• Buffalo FX Patriot review

    Buffalo FX Patriot review

    David Gilmour’s tones on the 1994 Division Bell tour are many fans’ favourite and not least the huge, smooth sounding distortion on songs like Sorrow and Comfortably Numb. Many have tried to create a pedal that’ll produce the same wall of sound and the latest addition is the Patriot from Buffalo FX. Here’s my review.

    Of course, the pedal we’re talking about, the one David used back in ’94, is the so-called Civil War Big Muff. The pedal was the first generation of the Sovtek Big Muffs. A company started by Electro Harmonix founder and Big Muff inventor Mike Matthews after he’d started the production in Russia in the early 90s. The Civil War Muff is known for its huge tone, with lots of gain, a hint of mid range and silky smooth sustain.

    I did a review of Buffalo’s Ram’s Head NOS BC239c about a year ago and I’ve been hooked on their pedals ever since. They seem to have figured out how to make good sounding clones and what it takes to make them fit modern gear, without compromising the original tone and mojo. The Patriot is no exception and there’s really no other word than “huge” that comes to mind when I’m trying to describe the pedal.

    The Patriot is available as both a standard model (TRex sized) and tall box (MXR but taller). Both circuits are identical. The pedal feature controls for gain, tone and volume as well as an internal trimpot for rolling off some of the low end (not that it needs it). It runs on 9V battery or (Boss-style adapter) and there’s true bypass switching.

    Big Muffs comes in all variations. Some are mild and balanced, while others are aggressive and bright. Some are boomy, while others tends towards harsh. The Patriot fills the entire room. It’s not boomy but the low end is perfectly balanced. The top is smooth and the mid range adds a nice presence. Over all, the pedal is on the darker side of the spectrum but not as dark as the Colossus or Box of War. Alone, in your bedroom, the Patriot maintains its tone even on the lower volume levels and in a band setup, the pedal cuts through effortlessly.

    I had great fun making this review. I plugged the pedal and a Boss DD2 straight into my Reeves Custom 50 and cranked the hell out of the amp. I expected an uncontrollable screaming feedback but once engaged, the Buffalo started to rumble. It started way down below and the guitar and amp started shaking. Then I heard a feedback that slowly grew into a sweet singing sustain. Without even thinking, I was already half way into Sorrow.

    Now, is it really all that good? Well, personally I prefer the ram’s head. It’s closer to the tones I like and use in my own music. Still, the very first Big Muff I got was a green Sovtek and these early models has always been very special and great fun to go back to and play around with.

    I can’t really put my finger on anything other than if you’re desperately seeking David’s Animals and Wall tones, then the Buffalo probably ain’t your best choice. However, in my very subjective opinion, this is as close as you’ll ever get to the Civil War Big Muff and David’s lead tones on PULSE. See Buffalo-FX.com for more details and check out Brett Kingman’s review too for more on the different settings and tones.

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80 Responsesso far.

  1. Diego says:

    Your video was very persuasive… I live in Brazil, but, in order to get that pedal, I ordered it from home to a US store (at the french store it was out of stock) and had it delivered to a friend’s home in Canada. After all, it was worth the effort. I absolutely love the sound of it.
    I have a question, though. The Unity volume is around 10%. Is that correct?

  2. Randolph Werner says:

    Hello Bjorn. Awesome reviews as always. Anyway, I own an original Sovtek Big Muff ii civil war pedal, and I am looking for a modern alternative that produces very much the same tone and is quieter. I do love the original pedal and will use it for recording but I need something that is better suited for live and bedroom playing from a hiwatt custom 50. Any suggestions? How does the Buffalo FX Patroit or Vick Audio 1861 measure up ?

    • Bjorn says:

      I think the Patriot is the best match. Its probably a tad darker than the original but it’s the only clone that I’ve played that has that slightly throaty character and that fat attack. I really like the 1861 too. It has slightly less low end and it a tad brighter but definitely among the best in my opinion. Still, I’d go for the Patriot.

    • Ryan says:

      For what it’s worth, I have a Patriot and it works very well in a bedroom setting. It’s one of the better fuzz/distortions I’ve owned in terms of playing at reasonable volumes and maintaining a good tone. Although, much like Bjorn, I too prefer a Ram’s head tone which is why I’m selling it =/

  3. Fred says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’m not a tone specialist, so you may find my question stupid. What would be the main points of comparisons between a Buffalo FX PATRIOT and EVOLUTION ? Which one to choose and why ? (I already have a OCD – Are they better?) – Thanking you in advance I guess you have a lots of comments and answers to bring…

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Fred! Sorry for my very late reply. The Evolution is very similar to the OCD. More of a distortion, close to a Marshall, with a dark creamy tone, lots of gain and mid range. The Patriot is a Big Muff, based on the early 90s Sovtek models. It’s close to a fuzz, with an open uncompressed tone. I would say that the Evolution is more versatile. Two very different gain pedals so which one to choose depends on what amp you have and what tones you’re looking for.

  4. Clément says:

    You will say : It depends wich king of song you want (right ;-) ) , so I answer to you > I want the song in “On a Island” solo and “Comfortably numb” 2nd solo from Royal Albert Hall or Gdansk live…

    Thanks !

  5. Charles Sola says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I’m a fan of your site and I’m ready to start working on my Gilmour tone.

