Friday, February 3, 2012

Russian Muff Review

Time to come clean. I’ve never liked Big Muffs. I’ve tried numerous variants – the NYC Big Muff, the Little Big Muff, the Way Huge Swollen Pickle. They were fine for home use, but the second they entered a band context they were sucked into the black hole of “where’d the guitar go?”

I couldn’t understand why so many people liked muffs. My fuzz money was time and again best spent in the land of fuzz faces and tonebenders. And then, I found a used Sovtek Black Russian Muff for a not totally insane price.

So I bought it. I plugged my Reverend into the Russian and the Russian into my little Vox AC4. Holy crap – now I understood. Here’s a Muff that isn’t just fuzz and fuzzier. It isn’t a mid-scooped pedal of doom. It has useful tones across the gain spectrum, it responds to pick attack and how hard you strum, the tone knob goes from mosquito to thunder.

And then I took it to band practice and played it through my Goblin with the Eminence Wizard. It got even bigger and more versatile. I get it now. This thing is freaking nuts. Now if only it didn’t take up a quarter of my pedalboard real estate…

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