Need advice Big Muff Pi USA or the Tone Wicker one?

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by DuffB, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. DuffB

    DuffB Senior Member

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    I have played the Big Muff Pi USA pedal and like it. It is big and I don't mind the size, it sounds great and has great sustain. I want to buy one of these.

    Since a lot of you guys have a lot more knowledge than me when it comes to these things, pedals and so forth, I am hoping to get some feedback from some of you as to which one would be the best, objectively speaking, pedal - aside from subjective, "it's a personal preference" thing.

    By this I mean, is there any difference in the sound of the two Muffs, with the Tone Wicker one in standard Big Muff Pi mode? And I know that there are a couple switches on the Tone Wicker one that expand its tonal capabilities. Are the Tone Wicker added features a great idea or are they just additional bells and whistles that don't actually improve the natural sound of the Big Muff Pi USA?

    Aside from personal preference perspectives, are there any of you that understand the different circuits and can evaluate the affects on the character of the sound produced by each pedal when compared to each other?

    Supposedly in standard Big Muff Pi USA mode both pedals sound very similar, but there is supposed to be a perceptible difference in sound. Since the Big Muff Pi USA sounds really great to me, I don't want to lose that special sound by trying to overdo it with the Tone Wicker, unless the basic sound is great and the added features are substantially improvements.

    I'm not interested in trying to find an old version or a Russian version. They have the ones discussed above at the store by where I live.

    In my opinion the Big Muff Pi USA is the best sounding fuzz pedal that I have tried, by far.

    Hopefully someone will have some insight into this question regarding the differences between the two. Before I go to the store today and AB the two pedals I would like to have some knowledgeable info going into it that might help me with my evaluation and give me some specific things to listen for.

    I know they use different power supplies, with the Tone Wicker one supposedly using the standard type power supply jack; but this isn't really a point of concern for me because I will buy whichever power supply is right for the unit I get.

    Feedback is appreciated and thanks in advance.
     
  2. thinkgreen

    thinkgreen Senior Member

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    thats real funny because ive been wondering the same thing. big muff is the nextpedal on my list and listing to the two pedals on youtube they sound the same untill you flick the switch/'s. then the wicker model is totally different. think i would be happy with ether but the wicker keeps coming up.
     
  3. JakeM

    JakeM Senior Member

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    I'm getting a big muff next monday in a trade with a guy locally and I can't wait. There was a bit of a toss up between it and the Tone Wicker version. The TW seems to have more gain available and tightens it up a bit but I personally prefer the USA version. Both are great and with only 10 dollars in the difference you might as well just buy one, Try it with your gear and if you dont like it...bring it back and get the other one.

    Jake
     
  4. DuffB

    DuffB Senior Member

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    A lot of feedback indicates that the big Big Muff Pi USA has a slightly more appreciated sound. I plan on trying the TW version and seeing if it approximates the plain one.

    I have enjoyed the Big Muff Pi USA way more than the next most enjoyable fuzz, so I am influenced by these experiences.

    These perspectives of others are really useful because my objectivity has been clouded by my real good experiences with the one. These observations will help me keep an ear out for things when I try the TW version.
     
  5. Hamtone

    Hamtone Senior Member

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    In my opinion guys for the same money go for a byoc ramshead, hands down the most versatile and muff there is. You can buy them pre-assembled for about $120 on the bay. They sound great and you have more than just wicker with them...oh and a smaller Hammond enclosure
     
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  6. Hector Arcadius

    Hector Arcadius Senior Member

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    If I was in your shoes (I kinda am...) I would go with Hamtone's suggestion. But if you want to play before you buy (which makes perfect sense), watch this:



    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URI_LaSMFGk]Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi TONE WICKER fuzz pedal shootout Gibson SG Les Paul - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  7. Humanlike

    Humanlike Junior Member

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    @DuffB
    Did you have a chance to AB them? Opinions? Which one did you get?
    I'm also torn between the two. Leaning more towards the Big Muff Pi USA, but if the Tone Wicker can do the same basic sound with added functionality, then i dont mind paying abit more.
     
  8. blamo

    blamo Senior Member

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    tyhe tone wicker option is nice, but it adds a lot of hiss.

    otherwise, its a great pedal. I would take one over the big muff usa again.

    having said that, I rarely use the wicker options these days.
     
