thx standingwave - the bigmuffpi does work well when the gain is low (0-3) on the vox ac4c1 ... but that is definitely not using the sweet spot of this amp. even with the gain dimed, it cleans up if i roll off the volume, strum lighter. so i like to keep the gain around 8 ... that's the problem, adding the big muff pi to that just yeilds mud. i don't think there is a workaround to use both. i'm convinced a different pedal to drive the preamp tubes a bit harder is the answer (for what i'm looking for) just never used any boosters before. i like to build so i might order and try this thingy 'mod kits diy the piledriver' ... actually maybe i'll be smart and go try a few pedals at the store first.
the ac4c1 is a top boost style circuit (supposedly) so i guess it would take a treble booster well. i'll do some tests and report back