|Ease Of Use ||
GuitarPCB.com PCBs are very nicely built, and working with the Opamp Big Muff was a breeze, even for an electronics newbie like me. I was able to work out a few things that confused me with the PCB layout through the helpful GuitarPCB.com forums. There are plenty of helpful sticky threads on how to build pedals from their PCBs, and model specific threads for assistance building each model PCB.
Once the circuit was built it was time to play. It was very easy to dial in, as you would hope from a 3 knob distortion/fuzz circuit. The tone control, had a wide range, from thick bassy sludge to trebley cutting tones. There was plenty of gain on tap too.
As I always find nowadays with pedals I want to tweak them to suit myself a bit better, and make them a bit more versatile. Seeing as the Opamp Big Muff is quite a bit different to the other Big Muff variants, the usual mods that are all over the Internet don't quite apply here. Thankfully the community at GuitarPCB.com are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and patient.
Despite the Opamp Muff circuit being a bit friendlier in live situations I still found that the mids were still too scooped for my liking, and I wanted to attempt to try and get a 'tighter', more overdriven type of distortion tone sometimes. After doing research on how to achieve this sort of thing with the regular transistor type Muff circuits I started to pose questions on how to do this with the GuitarPCB.com circuit. A number of people in the community were able to help me with ways of achieving this, and in the end I added two new switches to the circuit; a mid scoop/peak switch, and a loose/tight fuzz switch.
I managed to successfully dial in the peaked mids to my liking first go, and it's pretty much where I leave my Muff circuit set. I'm still playing with capacitors to dial in the 'tight' fuzz setting.
I was extremely happy when I wired up everything and the Big Muff worked first time. The tone was just as I expected, massive thick roaring tones that sounded like they lept straight out of Siamese Dream. In fact the first songs I tried playing through the Opamp Big Muff was the Smashing Pumpkins tracks 'Today' and 'Cherub Rock', and the tone was just as I hoped.
Older model Big Muffs have had a tendency to be noisy buggers, and suck tone when bypassed. This is due to cheaper components such as carbon resistors, ceramic capacitors, and a buffered bypass design that's not the greatest. The design of the GuitarPCB.com Muff circuit makes wiring up a true bypass 3PDT switch a breeze, and I chose to use film capacitors where possible, so noise is not an issue with this pedal, unless you are using it on a dirty channel, where any distortion/fuzz pedal is going to make a lot of noise. I was really impressed by the lack of noise my Muff circuit made when maxed out on the clean channel. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to hear any noise when no notes are played.
It's only going to be as reliable as I can make it. The PCB itself is very well made and sturdy. Install it in a tough enclosure, and have good wiring and it should last years.
|Customer Support ||
As I always find nowadays with pedals I want to tweak them to suit myself a bit better, and make them a bit more versatile. Seeing as the Opamp Big Muff is quite a bit different to the other Big Muff variants, the usual mods that are all over the Internet don't quite apply here. Thankfully the community at GuitarPCB.com are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and patient. Barry, who runs GuitarPCB.com is particularly awesome, always ready to help people with their purchases.
|Liked about it ||
Nice, easy build. Managed to get it working first go.
* Awesome tones, early Smashing Pumpkins right out of the box.
* Fantastic community to back you up with your build.
|Didn't like ||
A little too much scooped mids, easy to solve with a bit more DIY modding though.
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