One of the oldest and most beloved guitar pedals of all time is the Big Muff, a fuzz pedal introduced by Electro-Harmonix decades ago. This revered stompbox has certainly stood the test of time, and has seen a number of variations on the original design. If you love all those different versions, you should pay attention to Missouri based manufacturer JHS, since the folks who work there have created a truly amazing pedal in the Muffuletta, which contains 5 (yes, FIVE!) of the most beloved Big Muff designs into one pedal with an amazingly small footprint.
Not happy with five recreations, JHS included one of their own fuzz designs for a total of 6 different options. Included are these Big Muff variations
1. ’73 Rams Head’ which is a darker sounding fuzz with a scooped mid-range,
2. ‘The Triangle,” which is very articulate with a big bottom end,
3. the aggressive ‘Pi’,
4. the thick ‘The Russian’,
5. and creamy mid-range and brighter sound of the ‘Civil War’.
The controls are familiar to any gain pedal aficionado. ‘Sustain’ controls the amount of input gain, ‘Tone’ is a mid-frequency adjustment, and ‘Volume’ controls output level.
With all of these tonal options, it’s easy to see the versatility (and savings) offered by the Muffuletta. Add JHS rock-solid build quality and you have almost endless fuzz options at your fingertips. – Brandon Stoner
JHS’ Muffaletta, Builder’s Notes
The Big Muff fuzz has been around so long, been on so many classic recordings, and been through so many variations that every guitarist out there has a favorite version of its iconic tone. JHS wanted to pay tribute to that undeniably classic fuzz pedal, but we couldn’t come to a consensus about which Muff was king. With the Muffuletta, our indecision is your gain. We crammed five all-analog re-creations of the pedal’s most beloved tones into this box. We even threw in a JHS-exclusive tone that is our take on the historic stomp. No matter what Big Muff era you prefer, you can get ‘em all in the JHS Muffuletta fuzz pedal.
Five tones inspired by these classic Big Muffs:
– JHS – “2015”
The JHS Muff is a JHS original take on the classic circuit. You will find this version more powerful and less compressed, with a more haunting midrange. It is also the best for bass guitar.
– ‘73 RAMS HEAD – “1973-1977 V2”
The ‘73 Rams Head gets its name for the strange little face that appears on the lower right corner of the original pedal. It is best known for having a scooped midrange, less gain, and being darker.
Famous users: David Gilmour (main Pink Floyd recordings), Ernie Isley (Isley Brothers), and J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
– THE TRIANGLE – “1969-1970 V1”
The Triangle Muff is so named for the triangle arrangement of the knobs. It boasts more low-end response while being more articulate.
Famous users: Santana, David Gilmour’s Pete Cornish-made pedalboards, John Lennon, Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine), and possibly Jimi Hendrix.
– THE PI – “1977-1978 V3”
An instantly recognizable red Pi symbol gives this pedal its moniker. This is not to be confused with the later redesigned NYC version released in 2000. It features a more aggressive sound.
Famous users: Frank Zappa, Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Jack White, The Edge (U2), Beck, and Pete Townshend (The Who).
– THE RUSSIAN – “1999-2009 V8”
The Russian Muff is named by the “Made in Russia” text found on the back of the pedals. It sports less clarity and less low end than other models. A great garage-type sound.
Famous users: Dan Auerbach (Black Keys), Chris Wolstenholme (Muse), and Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails).
– THE CIVIL WAR – “1991-1993 V7”
The old-style Civil War-era font and navy and gray colors found on these pedals’ enclosures dictate their name. They are best known for having more midrange and having a brighter overall tone with less gain.
Famous users: Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), John Fogerty, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Mike Mills, and Peter Buck (REM).
THIS PEDAL REQUIRES STANDARD 9V DC NEGATIVE POWER, CONSUMES 4MA, AND MEASURES 2.2″X4.8″X1.6”.