triangle Muff yesterday but my first experience was not encouraging. I know the tones are in there because I could sort of get Sorrow to come through but there is just no bite on the plain strings for soloing. Any notes on the plain strings sound as if i’m playing them up the neck on the wounds if that makes sense. Sustains for years though and your video gives me hope so i’m not giving up yet. Going to try and make a preset tailored to the Muff and re arrange my pedal order. ANY advice you can give would be most appreciated. I got the Fulltone 70 a while back and it works great so I don’t think its the gear. Another pedal that I found works really well is my DOD Gunslinger. Paid 30 bucks for it and it booted the RAT off the board. Does Money REALLY well. Probably would do a good for his later Muff tones but I just wanted to give a go with the Triangle Muff…

      On a side note… I saw Dave’s collection at Christie’s on Monday… absolutely Breathtaking. Going again today. Can’t believe how close i could get. One of the most fascinating things to me was the little marker on the red strats volume knob. Just a little triangle sticker but it added such a personal touch that it really made seeing that even more special.


  25. Paul Lions says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thanks a lot for letting us all get all this wonderful info, it’s been realy helpful for both Gilmour tones as well as to find one’s unique tone… Got a bit of a problem here, maybe you could help me out:
    So a few years back I got a Large Beaver Ram’s Head, which I haven’t used in quite a long time, so I decided to give it a shot. Like the tone a lot, but I’m not sure it sounds the way it should. Main problem would be that it seems to have a serious volume drop, even noticable at home with no mix whatsoever, and I used it once live this time, and not even with the volume all the way up with the mid boost engaged even met unity volume (Playing a strat and Blackstar HT40 or Fender DR Custom btw). What would be unity volume in your Tri version? Would you say that I may have a faulty pedal?
    Also, when trying to stack it with my BD-2 with the gain all the way down, muff half way on the gain, and plenty of headroom left it squishes the sound in a very horrible way, not nice at all. It just gets way too compressed and squized, completely unusable… What would your thoughts be on this topic?
    Thanks a lot for any help you could provide!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hmmm… could be a number of things. Might be a damaged circuit but how’s your amp set up? Too much gain will often make a Muff sound dark and overly compressed.

  26. Gustavo Checcoli says:

    Hi Bjorn, which of the 3 pedals do you think works best in the booster function after a big green Russian muff EHX current: Wampler plexydrive, BB preamp or Bd2?
    My amplifications are Fender Blues Junior and Fender Hot Road.
    My guitar is a Fender American Vintage.
    What are the regulation tips for muff, booster and amp?
    Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      I would go for the BD2. Set it clean and roll back the tone to avoid any harsh overtones. The BB is fairly aggressive and the Plexi Drive is a great overdrive but it has too much compression and brighness for boosting… IMO.

  27. Marcuz says:

    Hi Bjorn! Here I come again, looking for your wisdom!
    In the diagram above, you show a rat going into a soul food, stating that the soul food is too midrangey to boost a muff, but not too much for the rat. So I was thinking: as you said that also the OCD too midrangey for the muff, will it work with the rat?
    Thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      It all depends on the pedals and amp. Muffs often sound too compressed and a bit choked if you blend them with pedals that has a lot of mid range and compression but it works better with amps that has less mid range and compression, like a Fender. Rat pedals can handle pretty much anything and the Soul Food, if set all clean, has a fairly transparent tone. The OCD is a different beast and pairing that with a Rat will often cause a lot of feedback, noise and too much compression as both pedals are quite saturated and gainy. Rat pedals are often best used alone but a transparent booster like the Boss BD-2 is a nice companion.

      • Marcuz says:

        Thank you!
        At the moment I’m using an OCD (hp mode) set just at the edge of break up as my always on tone (sort of cleanish with a hint of hair). I’d like to add the Rat for heavier stuff, keeping the OCD on to avoid tip-tap dancing; in fact I also sing and it could be tricky on stage during gigs. To get the best result would you place the rat before or after the always on OCD? I’m playing through a Fender HR Deluxe clean channel.

        • Bjorn says:

          If you need to blend them I’d set the Rat after and perhaps with the gain fairly low to avoid too much feedback and noise. You need to match the total amount of gain between the pickups, amp, OCD and Rat.

  28. Gabriel says:

    Hey Bjørn! So I was wondering, would an exotic ep booster be ideal for boosting a Vick audio rams head muff? If yes, would the ep booster be better if placed after or before the big muff? My amp is a Laney Lionheart LT20. Get back as soon as you can thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on how you’ve set the amp and what Muff you have. The EP has a bit of mids and compression. I like to have a tiny bit of breakup on my Lionheart and I often use Muffs with a bit of mids. The EP often makes this setup sound dark and too compressed but again, depends on how you set it up and taste I guess :) Keep in mind that placing a booster first will add more gain. Placing it after, will be more like adding an EQ.

  29. C Tyson says:

    I have yet to find a Big Muff sound I like more than Soul Food > Muffroom Cloud > Delay + Reverb > Blues Junior. Absolutely astounding. I still own that Muffroom Cloud, but I want to try something new. I have a Muffuletta on the way, and I’m going to grab a JHS Modded Soul Food, mostly to use as it’s own drive but I’m going to try setting it cleaner and using it to boost the Muff!

    • C Tyson says:

      So I got the Muffuletta, and it’s definitely replacing the Muffroom Cloud; every mode is smoother and more articulate than I’ve found the Muffroom Cloud to be. There are a couple of modes which, as you advise, could do with some boosting, but even without the sound is entirely there. Going to grab a BD-2 and an SD-1, and try both out to see which works better as a boost for it (I’m not too sure my Orange amp has enough mids to cope with a Muff and a BD-2 scooping the mids). I tried with my compressor, and it added the sustain but was muddying up the lows too much.

      • Bjorn says:

        The Muffroom is a great sounding pedal but to my ears, it’s more of a modern Muff meets amp distortion. Perhaps a bit too pristine for a classic Muff.

  30. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Hey Bjorn; is there any real difference between boosting the muff with a pedal like the powerbooster, using a pedal like the Vick Audio\BYOC muff mid range boost switch, and simply raising the mids knob on your amp? I would imagine David used his boost pedals on his board to better shape the muff, and give his solos a kick in the ass with the convenience of a switch at his feet, rather than walking over to his amp. But when we are not playing on stage, and were just messing around we have these 3 things as our options. Is pedal boosting is your favorite way to add mids to the big muff? Thanks..