    Right now I’m running a strat with Kinnman Woodstock + pickups into a Fender Princeton Reverb.

    I have a few dirt pedals (White face rat, Analogman Tube screamer, and Keely Blues Driver). My preferred setup is a DLS in Superbass mode for low gain and an Angry Charlie for JCM 800 tones.

    I want to add either a silicon fuzz or a muff to get the Gilmour tone. I know the DLS stacks well with Fuzz Face type pedals, but do you know if the Patriot will stack with with a plexi-type foundation?


    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, it will. Marshalls has a lot of mid range and compression and the DLS is on the brighter side as well. You might find that the Muff sounds a bit more aggressive than when paired with a Hiwatt or even a Fender but some tweaking on the amp and pedal should solve that.

  6. chad chacchia says:


    I have come to find that even when I find a Gilmour tone that I like, I want to get it even better. Your site makes me feel good, as I am not alone. Man Ruud’s clip of Sorrow and then him asking if he could improve says it all. Of coarse after hearing your clip of the Patriot, I now feel the same way. I have been using the Soothsayer for a while now boosted with either a Tube works Real tube or a Wampler Euphoria. My question is this, how much different is the sound on the Patriot. My understanding is it is Muff based, while the Soothsayer is Rat based. I am playing through a Mesa Lone Star now with 6l6’s. I am using the Tc Electronics G-system as my effects with my drives in the loops. I like the idea of the pedal being a stand alone and not really needing the boost. I am looking for the huge pulse sound for sure. So overall, would that pedal bond well with my rig and do you think it will be a dramatically different sound than the Soothsayer. I really dig the Soothsayer tone, but I would like a bit more of the muff bite, yet keeping the smooth overtone. I hope that all makes sense! As usual, thank you so much for all you do for us Gilmour nuts.


    • Bjorn says:

      I would say that on your amp, the Soothsayer is probably a better choice compared to the Patriot. The Patriot is, as far as my ears can tell, dead on David’s PULSE tones but you’d have to have a Hiwatt or something similar. Compared to most other mids scooped Muffs, the Patriot will work better on your amp but the Soothsayer, with its huge amount of compression, gain and mids, will do a better job.

      • chad chacchia says:

        Thank you! I was holding off on purchasing one until I heard back. I had a couple of other questions. I have been listening to your demo’s, which by the way make everything sound like I need everything Buffalo. What about the Evolution vs the Soothsayer..on my rig? I was also considering the Power booster or the TD-X or maybe both. I am currently using the Wampler Euphoria and The Tube works Real Tube…Euphoria for the clean boost and Real Tube for the Dirtier stuff. Would the Buffalo FX be a drastic improvement over those? Eventually I am going to purchase a Reeves Custom 50 or a Hitone, but not for probably another year, so I will be sticking to the Lone Star for a while. Lastly your Sunday jamming videos are fantastic. I’ll be honest I think my tone chase has switched to you! You really have a fantastic tone Bjorn. I can’t wait to hear the new album. Lastly, once again thank you so much for all you do. I can not overstate that. The Floyd tribute I am in has begun studio rehearsals and I have been getting great feedback on my tone. You have become a mentor from far away and I am quite grateful.


        • Bjorn says:

          Thank you so much for your kind words, Chad! Sorry for my very late reply. The Evolution is similar to the Soothsayer, so that would work well. The TDX should also do nicely, while the Powerbooster will probably sound a bit too bright on your amp. Cheers!

  7. Daren says:

    Thanks, Bjorn! That was epic. That is the sound I’ve been looking for.

  8. Mike M says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I’m not sure if you ever played a Vick Audio Black Russian, but if you have, how would you compare it to the Buffalo FX Patriot? Thanks!

  9. Karl says:

    Hi Born

    As usual your review and clip is awesome. I just ordered a Patriot. I’ve been using a Red Muck and really love it but it’s a very touchy pedal. I’m looking for to seeing if I can dial my tone in closer to David’s Pulse tone. I’ll send you an update after I get the Patriot.


  10. Hello Bjorn,

    thanks for all these great reviews !I wonder if you can help me figure out what to buy….the Buffallo FX Patriot (or Rams Head 239C) or the Red Muck Jam Pedal ?
    I’ m playing through a MarshaLL 205 Head with 4×30 Greenbacks cabinet
    PRS Custom 24, Gibson LP Classic, Duesenberg Starplayer

    Heaving already a Boss BD2 on my pedaltrain which I should(can) use after the Red Muck as you say, I cannot make that decision ,or should I play the patriot without BD ?

    Thanks !!!!!!!


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for Your kind Words, Marc! Both are Versions of the early 90s Sovtek Muffs. The Red Muck is much more tamed and perhaps more amp-like, with less gain and low end. The Patriot is huge, with lots of gain and saturation. Depends on where you want to og. They both have unique qualities and based on Your rig, I think the Red Muck would be thye best choice.

  11. David S. says:

    This review sold me on this pedal. I ordered mine today and I’m so pumped to plug in. I’ve been on the fence about buying it, but it seemed like I was just delaying the inevitable. David’s PULSE tones are what inspired me to pick up a guitar in the first place and now I’m one step closer to my goal. Bjorn, I admire your dedication to your site and thanks for your help in making this an easy decision for me.

  12. pcscharfe says:

    Bjorn… Holy #%$!

