• Keeley Moon Op Amp Fuzz

    In this new video I’m exploring the Moon Op Amp Fuzz from Robert Keeley.

    No doubt aimed at the Gilmour comminuty, the Moon is based on the fuzz circuit from Keeley’s Dark Side multi effect pedal. However, the circuit is tweaked towards a Big Muff and the late 70s op amp Muff in particular.

    An additional 3-way switch allow for different mid range modes – scooped, flat and boosted.

    A very versatile fuzz that’s capable of classic fuzz tones massive early 90s Sovtek era Big Muffs.

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14 Responsesso far.

  1. Alex J. says:

    Nice review – as always! But honestly, Björn: It really doesn’t matter if You use a Muff clone of brand X, Y or Z – it sounds 99% the same to me. And that is, because You mimic Gilmours playing style that well… So, to teach interested guitarists how to sound like Gilmour, the equipment is just one aspect – maybe You “dare” to explain You’re playing technique a little closer … ?
    I found out for myself, that – coming from a metal background where I used to rest my right hand constantly on the bridge for palm muting, using very thick plecs and picking very hard – I had to change some major things: I had to remove my right hand and pick near the bridge pickup, like You do, and I actually changed to that rather flexible classic Herco nylon picks. And I pick much softer now, letting a lot more string/picking noise happen that I was used to. Doing that, I came a lot closer to “that” sound. For sure, everyone plays different and has to find out himself. But to complement Your knowledge base her, it would be nice to read (and see …) some hints about David/Your picking technique. Cheers + many greetings to beautiful Norway, Alex

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Alex and thanks for your comment. I think we come from the same background. I grew up learning guitar by listening to Kiss, Sabbath, Zeppelin and all those classic rock bands. I still do and I actually play humbuckers and marshalls more than I do Gilmour. As you say the approach is very different but I’ve been doing both styles for so long now that it comes natural. On my own recordings I tend to blend the styles a bit, with heavy humbucker riffs, hard playing and really digging into the strings, while other parts are more gentle, different pedals and technique. Good idea for a video.

  2. Marc says:

    Great review, Bjorn. Thank you. And more generally — a many, many years long overdue thank you for your energy and expertise in deciphering and then sharing all things Gilmourish tone. Flogging that poor pony but you are an incredible resource.

    Wondered whether I could get your opinion?

    Gigged a bit in the 70s/80s as as jazz inflected blues-rock guy, but other than the rare jam session with former bandmates, pretty much now a backing tracks jamming low-vol bedroom player. With that comes more of an emphasis on tonal accuracy that actually works with my overall rig and volume constraints. For one reason or another, my current and continuing rig is a dual humbucker (PAF-style) Terry McInturff guitar (similar to a 50s Les Paul Special), a couple of Fender Blackface style tube amps (boutique builders who added to their Princeton or Deluxe style amps the ability to tweak and add some mids), and a variety of quality pedals. My 5 tone inspirations start with DG in the top spot, followed in no particular order by Trower, Hendrix, Latimer, and Page. Fool around with learning many of the usual suspects note-for-note, but more generally do my own thing while heavily inspired by all 5.

    Never had any real luck getting along with vintage oriented fuzzes and muffs — likely because of the mids issue with some earlier Fender blackface amps I owned. That said, I could approximate similar sounds with a BD-2 (like in your great video), especially when paired with Rockett’s The Dude.

    With that background in mind, I was set to up my game into something a bit more authentic sounding, likely deciding between three Skreddy boxes (Lunar Module, P-19, and Rust Rod), the Vick Audio 70 Rams Head, the Robinson Silicon Phuzz (I might have a lead on a used one), the hard to find Buffalo FX M-1, and the EQD Hoof. And now, the great Keeley complicates my life further with this awesome sounding Moon Op-Amp pedal.

    Any chance you can help uncomplicate my life? Ultimately, I know that there is not one option and I’d find my way with any of the pedals I mentioned. But given my particular rig, my need to sculpt mids, my strong interest in a pedal that will play well with other modern pedals (buffer and impedance issues), and the reality that I simply do not have the luxury of blasting away so sounding good at lower volumes is a heightened priority, assuming availability of all of the above listed pedals, do any jump out at you as “best for your interests and circumstances” or, conversely, “you might want to avoid that one?”