    • Bjorn says:

      Boosting is a vast topic and it depends on what you want to achieve. David always boosted his Muff with a very subtle Power Boost or Tube Driver placed after the Muff. Much like an EQ. He’s not boosting for more gain nor volume but rather character. Whether or not raising the mids on your amp helps compared to a mids switch on the pedal depends on how the mid range control is designed but also where in the chain it is placed. Keep in mind that when you raise the mids on your amp it’s for all of your tones and pedals. A mids boost on your Muff or from an EQ will be more accurate and efficient I guess as you would apply it only when needed. It’s a matter of taste and my best tip is to experiment.

      • Frank Bizzoco says:

        Thanks for the response. Yeah, I neglected to take in consideration that the mids knob on the amp will in fact change all the other pedals as well. Although, I do really like the mids boost knob on my BYOC triangle. I was just curious what the difference between the 3 ways of mids boosting might be is all. As always, I am so glad you continue this work. I am pretty sure this is my most visited website of all time!

  31. Marcuz says:

    Hi Bjorn! I came up with another question! Thanks to you I discovered that a mid-scooped overdrive/boost placed after the muff can help adding attack, compression and a hint of mids (in another words, it enhances the tone of the pedal). I was thinking that it would be easyer to leave this boost always on. So I was wondering: do you believe that It could also enhance the tone of an overdrive pedal placed before of it, as it already does with the big muff?
    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      You just have to try it I guess :) It all depends on your amp, pickups and what pedals you combine. Sometimes it sounds great. Sometimes it doesn’t quite fit the rig. The difference between having a booster before and after another gain pedal is that after, like David often does, adds character much like an EQ. Having the booster before is like driving the front end of a tube amp only you’re driving the next pedal. It adds more gain but a more linear signal.

      • Marcuz says:

        In terms of using the boost after, do you prefer the bd2 or the spark booster?

        • Bjorn says:

          I’ve always liked the BD2. Very transparent but I like the fact that you can dial in a bit of gain too. The Spark is great as a booster but again, I like to add a bit of break up.

      • Marcuz says:

        I read that you’ve been using a bd2 to boost you muff. Could you please tell me the bd2 settings? Your experience is a treasure for us! Thanks for sharing!

        • Bjorn says:

          To be very honest – it doesn’t really matter what setting I suggest because it all depends on your guitar, amp, amp settings, what Muff you’re using etc… A booster is very much like an EQ. It should be set to provide that little extra that you need. Looking at David’s boosters, he’s always set them at the edge of breakup with a hint of volume boost.

  32. Marcuz says:

    Hi Bjorn! This site is absolutely amazing! I have a question. I’m thinking about using a spark booster, as you suggest, to boost and enhance my muff tone. As my rig lacks a little of mid range, I would also use the mid boost toggle to fix that issue. I had the chance to try out for a day the spark booster of a friend of mine, and I had the impression that the mid boost mode choked the muff. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on your amp. Too much mid range and compression will make the Muff sound darker and a bit choked. Again, depending on your amp I’d perhaps go for either an EQ or the Xotic EP booster for adding a bit of mids to the Muff.

      • Marcuz says:

        Thank you for your advices!
        My amp is a Fender DeVille, so I guess it needs some midrange push from pedals. Of course not a huge amount like TS9 does. Anyway, I think you may be right about the compression issue; the spark booster has a gain control, so maybe I should try to lower it to zero in order to reduce compression. I will also consider the EP booster, but I’ve heard it can be muddy due to its lower mids push; I’m also afraid I could suffer the lack of controls.
        I’ve used an eq pedal so far, but I was looking for a pedal that could combine the boost and eq features in a single unit (smaller footprint and less signal degradation) as il will be an always on pedal.

        P.S. I apologize for my English

        • Bjorn says:

          You can always use the EQ for as well by turning up the volume slider on the pedal.

          • Marcuz says:

            In my limited experience I’ve found out that while the eq let you play with the frequencies, the boost does something “magical” to the muff tone.
            In the past, using only the eq, I’ve managed to improve a little the muff sound, but it still missed something, it didn’t cut through. Adding a transparent boost (even a bad one, even at unity level) seems to do something that the eq alone is’t able to do. As you say in the site is not about volume, is something else. Thus I want to add a boost. I’m actually using a LPB1 into a GE7, but I hope to get similar or better results with the spark booster alone.


            • Bjorn says:

              As you say, an EQ will cut or boost ceratin frequencies while a booster is very much like a adding a second amp or preamp to the chain. Depending on what booster you’re using and how it’s set, it will add more compression (due to the increased amount of gain) and as a result, a smoother and more balanced tone. If the booster has a bit of mids, then the Muff will appear even smoother. The term boosting is perhaps a bit misleading when describing David’s tones because he isn’t really boosting but rather adding more character with a second overdrive pedal.

              • Marcuz says:

                I completely agree! Thanks!

                • C Tyson says:

                  Hey Marcuz,

                  It’s been my experience that boosts with a mid hump, as you had intended to set the Spark booster, work much better BEFORE the muff as opposed to afterwards. I’ve used a Soul Food and a TS808 to boost my Big Muff pedals and both worked much better before them.

  33. Don says:

    Hi Bjorn. I love all the information and research that has been put into this website. Very nice job. Anyways, I was hoping you could steer me in the right direction with achieving David’s tone on the funky solo parts for Echoes at a bedroom level. I do love the fuzz he gets on Live at Pompeii but also the dark, booming tone on Live in Gdansk. What do you recommend? Fuzz or Muff and what kind? Is there a pedal that can do both tones at bedroom level or close? My current setup is an EVH Wolfgang Special straight to an Orange Micro Terror (Clean – Vol: 4, Tone: Max, Gain: 2 / Distortion – Vol: between 1 and 2, Tone: Max, Gain: 9) plugged into a Line 6 4×12 cab. When the amp is clean, it gets very close to the album version of “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” When I use distortion, it’s got a nice fat and creamy tone, almost like a classic Marshall. I’d prefer to use the amp’s distortion to achieve this tone if possible. Hope I was descriptive enough for you to help. Thanks, Don

    • Bjorn says:

      Not sure if I understand the question. Are you asking what pedals you should use for this bit or how to set the amp?

