• JHS Pedals Muffuletta review

    JHS Muffuletta review

    JHS Pedals recently released the Muffuletta – their version of no less than six different Big Muff models cramped into one single pedal. It’s already gotten a lot of praise and I can’t remember last time that I’ve received as many requests for a review, so here it is!

    I must admit that although I’m quite familiar with JHS, I’ve never actually tried any of their pedals. I don’t know why but they’re hard to come by up here in the cold north. JHS offer both clones of hard to find classics and their own versions of the more well known circuits and pedals.

    The Muffuletta offer five classic Big Muff tones and new, tweaked by JHS. Now, multi version pedals are nothing new. The Royal Beaver from Big Tone Music Brewery was one of the first and last year, Electro Harmonix released the Big Muff Deluxe. Both are capable of some really impressive tones and options but the exhaustive amount of knobs and controls frightens off many.

    The Muffuletta feature the familiar controls for volume, tone and sustain, as well as a mode control, allowing you to choose between the six different Big Muff circuits. It’s all analog and they’ve used original Big Muff pedals as a reference for both tone and circuit design. What’s impressive is that all this is fitted into a small MXR sized chassis, which should find room on any pedalboard.

    I’ve seen a couple of reviews with A/B tests between the original Big Muff models and the Muffuletta and the result is impressive. I’ve done similar tests with my early 70s Ram’s Head and green Sovtek and they’ve really done an amazing job capturing not only the tone but all the characteristics of each model.

    The Civil War mode sounds fat and smooth, with a nice amount of mids and a crispy top end. David Gilmour used the early 90s Civil War for his 1994 Pulse lead tones and the Muffuletta captures that throaty character and rich sustain perfectly.

    JHS hasn’t specified which model they’ve used for the Russian mode, although most pictures I’ve seen show different versions of the black Sovtek. I’m guessing they’ve either used the best features of both the green and black or an early black, which is very similar to the later green. Either way, I’ve compared this mode with my bubble font green Sovtek and it’s hard to tell them apart. Very similar to the Civil War, with slightly less low end and an overall darker character.

    The Ram’s Head mode captures the grit and brightness of the Big Muff model favoured by David Gilmour, among others. It’s got that scooped mids character, with slightly less gain and an overall more fuzz-like tone. Paired with an Electric Mistress flanger and a booster, this mode is great for early David Gilmour tones from Animals, The Wall and Final Cut and also the more recent live tones.

    The Triangle is perhaps the most musical of all Big Muff circuits, with a slightly darker tone, fat low end and singing sustain. I was eager to see if the Muffuletta could match my favourite triangle clone, the BYOC Large Beaver (3-knob version), and it does so quite impressively. Perhaps a tad less gain but definitely close.

    The Pi mode is based on the late 70s incarnation of the Big Muff, which most grunge guitarists embraced in the early 90s. Not one of my favourites but it has a unique tone and quality in the Big Muff family, offering a bit more gain and an overall more aggressive tone.

    The Muffuletta also feature a new take on the Big Muff circuit, labelled JHS. It’s basically got more of everything – more gain, low end and a healthy amount of mids. I like this one a lot and I can see myself using it both for recording and on smaller amps in my home recording studio. Unlike other mids boosted clones, this one sounds more open and dynamic and doesn’t colour your tone as much, while at the same time cutting nicely through a dense mix.

    It’s hard to find anything wrong with this pedal. It sounds really good. Still, I do wish that they’d allowed more of the characteristic flaws to shine through though. There’s no secret that the old Big Muffs, and even the Sovteks, had issues but that’s also part of their magic and mojo. The Ram’s Head and Civil War modes could do with a bit more dirt and harmonics to fully capture the character and tone of these beasts.

    The noise level is very low. So much that I feel it compromises some of the mojo. You don’t want hiss and hum but not too much gate either. You need to keep the gain control fairly high or the sustain will die fast. This can easily be compensated for with a booster of course, which, as a Gilmour fan you’re probably doing anyway.

    But, these are minor issues. I’m very impressed with the Muffuletta. JHS has managed to create a pedal that offer true sounds, rather than variations over a single circuit. Dialling in the different modes allows you to instantly hear the differences between each model and their unique qualities.

    Whether or not you play with a band on a loud tube amp or in your bedroom, with a smaller combo, the Muffuletta will deliver a wide range of classic Big Muff tones, with stunning authenticity. Highly recommended! Check out jhspedals.com for more details and reviews.

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116 Responsesso far.

  1. Douglas Echaiz says:

    Very informative as usual. I just got one, and I am curious about your choices for volume, gain and tone for the JHS, Ram and Triangle as well as guitar volume. My basic knowledge of the pedal indicates that all play a significant role interacting to produce the outcome.

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, tone and gain depends on your pickups and amp. I usually keep the volume around unity. Any lower and the tone gets too grainy. Much higher it gets too compressed.

  2. Rei says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I’m playing on strat goes to:
    Demeter compulator
    Big muff (Black Russian)I don’t like that much
    Tube driver bias bk
    Boss ge7
    Tube driver effectrode
    Boss dd2 split stereo to :
    1 marshall jcm2000 60w tsl
    2peavy bandit112 with boss ce2

    I want to change my Black Russian .
    according your articles
    I been impressed a lot thanks

    Wondering which pedal will match my gear more
    Vick audio 73
    Vick audio 1861
    Muffuletta jhs
    Or none of those?

    • Bjorn says:

      Why don’t you like the Black Russian? Is there something lacking in the tone? Does it not go well with the amps? The pedals you list are still Big Muffs so I wouldn’t expect them to sound all that different. Your amps are probably not the best match for Big Muffs as they have a lot of mid range and compression. That can often make Muffs sound too aggressive and dark. Is that the issue?