    Truly incredible. I have never heard a mortal create such a huge guitar sound, haha… Congratulations to you and to Buffalo EFX. I am in awe. You play it perfectly and that tone is the closest I have ever heard to Gilmour’s “Sorrow.” Such massive sound with beautiful feedback and sustain. Well done!

    Question: If you plug in your classic Black Strat w/ SSL5s, how close can you get to the same tone? Are the EMG DG20s essential to your sound in this particular clip? If you have tips for players without active pups to help sculpt the tone a bit, that would be great.


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks! Yeah, that pedal really nocks your socks off! The EMGs adds a bit of mid range and warmth I guess although that’s not really needed with this pedal as it has lots of mids on its own. You might have trouble getting the same fat tone with typically vintage low output single coils but the SSL5 has lots of mids, which gives you much of the same result as the EMGs. Being passive, it will be a tad more noise but I didn’t have much problem with that really.

  13. Mr Muff says:

    Hi bjorn,great review as always.Im on the lookout for a muff as Ive been without one for a few months.You say the patriot has more mids than the rams head,so do you reckon the patriot would work better with a mesa mark v?The mesa’s clean channel is similar to a fender i guess.So slightly scooped.Cheers

    • Bjorn says:

      I would thin so yes. It’s not that a ram’s head Muff wouldn’t work but mid range will make the tone cut through more and, on lower bedroom volume, it will sound fatter.

  14. David says:

    I´m going to buy a Muff this holidays and I´m between the Blackout Effectors Musket, the Blunderbuss or Buffalo-fx Patriot. What do you think about it?

    [What amp and guitar are you using? What Big Muff tones are you looking for? Based on the pedals alone I’d go for the Patriot. – Bjorn]

  15. The French Dude says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I recently bought the patriot. It seems awesome but I can not have the volume button over the first quarter. If I go up it sound reaaaaally loud for my house. Is that normal or I don’t have something ?

    Thanks for help!

    [It’s normal. Doesn’t matter where the dials are as long as it sounds great :) The Patriot has a lot of everything really… – Bjorn]

    • Diego says:

      have the same “problem” but not at home but in shows for 300/400 people. I can not give volume to the pedal because it really goes up too much. That’s why he works at low volumes and I’m afraid I’m not getting the best out of the pedal

  16. Itu says:

    Hi Bjørn,

    I’ve been following your site for a while and it has been a great inspiration both for Gilmour-geekiness and tone-hunting in general. You really put your heart and soul into it.

    I wanted to ask your opinion on something. Considering that I will be getting a Buffalo Evolution too (that thing sounds incredible in the demos!), which (Patriot/Rams Head) is more different-sounding to the Evolution? I know that the Evolution is in a different category altogether, but I am looking at the most versatile setup. I like both classic and Pulse tones, so I am in a bit of a dilemma.

    Tusen takk for hjelpen! Keep up the good work.

    [Thanks for your kind words! The Patriot is the most “PULSE-ish” of the Muffs. It’s a close clone of the Sovtek model David used in ’94. It depends on your amp though as some amps doesn’t handle Muffs that well. The Patriot has more mid range and a slightly warmer tone than most, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I think the combo of the Evolution and Patriot will cover what of what you’re looking for :) – Bjorn]

  17. John says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I’m sorry once again to bug you. I know I’m wearing you out I just wanted to share an update to the above post regarding my attempt to get that Sorrow tone from your Sunday Jam. I decided to turn off the Power Booster, switch to my slightly brighter yet smooth Fender 65 deluxe RI, and roll the volume up on the Patriot while opening up the CS-2 a bit for more Headroom. Anyway, it’s right on now Brother! Can’t forget about the Fender amps. Also helped adjusting the SPC control to fit the new changes. Only difference is a noticeable amount of extra noise from the high gain and the RT20 swirling around. Also thank you so much for your replies to my recent comments. I respect and appreciate your input and taking the time to help us all out, especially when I’m sending so many. I’m sure you can relate to the excitement that comes with nailing some of these tones! Thats’s all for now. I’ll try to give you a break but Next I’ll be picking your brain for tips on the mercurial Tube Driver! Thanks a lot man, for everything.

    [No worries, John :) See my reply to your previous comment. – Bjorn]

  18. John says:

    I was reluctant to comment again. I was afraid I wasn’t making the cut comment-wise until I read of Facebook that you’ve been having some issues. Listen man, I just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying the Sunday Jams. It’s unbelievably helpful as a Gilmour tone seeker to hear some of the combinations of pedals that we’ve all discussed on this page. I have managed to acquire most of the gear needed for each era and sometimes I need to get a better understanding of a certain pedal or adjust my levels, etc. The “Sorrow” jam was particularly interesting to me because of the tone your getting(I must mention that your guitar playing is absolutely stellar by the way) . I mean, you nailed that Pulse tone spot on. I own most of the pedals you’ve reviewed and/or mentioned that Gilmour used and I have the Patriot, the CE-2, CS-2, RT-20, etc. Plugged them up last night with a TC Nova Delay at the end of the chain, and the Power Booster after the Patriot in case, all into my Laney CUB stack with my Red Strat but it just ain’t there. I mean It’s very close, but not near what you were getting. One thing is I haven’t figured out the Patriot, It’s so damn loud and hard to tame. Another is I’m not really sure how to use the CS-2 or any compressor for this type of tone, so my settings may be off on that one. Otherwise, pedals in order, levels correct, and gear is the same besides the amp. I don’t expect you to know what the issue is without hearing it, but if you have a secret you don’t mind sharing, it would be appreciated. I would like to know if you used the Power Booster on that clip though. Thanks for your time. Sorry to for the long post.