      • Don says:

        What would be some good pedals to achieve the tone? I stated my settings to give you an understanding of how I currently setup my amp. Sorry for the confusion.

        • Bjorn says:

          I haven’t explored the Tiny Terror with pedals but the amp should be able to handle most pedals I think. You could go for a fuzz, preferably a silicon transistor model, or a Muff like the EHX Green Russian. You might also want to look into something a bit more versatile like a Rat or OCD, which will give you close enough tones and a lot more.

  34. Rob says:

    I must admit that, after many many experiments with Butler and Chandler TD, and with several muffs like Skreddy, Cornish, Castledine, StompUnderFoot, etc, I have never appreciated a boost placed after the muffs. It makes every muff sound boomy, muddy. Right now I use two muffs and two different boosts, and I am very happy. A Castledine V2 for The Wall-era sounds (recreation of the Violet RH) and a Limited Ed. Stomp Under Foot Civil War for PULSE sounds, with two boosts, a Klone from Arc Effects (a very versatile pedal, indeed, useful also for creating that “mid-focused” clean sound you can hear in PULSE, maybe mainly due to the SPC control) and a Kingsley Page tube boost, using often (but not always) the PC2A.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends grately on the interaction between the pickups and amp and what Muff model you use. The Sovtek models are better alone while a ram’s head often sound smoother and more balanced with a booster behind it. I prefer a Power Booster as it’s easy to set up clean and it doesn’t have the mid range and compression that will colour your tone. David often use a Tube Driver but you need to find the sweet spot between the Muff and the TD for this to work. Again the reason for using a booster isn’t to boost but to use the booster much like an EQ adding character and to balance the Muff.

      • Rob says:

        I have used both Chandler (the good one, with internal trafo) and Butler TD, pairing the first or the second with a StompUnderFoot 73 Rams Head and a Cornish P2. Never enjoyed boosting after muff. With a Kingsley Page before the Castledine V2 I am able to have very nice sounds, more similar to the OAI tour than what I can obtain with the Arc Klone. With the V2 a boost is necessary, IMHO, to cut well through the mix. Not so much with the SUF Civil War, even if it adds a bit of punch which is not bad, indeed.
        Pickups are a set from Romano Burini, a very talented italian luthier who modeled these pickups after the ones on the Relic signature Strat. And the amp is a 1975 Hiwatt DR504 into a Fane axa100+Weber FC12 loaded 212.
        Oh, by the way, have you tried to boost the muffs with a Buffalo TDX placed after?

        • Bjorn says:

          Yes I have. I think the term boost is a bit misleading when trying to describe what David’s actually doing. First, his amps are always set to near breakup. That will provide some compression to the high gain pedals. David often use the Muffs alone but also with either a Power Boot, in the 70s, and a Tube Driver. These “boosters” are used more like an EQ, adding a bit of character and flavour, rather than actual volume and gain boost. The effect with these pedals on and after the Muff is very subtle but enough to make the Muff sound smoother and slightly more compressed.
          Boosting in front of a Muff or other gain pedals will produce a slightly different result much like boosting the front end of a tube amp for more gain and compression.

          • Rob says:

            Yes, I know all this, and I never use the boost to change dramatically the muff sound, but to add something to make they sound more present in the mix, which is a tipical RH need.
            However, I am curious to know your idea about using TDX after CW or RH-style muff.

            • Bjorn says:

              I’ve always preferred using the Power Booster because it’s more transparent than the TD, with less mids and compression. The TDX blends well with both CW and RH style Muffs I think but it depends on the model or clone. Some of them has a lot of gain or a dark character, which can be hard to blend with a booster/overdrive.

              • Rob says:

                Thanks Bjorn. As I told you, the RH is a Castledine V2, and the CW is a StompUnderFoot Limited edition, really amazing pedal. And it is good also alone (differently from the V2, which needs a bit of “kick”, and then it really shines). :)

  35. chris says:

    hi there i own a big muff pi a rat and a soul food,on your pictures in diafram 3 you mean guitar->rat->soul food->?

  36. Muffman says:

    Thank you so much for such a detailed article. I’ve referenced it several times when looking for pedals to boost my Big Muff though I’m still facing a dilemma with my sound. I’m not necessarily trying to emulate David’s tone as my style is a lot heavier/dirtier than Pink Floyd. The Big Muff already achieves the large, warm, sustain I’m looking for but what I’m missing is a pedal to add a bit more character and “boost” for soloing. I bought a Spark Booster and then traded it for an MXR EQ (boost mids) but both take away the Muff’s tone/character. I want to maintain the raw, jagged Muff tone but add a bit more grit and volume for leads. Any recommendations will be much appreciated.

    Thank You

    My gear: Fender Jaguar (Dimarzio Humbuckers), Marshall DSL40, EHX Big Muff Reissue (Volume: almost Full, Tone: 1-2 o’clock, Sustain: Full). I also have a reverb & delay pedal.

    • Bjorn says:

      You already have a pretty aggressive setup, with the Marshall and the high settings on your Muff but pedals like the Powerbooster (you’ll find many clones out there) and the BD2 has more gain and character than the Spark Booster and I’ve often used those to add a bit more tone to Muffs. It’s also worth checking out the Xotic EP booster, which adds a bit of volume and mids.

  37. simalex says:

    First–This is an incredible resource & Thank you for the time you’ve put in here.

    I have had great success pairing the latest-gen big muff (the Deluxe Big Muff) with a Fulltone Fulldrive 3 and my Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue.

    On the Fulldrive, I roll off nearly all of the overdrive, keep the vol around 40-50%, and treble around 75-80%, and it really makes the BMP roar, and also helps push the amp wonderfully.

    I also recommend this particular BMP (the newest Deluxe) because the mid-sweep section allows a player to really fine-tune the tone–it’s a great solo boost channel, it’s great for setting a basic rhythm sound, it’s great for wild experimentation. There’s just nothing this pedal doesn’t do well, basically.

  38. Yasser Monsef says:

    Plz help
    Big muff Ri or nano bass muff for gilmour lead tone?

  39. David says:

    I would like to start of saying that I am very thankful for the amount of work you have done in putting this information together. I have a few questions and comments in regards to the Big Muff with Tone Wicker. My current setup is an ESP Horizon with an arcane humbucker set with split coil in the bridge position. I run that directly into my Muff, which runs into my Orange Rocker 15. I have a Digitech RP250 in the FX loop that I use for delay and various other modulation.