      • Rei says:

        Yes that the point ! I feel its aggressive but not in a nice way
        Do I use it wrong?
        Should I place it before or after tube driver?
        Do I get same problem with different big muff because my amp?

        • Bjorn says:

          I’d try it without the Tueb Driver. You don’t need to boost it but you might need to raise the gain a bit to compensate. Your amps are very aggressive, even when set clean so the Muff will probably sound better alone.

  3. Doc says:

    Hey Bjorn, great review…just picked up a Muffuletta, and was wondering if you could describe the Muffuletta settings you used w/ Civil War, Ram’s Head, and Triangle circuits in your review, as they seem to be the most musical ones? That will be a big help in identifying a starting point for dialing in my tone. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s been awhile since I used it. I guess what I’ve presented in this review would be my best tip. Try the settings and tweak your way around that.

  4. Paul says:

    The JHS Muffuletta is an array of great sounding Muff versions, one of my fav pedals. JHS and Keeley are my two main pedal makers. Far superior to the old circuit tech of EH. I had several old versions of the Big Muff and they never really impressed me back then but I was also not that accomplished a player. The JHS multi version is an amazing quality pedal, low noise, headroom. I just love the TriAngle and JHS modes. Why buy a single clone knockoff when you can have every version in one pedal???

  5. Jopse says:

    Hi there,

    I’m still shocked you haven’t tried/reviewed the Wren & Cuff The Caprid.

    Is this happening soon maybe?

    Thank you!

  6. James Bettes says:

    Hi Bjorn, another good resource (best review of the JHS muff I found). I have a question about the Ram’s Head setting on this pedal.

    I was planning on getting and building a BYOC Big Beaver but now have the opportunity to pick up a JHS ’73 Ram’s Head, which is basically a cheaper version of the muffalleta but with only the ram’s head option. I enjoy building electronics so the having to assemble isn’t an issue. The only factor is which is closest to the original. How would you compare this (on the Ram’s head setting) with the BYOC Beaver? And if it’s (JHS) better, is it $50 better (Byoc is $100 and JHS $150)?


    • Bjorn says:

      I didn’t do an A/B but based on my memory alone, I think the JHS is slightly darker and perhaps smoother, while the BYOC is slightly brighter and more open sounding.

  7. Calvin says:

    I’ve already read both posts, but neither really touches on boosting into a big muff. It seems like you always boost after the big muff, but into my clean Fender amp I only seem to get more volume. Do I just need to play louder in order to make the boost work after the Muffuletta?

    • Bjorn says:

      There are different ways of boosting pedals and amps. David isn’t really boosting in the sense of adding more volume but he’s using overdrives placed after the high gain pedal, such as a Muff, more or less as an EQ or tone enhancer to give the tone a bit more character. A Tube Driver, or similar, will round off some of the harshness of the Muff and add a bit of mid range and compression. That’s probably why you also perceive it as louder even if the volume it self isn’t boosted.
      Placing an overdrive or booster first, will be similar to boosting the front end of a tube amp. It adds more gain and volume. Choose the method that provides the tones you need.
      Increasing the volume on gain pedals, like the Muffuletta, will provide a volume boost for the fron end of your amp and create more mid range and compression, which makes the pedal sound smoother. Mind that this doesn’t really work that well on solid state/transistor amps as they are more static than a tube amp, which interacts with your guitar and pedals.

  8. Calvin says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I have had my JHS Muffuletta for a few months now, and I’m struggling to get the thing boosted right. I almost always stick to the JHS setting, because all of the vintage circuits seem too thin and get drowned in a mix. I have a Tube Screamer, OCD, and Xotic EP Booster into a Fender Hot Rod with Texas Specials and a SSL-5 in my strat. I know you don’t usually recommend using the mid boosted pedals into a big muff, but the nearly transparent EP should be doing it for me, and it doesn’t quite. I boost INTO the Muffuletta, because at bedroom levels (Volume- 2), the boost at the end just seems to crank the volume and preserve the tone. Even at jam volumes (Volume- 3), I cant seem to get the hot rod up to a breathing volume level, so I don’t picture boosting that amp into compression at most realistic volumes. Do you still recommend placing the booster after the big muff into a relatively quiet Fender tube amp?

  9. ian says:

    Alright, I’m putting together a Gilmour Fanboy pedalboard because…well…I’m a fanboy. I’ve got all the Gilmour sounds I’m after…except a Muff.

    Now I’ve played with Big Muffs before and hated them. Which is why I’ve left the Muff until last. I can actually get Gilmour-esque sounds out of my RAT, but it’s not quite there.

    I worship The Wall. I’m aware of the Skreddy P19 and am tempted, but I’d rather get a Muff that’s more of a 1 trick pony. This seems to be the go.

    My long-winded question is: Can this sucker nail tones on The Wall?

  10. Emi says:

    Hi Bjorn! how are you? Excelent demostration!
    Which one do you think is best? this JHS Muffuletta or EHX Deluxe Big Muff?
    I have a Laney Cub 12r (living room play). I want to achieve the BM Civil war’s tones from Animal era, Pulse, On an Island and Rattle that lock.
    I alredy have the EHX Deluxe Big Muff, maybe not that good for small amps and for the living room, it’s little difficult to sounds like BM Civil War.

    Deluxe BM alone not sound like Gilmour. I can’t boost the Muff with the BK tube driver because sound like shit! sound to harsh, over boost and all the extra controls from the Deluxe BM (including tone) are lost in the mix.
    So I’m putting the BK Tube Driver first in chain and then the Delux BM, that is doing the trick to me. I’m “muffing the Tube Driver” =P. Sound really really (really!) good for Pulse tones, and is giving me all the extra controls from the deluxe BM.

