• Buffalo FX Patriot MkII review

    Buffalo FX Patriot MkII review - gilmourish.com

    I’ve been a huge fan of Buffalo FX for years. They make amazing sounding pedals and I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing most of them. A couple are staples on my pedalboards. So there, I’ve set the standard for this review of the Patriot MkII.

    The Patriot is Buffalo’s take on the early 90s so-called Civil War Big Muff for Sovtek – a version of the Big Muff that went through several changes during the 90s and that was recently released by EHX as the Green Russian.

    I did a review of the Patriot a few years back and as then, I am now equally impressed by its low noise floor and authenticity towards those old pedals. The Sovteks has always been my favourite Muffs and the Patriot captures that thick fuzz-like character, with lots of harmonics and sustain.

    What’s new this time is the addition of a mid range boost and low end or bass cut. Big Muffs are notoruous for lacking mid range, which is what you will need to cut through a band mix. Especially if your amp lack of bit mids too.

    Increasing the mids adds a nice presence and punch to the tone, allowing the Patriot to cut through. The low cut rolls back some of the low end, cleaning up the tone and allowing even more mids and presence to cut through.

    Having both these controls really makes it easy to dial in a tone tailored for any amp and pickups.

    What I’ve always loved about those early Sovteks is their ability to deliver dynamic and useful tones on low gain settings. The Patriot cleans up well, although not entirely – this is a high gain Big Muff after all – and it can easily be doubling as an overdrive both for rhythms and lead.

    At full gain it gets that almost throaty character you can hear on Pink Floyd’s Pulse. It responds very well to low output single coils in particular and the sustain really allow you to shine thoughout a lead part.

    So again, the Patriot MkII is highly recommended if you’re seeking those classic early 90’s Big Muff tones and particularly if you need a bit of extra controls to perfectly match the pedal with your amp and guitar.

    See Buffalo FX for more details.

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48 Responsesso far.

  1. jishes says:

    Is Buffalo FX out of business ???

    Their website is not operating from a long time ago…

  2. Cedric says:

    Hey Björn,

    since some time now, I try to create a good sounding guitar sound to cover “Sorrow” played live in 1994. But no matter what I change, the sound always lacks these big and thick distortion.
    I use a Vick Audio 73 Ram’s head placed after a PC-2A with a quiet high level of peak reduction and a bit gain. There is no booster placed after my muff, because of the noise level. My Amp is a H&K Tubemeister 18 (5 Watt, very low treble level, mids boosted and bass slightly rolled back) paired with a Fender AM Prof. Strat with stock pickups.
    I guess that the 70s Muff don’t fit these big “Pulse” sounds. When I play the solos of “Dogs” i.e., the fuzzy sound of the rams head fits quiet well.
    So do you think a Civil War Big Muff like the Patriot II will serve the task of creating a much more thick and big sound?

    Thanks for all your work!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Cedric, you should be able to get very close with your setup but you might need to tweak the amp and pedal to get there. I think what’s typical for David’s 90s tones, is that there’s more mid range and compression going on and overall warmer overdrive and distortion tones. If you are looking for something different, then the Patriot is probably the closest I’ve come to the early 90s Sovtek Muff David used and his actual tones from that era. The new Green Russian from EHX is also a good choice.

      • Paul Ewing says:

        I get great results from an Analog Fox Green Muff from St. Petersburg where getting NOS to build this pedal is easier to find. The build is very sturdy. The price is a reasonable $100.00 USD

  3. Alex says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    If I were to try and replicate sounds from Dark Side of the Moon/Animals/The Wall, and I can only get one pedal, would you recommend a Muff or a Fuzz? And, what’s a good one on a budget?


  4. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, I don’t see the usual rundown of the setup you used for this clip. What is the first guitar with the Les Paul shape, and what humbucker is it loaded with please sir!