    Do you have any experience with this particular Muff? As with most muff, when the tone is active the mids are scooped, with my combination of guitar and amp this is producing a HUGE low end. I have tried using the RP250 as an EQ to enhance the Mids, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much. Would a tube screamer or booster be advisable to run in the chain? If so, which would be a good in the $100 or so range?

    I recommend this to all of my guitar playing friends to increase their knowledge on tone building.

    Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the support David! I don’t really have that much experience with the Tone Wicker other than I did try it years ago and though it didn’t sound close enough to the Muffs I liked. Mid range has always been an issue with Big Muffs. You can combine them with amps that has more mids, like a Hiwatt, which is what David does, and you can also stack them with pedals that has more mids. The problem with the latter is that pedals like the Tube Screamer, which has a lof compression too, often makes the Muff sound too dark and almost choked. An EQ can compensate to some extent and I’ve also had some success with boosters like the Xotic EP, which has a bit of mids. I also recommend looking into other Muffs like the new Green Russian from EHX or the Vick Audio 73, which has a 3-way switch for diffent mid range options.

      • David says:

        Thank you very much for the response. I ended up moving the RP250 after the Muff. Using the compressor, and overdrive I managed to get a tone that isn’t so dark. It doesn’t quite match Gilmour, but it got me close enough to be happy. One of my issues was volume, I hadn’t cranked the amp up to a suitable level.

        Thank you for you’re reply and the hard work to put this site together!

  40. John Goleniewski says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Starting with the guitar, what’s the best setup for duplicating the wailing guitar tone on the song “What Do You Want From Me?” from the Division Bell Album? For this song do you go into a clean or dirty amp?

    • Bjorn says:

      Stratocaster, single coils, overdrive or distortion pedal with mids boost like a Tube Screamer, Rat or OCD and an amp with enough headroom and preferably tubes. You’d probably want to throw in a delay there as well. What brands and models is a whole different discussion and you should find some tips here.

      • JohnnyG says:

        I have both a Vick Audio 73 Rams Head and a Buffalo Evolution for distortion. I also have a Buffalo FX Power Booster. Which combination would work best?

        • Bjorn says:

          Based on the pedal alone, I would go for the Evolution. Keep in mind that it depends on what amp and guitar you use with it.

          • JohnnyG says:

            I have a Fender Custom Shop NOS David Gilmour Strat on order. I have a Bogner Ecstasy half stack with EL-34 tubes and V30 speakers. I have no idea how that compares to a Hiwatt.

            • Bjorn says:

              The clean tone is based on that Fender and Vox chime, with less mids and compression, while the gain channels are more Marshall, classic and modern, with typically more mids and compression.

  41. Fabrizio says:

    Bjorn thank you very much for your precious help and time.
    Your explanation it is golden to me, and it will help me alot, we are all soooo lucky to have you your dedication, and expertise as a support , your website is impeccable to say the list, the knowledge in it are priceless, and as I mention above we are all very lucky.
    A big thanks to you and God bless.

  42. Fabrizio says:

    Greetings Bjorn,

    You already answered couple of my questions, thank you very much for that, this is the best Gilmour site ever, simply fantastic job!!

    I just can’t get satisfied enough with my Gilmour tone on my bedroom set up Please help me to put the chain pedals in the right order, the following are my pedals and gear, any recommendation will be greatly appreciated, I know there are no real rules but I would treasure your way.

    Amp: Blackstar 5HR
    Guitar: Fender american stratocaster 2008 standard with DG EMG active PU
    Guitar: Fender American stratocaster Eric Clapton signature
    Pedals: Pure tone buffer, Dunlop wha, Tc electronic nano tuner, Wirliwind red box compresoor, Vic audio 73 Ram’s head, Vick audio tree of life, Dunlop JHF1 jimmy Hendrix fuzz face, Keeley dark side, TC electronic Viscous Vibe, MXR Reissue Phase 90, Tc electronic flashback.

    Thanks very very much

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! Glad you enjoy the site. Your chain looks fine. I would perhaps place the fuzz first, before anything else, to avoid any tone alteration. What sort of tones are you looking for? What’s not working?

      • Fabrizio says:

        greetings Bjorn,

        as always many thanks for your prompt reply.
        As you suggested I will certainly move the fuzz first on the chain.

        The tone I’m looking for basically the classic David tone, ( what is the usual setting for that?), thing is I can’t get the right setting for the flashback delay, for instance on an island record, what is the setting for the flashback?, and do I use the Vick audio 73 ram’s head among with the delay? in particular I’m talking about for castellarizon, and on an island. Also for the Wall record It seems I can’t get the right tone either.

        What is wrong is that is extremely noisy, so I bought a Donner noise killer (hopefully it works, I use mostly this all set up with headphones). do I set the noise killer after the tree of life?
        Last but not list the amp (Blackstar HT5) doesn’t really sound good I have it set up as follow:
        clean channel volume 9 almost all the way up, tone at 2 bass 5 treble 7 middle 9 ISF all the way left and reverb all the way up on 10.

        Thanks in advance.

        • Bjorn says:

          The Blackstrat is based on the classic Marshall tone, with a modern approach. It has a lot of mid range and compression and an overall aggressive tone, with little headroom. This can make gain pedals sound a bit overwhelming and particularely the Big Muff.
          Delay settings depends very much on your amp, guitar and how you set it all up. Apart from matching time settings, there’s really no point for me to suggest level settings because this, as I said, depends on your amp and guitar.
          As for other setups I suggest that you run through your favourite albums in the Album Gear Guide and select the settings and setups page for details. That should give you an idea of what David used for each song and what you might want to use as alternatives.
          Your setup looks fine so I think you need to spend a bit more time doing reseatch on your favourite tones and spend some time experimenting with your gear and setup.

    • Fabrizio says:

      Also Bjorn I forgot to mention what is your setting suggestion on my HT5 blackstar?
      Should I use the overdrive channel or the clean channel?
      My vick audio 73 Ram’s head is very loud and I can’t get the gilmour tone , and Also I have no way to know the delay mmlseconds for the flashback delay, on the latter should I use the tape delay? How about the delay tone how should I set it up? And the feedback as well.
      I appreciate any suggestions very much.

