Guitar - Fender Stratocaster, with D Allen Voodoo 69 neck and middle pickups and Seymour Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup
Amp - Reeves Custom 50, Laney LT212 cabinet with Celestion V30 speakers
Mic - Sennheiser e906 mic
My first Big Muff was a green Sovtek with the unmistakable bubble font. I bought it new in 1996 and was instantly blown away, quite literally, by its huge tone. It’s still one of my all time favourite pedals so when Electro Harmonix announced a new reissue, I had to check it out. Here’s my review of the Green Russian Big Muff.
David Gilmour has been using Big Muffs since 1976 and the recording of Pink Floyd’s Animals. The ram’s head model defined his tones in the late 70s and early 80s. By 1994 and the Pulse tour, David had swapped the old ram’s head for an early 90s Sovtek “Civil War”.
The so-called Civil War Big Muff was soon followed by slightly different versions in green and black boxes. What defined these Sovtek Big Muffs, apart from their cold-war Russian appearance, was their massive low end, smooth overdrive-like gain and noticeably more mid range than the 70s models.
The Sovtek Big Muffs hit the market just as the grunge bands started to appear. Most of these band wanted those old analog and vintage pedals and not the digital stuff of the 80s. In a way, although perhaps a bit simplified, the Sovtek Big Muffs started the whole reissue and clone boom.
The Green Russian Big Muff is a brand new circuit based on the tall font (design of the original logo) green Sovtek, which is very close to a Civil War model. It’s got that tight low end and a hint of mid range. The tone is unmistakable and probably as close as you can get to the originals.