    Great tune, KEITH

    • Bjorn says:

      That’s a Hagstrom Northen Swede. Hagstrom, as you may know, is a Swedish brand dating back to the 60s. This is a fairly new model, with custom wound pickups similar to PAFs :)

  5. Max says:

    Hi Bjorn. Im a fan of Gilmour music and you’re the best expert of his sound. I already bought Laney l20 and some pedals and very like it. Thanks a lot for your job. I have Dark side pedal. Use it mostly for fuzz. But when i see your video with Patriot mkii sound its incredible (first piece of art with humbackers guitar). The thing is I own original Boss CE2 80’s. And tried to make similar sound. Its very near but i like your sound more. Then I also saw you video with m1 fuzz and got confused a little) . You tested all 3 pedals – dark side, patriot and m1. Tell please what pedal is closer to dark side? And I’ll buy another one. Because I feel that i strongly need Patriot or M1 after your brilliant videos)

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Max! All three pedals will do the job but obviously, if you’re seeking David’s early 70s fuzz tones, then the Keeley Dark Side would be a better match than a Muff, as David didn’t use Muffs until Animals and The Wall.
      The M1 is perhaps closest to a fuzz, as it’s very bass and treble oriented, while the Patriot has a much more modern character, with a bit of mids and compression, and less gain.

      • Max says:

        Hi, Bjorn, many thanks for your info. Very informative. I’ll choose Patriot then at the moment. It should be very curiously to experiment with it. Thanks a lot, you’re the best sound guide !)

  6. Hey Bjorn! Long time follower. I appreciate you do for us community of Gilmour aficionados.

    I’ve always favored Civil War/Red Army Overdrive Muff variants with the original Buffalo fx Patriot and SUF Red Army being among my favorites. I love the smooth, creaminess and massive, powerful sound these circuits provide. Like many, I suffered from being lost in the mix without an OD or boost to help cut. That being said, my needs have changed a little. Whereas in the past I wanted my muff to cover singing leads and heavier, chuggy grunge rhythms, I’ve decided to get a separate pedal for the latter.

    I love Gilmour’s The Wall, DSOTM, and live tones. As a variable, I also dig Santana/Petrucci Mesa Boogie types of leads. Would you recommend something like the new Patriot, or perhaps the Skreddy P19, one of the Mojo Hand offerings, or something entirely different? This is with a Fender shaped Gibson style guitar (bolt on, but Korina body and p90/hb) going into the clean section of a Mesa Electra Dyne.


    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Rafael. You being lost in the mix is probably due to the amp, which may lack some mids. Mesas often do. A Big Muff may not be the best option but the Patriot MkII works nicely with the mids boost. I also recommend the Vick Audio 1861, which has a very powerful mids boost. As for how a Muff stacks up to the rest of the tones you mention, I can’t really tell.

  7. Teppo says:

    Hi, Bjorn!

    You used Patriot MkII as an overdrive. Can you describe what overdrive pedals are similar (soundwise) with Patriot MkII’s overdrive tones?

    • Bjorn says:

      None really. I turned down the gain on the Patriot and found the right balance between all the knobs to match my amp and pickups. It’s tricky because Big Muffs has so much gain and when you turn them down they tend to sound thin, losing a lot of the low end. I guess you could get somewhat close with a OCD or something like that but it’s not quite the same.

  8. Paul Ewing Blog- STOMP BOX STEALS says:

    Who is Buffalo FX? is his name Steve Painter or Potter ???/

  9. Philip cornelius says:

    Hey bjorn, would you recommend the buffalo series muffs over the ehx green russian pie muff?
    And if so is the mkII worth it over the mk1?

    • Bjorn says:

      The EHX Green Russian is spot on those early 90s models so it’s a safe buy. The Patriot MkII has more mid range though, which will come handy on amps with less mid range.

  10. Gabriel Tate says:

    Confused on why the Distortion knob was removed and a Sustain added in its place. So how do they have the same tone if you cant adjust the distortion level?

    • Bjorn says:

      Sustain was the original label Eectro Harmonix had on their Big Muffs for gain/fuzz/distortion… it’s just another name.

  11. Mark says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Have you ever tried Wren & Cuff`s The Caprid?
    By the way what an awsome site excellent keep up the great work & music produce.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! Apologies for the very late reply.
      Tried the Caprid only briefly. Sounds like a typical Ram’s Head, with a fairly scooped character, lots of gain and sprakle. They did a fine job and it’s very silent too.