      • Bjorn says:

        I’d use the clean channel on the amp.
        See my previous reply in regards to the Flashback’s time and level settings. I’d use the tape mode for the 70s stuff and the 2290 for 80s, 90s and present. David usually has 6-7 repeats so you would have to listen and dial that in on the feedback.

  43. piazzi says:

    stumbled upon your site after I was given an EHX muff deluxe pedal as a present and while trying so hard to find a way to tame the beast

    I have a Bugera v22 tube amp, a 339 guitar, a soul food and a blues drive BD 2 pedal

    I used to play clean on the amp, wither of the drive and typically slow to mid-tempo blues

    do you think I have enough, especially the amp to be able to get some good stuff out of my muff pedal? so far, whatever I try sounds like somebody’s screaming in extreme agony :-)

    I have spotted a used flashback delay and can get that

    any help or guidance will be greatly appreciated

    • Bjorn says:

      As you probably know, the V22 is based on the Vox AC amps which are quite versatile but perhaps not the ideal amp for those super smooth Big Muff tones due to the lack of mid range and compression. You should be able to get something you can work with though. I would perhaps consider replacing the tubes with something better sounding. That will make the amp sound warmer and smoother. Also, you need to be careful with the top end and increase the mids a bit. I don’t have the Deluxe Muff now so I can’t give you any specific settings but follow the tips in this feature for tips. You might want to consider a distortion that’s more versatile and that will be easier to set up for your type of amp, like the Fulltone OCD or a RAT (or similar sounding clone).

      • piazzi says:

        thank you!

        any tube recommendations for the amp?

        on a different note, that’s probably why Soul Food sounds so good with the v22 — mid range

        • Bjorn says:

          Yes, the Soul Food adds that much needed mid range and compression. I’ve always used JJ Electronics tubes. Very fond of them but check out TAD as well.

    • piazzi says:

      1st off, EHX big muff Delux is one hell of a pedal — almost every switch or knob on it does something really noticeable at small increments — the attack knob is more subtle. the mid-switch and knobs offer so much range and combinations — I am just blown

      I managed to pair it with EXH OD Glove (a wonderful pedal on its own — Fulltone OCD clone some say) and tweak the clean of my amp and the lnobs and switches of pedals to something really decent — rocky growl of chords with long-lasting cascades of chunky delicious sounds, beautiful snarly arpeggiation and gritty bluesy solos.

      ES339 (humbucks) –>EHX big muff delux –>EHX OD Glove –> Bugera v22 infinium on clean with boost switch engaged. If comments had attachments, I could attach a pic of how I set up the pedals and the amp. I don’t know if I can ever get it to do the never-ending gilmour sustains :-(

      I ordered the RAT clone a will pair it with Soulfood when it arrives and see what happens

      I will also look into changing tubes — I’d appreciate any recommendation for tubes

      • Bjorn says:

        Please see my previous reply :)

      • piazzi says:

        The Mooer black secret (RAT Clone) arrived and I got a used TC Electronic Flashback.

        The ES339 –> Mooer –> bugera V22 –> TC Elec Flash Back (through FX loop|) is just divine — I can hear angels singing

        Adding EHX Soul Food between Mooer and Bugera introduces lots of character — a different sound — chunky and delicious — like comfort food :-)

        I cannot thank you enough Sir, via a few posts and your gracious response to my comments you have directed me to a path delightful discovery — I could never believe if someone told me I could produce sounds like I do now — THANK YOU!

  44. James Tea says:

    Hello, have just read all these comments and I’m impressed that you respond to everyone over so many years.
    I have a 3003 Big Muff and recently bought a bass Big Muff because it fits on a pedal train. Well I noticed that old Big Muff has a lot more swell and those big knobs produce some really nice sweep effects, but I want to play with the Bass Big Muff for now, and later hope to get a 73 Ram’s Head, because you recommend it and because it looks so nice, and I confess I choose pedals based on looks some times.

    So when I bought the Bass Big Muff I ordered an OCD to boost it. I had missed where you said it muddies the Big Muff. The OCD sounds nice but I think I want a little more scream for blues, and to better spice up the Big Muff. But I am looking at some of the Mad Professor ODs, focusing on the Little Green Wonder and the Royal Blue OD. How do you feel about these pedals? Thanks in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Little Green but based on what I’ve read it seems to be close to the TS808 and OCD, with a bit of mids and compression. The Royal Blue is a great sounding amp-like overdrive very close to the Boss BD2, Powerboost and Tube Driver. Between the two, I would probably go for the Royal Blue for boosting.

  45. mickey701 says:

    hello, i love your site. however, “Vox, Fenders and similar amps has very little mid range and are therefore not ideal for a Muff.” is only partly true. Vox and Marshalls (especially Vox) have lots of mids. ESPECIALLY VOX. otherwise, I LOVE YOUR SITE! keep up the good work!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Well, that depends on how you use the Vox. In a bedroom setup, with low volume, the Vox can’t produce enough mids. At least not compared to a Marhsall or Hiwatt. If you do crank it for tube and speaker compression, then the mids start to appear. Especially with the treble rolled back. But yes, they’re not as scooped as some Fenders.

  46. Henry says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thank you for your fabulous site that provides hour upon hour of delicious procrastination while I’m at work!

    I’ve been having a few issues replication a general DG-esque tone for a while and I’m wondering if it’s my poor choice of having a Little Big Muff. I’d really like to emulate the Delicate/Division Bell/Pulse solo tones, but I’m struggling to get anywhere close, and I’m almost tearing my hair out… I have the following set-up:

    Strat w/DG-20s > Boss CS2 > EHX Little Big Muff > Boss BD2 > Mooer CE2 Clone > Mooer Electric Mistress Clone > Boss DD3

    Going in to a Fender Supersonic Twin (very recent addition and still getting used to it).

    Is there something wrong with my chain? Could you perhaps suggest settings for boosting the Muff with a BD2? I’d be unimaginably appreciative.

    Thank you again for all the work you’ve put in to your site, it’s a fantastic resource and we’re all very grateful!

