Electro-Harmonix Big Muff PI
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff PI

Big Muff PI, Fuzz pedal from Electro-Harmonix in the Big Muff series.

mooseherman 06/08/2009

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff PI : mooseherman's user review

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As far as the characteristics go, this is a standard analog distortion pedal. It's not rackable, and it predates computer editing so it's not Mac/PC compatible. It's got your basic 1/4" connections, input and output. 


This is one of the all time standards of distortion pedals. It's very easy to use, with only three knobs. There is one for volume, one for tone, and one for sustain. Even with a basic setup like this, it's possible to get a lot of good sounds very easily. If you know what sustain means, then you don't need a manual. Otherwise, just look it up, a manual isn't really needed. 


The sound quality of this pedal can't really be underestimated. It's been used since the early 1970s and it's responsible for many of the classic tones and sounds of rock music from that era. It's got one of the richest, most consistently rewarding tones I've ever heard. The sustain on it is really great. It crunches in a very distinct way. It gives a great, fuzzy, creamy tone that sounds amazing. It's better than most pedals of its nature in that it doesn't hide the musical elements of the guitar, and it lets notes ring through really well. Many distortion pedals nowadays mangle the sound until you can't even tell what you're playing anymore. This pedal avoids that problem well. It's almost bafflingly straightforward, which makes editing sounds a piece of cake. I feel like there's always a good use for it, and I never find a sound I don't like. For some notable examples of the pedal on record, you can check out Pink Floyd's Animals or The Wall, as David Gilmour used it on those records. A somewhat more modern sounding example can be found on almost every Dinosaur Jr. album.


I like the tone of this pedal the most. I don't have any particular qualms about the sound. It is reliable, durable, and consistent in its performance. It gets noisy, but not excessively so. It will really rock when you push it. I think that nowadays, it's probably a little bit more expensive than it used to be, but I definitely think it's still pretty affordable. I've seen it go for around $60 online, and that's a steal. You'll definitely get your money's worth at that price. I highly recommend it.