    [Hi John! Glad you liked the clip :) The effects chain is as mentioned in the clip: guitar > Boss CS2 > Patriot > Boss CE2 > Boss RT20 > amp. The delays were added in Logic but you can use the Flashback too set to 700ms. I tried to record the tone as close as possible to what I was hearing in my home studio but it will always be coloured to some extent by the mic and its position. I’m also using the EMG pickups, which has a slightly processed tone. The SPC mid range control is set to about 4, which gives the overall tone a bit more presence. The Patriot is very loud so you need to keep the volume low or at unity with the amp. I also think it sounds best alone, without any booster. The compressor should add sustain and balance the tone but if you set the volume too high, you’re basically adding gain, which is not what you want. Here are the settings:
    Boss CS2: level 2:00, attack 11:00, sustain 10:00. Patriot: gain 1:00, tone 11:00, volume 10:00. Boss CE2: speed 1:00, depth 10:30. Boss RT20: mode 1, effect 8:30, direct 11:00, balance 11:00, gain 0, slow 1:00. Hope this helped :) – Bjorn]

  19. david says:


    I really prefer the tones from Comfortably numb over the Pulse tones, just a bit more dynamic and defined to me. I was watching a guy on youtube nail some gilmour tones with the Red Muck boosted by a tube screamer and wondered if you think I could achieve some comfortably numb tones similar to his with the Red muck or would you recommend the patriot?
    Heres the video: http://youtu.be/tFLC2rVnuEI
    or you can just search youtube for Red muck and he’s one of the top 3 hits just sitting in front of his amp.
    boosted red muck or the patriot?



    [Depends on your amp and pickups. The Red Much is very similar to the Patriot although not as huge sounding. You could go either way I guess. Perhaps the Red Muc for Wall and the Patriot for PULSE. – Bjorn]

  20. Joshj says:

    Oh, I see. So, since I already have the rams head muff from BYOC, its would be make more sense for my next purchase to be the emg pups, and then i should be able to get a decent DSOT/pulse tone while im saving up for the patriot muff?

    [Given that you have a similar amp to the Hiwatts, yes. – Bjorn]

  21. Joshj says:

    Why is it that delicate sound of thunders guitar tone is so similar to pulse, and often gets put in the same category together, yet david used the rams head muff on delicate and the sovtek on PULSE? Am i missing something?

    [The Ram’s Head and Sovteks aren’t that different to each other. They’re both Big Muffs although with some distinct characteristics. He also used the EMG pickups on Delicate, including similar sounding overdrives and chorus, which was a huge part of his tone in both decades. – Bjorn]

  22. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Great review! I recently received my Patriot and tested it on my Lionheart. Maybe its the SSL5 in the bridge or the the amount of low end the Lionheart has, but I couldn’t get it to sound good with my strat. It just sounded boomy. How much volume do I need to get it to sound gilmourish? Could you recommend some settings? (sorry for asking for recommendations for every single gear I buy BTW :) )
    Thanks a lot!

    [The Lionheart has quite a lot of low end so you might want to back off the bass all the way down to 9 o’clock or even lower. I also use the bright setting. For this clip I used these settings for the Patriot: volume 2:00, tone 11:00 and gain 3:00. – Bjorn]

  23. Jerome Whitson says:

    hey Bjorn – so did the Patriot make it onto your main board? just curious. Ill still using the P19, and sometimes I stack it with my ss-3(moderate OD setting) and it just sounds so big and plush because of the bottom end and mids on the soft sustain. Didn’t think the P19 would pair well, but with that particular Cornish unit, it does.

    Only reason I ask is because I put in on order for the Patriot tall box version. I just had to. I have always wanted the flexibility of having a great rams head, but obviously also love the good ol Civil War tone, especially one that will still get you into Gilmour Pulse land without using EMGs. I prefer still going from organic Fender clean tones to over the top Sorrow sounds!

    Cant wait to hear the solo album by the way!!!!!

    [Thanks, Jerome! I really don’t use Muffs that much anymore. I have the red Pig Hoof on my stage board that I use for one or two Airbag songs but other than that I only play them whenever I want to jam along to a Floyd backing track :) The Patriot is IMO the best sounding Sovtek Muff, which really captures the huge character of those old pedals. – Bjorn]

  24. howard says:

    hi bjorn,
    been listening and reading long and hard at your muff reviews, in my top five list of muffs that i like, which one would you choose,
    musket blackout fx
    pig hoof mk11
    buffalo patriot
    buffalo rams head bc239c
    skreddy p19

    all the best, howard,

    [Depends on what tones you want and how well the pedal goes with your guitar and amp. My personal favourite is the Pig Hoof MkI but all of these sound great. – Bjorn]

  25. Ian Knim says:

    Hi Bjorn! Great demo, first of all! Does the most recente “Buffalo Evolution” pedal from the same manufacturer deals with the Patriot’s tones (as it seems to be “more versatile”)? Success on your solo álbum.