    Keep rocking, Henry

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Henry. Thanks for your kind words! Sorry for my late reply. Although you should be able to get some nice tones with that setup, I think it would be easier with a different Muff model and perhaps also an amp. I haven’t tried the Supersonic myself, but from what I understand, it’s fairly scooped and it hasn’t much compression. This makes Muffs sound thin and harsh. I’d consider a more suitable pedal for the amp, like a Rat or OCD kind of thing. Check out the Overdrive and Distortion buyer’s guide for some tips and check out this feature as well, for some tone tips.

      • htdb90 says:

        Thanks for your comprehensive reply, Bjorn, I really appreciate it. Just a quick follow-on:

        Do you think it’s possible to compensate for an Amp’s lack of Midrange with adding EQ boosts from the pedal board?

        Thanks so much again!

        • Bjorn says:

          To some extent, yes. An amp’s tone and character is much more than just boosting and cutting certain frequencies with an EQ pedal but you can use one to shape and tweak your pedals and overall sound.

  47. Skyler Humphrey says:

    I’m starting to get the big muff to sound like Gilmour. However, how do you clean it up some? I’ve noticed when I’m not soloing the pedal makes my amp sound like a roaring ocean. Should I add a noise gate or something?
    Thanks, Skyler

    • Bjorn says:

      The Big Muff doesn’t clean up that well as it has a lot of gain. It’s not like a fuzz or overdrive, which easily can be cleaned up by rolling off the guitar volume. It’s better to use the Muff for specific parts and either go clean or use a overdrive for the rhythm parts.

  48. Greg from Cali says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    Thanks for always taking the time to get to our questions. This site has taught me so much about tone, and how to set up proper rigs for live and home use. One thing that I always wondered about was: has Gilmour ever used the Muff with the neck pickup? Where in Floyd songs does Gilmour use the neck pickup? I know I have seen him on the neck pickup before but just I can’t remember where!
    A little background: my “favorite Gilmour tone” rig goes American Shawbucker Strat -> Vicks 73 Rams Head Muff – > Fender Deluxe into normal channel with flat EQ, bass on 3.5, volume 7 -> 1978 Deluxe Mistress -> Strymon TimeLine -> Boss CE-2. I noticed for a long time that when I try to use the neck pickup with the Muff, it gets too woofy and woolly, almost “too fat, too much gain and bass” when I use it on the neck in my Strat (Fat 50s.) The notes get smothered over each other and aren’t articulate except on the higher strings. Now, I have a humbucker in the bridge of this Strat – just a regular Shawbucker – and the bridge with that rig, nails my favorite Gilmour solo tones perfectly.
    I read an interview from November ’84 (it was in Guitar Player magazine) that Gilmour himself said, he uses the bridge pickup “virtually all the time”. I can’t remember DG ever using the neck pickup on his classic, meanest solos (e.g. Young Lust, Time, Comfortably Numb), and when he has a clean solo I have noticed him on using the neck before when live or on video (but I can’t remember what songs! Maybe Coming Back To Life?)
    Do you know what I’m talking about above, re: using the neck pickup with the Muff? I think I’m probably tripping over something that the Muff just wasn’t designed to do, but I wanted to see if it wasn’t just me or that something I’m doing wrong. It sounds “Gilmourish” to a tee on the bridge but it’s a mess on the neck pickup, I’m thinking it’s probably just normal. I come from a thrash/speed metal background, the Muff is definitely not the kind of distortion pedal I am used to, lol. Just trying to learn how to tame the beast.

    Some more thoughts to throw out there:
    1) How’s this for an article – pickup positions and how they influence the tone of your playing! Using DG examples of course.
    2) After years and years of obsession over Gilmour tone, it becomes clear to me that the secret to Gilmour’s huge tones with the Big Muff are all to do with maximum volume and high headroom amps – ironically the same as another of my guitar favorites, SRV! Luckily, with your excellent site, I can cop these kind of tones any day of the week now, without pissing off the neighbors.
    3) Isn’t it a darn shame that Delicate Sound Of Thunder has never been released on DVD… that was my favorite Floyd concert video and I used to watch in everyday on VHS when I was a kid. That’s what got me into Floyd/Gilmour in the first place.

    – Greg from Cali.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Greg! I’ve never seen him use the neck pickup with a Muff, although I could be mistaken. That pedal sounds much better with the bridge pickup and David rarely use the neck for those high gain solos. Only time I’ve seen and heard him use the neck extensively for a high gain solo, is with a Rat (or recently a Tube Driver) for What Do You Want from Me. Personally I don’t think Muffs sound any good with the neck and I always use the bridge.

      • Greg from Cali says:

        Thanks for the reply Bjorn. Yes I totally agree with you on this, he probably only uses the neck pickup for clean solos with the Tube Driver or for “Shine On” and whatnot.
        I can get a good solo tone from neck pickup and Muff but only if I use my Keeley compressor or Buffalo FX Power Booster after the Muff. Then set the Muff sustain (aka Muff gain) lower and raise the comp or Power Booster’s gain. This way the bottom strings don’t “fart out.” The best Gilmour lead tone I ever got was that Vicks Audio ’73 Ram’s Head with a Keeley compressor after it. Comp sustain at noon, comp Level at 9 o clock. You have to use a little less gain/sustain than when the Muff is on its own but this added with a Boss CE-2, Electric Mistress and some digital delay gets spot on “Wall” tones all night long. The Vicks always sounds good even on scoop mode on bedroom volume (use a low wattage amp, you got to get those power tubes cooking!) For tone/price value it’s excellent.

        What you said about RAT + neck for WDYWFM, man it’s so true. That nails that tone 100% along with the needed modulation + delay. I have a 1985 RAT which I absolutely love. The RAT is a really awesome distortion pedal and can sound 99% like a Muff-with-a-booster-after-it. Low strings do not fart out either unless the gain is excessively high – I mean like, almost 100%.

        Have you ever tried boosting a Muff with an HM-2? I know, I know, it sounds like blasphemy, but according to Kit Rae this HM-2 into Muff combo can get spot-on Delicate tones with a Fender style amp. I know you are not a big proponent for the HM-2 but I was curious. Makes me want to get an HM-2 just to try it. Love me those 80s Gilmour tones.

        Keep up the awesome work on this site man!

