Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi XO
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Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi XO

Little Big Muff Pi XO, Fuzz pedal from Electro-Harmonix in the Big Muff series.

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rarson 25/03/2008

Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff Pi XO : la opinión de rarson (content in English)

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According to Electro-Harmonix, the Little Big Muff is identical to the Big Muff, only smaller. It's a rather basic, but seemingly sturdy stomp box fuzz pedal. One input, one output, three knobs (volume, tone, and sustain), and a foot switch.

I chose this pedal primarily as a compromise between the Big Muff and the Nano Muff. The Big Muff is just too... big, and I honestly don't understand why the pedal has to have such a large housing. The Nano Muff only has a volume control, and I wanted to be able to tweak the sound. But I really feel that the Little Big Muff is no compromise at all, more like the best of both pedals, and it seems deceptively flexible.

Some people have complained that it adds too much low-end. While I do tend to keep the tone above 12 o'clock, I feel there is plenty of room for adjustment, and it might be more about the amp they are playing out of; my tube Peavey Classic 50 makes this pedal sound a bit less bassy than my digital Peavey KB-60 keyboard amp (but surprisingly enough, I feel that this pedal sounds good through both of them).

I was inspired to try an EHX Muff pedal when I heard some of the gritty fuzz tones coming from Jack White's guitar on the DVD "Under Blackpool Lights." It's extremely easy to get a very similar sound with this pedal and variations on it. Perhaps this pedal IS a bit more bassy than the regular Muff, but someone searching for Jack's sound is probably better off with this one, because I feel some of his low end is probably coming from that hollow-body Res-o-Glass Airline guitar, as they tend to "growl" quite a bit. But most people don't have an Airline.

Anyway, to me this pedal sounds "full," so I'm not complaining at all about any perceived amount of low-end. It's got a sound that I like a lot.

UTILIZATION

There's no real manual to speak of. The instructions that come with it give a basic overview, and the gist here is that if you plug in an AC adapter, it must be outer-ring positive (like most pedals). EHX didn't supply an adapter with it, but they did include a battery. I've got mine plugged into a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus.

It's simple to use by just adjusting the three knobs. The volume, tone, and sustain all seem to have the ability to affect the sound, which is a good thing, because it gives the pedal quite a bit of versatility. I just love the sound I get from it, and it's hard to come up with a combination of settings that doesn't sound good. It does seem to get a bit too bottom-heavy with the tone control set low, but if you like fuzz, it'll be easy to get a satisfying sound out of this pedal.

In my opinion, it's a perfect combination of simplicity and versatility. Very easy to use.

SOUND QUALITY

"Sound quality" is an interesting metric for a fuzz pedal. As I said before, I love the sounds from this pedal. It trashes up the signal very nicely, though inevitably there will be people who do not like it for one reason or another. I was actually a bit shocked by how much I liked the pedal. It sounds a lot fuller than the overdrive box I have. I thought maybe the pedal would be redundant seeing as how I had two other fuzz pedals as well. But this pedal seems to have its own character, and a significantly different fuzz sound than the two Effector 13 pedals.

I play a Switch Wild One (single bridge humbucker with coil tap), an Eastwood Corona (SG clone, with excellent Eastwood humbuckers), and a modified Squier Strat through this and the rest of my pedals, and each guitar has some subtle differences that can be heard. It sounds good with all of them. It even cleans up a bit if you put an overdrive after it, but I'm not really liking much of the sounds I'm getting from my overdrive. A Boss DS-1 would probably be more to my taste than the AMT Du Hast pedal that I have now. But that's not the Muff's fault.

My favorite guitar, as far as sound from the Muff is concerned, is the Eastwood Corona, and it sounds so good that I often leave the other pedals turned off. However, a new addition to my pedals is a BBE Sonic Maximizer, and this makes the Muff sound even fuller. You can almost sort of adjust the tone of the Muff even further with this pedal. So while I liked the sound of the Muff by itself, I tend to leave the BBE on at all times.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using this pedal for a while, mostly playing with the settings and jamming with it. I like to adjust it because of the many variations it can produce. It's fairly quiet, even with the sustain turned up, but adding distortion behind it can highlight some of the background noise (one of the reasons I like using it by itself). The only real problem with this pedal is it can sometimes create such a wall of sound that it loses clarity in chords and such. I think this pedal shines best when played with 3 strings or less, which helps the individual notes come through. But I'm not complaining.

I think I paid $65 for this pedal brand new, and for my satisfaction of the sounds I'm getting, it's a ridiculously good value. I wouldn't hesitate to make the same purchase if I had to. There will always be people complaining that they can't get an exact sound out of a pedal, and for those of you looking to chase a sound of a particular artist, that may very well be the case. I don't know, because I'm not much on chasing a particular sound. I bought this pedal because I wanted something similar to what I heard Jack White playing. I'd say I got it, and I'm more than satisfied with the sounds it can make.