    [Thank you, Ian! The Evolution can do similar tones but it’s not nearly as huge sounding as the Patriot. – Bjorn]

  26. Alan says:

    Not to be one to dictate what you do, but you should really make an effort to try one out, I was truly amazed by the tone this pedal gives. They aren’t too expensive for an overdrive with a tube in it (got mine for $170 CAD on ebay) and it sounds absolutely killer. Thought I’d just recommend it haha. Keep up the awesome work on this site!


    [I’ll try to get my hands on one :) – Bjorn]

  27. Alan says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    This is somewhat unrelated but I recently picked up an old Tube Works Real Tube Overdrive and I figured I would ask for your opinion on it. I personally love the tone it gives me but what do you think of it? It’s the black and yellow one with the 5 knobs.


    [Hi Alan! I’ve never had the chance to try those old black boxes… – Bjorn]

  28. jose luis says:

    My pedal Buffalo Patriot arrived and it truly is amazing. Thank you for your suggestion. That’s what I was looking for. Success for the great work.

    [Glad to hear :) – Bjorn]

  29. Gabor Illy says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    This Friday I have won the pedal giveaway of Buffalo Fx on their Facebook site, a brand new Evolution Overdrive with promised serial number of 0001:-).
    But Steve told me you have one already! I am eagrly waiting your coming review soon,how can we compare it, to Colorsound Powerboost, Pighoof Bananaboost, BD2, Cornish SS2\3, and Toptone Lightdrive, or the Wampler PlexiDrive. i have to mention the BK TubeDriver too. Perhaps the list is too long, but I am sure, that all of us looks for a versatile solution, without noise, which works correctly on smaller setups(Laney cub12 ie.), as transparent booster, or mild and creamy overdrive too.
    i hope the best, this is a gift:-) but I hope more, having the best weapon solving the overdrive versatility issue:-)
    Best wishes, nice audience, fantastic concert in Poland,
    Yours friendly:Gabor

    [Congrats! I’ve had the pedal for a few weeks now and it sounds amazing! It’s not really an overdrive though. More a clone or based on the Cornish G2, which is very close to the RAT. You can get some very nice overdrive tones with it, similar to the Tube Driver, but I think it really shines when you crank it up for that sweet fuzz-like distortion. I’ll have a review up very soon! – Bjorn]

  30. Debargho Sarkar says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I was wondering if you would do a review of the new ‘Deluxe Big Muff’ that is currently out, as Big Muffs are such an integral part of Gilmour’s sound. I recently saw a Deluxe Muff you tube video and it has some new additions like a dedicated knob to cut off the noise/hum, which can be extremely helpful. Would you suggest this pedal for a bedroom setup, keeping the tone as well as the noise/hum levels in mind?

    [I’ll try to make a review :) – Bjorn]

  31. lorenzo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    this time you made me shivering…I enjoyed this demo more than any other you made until now, if your life as a misician should fail you a have a future in the movie industry:-) few notes that make want to buy this pedal right away. Just a question: will it sound as good at bedroom volume too?

    [Thanks Lorenzo! It does work well on smaller amps and low volume but obviously, this tone was achieved by playing insanely loud :) – Bjorn]

  32. jose luis says:

    I bought the Buffalo Patriot. In a few days he arrives :)
    You could tell how you get the feedback from the introduction of sorrow?
    Thank you.

    [Play loud… – Bjorn]

  33. Howard B says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great website and talent.

    Following on from Kevin’s question above. I would be very interested to know that, if you could only have one muff pedal to recreate Gilmour’s tones from Wall through to Pulse and present, which would it be, original Pig Hoof or Patriot? Is the Pig Hoof still your main muff?

    I am playing 57 RI full Gilmour black strat spec / 57 RI with EMG’s and using BK Tube Driver as booster through Laney LC30 tube amp.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts, many thanks.


    [Hi Howard! The red label Pig Hoof… definitely :) – Bjorn]

  34. Kevin says:

    Wow. What a sound. So, realizing that each person’s preferences differ, if you had to get only one, the Buffalo Patriot or Rams Head, which would it be for you, and why? I personally am thinking of the Patriot, because it’s a little darker, but what are your thoughts?

    Thanks for what you do here, and for your awesome playing with Airbag. Come to the states some time!

    [Thanks Kevin! I’m a ram’s head fan myself but between the two from Buffalo, I think I’d go for the Patriot. Love that pedal and in most cases, these Sovtek clones has a bit more mids and are more versatile for different setups. – Bjorn]

  35. Scott M says:

    Damn Bjorn !
    That sounded like Marty Mcfly cranking up the CRM 114 in a large concert hall!
    simply awesome!
    My question is should I dump my green Sovtek in favor of this or have both for versatility?
    And how do the two compare as far as noise level?
    Thanks for another stellar review.

    [Thanks Scott! It’s very similar to the old greens so it’s more down to which one you prefer. They cover much of the same ground. The Patriot is very silent. – Bjorn]

  36. Tom says:

    Hiya Bjorn & a big thank you for your recent feedback on the Patriot!

