From frett–(at)–ol.com Sat Aug 26 22:26:14 CDT 1995
Article: 57328 of alt.guitar
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From: frett–(at)–ol.com (Fretts)
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
Subject: Three Big Muffs reviewed
Date: 25 Aug 1995 03:48:21 -0400
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I built a Big Muff based on my “2nd-version of the first-series” old one.
Namely, a small-logo, three-knobs-in-a-triangle, no graphics small box
unit with the 2N5133 transistors. My copy uses NTE 47 transistors for the
input and output, and 2N2222s for the two diode clipper stages. I am
still hunting around for the right combination of high and low gain Qs.
Here is the review: My oldie is just perfect. It grinds, has tons of
balls, a punchy low end, and a very specific top end that I love – the
high end of the harmonic content is low-order harmonics, it sounds rumbly
and grindy, not fuzzy or fizzy. My copy is not there yet. It has the
same low end, but the spectrum is wrong – no matter how I set the tone,
the distortion always contains a higher harmonic than I like. It has a
fuzzy sound. There is too much overdrive; it may be the exact diodes I am
using, because I have tried driving them at various levels, and these
1N642s just start out sounding fizzy the instant they clip. The originals
are not marked, they’re just clear glass with the copper showing through.
Maybe they are 914s maybe not.
NOW, THE REISSUE: It is very, very good. Almost perfect! I could
barely tell them apart, even switching rapidly back and forth between
them. The new one has a lower low end and I don’t like it. My oldie
stops around mid-bass (300 Hz or so?) and the newie sounds much lower.
Too low, I don’t like it, it sounds ‘flumpy’ instead of punchy.
But it is very, very close. Verdict? modify a new one and save a ton
of headaches. And the quality is astonishing! Very good looking board,
parts, pots, switch (more like a Ford headlight dimmer switch!), and the
case is a solid zinc casting – it should sell for $250! (But if it did,
nobody would actually buy it!). And looking at the parts on the board, it
DOES appear to be a reissue of the *correct* version, Hallelujah, Mike
Matthews, well done.

-Fretts

From kee–(at)–ustin.ibm.com Sat Aug 26 22:26:34 CDT 1995
Article: 57324 of alt.guitar
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
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From: kee–(at)–ustin.ibm.com ()
Subject: Re: Three Big Muffs reviewed
Originator: kee–(at)–een.austin.ibm.com
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Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 17:35:06 GMT
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In article <41jv85$7c--(at)--ewsbf02.news.aol.com>, frett–(at)–ol.com (Fretts) writes:
> I built a Big Muff based on my “2nd-version of the first-series” old one.
> Namely, a small-logo, three-knobs-in-a-triangle, no graphics small box
> unit with the 2N5133 transistors. My copy uses NTE 47 transistors for the
> input and output, and 2N2222s for the two diode clipper stages. I am
> still hunting around for the right combination of high and low gain Qs.
> Here is the review: My oldie is just perfect. It grinds, has tons of
> balls, a punchy low end, and a very specific top end that I love – the
> high end of the harmonic content is low-order harmonics, it sounds rumbly
> and grindy, not fuzzy or fizzy. My copy is not there yet. It has the
> same low end, but the spectrum is wrong – no matter how I set the tone,
> the distortion always contains a higher harmonic than I like. It has a
> fuzzy sound. There is too much overdrive; it may be the exact diodes I am
> using, because I have tried driving them at various levels, and these
> 1N642s just start out sounding fizzy the instant they clip. The originals
> are not marked, they’re just clear glass with the copper showing through.
> Maybe they are 914s maybe not.
Measure the real values of the caps and resistors in the oldie you love.
Also, you can soften the clipping on the diode pairs by inserting a
resistor of some value in series with them. You might get a 10K pot and
put it in series, tweak till it sounds right, then replace it with
the nearest 1% value fixed resistor. I do a mod on the MXR Distortion Plus
that is exactly this, and makes for some very smooth clipping, even given
the 741 opamp and clipperdiode circuit of the D+.

R.G.

From mgarvi–(at)–anix.com Sat Aug 26 22:26:50 CDT 1995
Article: 57343 of alt.guitar
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From: mgarvi–(at)–anix.com (Mark Garvin)
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
Subject: Re: Three Big Muffs reviewed
Date: 25 Aug 1995 15:35:16 -0400
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>In article <41jv85$7c--(at)--ewsbf02.news.aol.com>, frett–(at)–ol.com (Fretts) writes:
>> and grindy, not fuzzy or fizzy. My copy is not there yet. It has the
>> same low end, but the spectrum is wrong – no matter how I set the tone,
>> the distortion always contains a higher harmonic than I like. It has a
>> fuzzy sound. There is too much overdrive; it may be the exact diodes I am
>> using, because I have tried driving them at various levels, and these
>> 1N642s just start out sounding fizzy the instant they clip. The originals
>> are not marked, they’re just clear glass with the copper showing through.
>> Maybe they are 914s maybe not.

In kee–(at)–ustin.ibm.com () writes:
>Also, you can soften the clipping on the diode pairs by inserting a
>resistor of some value in series with them. You might get a 10K pot and
>put it in series, tweak till it sounds right, then replace it with

Good plan regarding the pot in series.

I just wanted to mention that you could try 1n4001’s or similar
rectifier diode rather than the glass signal diodes. I believe Radio
Shack has 1n4007’s which are similar. More junction capacitance. The
problem with raspiness may not even be coming from the diodes, though.
If it’s that harsh, you may want to check the amp stages to find out
if they are clipping.

Regards,
Mark Garvin

 

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