    Am i losing something for not have the Muffuletta?
    Is the Muffuletta have more wide range of sounds? And have more unique sound? (like the Civil war -Holy Grail-)
    Which one is more versatil? and which one is best for the Laney Cub 12r?
    A good sounding and versatile Big Muff Is a good thing for all the DG fans=)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Emi! Big Muffs and gain tones in general can be tricky, as they’re very dependent on the amp you’re using them with. As I’ve explained in the “Knowing which pedals to choose for your amp” feature, it’s crucial to have the right pedals, including the ones you use for boosting, for your specific amp. Now, the Cub can handle Muffs pretty well but boosting is a whole different topic and doesn’t necessarily translate to all setups. In many cases, as explained in the “Big Muff Tone Guide”, you’re better off with using the Muff alone or with a different type of booster. Check out the “How to get killer tones on your bedroom setup” feature as well, for some tips. The Deluxe is one of the better sounding stock EHX models and you can tweak it for almost every Muff model. The Muffuletta might have more authentic sounding, and easier to set up, tones for each model but then again, you don’t have the opportunity to fully customise everything.

  11. Having this pedal for around 4 months now, it started out amazing but there seems to be a massive loss of volume that I can’t even boost out of with a Spark in front or after it. I paid $300 for it before CAD tax which I don’t mind spending on quality but of all of the pedals that I’ve owned over 35 years of playing, this is the first one to just start dying without being smashed or broken in one way or another.

    Definitely the last JHS product I buy, and in no way am I persuaded by the religious BS that goes along with their history…just plain old quality or lack-thereof.

  12. Hong Kong Greg says:

    Absolutely spot on review and vid Bjorn! (maybe I get some kind of prize for being the 1 millionth comment on your site to basically say the same thing?!)

    Thanks for breaking it down on your vid, I now have a muffuletta, which, with a BK Tube Driver, delay and some rotary through the right strat…really does transform things to get that bit closer to DG’s tone.

    Big Thanks

  13. Glenn Lawhon says:

    Hey Bjorn! Great Review as always…My questions is Can I get the Obscured By Clouds lead tone? And Get Black Metal Tones?

  14. Mariano says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Can you add this one to the muff comparison page with the scores?
    Thanks for the great work

  15. Graeme says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I’ve recently scaled down gear-wise to one amp, namely one of the new Roland Jazz Choruses (a JC40), and I am on a search to find a fuzz that’ll sound fantastic and full with no bass-end loss in my JC.

    I have heard that a Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker can sound great through a JC, so just wondering how the Muffuletta would sound. Are there any rules for what fuzz you should use in a very clean SS amp such as the JC?

    In terms of what I like musically, I play shoegaze, grunge, stoner/desert/sludge rock, indie, Pavement, Pixies, Pumpkins…and the odd bit of Cream and blues noodling.

    Please help out a long-time guitarist/notice gearhead. Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! The JC can handle most pedals and the Muffuletta pretty much got all the available Muff circuits on board so you should be covered and get some great sounds.

      • KEITH says:

        Hey Graeme, I played through a modified JC 120 in my most successful band, the mods were just splitting the extension cab output to make it the right channel, and both speakers in the amp the left channel, and changed the speakers to Celestion 30’s I think, but if you can find an ’80s Boss HM-1 Heavy Metal pedal, it was the perfect dirt pedal for the he JC, and would cover the sounds you are looking for well! It’s the only SS amp I’ve ever gigged, and with 2-12s on one side of the stage, and two on the other, it was the best steteo chorus I’ve ever heard. I loved that JC120, but for the life of me can’t understand why Roland even put that awful distortion circuit on the amp. They own Boss, they should have used the HM-1 circuit, no pedals would have been necessary!!
        Peace, and good luck, KEITH

  16. KEITH says:

    Oh wow, last article was October 27? Am I missing something by viewing only the mobile site? I go to BLOG in the menu, and it just says BLOG? Sorry, Just don’t do Facebook any more, so there may be more content there I’m not seeing, or you’re just too busy to do more than dealing with all the posts, which is very time consuming I’m sure. Let me know if I should hook my old PC up, I believe I mentioned the reason I don’t read the desktop site is because I don’t want to use my new PC for anything more than recording, but if I’m missing content by using the mobile site, and staying off Facebook, I’ll go back to those! Let me know please.

    Thanks Bro, Keith :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Yep, I’m behind schedule… check my previous reply. New content will be very soon :) Cheers, Keith!

      • KEITH says:

        I didn’t mean to be redundant. I had forgotten that I had posted the first of the two posts, ( brain dead :) ). New Job? Don’t you have enough on your plate already? What does a Webmaster, Songwriter, Tech reviewer, Recording Artist do for a day job? Did II miss anything other than Husband and Father? I used to have that kind of energy, wish I still did! Well, don’t over do it Mr. Workaholic!!!!

        Peace my brother, KEITH
        HEY, to everyone else, can’t leave out all the great Gilmourish folks. I hope all have a great 2016!!!

        • Bjorn says:

          Ha ha, well, I’m blessed with a family that appreciate the need for keeping myself busy with things that I love doing… which of course also include them. My new job is also giving me a lot of joy and inspiration. Cheers, Keith :)

  17. KEITH says:

    Just curious what you’ve got that’s keeping you so busy? Haven’t seen an article since the Muffeletta review. You must be very busy!!! Glad you’re up to recording, ( At least I imagine that’s the busy work!), but I sure would love a new Gilmourish article, or review :) Happy 2016 to you Bjorn, and all in the Gilmourish community.

    Peace, Love, and Rock N Roll, KEITH

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you, Keith! Busy with recording, mixing, writing new stuff, new job, family… I’ll have new features and reviews up soon!

  18. Troy says:

    For all at this site which after all does emanate from the north – just like the genuine ancient & original mid-winter festival: Happy Yule to Bjorn & kindred!