  12. Marcelo Angelo says:

    Hi Bjorn! I have a vick audio 73 rams head and I really like it. To achieve pulse tones, what you think that is better, ehx green russian, buffalo patriot mkii or wren cuff civil war?

  13. Greg Kala says:

    Hi, Bjorn! Great review and playing, as always! What is the first guitar you’re playing (the LP type)? It’s gorgeous, and you make it sound so good! Thanks. Greg

  14. cole lewis says:

    how does it work with boosts (power boost/tube driver)

  15. Emi says:

    wow! your playing is getting better and better! amazing tone you got there!
    Any chance of a south america Airbag’s tour? I’m from Argentina, I would love to heard you and your band live.

  16. Alireza Rowshan Nahad says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Killer tone!
    Well done

  17. Jeff says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Great review as always. I’ve followed your site for years, and really like all of your solo work, and I’m looking forward to your next release. Are you running a unit 67 with the Mkll? Also are your humbuckers in the first section stock or custom wound? I love the tone and your arrangement of this clip. It has a very soulful sound.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! Not using the 67 here. Only the Patriot. The humbuckers are stock on the guitar. I think they’re made for this model by a Swedish luthier. Basically PAFs with a tad more output and sparkle.

  18. Nathan says:

    Hi Bjørn,

    I just wanted to drop you a line and say a huge Thank You. I recently found your blog and have been scouring through this vast treasure trove of knowledge for hours and hours at a time. The depth of your breakdowns and attention to the details is incredible. Your passion and dedication is hugely appreciated and the fact that you’re offering this all online is truly generous. Much to the discontent of my neighbors, I probably haven’t turned off my amp since discovering your blog, but at least for the neighbors my tone is improving ;) Keep posting the good stuff, man!

  19. How well does it match bedroom set-ups & low-power amps? Also, could you at some point provide an opinion on Marshall’s Origin 5 & DSL5C amps, especially regarding their ability to work with the boost/muff (or fuzz) combinations that seem to be integral to David Gilmour’s tone?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Patriot works nicely on bedroom setups and lower volume but keep in mind that Muffs needs a bit of mid range, compression and volume to really shine. I wouldn’t combine it with a smaller Fender or Vox.
      Marshall isn’t typical for Gilmour although some of the lower gain models are fairly similar to old Fenders and Hiwatts. Not that much experience with teh Origin 5 but I don’t think it has enough headroom for tyical Gilmour tones. The DSL has more but both amps are designed to capture that classic Marhsall gain tone and not so much being a pedal platform. Adding a fuzz or Muff would result in a fairly aggressive and compressed tone. Perhaps better suited for Hendrix :)

  20. Chad from Dallas says:


    You are making me break the bank. Every demo you do, makes me want the pedal you demo! About the Patriot, what will it give me sound wise compared to the M1. I have been using the M1 for a while now and am wondering if the new Patriot would give me anything different than what I have now. I know there is a mid boost and low end cut, but would you say that allows for many more options than what I have in the M1. I will add I am very happy with my current tones, but you know how it is……We can always do better!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Patriot has a touch more mids and an overall darker and more mellow tone. The mids and bass controls also makes it easier to tweak for different voiced amps. The M1, as you know, is fairly aggressive and brighter sounding.

  21. Bjørnar says:

    Hi Bjørn!

    Pedal sounds awesome! ?
    Are there any tonal differences between MK1 and 2, when MKII are set to a “neutral” setting without mids and bass bump? Ie. are there baseline of the circuit the same?

    Really love the melody you’re playing in the clip!
    Is that parts of the same melody that you used as a signature intro on reviews earlier?

    Thanks for all your efforts put into this site! I’ve learned tons of great stuff! ?


    • Bjorn says:

      Hei Bjørnar! Takk for hyggelig kommentar! The clip is new and something I put together for this review. As far as I know, the main circuit is the same. I can’t hear much difference anyway.

  22. Emiliano says:

    Wonderful music and playing! How about selling your hands?

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