Super Big Fuzz

Posted on February 16th, 2012


This article is from our good friend Tropical Ice Tea for the Hippo, also known as Ben from Propane Propane. Did he put the love? Yes he did!
Enjoy:

The intense modding of my Big Muff Pi (Nyc 2007) started as a very modest project, I was having trouble with not being able to “cut through the mix” both in live use and in studio when i used this fuzz pedal. Sooo.. I turned to the ol’ mighty Internets for help!

After a short time reading stuff/threads/mod forums, I noticed that a a popular mod on this pedal was to install a bypass switch for the tone-stack (middle knob) which is a EQ with, a LPF, HPF and the cursed super scoop in the mids  (around 1000-2000 kHz).
So that was my very first mod ever!

From there on it just escalated. I started to read and learn more and more on resistors, caps, transistor, op amps, pots and their relation to each other. What can I say, I was instantly hooked on this new and thrilling drug!

“ahh, I love the smell of soldering in the morning!”

I started to experiment a lot, really just try anything and see what happens. Not knowing how everything worked, I just pulled cables and added what not anywhere and saw what happens. I kept on doing this until I got something I liked, you know, just fucking around.

In the end I wanted to make my Big Muff, a not so versatile fuzz pedal in it’s original, into a monster-fuzz with many different types of fuzz to choose from, from harsh and extreme to a soft, sweet and crunchy fuzz. I made all of the mods on and off “switch-able” so the original Big Muff sound was retained.

When everything was done, I repainted the pedal and also renamed it “Super Big Fuzz”, a sort of combination of the brands “Big muff” and the Univox “Super Fuzz”.

List of Mods:

1. Complete tone-stack bypass
2. An “Super-fuzz” in style like the “Univox Super Fuzz”.
3. Simple gain/fuzz boost switch, works in all of the modes
4. Noise gate, can also be used for softening up the harshness if one like
5. 8-bit Nintiendo raw square wave fuzz. (very amusing to be able to play old Zelda themes with ;) )
6. A high pass filter and a low pass filter (good to have when the original eq/tone-stack is bypassed)
7. Feedback loop
8. Exchanged the BC549 transistor in gaining stage 1 for a high gain MPSA13 transistor, I feelt it gave the fuzz more “graininess” in the mids.

Audio & pix:

Super Big Fuzz - Standard Fuzz sound - Only Fuzzboost switch engaged
Super Big Fuzz - Super Big Fuzz mode + Feedback loop engaged
Super Big Fuzz - Softer Fuzz
Super Big Fuzz - Even Softer Fuzz
Super Big Fuzz - 8-bitisch Square Fuzz

Links & More info about modding Big Muffs and Big Muff History in general:
http://rkerkhof.ruhosting.nl/Taas/Mods/Big%20Muff.htm
http://www.kitrae.net/music/music_big_muff.html
http://www.diystompboxes.com/cnews/mods.html
http://www.home-wrecker.com/articles.html

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