  19. Rafael Vantolra says:

    Hi Bjorn
    just want to say thank you for everything you do
    and Merry Xmas to you and everyone

  20. KEITH says:

    Well, this isn’t a post about David Gilmour, this site, or any piece of gear. It is just a little post to Bjorn Riis, all the great people I’ve met on Gilmourish, and those I have yet to meet. Two of the greatest friends one could have were met here, Will Bowden, and Stephen Ford, and I have exchanged over 30,000 messages with Will, and many many with Stephen. Bjorn I also think of as a friend, and have vented my frustrations over the many illnesses I have been dealing with the last 4 years, and also learned so very much from him about things I never explored in my 30+ years of playing in many popular bands. So he has been a loyal friend as well, and his wisdom, and inspiration have been a Godsend. So, This post is to all who cast their eyes on it, and it is to say, in no specific order, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanza, a fantastic Festivus, and whatever you do, or don’t celebrate at this time of year, when fall becomes winter, and love, and giving are in the air. My Love goes to all of you, and I hope that all have a better 2016, than even the best 2015, and I will continue to be a part of the Gilmourish community until it or I am no longer!


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words Keith! As I’ve said before, this site wouldn’t have been much without all you guys. I’m part of many online communities but this is surely the nicest. So many generous people sharing their love for David and his music, guitar and gear. I’ve learned as much as anybody and I’ve also had the chance to meet many of you, which is always a nice experience. Your contribution is much appreciated, Keith! Thanks again and enjoy the rest of the holidays!

  21. Joaquín Velázquez says:

    Hi Bjorn, i’ve been very crazy lately with David’s way of improvising his Comfortably Numb solo in the “The Wall Tour”, and looking for dates i came across this version but something caught my attention. Wasn’t it supposed to be David doing the solo and Snowy White doing rhythm guitar with the nashville tunning acoustic?? Because in this date i kind of hear a clean electric guitar with some type of modulation. Maybe they were trying different things, it was an L.A. show, their first dates of the tour right?
    Here, have a listen when you can and please answer me what you think.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-75MuOxirs (The solo starts at about 4:20)
    I salute you and wish you a very merry christmas for you and your family!!!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! I’ve listened to this version a thousand times but I haven’t noticed that. Thanks! You can hear an acoustic during the first solo but there’s definitely an electric with a chorus or Electric Mistress in the left channel during the second solo. I don’t hear an acoustic there so I assume it’s Snowy playing that one. Hard to tell why. Maybe they had some issues with the acoustic? I don’t know.

  22. Pick Pink says:

    Greetings, Bjorn! Finally, my 2-year work on DSOTM tribute album is over. I want to dedicate it to you for all the contributions to Pink Floyd community you have made over the years. Your reviews and insights helped me in the process of making this cover. This dedication is merely what I could do to pay my thanks. I’m not going to link you to Youtube, instead I want to share this high quality copy in 24/96 FLAC format to have better listening experience https://goo.gl/qKKwcP I hope you enjoy the album! All the best to you! George

  23. KEITH says:

    For about 3 years I was probably the most prolific poster on Gilmourish, posting long, detailed posts every day, sometimes 2 or 3 a day. I came to Gilmourish.com to learn the tools DG used for his iconic tones, but never wanted to have every exact pedal he used, or to play Floyd covers, just to find what he used. I started reading about the electronics involved, and became more interested in effects than Floyd. Over and over I found every ounce of information I could find, and gained a great bit of knowledge of what was available, and what about the original pedals DG used I’d change,( as his pedal are modded by Pete Cornish in many cases). I ended up with several pedals recommended by Bjorn, which were excellent buys and did what he said they’d do. Then I noticed that there was a burst of Gilmour inspired effects, and more and more, Bjorn found pedals to replace the ones he used saying this new pedal is warmer than the one he used before, and it began to be a more common thing as time went on. I have no issue with his opinion, and often finds pedals that he just likes better. However, many great pedals get no reviews and no conversation because the builder doesn’t send Bjorn one. I will mention two cases, then I won’t mention the subject again. First, I’ve been playing since the mid ’70’s, in original bands, receiving twice, unsolicited calls from first A&M records, and most promising, Epic Records back in 1997, but a now controlled substance abuse problem got the band I played lead, was lead singer, and wrote most of the music, and about half the lyrics dropped by Epic just as it looked as though we were going to get a 3 record deal. Now, I only mentioned that to give some creed to my opinion. Many of you have heard me beat Fralin pickups into.the ground, trying to get some of you to try them, only because I know they are among the finest Fender and Gibson style pickups made. I had convinced Lindy to send Bjorn a set, but for whatever reason, he dropped the ball after agreeing to send them, and I didn’t want to push. But one last time, for your own personal gain, buy a set, and if you don’t like something about them, send them back with a description of what you want, and he’ll change them to fit your taste. I have never known of anyone who sent them back.and then there’s the Violet RAMs head clone that Stu Castledine, ( the builder of the Colorsound power boost reissue), The V2. A friend contacted him and asked if he could try to reproduce a Muff that sounded like DG’s ” #1″ muff. He said he’d give it a try. My friend lost interest in muffs, and the project was turned over to me, and I got to choose a couple of cosmetic things, and received the original prototype, and from the first minute of plugging it in, I had it totally under control, and could not hear much if any difference in overall sustain, tonal quality, and the wave pattern that makes the distortion sound the way it does. Of course there is a difference between playing, and listening to a heavily processed recording, but even taking that into account, I don’t believe there’s much difference between the sound of the two pedals, and once again, there are no REAL clips that cater to the sound we want, and the two clips I’ve found were done by people who obviously aren’t trying to get that Animals/The Wall tone we know and love. Stu is an absolute genius, and has ears that are far begins those of most humans, so one last time, if you want a Muff that is as close to the one David used for Animals, and parts of the next couple of albums, give the Castledine V2 a shot. I can promise you no disappointment, and it’s price is very reasonable for what you get. I saw one post where the guy said it was a one trick pony. Yes, it’s a violet rams head big Muff, and it sounds like it’s supposed to sound. It’s not six muffs in one box, but one, almost perfect clone of DG’s #1. Sorry so long, but even Bjorn will admit that there’s a lot of gear out there that he hasn’t tried, and he can’t review every piece of gear made, so since I DO know a bit about gear, I’m giving you some valuable info that you woild find wuite inspiring if you take a chance and listen to an old Rocker!
    Peace, and Merry Christmas, Keith