  9. kungpow!

    kungpow! Senior Member

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    Don't forget the Little BMP. Same NYC Muff circuit but in a smaller, tough die cast enclosure. A bit cheaper too.

    I think the 'wicker' function is a bit gimicky. In the end, a Muff is about delivering face-melting distorto-fuzz soundzzzz, so does it really need a 'wicker'?
     
  10. Humanlike

    Humanlike Junior Member

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    I've went through a lot of videos comparing the muffs. Sadly i do not have the chance to try them out. Anyway it seems to me that the wicker and Little big muff sound quite the same with the exception of the wicker and tone switches. But the reissue has this special violin type top end fuzzy muffy smoothness and incredible uncontrolled breakup with single notes (which is THE big muff sound for me) that the others don't seem to have as much, and the wicker and LBM sound more like distortion then the reissue, abit more controlled and constant.

    Now what i don't understand is that 90% of the users claim that the Big Muff Pi and the Little big muff sound the same. How can this be when i hear a constant difference even from the crappy videos. Feels to me that in this case people are more focused on the pedal size and the hype in the web or just don't care enough to notice the difference.

    My order is going in next week and currently i'm set on the reissue, tho i wish someone would prove me wrong so i could get the wicker. True bypass, normal adapter connector, small size and more sounds. But all this does not count if it doesn't have THE Big Muff sound of the reissue.
     
  11. Hector Arcadius

    Hector Arcadius Senior Member

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    Don't judge others and their opinions based on your ears, your needs and your perceptions, ideas and opinions. Each one judges for himself and that's it. Perhaps others don't care much as you said, perhaps their ears are not as sharp as yours or the little difference that they can hear is not enough to make them decide that (for example) the re-issue one deserves the pedalboard estate it demans. Opinions, ideas and perceptions are strictly personal. You can do whatever you decide with your money and time. Let others do what they want with theirs.


    Oh, and welcome to the forum.
     
  12. Humanlike

    Humanlike Junior Member

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    Read my post again and it did came out a bit offensive. Definitely wasn't my intention.

    I do agree that THE big muff sound seems to be very subjective. Feel a little bummed that i cant put them side by side and make my decision. Simply because not a single muff pedal is available at my local music shops.
     
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  13. maschoff

    maschoff Junior Member

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    They sound different. I went with the Big Muff Pi because it's smooth and has more body and does not sound grainy/gritty, like it's coming through a plastic tube; the Tone Wicker version utilizes the Little Big Muff's circuitry. On this one, size does not matter, tone does. Besides, the Big Muff nails the Sabbath tone.
     
  14. Lysol

    Lysol Senior Member

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    The LBM circuit is NOT the same as the current issue Big box BMP or BMPTW.

    The BMPTW is the same circuit as the current big box BMP...it just has a switch to lift out three caps to increase the highs, that's the only difference.

    No two BMPs sound alike so there will be differences from each pedal. You just cant make comparisons with only 2 or 3 BMPs as it's flawed.
     
  15. blamo

    blamo Senior Member

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    Lysol, I have no idea if that's accurate, but I'd imagine it is.

    I tried a LBM before purchasing the BMPTW and the LBM was wither on or off. it was hard to dial in and was lacking in tone, to my ears anyways
     
  16. IndySouthPaw

    IndySouthPaw Senior Member

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    I just picked up a Big Muff Pi from the 70s off of my parking garage attendant. It is beat up as hell and rusty but sound pretty great. $20 well spent!
     
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  17. Lysol

    Lysol Senior Member

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    It's accurate. I have schematics for every BMP ever made. Please don't ask for current production schematics as I wont give them out in respect to EHX.

    I used to collect them, vintage and new, (I still own 14) and was what you would call a fanatic. :thumb:

    The LBM is more suited to Bassist IMO. I modded mine to be better for Guitar.

    My Favorites are my version 5 1322 1978 IC muff, my version 6 1981 3034 Muff and my 3 version 7 Sovtek Green Muffs (First Green ones) they are modded to my liking too.

    There's very few Ramshead muffs I like as they all contain different value parts (Identical models) and can sound completely different and the triangle muffs just plain suck. The LBM (Current production only) is very similar to many a ramshead model incidentally.

    When it comes to muffs I'm very particular about what value caps and resistors are where and what the hFE (Gain) of the transistors are.

    The only vintage muffs I have never wanted to mod are the 1322 '78 IC and '80/'81 3034 models. They are great stock...well mine are anyways.
     

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