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is a big muff without the noise still a big muff?

6/7/1999 6:57 PM
is a big muff without the noise still a big muff?
i am considering buying a big muff pedal but would love it if i could get it without the noise. but is the noise so much a part of its sound that it wouldnt sound good without it. i have seen a few places on the net that seem like smaller companies that produce a big muff like pedal and claim lower noise (Sustain punch, guyatone...) i would even do a mod to a new one if it would eliminate its problems. i am kind of new to pedal mods but am sure that i can do it. so any suggestions on pre made pedals that are high quality or a place to find a mod would be appreciated!!
6/7/1999 7:18 PM
Dave Chun

With all the gain in the design, some noise is unavoidable. As the gain increases, the noise increases along with it, so making sure your guitar is shielded and noise free is paramount. Same thing for any effects before the Big Muff - if there's any noise before it, it's gonna get worse. I think the noise factor is increased due to the gain of the effect and that it's clipping the signal hard (2 stages) so the level is cut down, bringing down the S/N ratio.  
Using high quality parts is a first step (high wattage metal film resistors, no electrolytic caps) is a start, as is board layout and part installation technique. I think there was a thread in this section a week ago asking how to tame the noise in a Big Muff. You might want to check it out for further suggestions.  
Building your own from the aforementioned parts (RG has a toner package, I believe) is the quick and easy way to go. Total parts outlay is less than a RI Big Muff, so if you're good with a soldering iron, try it out.
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