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for posting Keith! I know you know this but just to make things clear for everybody else… Gilmourish.Com is not a commercial site. That means that whatever I review is done so either based on stuff that I receive or stuff that I buy for my own hard earned money. Things would have been so much easier if I owned a guitar store or had deal with many more pedal makers but I don’t. There’s so much out there that I would love to review but I can’t sell my house to do so. Luckily you readers are always helping out with tips, recommendations and even your own reviews. That’s what makes hosting Gilmourish.Com so fun for me. You Keith, with all your enthusiasm, has been crucial in this. Thanks!

      • KEITH says:

        Thanks Bjorn, you know that I only mean to help, and learned most of what I know because of your inspiration. Before I became a reader, and a friend I had rarely used pedals, going the Marshall route, but owned many long gone pedals that would be vintage gold now. However, my love for the tonal possibilities, and thirst for knowledge all came from finding your site. Since that first reading some 4+ years ago, I have reaserched, bought, sold, eat, and slept pedals, becoming friends with a few very talented, and well known builders, and building up a very nice rig in the process. So only because of finding you do I have such a strong opinion about the few items I talk about consistantly. Yes, you created the Monster known as, THE POSTECUTIONER, and I thank you for your understanding, and your frienship!
        Merry Christmas to all, now go buy a V2 from Castledine, and some Fralin pickups!!!


        • Bjorn says:

          Awesome, thank you Keith :)

        • Brad Roller says:

          Ive actually been talking to Casteldine here lately on making a color sound powerbooster clone. Based on a vintage one he has. He’s a very friendly guy!

          • KEITH says:

            Hey Brad, Hope you’re doing well! He’s an awesome guy, and should be more well known. He already makes exact clones, identical to the original, but he can’t sell them. He only is allowed to produce the originals for Macari’s of London, unless he makes something slightly different, with a different name, and graphics. Maybe the contract ran out, and he can sell the originals, but he hasn’t mentioned that he’s selling the reissues. However, everything he makes is made extremely well, and he’s extremely approachable. We trade emails regularly.
            Merry Christmas Brad, and all Gilmourish readers, and all different holiday’s, have q great whatever, LOL!

            • Brad Roller says:

              Yeah we we’re discussing a name for the pedal, and color schemes and he quit replying…maybe he’s busy? Great guy though! Very helpful! Merry Christmas to you too buddy!

              • KEITH says:

                He getsvsuper busy this tine of year, and takes holidays with his son, but I spike with him a week or two ago, and he didn’t mention a trip, so he’s likely slamned. He will get back to you though, he always follows through. Maybe once you have one of his pedals, you’ll taje my advice and get his V2, I can’t hear any reak differences between it, and DGs Muff #1 that he used on Animals, and The Wall, and even though Violets are cranky, I had no problem dialing it in within 5 minutes!!! Merry Christmas buddy,
                Somehow fixed the marrowing post issue!!!

        • Andrew says:

          Keith, as a pedal junkie, what amp do you use for a pedal platform?

          • KEITH says:

            A Reeves Custom 50 PS, and for most studio work, a combination of that, abd an Ibanez 15 & 5 watt Tube Screamer head. I have a blueabreaker style 2×12 cab with Weber Thames, which is almost as large as a 4×12, and a semi open back 1×12 with a Celestion Greenback for the Ibanez, which I often use as an amp just for the the RT-20, which sounds almost dead on the RA,-200
            Merry Christmas, Keith

            PS, Brad, if you Reolied, it showed up as an empty space, sime weird thing going on where each additional post in a tbread gets narrower, and narrower. My pist ti you shows on my phone as one letter per line, thevone before that is about four letters wide, can’t figure it out. I guess I could check the site on my PC, but I try to use it only for recording! I think I need a cheap laptop for socisl networking! Or, someone who knows how to fix the shrinkimg posts!!!

  24. Brad Roller says:

    Bjorn, I know this is off topic, but have you looked into overdrive custom guitar works? They sell many good gilmourish strat parts and hardware. They sell acrylic pick guards just like David’s too. It’s a very deep black pick guard, and looks great on my black strat. I had a regular black pick guard on before, and it looked grey in contrast to my guitar body. But the acrylic is great on mine! It’s rounded on the edges too. He also sells loaded acrylic pick guards with a pretty wide variety of pickups to choose from most gilmourish related and offers the mini switch too. Just thought I’d let you know about it, because he offers 8 hole pick guards too! ;) He offers GREAT customer service too and will work with anyone on what they want! Check them out!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Brad, I’ve seen their page and what they offer but never tried anything. Apart from the pickguard, what they offer can be bought elsewhere as well, I guess.

      • Brad Roller says:

        That custom wound Seymour Duncan is only available on the site I think. It’s the ssl-1C DG. He contacted Seymour Duncan and had them wind up a custom pickup based on the one that is in David’s strat. It’s supposed to be closer to his than the SSL-5

        • Troy says:

          Nice find Brad.

          Link here for those interested:

          SSL1-C DG & SSL 1-C DG RP pickups:



          Those look VERY cool!