    I am in a bit of a mindset dilemma because I’m trying to decide in between 2 pedals & I’d like to
    make a concise decision on. One of the pedals of course is the Patriot & the other is the Musket. I’ve never played either, only heard the clips & demos. As far as I’m aware, you & others mentioned that the Musket is quite a versatile pedal covering virtually all of David’s tones. Upon reading from the big muff buyers guide, I noticed you’ve listed the civil war muff as more of a DSOT & Pulse tone though you did say too that it pretty much nails stuff from Animals to Gdansk. I would like to get the one obviously that offers superior tone quality as well as flexibility. This is going to essentially be my first “true” big muff pedal. I am using a fender blues junior & a line 6 hybrid tube combo with a custom strat running Duncan ssl-5 & fender lace sensor silver + gold p’ups in mid & neck. To be perfectly honest, that huge tone & sustain of the Patriot is what intrigues me. I can only picture how well it would fare up on songs like Comfortably Numb, On the Turning Aeay & On an Island ?? However, Kit Rae mentions also that the Musket can get fairly convincing Civil War muff tones out of the Musket, as well as fairly good imitations of Wall type tones. Could the Patriot possibly have the potential to be nearly as versatile as the Musket & vice versa, could the Musket be dialled in to be as huge & majestic sounding as the Patriot ? Also, how is the noise factor in comparison & how would they behave on smaller/larger setups? So to wrap it up, which of the two in your opinion is superior in terms of the points I’ve raised ?

    Many thanks once again for the help Bjorn!
    Cheers! …

    [Hi Tom. They’re both Big Muffs, so they would basically cover the same ground and nail all of David Gilmour’s Big Muff tones. It comes down to which fits your rig the most and which has the character you’re looking for. The Musket is no doubt the most versatile, having extra features for shaping the tone. It’s a Sovtek clone, but you can tweak it towards a ram’s head as well. The Patriot is perhaps a tad limited in the sense that it sounds like a Civil War and not a ram’s head. The Musket can also do a fairly convincing distortion tone, like the RAT, although it’s not really in that range. I’ve tried both on my Blues Jr and the Musket seems to work better. For the Patriot to sound as huge as you hear on the clip, you really need to crank the hell out of it and use an amp with a fair amount of mid range, which the Fender doesn’t have. – Bjorn]

  37. David says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    As always, great review. Question for you…do you think a Royal Beaver could get remarkably close to this tone?


    [It does a fairly good early Sovtek tone but it doesn’t sound as huge as the Patriot. Still, the Royal Beaver is a great pedal with lots of options. – Bjorn]

  38. Brad Roller says:

    I agree with Tom Bjorn. My fav. Song is “The greatest show on earth” tho! And surveillance pt2! Love the direction you are heading toward. One question, what is the song redemption, about? I really like it too but I wanted to know what you guys wrote the song about. Thanks!

    [Thanks Brad! Redemption is a song about the fanatics in religion. Those who tell you what to do and in return you think you get a better life. It’s not an anti religion song but as a part of the rest of the album, it tells the story of the forces who tries, and often manage, to control our mind to gain power and wealth. – Bjorn]

  39. Gabor Illy says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    And what about the noise of these Sovtek/Civil War inspired beatuies? Comparing Toptone Dg1, Mojohand Colossus, the fantastic Civil War, and this actual Buffalo Patriot?
    It would be useful and inteseting to widen the gear evaluation with the latest tested stomps..
    Have a nice day, and congrat to Airbag’s actual anniversary! Awesome music, we are more and more in Hungary too, following your activities:-)

    [Thanks a lot! The noise level on most of the Sovtek-ish pedals is pretty low. They have a moderate amount of gain and a fairly dark character, which keeps them nice and clean :) – Bjorn]

  40. Phil says:

    that clip will sell many, many pedals
    simply awesome

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  41. Tom says:

    Hi Bjorn!!
    Sorry for posting this in this thread but I can’t find another one cause im still im shock after hearing “Call me back”
    It’s the second time (the first time being w/PF) in my life that I’ve really felt a connection with the music, it’s incredible.
    Ahh, and for all those guys saying that Airbag is too much like Pink Floyd, well, in the sense that both bands make just incredible music they’re right; other than that, not really.
    Great work, I mean, there’s nothing in that song that you can’t like at all.
    Best regards !! :)

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Tom! Much appreciated! – Bjorn]

  42. Jamie says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Having used multi fx for the last 15 years….I’ve decided it’s time to get myself some proper tone with stomp boxes! I’ve recently purchased my first pedal, the brilliant fire bottle and I love it.
    But I can’t decide on which fuzz to buy. I really liked your reviews of the buffalow fx rams head and the effectrode helios, and now the patriot…..which one should I get? Which is the most versatile? My band mostly play original material but we’re partial to throwing in a few floyd/zep/who covers, but I admit to being a total gilmour freak lol.
    I would appreciate any help and look forward to retiring my pod hd500!
    Ps ..great site great playing!

    [Depends on your amp and guitar but I’d say that between these, the Patriot would be the most versatile. Still, Big Muffs tends to be very, well, Big Muffy, so if you want versatility over authentic Gilmour tones, then check out the classic RAT, TopTone DG2 or even a Fulltone OCD. – Bjorn]

  43. David says:

    You know Bjorn, since a while ago i still have this unresolved concern: (mind my language this time) how the fuck does dave achieved that sound in the studio version of any colour you like? But i’m not talking about the auto wah, modulation, ect, but that “glassy-like-hell” ultra popping sound, if you understand me. I mean dave didn’t had a comp in that year nor i think that he achieved that sound only with his Pups, the Hiwatt and the Powerboot. one of my most bizarre experiments was to use the neck pickup and use all the treble of my amp and roll the bass and the middle all the way down LOL, but still i didnt obtained the desired effect. so what is your guess on how he got that super glassy tone? any information is acepted and appreciated.