  49. Aidan says:

    Hello Bjorn! First off, I want to say how much i love your site. However, what is your overall opinion on the Big Muff with tone wicker? http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BigMuffPiW
    Thank you,

  50. Dylan says:

    Bit of a noob here to the online community so if this is in the wrong spot I apologize. I’ve been reading some of these comments and q and as looking for answers to a problem with a big muff pi I have. I just bought it on the weekend, went to play Saturday and realized that even when this beast is turned off it dramatically enhances the volume of my guitar and murks my clean tone. I only have a couple other pedals I use in chain with it which are a boss delay and an ibanez ts9. The muff is an American newer model. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Dylan, welcome to the site! The current US Big Muffs have true bypass, so there shouldn’t be any increase or colouring of the signal. Could you please list your chain from the guitar to the amp? What amp and pickups you’re using as well.

  51. Rolf Anders Høve says:

    Hey Bjørn, what would you recommend as a happy medium between Muff and Rat? I’ve a had RAT on my board for sometime, but couldn’t get around the bass-loss, noise and boxy/middy tone, and always found the Muff’s I’ve tried to boomy and uncontrollable. I’m considering something like the Toptone DG2, or maybe Pig Hoof MKII, looking for a “general” Gilmour-like smooth lead-tone, adding generous delay and a touch of chorus


    • Bjorn says:

      Hei Rolf! Do you want a Muff that sounds less like a Muff or a distortion, that sounds more like a Muff? Hard question, I know, but you could go with something like the Mojo Hand Iron Bell, which is a Muff tweaked closer to a Rat. Or, if you want something very versatile, that can cover pretty much anything, I’d go for the Buffalo FX Evolution. You’ll find reviews for both here on the site. The Evolution is based on the Cornish G2, as is the TopTone DG2, but it’s much smoother and the distortion more linear, which means that you can crank it, without too much noise and thinning of the tone.

  52. marcel815 says:

    Hi! Does anyone know by any chance, what gear was used by Snowy White during the solo of Another Brick In The Wall – in 1980? It can be heard at “Is There Anybody Out There”. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      According to the Comfortably Numb – A History of The Wall (Fitch/Mahon) book, he used the Les Paul Gold Top and a combo of a Hiwatt Dr103 and Fender Showman. Hard to tell what effects he might have used for that song, but the guitar sounds pretty clean for the rhythms, with perhaps an Electric Mistress. For the solo I’m guessing a Cornish treble and bass boost, which is similar to the Colorsound Powerboost.

  53. Akshay Thapa says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a Fender strat going through the Laney Cub 10 with 6V6 tubes, so not a mid pronounced amp.
    I really want to nail the lead tone on the Comfortably Numb solo and hence ended up here. Have been reading around the site and finally came to this article.
    I only have space left for a mini pedal on my board and hence I was looking at the Mooer Triangle Buff. But as you said the Mooer has scooped mids, it probably wouldn’t work with my amp. So should I go with the Black Secret? Will it be able to provide the singing sustain that Gilmour’s tone has?
    If not, should I just go with the Triangle Buff and put a TS after it? Will that work?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! The Blac Secret, or the original RAT, has lots of sustain so no worries there. A Big Muff will work nicely on your amp but the Black Secret is no doubt a more versatile pedal. Adding a TS after a Muff often makes the Muff sound too dark and muddy so I wouldn’t go there.

      • Akshay Thapa says:

        Hi Bjorn, thanks for your response. I also have a Klone on the way so I can probably go on the lines of the 3rd tone that you’ve suggested.
        Could you also tell me what settings should I use on the Black Secret and Klone to get as close as possible to the Comfortably Numb solo tone?

        Thank you!

        • Bjorn says:

          I’d start with the Black Secret. Set it up for a fat and warm distortion tone that matches your clean amp. If you need more gain or just something to open up the tone a bit, add the Klon with a fairly clean setting. The actual settings depends very much on your rig and how the amp is set so it really no point in me trying to guess.

  54. Jason says:

    Sorry if you’ve already answered this one, but I was at a local shop testing some pedals and absolutely fell in love with the Catalinbread Naga Viper treble booster, boosting an Earthquaker The Dunes (tubescreamer-ish). Have you ever boosted a muff with a treble booster? I’m curious how it sounds…

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it but from what I understand, you can use the range control to add a bit more mids, which goes very well with a Big Muff. I’m sure the Naga will both add a bit of boost and that needed presence.

      • Jason says:

        It can! The Naga can do a fairly regular clean boost (full range) or straight treble. I tried it with my Soothsayer too and it sounded great. It sounds good enough that I’m gonna try it anywho. If I don’t dig the Muff + Naga Viper too much, it won’t be a huge deal for me since the Vick Audio Triangle does sound quite good on it’s own already. Thanks Bjorn!

  55. Norrigan says:

    Hello, Bjorn!

    Thank you for the article!!!

    Could you help me?

    When boosting miss with an EQ for leads… do you put it before or after dirt? I know after will boost volume, and before will add gain… but if before, will the mid boost push through the dirt pedal for an end result of a fat mid lead tone?

    Thank you,
    Paulo Cruz

  56. dmitry says:

    Hello, Bjorn!
    Very VERY good article!!! Thank you for that!!!
    I have a question for you)
    Resently I reciewed a Pig Hoof. Pedal is super and I boost it with clean BD–2.

    Pig Hoof settings:
    Volume: unity
    Tone 11 o’clock
    Sustain 13 o’clock

    BD-2 Settings:
    Volume: unity
    Gain: 9 o’clock
    Tone: 9 o’clock

    With that settings I get a very sweet and nice tone.

    But when, I want to play Time and want to use a BD-2 as an Overdrive for rhitms and put a Pig hoof on the top for solo, it sounds very muddy and not clear.

    Pig Hoof settings:
    Volume: unity
    Tone 11 o’clock
    Sustain 11 o’clock

    BD-2 Settings:
    Volume: unity
    Gain: 13 o’clock
    Tone: 13 o’clock

    I understand that there is too much gain overall, but i need a gain from BD-2 to play rhitms, and rolling back a sustain on Pig hoof even to 9 o’clock doesn’t really help.

    How would you deal with it?

    I play AmStrat SSL-5 – Pig Hoof – BD-2 – Laney 12R (laney is set up clean)

    Thank You

    • Bjorn says:

      That’s a tough one. As you’ve noticed, boosting a Muff with lots of gain, only make it sound dark and muddy. My suggestion is that you either use the two pedals separately on Time, or, place the Muff and clean BD2 is a looper, allowing you to switch on both, and get a second overdrive for the rhythms.