          Full pick-guard assembly:


          I just picked up a two-tone sunburst maple-board Eric Johnson Strat. Not a major EJ fan per se, but the maple-board version of his Fender Strat models are the best Strats on many levels.

          The feel & the look of both the body & (especially) the neck: 12″ radius (love that on my Les Pauls too! – cleanest bends ever on a Fender neck) plus the sonics both unplugged & plugged in – that I have had the pleasure of playing.

          Actually preferred the neck to all of the Custom Shops that I have tried. Also has the distinctions of being quatrter-sawn & having a shallow V shape morphing into a wider C shape by the neck joint.

          I’d been meaning to get one of these for at least seven years & now finally have. Originally had a three-tone sunburst maple-board Strat Plus (long lost) & then an Olympic White Jimi Hendrix Tribute Stratocaster (admittedly kind of eccentric – both visually literally & symbolically figuratively) & finally got around to getting a classic ’57 inspired Strat (albeit one with a very flat radius board).

          Maybe I could justify getting another maple-board EJ – this time in in black – if I put one of the 8-hole versions of these DG-inspired pick-guard assemblies into it? Tempting! :)

  25. Reed says:

    Hey, Bjorn! Thanks so much for your fantastic management of this great site. I remember using this as an amazing resource for Gilmour, but you’ve really turned it into much more than that! Gear, tone, recording… this place has now become my not-so-secret weapon for guitar.

    I’m still trying to rebuild my board after it was stolen a little more than a month ago. Looking into muffs, now. They say the rage is all about this new Thorpy Muffroom Cloud, which reviewers say nails the early grail big muff sound but is much much more versatile and guitar/amp friendly thanks to an active baxandall eq. Have you had any experience with it or are you planning to review it sometime?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Reed! Thanks for your kind words :) Sorry for my very late reply… and hearing about your stolen pedalboard. I haven’t tried the Thorpy and I have no immediate plans to review it. They have to send me one :) The reviews I’ve seen and read so far seem promising though :)

  26. Adam says:

    I played around with the Muffaletta and I really loved the Triangle setting. I don’t know if I need the others. My question is, would the BYOC Triangle cover the bases in your opinion or is there something else special about the Muffaletta’s tone that warrants the higher price (apart from multiple Muff settings)?

    • Bjorn says:

      I think the BYOC triangle sounds better than the Muffuletta. Might be hard to tell a difference but the BYOC has always been my favourite so I can hear it :) Obviously, the Muffuletta is a more versatile pedal having the other Muff models on tap.

  27. Troy says:


    I wrote above:

    “Five videos of it here (all worth checking out): http://thorpyfx.com/pages/videos Including one from recent days that compares several different Muffs, including an original “triangle”, the Muffaletta, the Mushroom Cloud & a bunch of others.”

    That video comparing a pedalboard full of Muff clones including the ones mentioned above is not at that page with the other videos. Rather, it can be found here:


    “That Pedal Show – JHS Muffuletta, Thorpy Muffroom Cloud, Vintage Big Muff & More!”


    “In this episode we’re feeling all fuzzy about Big Muff-style pedals.

    Daniel and Mick compare an original late-60s/early 70s Electro-Harmonix ‘Triangle’ Big Muff with later/newer offerings…

    • Electro Harmonix late-70s ‘op-amp’ Big Muff
    • Electro Harmonix current Nano Big Muff
    • Frantone Peachfuzz
    • Green Carrot Pedal Company Pumpkin Pi
    • Mojo Hand FX Iron Bell Fuzz
    • Tym Guitars Fuzz Munchkin
    • Tym Guitars Big Mudd
    • JHS Muffuletta
    • ThorpyFX Muffroom Cloud

    The guys are playing a Gibson Custom Les Paul Standard 1958 and a Fender American Vintage 1962 Stratocaster through a Marshall JTM45 head into a 2×12 cabinet with Celestion G12H-30 Anniversary speakers, and (very briefly) a Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 and Zilla custom 1×12 cabinet with a Celestion G12H-75 Creamback. As ever, TheGigRig G2 is handling amp and effects switching effortlessly.”

    When I wrote “Seeing the video with many Muff clones above makes me think that a video with a similar concept by your good self would also be most interesting Bjorn” I was referring to the concept in this video.

  28. Huy Tran says:


    I just received the Thorpy FX Muffroom cloud a couple of days ago.

    I initially had a lot of trouble with getting the pedal to sound good, let alone Gilmourish. The active tone controls are pretty weird as I am used to the single tone stack from RH muffs with the sweet spot generally around 11 oclock.

    As it is based on the Triangle muff, don’t expect it to have much gain compared to Ram muffs clones and Violet Muffs clones although Kit did say that the original RH muffs didn’t have that much gain either.

    So with the active Treble and Bass tone controls and the lack of gain/sustain I had trouble getting a proper muff tone out of it. But me being me, I only realised after a bit that I have to rethink and come at this from another angle and not just a set it and forget it muff (Volume on 1oclock, tone on 11, Sustain on 2-3 type of muff)

    I then very slightly tweaked my amp settings and my booster pedal settings. Ignored what the tone and treble values were on the Thorpy and used my ears instead of eyes and I love the thing now. I compared it to my other 4 muffs (Caprid RH, P19, Vick RH and box of war civil war type muff) all of which would be considered high end boutique muffs and the Deluxe BMP. Using the tone controls I could pretty much get the Thorpy to sound like my other 4 muffs. My preferred settings on the Deluxe BMP has a pretty distinctive voice that I couldn’t replicate on the Thorpy although the Thorpy sounds better by quite a distance for me.

    What I like most about the Thorpy is that I can take the pedal to a Gilmourish muff setting, to a overdriven Tube driver tone, to my own preferred muff sound. The tone control really lets me dial in the tone that my ears like best. I really like this muff.

