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

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

Fireguy8402 12/23/2011

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff PI : Fireguy8402's user review

« Sounds..... Muffy! »

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The Big Muff Pi is a fuzz effect from Electro-Harmonix. It’s one and a half pounds of fuzz in a box measuring 2.95" x 6.875" x 5.5". It has three basic controls: Volume (for overall volume) Tone (for EQ adjustments) and Sustain (which in this case is a gain or fuzz control) and one big bypass switch in the middle. The pedal can be powered by a 9 volt battery or by a 9 volt power supply.


Electro-Harmonix doesn’t give you much to work with on this one. Basically you just set your volume and amount of fuzz and you can tweak a little bit on the tone and you’re set. The pedal is built well in an all metal housing with a sturdy switch, but it seems a little large for such a basic effect. I haven’t ripped this one apart yet, but I’m sure they could cut back on some of the housing and save you some pedal board room, but I think that’s why they came out with the Nano line of effects. I never run my pedals off batteries (though a dying 9 volt can sound wicked in a fuzz), so in order to use with a One Spot or similar power supply you will need an adapter, as this pedal does not have your usual “Boss” style barrel plug. Not a deal breaker, but a slight pain if unexpected.


This pedal is pretty much a one trick pony, but nothing sounds like it. You can always tell when someone is playing a Big Muff, because it just has that tone that is nasty, fuzzy, and.. well Muffy. This is the USA NYC version and I hear the Russian model has a slight variation in tone, but I have no experience there to suggest an opinion between the two. The Sustain knob has plenty of harmonic distortion on hand, but I wouldn’t call it an over the top fuzz. Though I have heard some fuzz pedals that could peel the paint off the walls (this can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the circumstances), this pedal stays fairly smooth and musical through all its settings. I would call it dirty for sure, but not exactly raunchy. There is plenty of low end available and classic fuzz tones are easily coughed up.


Overall this pedal does what it does and that’s about it. It’s a fuzz pedal and it’s gets that classic Muff sound. They always say “classic sounds of Hendrix to Santana” on their ads, but I hear more Santana than Jimi for sure. It doesn’t get as raw as Jimi’s classic tone, but it’ll get you in the ball park. Overall for 80US dollars it’s a well made pedal that is capable of a few good tones. It’s nothing spectacular if you ask me, but used sparingly, unique and signature for sure.