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Electro-Harmonix XO Metal Muff with Top Boost

The Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff with Top Boost features 3 powerful EQ bands that are ideal for sculpting mids and a total of 6 controls for shaping sound precisely your way. Top Boost adds serious bite with its own control knob and footswitch button.

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Searched Electro-Harmonix XO Metal Muff with Top Boost in Reviews


Very Metal, not so much Muff featured

Ease Of Use Lots of knobs to twiddle but it's still an effects pedal so it's pretty straightforward. 1/4" in and out, power comes from a standard 9V adaptor or battery. Like most EHX pedals, you'll need a screwdriver to access the battery.

Two right hand footswitch operates the pedal, the left hand switch operates the Top Boost. The Top Boost also has its own level control. The other knobs are standard distortion pedal fodder, controlling Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass and Gain.

Sound The Metal Muff sits in a bit of a niche. Despite the name, there is nothing in here that will remind you of the smooth, warm distortion of a Big Muff Pi. Neither does it do the same kind of massively saturated distortion as, say, a Line 6 Uber Metal.

What it does a very good job of is classic metal through to early 90s thrash. The gain is vey open-sounding so there's plenty of room for your guitar and its pickups to stamp their individuality on your sound. Like most distortion (rather than overdrive) pedals, the Metal Muff sounds best in front of a clean amp.

The three tone controls give you a lot of scope to shape your sound but each of them seems to have more range than you would ever need, so you'll probably be between 9 and 3 o'clock on each of them most of the time.

I rarely use the Top Boost function. If you want that trebly Pantera kind of tone then this will do the trick, but use it in moderation or your ears will start to bleed. They should probably call it the Metal Muff with Psychotic Treble Boost.

Reliability It's a big, chunky pedal in a big, chunky, die-cast box so you'd be trying hard to break it.

Customer Support I've never had to deal with EHX.

Liked about it - Great, classic metal and thrash sounds lurk in here
- Lots of options for tone shaping
- It looks Very Metal

Didn't like - The Top Boost is too harsh to my ears, even at low levels
- It's not a one trick pony but it has a relatively restricted range
- It's a big chunk of metal to find a home for on your pedalboard

Overall satisfaction:

By MarkE
Jan 11, 2010
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Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff with Top Boost featured

Ease Of Use Nothing complicated. 6 knobs and 2 footswitchable buttons (bypass and boost). Not that easy to get a good sound out of it though

Sound What I use with this pedal: Ibanez RG550 reissue with Dimarzio Evo2 and Breed Neck pickups, Laney VC15 amp and Ibanez DE7 delay pedal.
The Metal Muff sounds a bit nasaly. One must carefully set the mid and treble knobs to the right values or else, it would sound bad. I did try a lot of other pedals and I must say, the one good sound I got from this is better than a lot of other pedals.

The pedal can give you insane amounts of gain, but I'd never think about using that, and I really hope, for the sake of all music, that no one uses that much gain ;) But it should handle all types of metal easily. I mainly use it for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest kinda stuff, or just heavy doodling at home. I wont gig with it because I'm no fan of artifical-sounding distortion that comes from non-tube pedals or amps, but to each his own. I bought it because I could not get heavy distortion from my current rig, and it did its job.
If you're looking for a reasonably-priced distortion pedal for metal, then you should give this a try. I wouldn't recommend buying this without trying, because it is definitely a matter of taste with this pedal

Reliability Im pretty sure this thing is reliable. Its heavy and I think it would withstand a lot. Never had problems with it

Liked about it Price and ability to get a non-crappy heavy distortion from a pedal. For that, it gets 3 stars from me

Didn't like I could only get one good type of sound out of it, but then again, I'm not a fan of single pedal, non-tube distortion. They're too artificial for me. This is no exception, but definitely better than other competitors out there.
If it was a bit more versatile, it would've easily gotten 4 stars

Overall satisfaction:

By no1spretty
Dec 16, 2009
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