    In the end, if you are looking for a Gilmourish muff, it may not be worth it as the Thorpy is pretty pricey. There are plenty of other muffs out there that can do Gilmourish for cheaper. But if you want a muff that is intrinsically sharp and sounds great no matter where you take it, it is worth it. For me, my quest for a Big Muff ends here and that in itself is worth it.

  29. Stef says:

    Bjorn, did you ever tried TOMKAT fuzz pedals?

  30. Troy says:


    ThorpyFX Muffroom Cloud

    This Muff clone with an extra powerful & very musical EQ may just be the one Muff-type pedal that has really caught my eye & ear & got me seriously interested since getting the BM cards installed in one of my Foxrox ZIMs about five years back:


    Five videos of it here (all worth checking out):


    Including one from recent days that compares several different Muffs, including an original “triangle”, the Muffaletta, the Mushroom Cloud & a bunch of others.

    Hoping that Thorpy sends one your way Bjorn. Seeing the video with many Muff clones above makes me think that a video with a similar concept by your good self would also be most interesting Bjorn.

  31. Brad Roller says:

    This is awesome. How they can squeeze all that muff into that I’ll never know lol I sure wish big muffs sounded good with my bands music…but they don’t really. My tube driver or evolution is what I use for leads. I think I’ve used a muff for one song and it sounded good and that was the iron bell. Like you’ve said before muffs aren’t the most versatile pedal. With one of my bands I was in, all I ever used was a big muff and flanger! It sounded great then. That was a Christian band, and the one I’m in now is also a Christian band, but I guess it just doesn’t fit their style as much. But man is it fun to keep one on the board to just jam out every now and then. I think I’ve grown tired of them over all though because I used them so much, that and I was ready to start making my own tones. What’s your reason you don’t use one as much Bjorn?

    • Bjorn says:

      Basically the same as yours :) I love Big Muffs but they’re quite limited in terms of tone. The Evolution and Tube Driver, and similar pedals, are based on the classic tube amp tone and are much more versatile. I try to incorporate a Muff in a song or two on our albums but I mostly prefer other gain pedals :)

      • Brad Roller says:

        I see. Now if it was MY choice of songs, and so on, a muff might fit more. But like you said I just find it easier to have an amp like overdrive and distortion on my board because I sometimes don’t know what songs will be played. I hope to hear some muff tones on this upcoming airbag album! ;) it was very nice hearing it on your solo album btw! I listen to “stay calm” a lot. Great song, great tone!

  32. Brad says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Do you think we’ll ever get a review of the ehx Deluxe Big Muff? Its extremely tweakable. In your opinion is it able to match a number of different bmp models?


  33. BeatleJWOL says:

    I’m about to pull the trigger on a Mojo Hand Iron Bell…is this Muff better?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Muffuletta got six different models in one pedal, so in that sense it’s more versatile than the Iron Bell. I like the Iron Bell and its got a mids control, which can be helpful. Depends on what tones you’re looking for.

  34. Thomas Williams says:

    I bought a Vick Audio ’73 Ram’s Head on your recommendation. It sounds very good when I am playing notes but has a lot of buzz and floor noise otherwise. The sustain is amazing but I wouldn’t complain about a quieter pedal. I will review my set up to make sure I’m not putting incompatible pedals together or other over looked problems. I will reread your Muff tone guide but any ideas to reduce unwanted noise?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Vick has a lot of gain, which will produce noise. I don’t find the pedal to be overly noisy. There are lots of Muffs out there that’s considerably noisier. Noise is the curse of the Big Muff so, depending on how much gain your model has, you need to adjust the gain and volume to avoid getting lost of noise. You also need to be careful with boosting and using booster with lots of gain. I fyou want to emulate David’s tones, then keep in mind that his old ram’s head and the Civil War Sovtek he used in 94, both have moderate gain, so the settings you’ve seen may not apply to pedals with higher gain.

  35. elron hoover says:

    The Ram’s Head on the Muffuletta is better than the Buffalo FX RH-X? I have a Muffuletta and was thinking about getting the RH-X because I thought it would be better, especially with the mids contour knob.

  36. Gaëtan B says:

    Is it “the Gilmour in a Box ” best one for you Bjorn ?
    Congrats for all your work and music…. Love it :)
    Gaëtan, France

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your support! I think there are other Big Muffs out there that, to me, sounds better and perhaps are capturing a more authetic Gilmour vibe. But the Muffuletta got all the Muffs you need to nail Gilmour and they sound great!

  37. Tedi says:

    Thanks Bjorn for your detailed review. Did you run the Muffuletta into a CLEAN amp? Also, how did it do with a boost in front of it. I love my P19 but it does’t do well with boost in front of it.

    • Bjorn says:

      I used a clean signal, with lots of headroom from the amp and no booster. Most of the modes goes very well with either a Powerbooster or Tube Driver after it but as you can hear from the demo, it stands pretty well on its own as well. The P19 is designed to sound like a Muff+booster combo so I wouldn’t add a new booster to that combo.

  38. Greg Larson says:

    I own a Muffaletta and run it into an Echosex2 and on to a Reeves 10 HG (no loop :(. ) via a Frankenstrat with a 66 CS body with Kinman Woodstocks (like Phil Manzanera uses…extremely quiet and musical) and a John Mayer rosewood neck…I get completely lost for hours. The Muffaletta creates TONs of wonderful tone options and paired with the Echosex2…mmmmmmm! Having the goods however is only 5% of the battle….Now, if I could only play like you Bjorn…or David Domminey Fowler….or DG…mirror, mirror..

  39. Saul HUDSON says:

    It has finally come ! Thanks Björn !