    [Hmmm… I wish I could provide a good answer to this but the fact is that nobody really knows… apart from maybe Gilmour and Parsons… if they can remember :) I’ve been trying to figure it out but it’s really the last tone on the list… It’s a Strat, no doubt, and he used the Black Strat for the Dark Side sessions. It probably featured all single coils but a PAF humbucker was installed in early 1973, although this was probably after the main recording sessions were done. He could have used a Hiwatt, although I’m pretty sure that that glassy, bell-like chime is a Fender Tweed, which he also used on Time and many of the other songs. Crank the hell out of that one, and you get a very similar tone, with punchy lows and chimey top. He might have used a UniVibe, but the modulation isn’t quite identical, so he might have used a phaser or auto-filter from the EMS Hi-Fli. There are two guitars, one with the bridge pickup and one with the neck, which is the fattest and most bell-sounding. Now, add to this mic placement and ambience. This is very important because you can manipulate the tone a great deal with different mic positions. Parsons also used to mic cabs from a distance to get a fuller and bigger tone. There’s also a lot of reverb added to the track, which also adds to the character of the actual tone. So, to sum it up… I think you need a Twin and crank the living shit out of :) – Bjorn]

  44. jose luis says:

    Pulse-based disk, which one would you buy first?
    Buffalo Patriot
    Buffalo Rams Head

    Thank you very much.
    Great work.

    [Patriot. – BJorn]

  45. KEITH says:

    Thanks Bjorn, now that it seems I’ve goyten my health issues finally sorted out, and just purchased the new monster PC for DAW,(Reaper), I’m hooking it all up this weekend, and will be tracking by the first of the eeek. Samples forthcoming!!!!
    Peace, Keith

    [Great! Looking forward to hear those sweet tones! – Bjorn]

  46. KEITH says:

    Uh, you didn’t answer my question about the Musket, hahaha, so happy to see I was alive that you forgot? Haha.

    Peace Brother Bjorn, doing much better, new monster Daw computer, and an awesome Synth/controller/ interface, with 1106 MOTIF voices internally, and an incredible b3+ overdriven leslie emulator plug in! It’s time to to become a one man CD recorder/band

    [Sounds good, Keith! Oh… the Musket. Yeah, you should be able to cover the tones, with the Musket also being in the Sovtek territory. It doesn’t have as much low end as the Patriot but increasing the mids and focus, should get you very close :) Cheers! – Bjorn]

  47. David says:

    Try helping me on this bjorn. I recently recieved a more or less good amount of money and wanted to make myself a cramped “all mooer” pedalboard! So my doubt today is, i need a CS powerboost clone of the mooers still, and i set my eyes on the Pure Boost and the Flex Boost. The thing is, the Pure Boost is cleaner than the Flex but it lacks “heavy” overdrives (they will never sound like a proper powerboost, we both know it ;) like Have a Cigar, Sheep, Pigs, etc. Whereas the Flex has a more wide gain range it’s not as clean as the Pure i soppose, so. what do you think i should get? thanks for the support bjorn!

    [Hi David! The Pure Boost is based on the Xotic RC boost, which is an all clean booster. The Flex Boost is based on the AC Booster, which is closer to the Powerbooster, capable of clean boost and that glassy overdrive. You could also go for the Blues Mood, which is based on the Boss BD2, including Keeley’s fat mod. – Bjorn]

  48. Roger Sartori says:

    One word: awesome! For both playing and the pedal itself! Great work, Bjorn!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  49. Tom says:

    Hiya Bjorn,

    Many thanks again for such a great review & surely the best way to demonstrate the signature tone capabilities of this awesome pedal ! :) I always was a big fan of those huge DSOT/Division Bell & Pulse soaring tones… Just thought I’d ask, earlier on in another post you said that you tried out the Arc Effects Big Green Pi (a tall font Russian clone) and I do recall also you saying that the tall fonts originally were somewhat identical to the Civil War muffs of the day.
    How would you say the Patriot & the Big Green compare & which would you personally prefer ?
    ( the Big Green does have a 3way mids switch on it though for more flexibility)

    Btw, the Dover Driver arrived the other day & I’ve been getting some lovely sounds out of it, a very nice pedal indeed & thanks to your most excellent review I’m now a happy owner :)

    Cheers mate!

    [Hi Tom! Congrats on the Dover! Awesome pedal :) The Civil Wars and the early greens are more or less identical but the overall production in the early days of Sovtek, had inconsistencies and you might find overlapping models and two seemingly identical of the same model to sound very different from each other. In my experience, just as the triangle and ram’s heads of the early 70s, there’s no definitive Civil War model. OF all the clones I’ve played, the Patriot is closest to the essence of the Civil War. Noo, this is a subjective opinion but I think that although most of the clone are great sounding, they somewhat lack the mojo of the Civil War that I know and the Civil War that I hear, when listening to PULSE… hope this made sense :) – Bjorn]

  50. KEITH says:

    Hey there Bjorn, I love the clip! It definitely has serious gain, the feedback is glorious, and while it wouldn’t work for the period I prefer, I could definitely use it for my original stuff, and a lot of the covers I play.
    very nice Muff Clone. Do you think I could get very close to that with my Musket? If so, I haven’t used it for awhile, and never found that setting.