  57. Ed says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Thank you for this info, i modified my MAde in USA Muff with lowgain transistors and lost the “beesnest sound”;=)
    Really made a big diffrence less muddy les extreem high notes verry open sound.
    I built a Hiwatt 50 custom from scratch but as our practice place recently burned down I cant test this untill next month.
    Keep up the good work!


    • Bjorn says:

      Yeah, those new Muffs probably sound better with less of everything :) Sorry to hear about your rehearsal studio. Good luck with finding a new one :)

  58. Simon says:

    Superb site !! I know you advise not to go out and buy an original Rams Head Muff due to cost,inconsistent parts/reliability etc – Why did/does DG use a vintage one ?
    I happen to have an orginal RH and recently dug it out and was surprised how good it sounds. Do you know if anyone has original screw types that match the thread of the originals, the 4 chrome ones preferably in the UK ?. The Muff set up info is excellent I have a Tube Driver which may be best for the boosting you suggest although I have not got on with it. I will persevere. The Durham Sex Drive is working well with the Muff. Lastly I am considering a Buffalo Evolution to complement the Muff for different tones, in your opinion is this a good idea and not too alike sounding to the Muff ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, David has been using Muffs since the mid 70s and I’m sure he has a big bunch of them that he’s bought over the years. They are, as far as I know, all modified to perform and sound their best. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy a vintage one but if you do, you risk paying A LOT and get one that sounds bad or has parts that haven’t aged well. It would be a shame if you got one of those and I know there are lots of shitty Big Muffs circulating. A clone is a better buy… but you don’t get the mojo :) Tonewise, if you’re lucky to have a vintage one that sound great then it doesn’t stand back for any clone that’s out there.

  59. chris says:

    salut Bjorn,
    j ai uen question a te poser au sujet des pedales mooer. Voila je voulais s avoir si je peux mettre dans mon pedale board 1 triangle mooer + bd3, 2w + ensemble king mooer + tc delay 2290 ?
    pour le ton comfortably numb et autres ?
    matos laney cub en rodage + plaque 920 d custom shop

  60. Eddy says:

    How can I best use my bedroom setup?
    Stratocaster with Fender CS69 pickups>Boss BD-2>Electronic Orange Pig Hoof red>MXR Carbon Copy>Peavey Classic 30.
    The settings you listed for the Peavey Amp are way too loud for a bedroom.
    Thank you

  61. Tanner says:

    Hey Bjorn! I’ve been really looking into my muff tone lately and trying to figure out what can make it better. I have a Super Reverb and a Mooer Triangle Buff. I’ve tried different boosts and twisted all the knobs I can but it just doesn’t sound quite right to me. Considering I’m playing at bedroom level and a new amp isn’t really an option for me, what would you recommend for a better muff tone? I was thinking about trying a GE-7 EQ. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Muffs doesn’t have that much mid range and the Fender amp certainly doesn’t so you might experience a fizzy and thin tone with the Triangle Buff. I’d look into a Muff with more mids, like the EXH Bass Muff or one of the other Sovtek clones. You might also want to adjust the settings on your amp a tad. Roll back the treble and increase the mids.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.


  64. 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.


  65. 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.

  66. 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

  67. 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.


    • 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.

  68. 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!!


        • 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.

  69. 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 ?

    • 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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?

    • 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.

  72. 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!

  73. 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.

  74. Ed says:

    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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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?



  77. 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:)


  78. 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?


    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.


        Joao bicudo.

  79. 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.

  80. Jeff says:

    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?

    • 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 :)

  81. Joby Hook says:

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

  82. 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.

  83. 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

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. Mr Muff says:

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

  88. Noah says:

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


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

  89. 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]

  90. Andy says:

    Nearly Christmas!;)

  91. 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]

  92. 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]

  93. john says:

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

    [Soon :) – Bjorn]

  94. 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]

  95. 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]

  96. Loic says:

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

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

  97. Przemek says:

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

  98. Mr Muff says:

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

  99. 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]

  100. 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]

  101. 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]

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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]

  105. 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]

  106. 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]

  107. 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]

  108. 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]

  109. Mark says:

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


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

  110. 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]

  111. Ben says:

    Hey Bjorn,

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


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

  112. 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]

  113. 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]

  114. 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]

  115. 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]

  116. 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]

  117. 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]

  118. 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]

  119. Brian says:

    Understood and thanks!

  120. Brian says:


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

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

  121. 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]

  122. 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]

  123. 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.

  124. 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]

  125. 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]

  126. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

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


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

  127. Brad says:


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

    Many thanks!

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

  128. MVO Custom Shop says:


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


  129. james says:

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

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

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

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

  130. 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]

  131. 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 …

  132. 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]

  133. 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.

  134. 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]

  135. 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.

  136. Ed says:

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

  137. 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.

  138. 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]

  139. Ross says:

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

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

  140. Lim says:

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

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

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

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


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

  141. Dave says:

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

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

  142. 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]

  143. 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]

  144. 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]

  145. 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]

  146. 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]

  147. ferdinand says:

    Great article Bjorn, much valuable information.

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


    Do you know anything about this amp?

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

  148. João says:

    Check this out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3LSfEEaJmQ

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

  149. 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]

  150. 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]

  151. 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]

  152. 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]

  153. Eric Nyberg says:

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

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

  154. 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.


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

  155. 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]

  156. 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]

  157. Dave says:

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

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

  158. 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]

  159. Alan says:

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

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

  160. Brad W says:


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

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

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

    Many thanks,

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

  161. 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]

  162. George says:

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


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

  163. 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]

  164. 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]

  165. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn, really inspiring article as always!

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

    Could you help to understand better?


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

  166. Nick Veekens says:

    Hi Björn,

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

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

    Grtz from the Nehtherlands,


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

  167. 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]

  168. 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]

  169. Rod says:

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

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

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

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

    I have the amp set at your recommendations (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]

  170. 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.

  171. 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]

  172. 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.


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

  173. Brad says:

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


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

  174. Bart Logtens says:

    Hey Bjorn,

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

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


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


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

  175. 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]

  176. 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]

  177. 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]

  178. 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]

  179. 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]

  180. 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]

  181. 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]

  182. 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]

  183. 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]

  184. 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]

  185. 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]

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