  40. Funny what you say about noise level and “mojo”, I feel it’s the case with a lot of boutique stuff. It’s almost too clean (I know it’s a bit of a first world problem ;-) )

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, it’s really a minor detail but there’s something about those old flawed circuits that seem to have a bit more mojo… :) Too pristine and clean sounds more sterile. Not that that’s the case here but I wish they’d really allowed all of the characteristics to shine through.

  41. Rafael Vantolra says:

    Great job!!!!!!!
    Just wonder
    Is there a lot a difference between the musket and the muffuletta ?
    And if you have to choose one
    What will it be?
    Thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      The Muffuletta offer six different Muff models, while the Musket is based on the Sovtek Muff. It has a couple of extra features but you’re basically tweaking around the Sovtek tone.

  42. Buster Albek says:

    Been waiting for days for this one! :D

  43. Gary Jarvis says:

    Nice review! Was wanting to hear your thoughts on the Muffuletta. Going to grab one now that it has your stamp of approval on it. Sounds good Bjorn thanks.

  44. Troy says:

    I wrote: “Interesting viewing & mildly interesting reading”. Was of course referring to the afore-mentioned clips & forum threads elsewhere. Ha! Wouldn’t like it to read like I’m completely rude! :D

    The detail that you go into both with the impressions & analysis in the reviews & the composition of elements (performance, recording quality, tonal selections, etc) in the clips are exemplary & very much appreciated. Nice work!

  45. Kyle says:

    Thank you Bjorn. I trust your judgement more than anyone on this pedal. I just ordered one and it should arrive next week. If it passes the test of my office/studio set-up, it will replace my Castledine V2 (which is HUGE and a one trick pony).

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Castledine so I can’t comment on which is better. I still have my favourite Muffs but the Muffuletta is a very versatile pedal, with some really great tones.

    • KEITH says:

      The Castledine is a one tricj pony, but it’s exactly the trick it was designed to be, a incredible Violet Ram’s Head Clone. And IMO gets as close to DGs #1 as far as my ears can tell, as any Muff clone out there. As far as HUGE, the sound is HUGE, the enclosure, unless it’s changed,( I have the original prototype), it’s the same size as most clones, and smaller than mosr EHX Muffs.

      Peace, Keith

  46. Troy says:

    I’ve seen the vid that compares this with examples of the originals. Have also read a forum thread where both the tech used to make it & the controversies related to JHS. Interesting viewing & mildly interesting reading. Your review, probably wisely, sticks to the sonic accuracy of the various modes & is a useful breakdown of its sounds & how they compare to your own examples.

    While not a “multi-Muff” per se, my Muff of choice is a Foxrox ZIM loaded with two Muff cards – one of which I dial in for using alone (this is in the side of the pedal where the circuit then goes through a very powerful EQ where a little goes a long way making this already great-sounding circuit incredibly versatile – highly tweakable without there being an off-putting number of controls) & the other I dial in for use with a BK Butler Tube Driver following it for specific tonal enhancement.

    Both the ZIM & the Tube Driver are in the send/return loop of the Foxrox Octron 2 & can be brought in simultaneously via footswitch, with the option of also bringing in various combinations of the Octron’s own sounds, an AquaVibe (Foxrox’s standalone UniVibe clone), a Heptode Virtuoso phaser & the Hartman Flanger. Various other drives, modulations & delays follow the Octron’s output.

    Here’s the links for the ZIM explaining the EQ & more plus the cards themselves (I’ve tried & still have most of these plus a second ZIM):



    There aren’t any decently recorded demos on line of the BM card in the ZIM. I’ve also got a version 6 EH Big Muff that I’ve had since ’94. It is a different sound to the ZIM’s Muff cards, the latter having have tighter (yet still powerful) lows, stronger (but not overpowering or “stuck wah”) mids & smoother (though still very present) highs. I like both but the ZIM’s Muff cards (even without the EQ) are just sonically is tuned just right for me both when playing unaccompanied & also a lot better in a mix for recording.

    One user who has an original “Triangle” EH Big Muff commented that the ZIM BM card sounded bang on accurate. I can’t comment from personal experience. However Bjorn’s sampling of the JHS’s Triangle sound does remind me of the articulate mids of the ZIM BM without EQ. The ZIM Muff cards can go higher gain than my V6 but also sounds much better than the V6 when set for very low gain. The two cards in series are scary!

    I’d love to read a review & hear a demo of a dual-Muff ZIM by Bjorn. A longer one of this JHS playing shorter DG phrases would also make a nice compliment to this well played (& tonally well sculpted) taster clip.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you, Troy! As you know, whether or not you like a pedal depends on taste and, perhaps more importantly, whether or not it works with your setup or not. I’ve played, I don’t know how many Big Muff clones and they all sound great but there are small nuances that makes each of them unique… good and bad. The thing that struck me with the Muffuletta is that they’ve managed to capture the true character of each model. Whether or not they’re 100% accurate depends on the original pedal you compare them with and on what rig.

  47. I figured you were already bombarded so I didn’t ask, but I figured this would be a review. The couple I saw intrigued me a bit and I would recommend this to a new Muff researcher. As for seasoned, I tend to stay away from Multi-effect stuff, but to each their own. Glad its all analog.

    • Bjorn says:

      This is the first multi pedal that I’ve been impressed by. The others sound great too but this one sounds authentic all the way through.

  48. Massimo says:

    Hi bjorn, great recide as usual. Do You think it can be compared to buffalo muffs? What do You think about StompUnderFoot muffs? Thanks!!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Muffuletta covers both the Ram’s Head and Sovteks, which Buffalo offer. Personally I think the Muffuletta ram’s head mode sound better than the Buffalo but the Buffalo Patriot is, in my very humble opinion, the best Sovtek clone I’ve played.

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