    Best Regards, I’m still here, just a bit quieter these days, Keith

    [Thanks Keith! Good to have you with us :) Hope things are getting better :) – Bjorn]

  51. Ruud says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Great review of an awesome product. Steve is making great pedals. I also have the powerboost and love it.
    At this moment I’m using the Pig Hoof as my main Fuzz for all the solo’s Wall, Animals, Echoes but also for Sorrow. It simply sounds better than my SUF CWM, for example. But on the other hand I’m looking for more specific Floyd sounds for that DSOT and Pulse area.
    Do you think that this Patriot will make the difference?
    Hereby my Sorrow version with the Pig Hoof on a Strat Plus with Lace sensor pick ups.

    [Thanks for sharing the link, Ruud! Great stuff! As much as I love the Pig Hoof, I think you’ll find the Patriot to sound bigger and more suited for the newer stuff and Sorrow in particular. The Pig Hoof works nicely but the Patriot takes it all the way. – Bjorn]

  52. Robert S. says:

    Bjorn, that tone is mind-blowing! Totally fits that riff. I could see this pedal used in other types of music as well.
    And the higher feedback at the very end kind of freaked out my cat. :)
    Thanks, always enjoyable!

    [Thanks! The pedal is great with humbuckers too. Did some Sabbath, QotSA etc with it and it sounded awesome :) – Bjorn]

  53. Dan Richter says:

    OMG!!!!!! Nuf said.

    [Cheers! – Bjorn]

  54. Adam Duarte says:

    Wow… just wow. I think out of all the Big Muff demos I’ve heard you do, this one takes the cake as the most epic sounding! The Patriot does indeed sound HUGE. Perfectly captures that PULSE tone, and the feedback you’re getting is just amazing. I recently bought a Skreddy P19 which I’ve been pretty pleased with, but I’ll have to look into this one as well. The P19 is wonderful but can feel a tad thin at times.

    Question about the Reeves Custom 50 you’re using–is that your “go-to” Reeves amp? I’ve been looking at Reeves for awhile (currently playing through a Laney Cub), how does the Custom 50 do for clean headroom that you’d want on a Gilmour style amp?

    Great playing and always, thanks for the review!

    [Thanks, Adam! The Reeves Custom 50 is identical to the early 70s Hiwatt Custom range. With single coils you’ll have a hard time getting overdrive from the amp. It’s VERY clean. – Bjorn]

  55. federico says:

    Excellent! i think it’s even more compressed than the muff. I love your playing

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  56. Scooter says:

    WOW Bjorn awesome playing!!! Sorrow has always been a favorite of mine. So glad I got to see DG play it live 4 times and was blown away each time! And now I have GAS AGAIN been waiting for a really good Sovtek clone seems you’ve found it for me
    Thanks again Bjorn keep rocking

    [Cheers! – Bjorn]

  57. Andre Eduardo says:

    Simply unbelievable, Bjorn! Great pedal indeed!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  58. Gabor says:

    What a great review, Bjorn!
    The only idea what is missing, a real detailedcomparison between the Sovtek/Civil War inspired stompboxes, as Colossus, or Toptone DG1 i.e.Which is the best one?
    Playing ‘Sorrow’ ,the biggest challenge is to find the right amount of feedback, but avoiding noise and chaos.. you did solve it, perfectly, congratulation,
    I enjoyed it indeed:-)
    Thanks for the experince Bjorn!


    [Thanks! They’re all great sounding pedals. I really dig the Patriot. It’s a bit more open sounding and slightly more aggressive, compared to the Box of War and Colossus. The DG1 (or P2) is a slightly different pedal, I think, with more of that vintage Muff tone, yet with a great deal mids. – Bjorn]

  59. Pete says:

    I can’t be the only person that wanted to hear you play more of Sorrow. :)

  60. Jack says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Long time lurker but now officially a poster!! This site is absolutely amazing, thank you so much for all the hard work.

    This thing sounds absolutely fantastic! I watched the review with headphones on in the library and it sounds enormous! Nothing in my pedal collection right now, and I listen to more of David’s earlier stuff but once Pompeii/DSOTM rig is done, who knows?!

    Keep up the amazing work!


    [Thanks for posting and for your kind words, Jack! – Bjorn]

  61. Kenyon says:

    Sounds great. I was just about to order the Box of War before I saw this review. Which would you recommend between the two? Thanks.

    [The Patriot. – Bjorn]

  62. Brad Roller says:

    Damn that sounds good!! Funny I took my dg2 off the other day and put my box of war on…those sovteks will rattle your windows lol especially if you haven’t used one in a while and forgot how powerful they are! You say the box of war is darker sounding, but to you does that necessarily mean it’s better? I guess I’m asking how do they add up to each other on the “gilmourish” scale ;) lol as always great playing and great review…sorrow intro is one of the funnest intros to play IMO! Take care man!

    [Hi Brad! I did a quick A/B test between the Patriot and BoW and found that – on my rig at least – the BoW sounded darker and not as open in the top end. It also has a bit more low end and slightly less gain. It’s a matter of taste as always. As much as I like the BoW, I’ve had a hard time dialing in THE tone with it but the Patriot was spot on. – Bjorn]

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