    Many thanks, Bjorn.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Marc, thanks for your kind words! I think mids is the key word here. I understand that you’re able to dial in some mids boost on your amp but I would imagine that the Blackface is rather scooped regardless. An obvious choice would be a more mid rangy pedal, like the Rat or something similar, which captures the classic fuzz character, but with a more modern midrangy approach. Between the Big Muffs, which by nature are very scooped, I would go for something like the Vick or the Patriarch from Past FX, which both are capable of maintaining their character on low amp volume and they have a mids boost switch. The others models you mention are typically scooped. You can compensate to some extent by adding a booster behind the Muff, like an EQ, but I do think a single Muff with mids boost is a better option.

      • Marc says:

        Thanks for your insight, Bjorn. It’s good to hear that I’m on the likely correct track — to riff off that horrific song, “it’s all about that MIDS.” I think I’m headed towards TWO (2) new pedals — (1) a silicon fuzz for approximating the “Time” solo sound, plus ability (with wah and univibe to cover Trower and Hendrix too), and (2) moving over to the muff side of things (good thing I’m being mature) and picking up a muff with Ram’s Head DNA that’s either had the base tone altered with additional mids and/or has controls to toggle in and possibly dial-in more or less mids (or otherwise affect the EQ).

        All that makes a lot of sense given my rig and that I’m a low volume home player at this point. The tricky part is going to be which precise pedals get me in that direction. One former bandmate is a big-time Lunar Module Mini Deluxe fan (a big Skreddy fan generally) and I think I’ll be able to try out his pedal to audition for my open “silicon fuzz spot.” I love the Silicon Phuzz clips I’ve heard, but am a little concerned that there are no pedal tweakable adjustments. As for my open “muff spot,” that’s going to be a challenge. I think the likely contenders are going to be a few of the Skreddy boxes, the Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head, and a couple of the Past FX pedals (the M-1-A and the Patriarch).

        Good thing is that it seems possible to adequately address the MIDS to get pretty close to the tone I want. Wish I was as optimistic about bettering the quality of my playing to achieve what I want. ;)

        • Grantinvanman says:

          Hey Marc, the Keeley Dark Side pedal that Bjorn talks about does all of that; and the version 2 that I got, has the toggles for shaping the fuzz, etc. well worth looking into. It’s my staple …

          • Marc says:

            Thanks, Gratinvanman. I’ve got a friend who has one. Great pedal. But all the mod side parts of it are superfluous for me. Like what I have on that. Now just looking for most suitable fuzz and most suitable muff (with tweakable mids) or possibly something that can do both. Leaning towards the Skreddy Lunar Module for silicon fuzz at the moment because my Wampler Velvet Fuzz is pretty good as a muff IMO. Thanks again.

  3. DefJef says:

    I love how this pedal seems to combine the rippy sputteriness of a Fuzz Face style with the some smooth Ram’s Head sustain. I recently bought a Vick Audio ’73 which I love for its smoothness and a DOD Carcosa which I also love for its impoliteness. The Vick Audio is like a welcome guest anywhere, the Carcosa like a brat. It seems that I may have to see if the Keeley Op Amp fuzz may kill both of those birds with one stone.

  4. grant invanman says:

    Hey Bjorn, great review, and your playing is the closest I’ve heard to Gilmour – so inspiring. I have the Dark Side pedal, and I think this helps me understand the fuzz side; even so, I think I could justify adding this to my board. Great tones; I am playing a FCS ‘56 Strat, into a Fender Blues Pro IV, tweed re-issue, with tubes and Jensen speaker.
    As an aside, I studied Icelandic saga literature at university, and I literally can hear some of the characters “he was wearing a blue cloak, and carrying an axe”. Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      Ha ha, awesome! It’s very close to the Dark Side fuzz but the 3way switch makes more versatile I think.

      • grant invanman says:

        Ah! That’s interesting. My Dark Side must be the v2 – I have the 3-way switch, and there’s also a “reverse flow” button, to move the fuzz and other effects order. I don’t think your review of the Dark Side (side 1?) had that. Anyway, cool. Got chills listening to your playing – that sustain is incredible!

  5. Toftaky says:

    Hi Bjorn ! In your opinion is it a “must have” to cover the largest era of David Gilmour tones or having a Super Phat Mode and a Green Russian pretty much authorize to do the same ? The toggle for the Mids seems to be a pretty awesome tool !

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