Russian Muff

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budda12ax7
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Russian Muff

Post by budda12ax7 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:26 pm

I need, want, desire one.....

Which one? Should I just spring for a 90's vintage or get the Russian Pickle, or EH one?? My life will not be complete until I have one.

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Nick and the Noise
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by Nick and the Noise » Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:49 am

The EHX reissue is very good, see the comparison videos. However, it's a tall font Russian. So don't expect a Bubble Font or Black Russian, which I personally prefer (less boomy). For that, you need the Bass Muff.

If you want something more hi-fi and controllable in the mids, check a EQD Hoof. If you want something different, a Cloven Hoof: a gnarlier version.

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natthu
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by natthu » Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:14 am

I have owned something like 10 different Russian Muffs over the years (most of them at the same time - and I did compare), and really they're all quite similar between versions. I've found some of the biggest variations can be between examples of the same version. My favourite, and the only actual Russian I still have, is a big green Bubble Font V7. It's slightly hotter than the other 3 of the same version I have owned (and they were all slightly different to each other too, one of which sounded exactly like one of the Tall Font Muffs I had).

I also have an Aion Halo (clone) which I built from a kit for fun, and the EHX Green Muff Nano reissue. Both are pretty good soundalikes for the V7 Russian Muff IMHO.... and they're much more pedalboard and wallet friendly if those are considerations.

The only way you're likely to find the Russian Muff for you is to buy a heap of them and compare... which is a bit of a ridiculous option considering the cost. I'm sure if you dig the general sound of Muffs you'll probably be happy with whatever version (or decent clone) you end up with.

Kit Rae has an excellent and ridiculously informative Big Muff Page if you're looking for far too much information to help your decision.

EDIT: When I say "V7 Russian Muff", that's basically a blanket term for any of these Muff variations: Civil war, Tall Font, Bubble Font, Big Box Black Russian (V7D)... and probably a few others I've forgotten.

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CorporateDisguise
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by CorporateDisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:45 am

Is a dry blend important to you? I tend to prefer it for bass, as it helps retain more low end authority.

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Dr Tony Balls
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by Dr Tony Balls » Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:35 am

FWIW, the Big Balls units that I make are Russian-adjacent. They have the gain tuning of a Russian muff but with the eq of a typical Ram's Head.

Image Image

I've also got a few un-populated enclosures and can do custom muffs of anyone's choosing (Russian, Triangle, B&M Fuzz, Jumbo Tone Bender, Cornish, etc.)
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by s_mcsleazy » Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:18 am

if you plan on using it. just get a reissue. i've got a black russian and the amount of times i've fixed something for something else to break shortly after is very high.
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'Are you trying to seduce me Mrs Robinson? Or do you just want me to solder a couple of resistors into your Muff?'

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Dr Tony Balls
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by Dr Tony Balls » Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:38 am

s_mcsleazy wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:18 am
if you plan on using it. just get a reissue. i've got a black russian and the amount of times i've fixed something for something else to break shortly after is very high.
You're right that the original units are not super reliable and often not super repairable, but modern EHX stuff isnt exactly made well either.
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s_mcsleazy
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by s_mcsleazy » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:08 am

Dr Tony Balls wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:38 am
s_mcsleazy wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:18 am
if you plan on using it. just get a reissue. i've got a black russian and the amount of times i've fixed something for something else to break shortly after is very high.
You're right that the original units are not super reliable and often not super repairable, but modern EHX stuff isnt exactly made well either.
it's all relative. i've seen issues with the newer EHX stuff but not half as bad as the old stuff.
offset guitars resident bass player.
'Are you trying to seduce me Mrs Robinson? Or do you just want me to solder a couple of resistors into your Muff?'

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Re: Russian Muff

Post by shoule79 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:06 am

Buy a reissue, the buffers on the originals were garbage.

I used to use mine with a twin for years. Anytime the muff wasn’t in my chain I had to turn off the bright switch and roll the treble back substantially because I’d set the amp to compensate for the muffs effect my my dry tone. The new ones don’t have that problem.

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blunderbuss
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by blunderbuss » Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:04 pm

I stand by the reissue. I’ve had quite a few Russian muffs and I like it the best. If you want to go “boutique,” I’ve read good things about the Wren and Cuff’s take on them.
Ryan

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O Drones
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by O Drones » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:58 am

I’d just go reissue tbh, but otherwise Hoof
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by tune_link » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:24 am

I'll add my take here as well. EQD Hoof is well worth the price of admission. Although I've been looking at the Wren and Cuff Super Russian because it seems pretty neat. I destroyed two of the 90s Bubble Font ones, they sounded amazing but were incredibly unreliable. I had the Black Russian and it also sounded pretty good but the pots on it are shitty as hell, turn with the slightest vibration and the knobs come off way too easily. The EHX reissue isn't bad at all as you can tell from the other comments here. I owned one briefly but found that the Hoof did the same thing but gave me more tweakability in the mids (which is always helpful). The EHX reissue is definitely the most affordable/bang for yr buck thing but if you were thinking of going vintage I'd at least try the Hoof first (esp since the OGs are pretty expensive now - I mean consider that when I ruined those Bubble Font muffs I certainly had not paid $300 - $600 for them).

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Re: Russian Muff

Post by Dr Tony Balls » Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:30 pm

shoule79 wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:06 am
Buy a reissue, the buffers on the originals were garbage.

I used to use mine with a twin for years. Anytime the muff wasn’t in my chain I had to turn off the bright switch and roll the treble back substantially because I’d set the amp to compensate for the muffs effect my my dry tone. The new ones don’t have that problem.
For clarity, no EHX big muff has ever had a buffer. What sucked was the way the switching worked on many older pedals, where it loaded the bypass signal and caused a lot of tone loss.
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Re: Russian Muff

Post by bubba899 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:34 am

Another Hoof fan here. Pretty affordable second hand and the mid shift makes it super usable live. If you have the budget for a 90's one, Id spend that on a Hoof Reaper. Muff + Tone Bender + green ringer = all the fuzz you need ever*.




*obviously this is hyperbole as there is no finite amount of fuzz and one person can have.

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Re: Russian Muff

Post by jorri » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:26 am

Dr Tony Balls wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:30 pm
shoule79 wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:06 am
Buy a reissue, the buffers on the originals were garbage.

I used to use mine with a twin for years. Anytime the muff wasn’t in my chain I had to turn off the bright switch and roll the treble back substantially because I’d set the amp to compensate for the muffs effect my my dry tone. The new ones don’t have that problem.
For clarity, no EHX big muff has ever had a buffer. What sucked was the way the switching worked on many older pedals, where it loaded the bypass signal and caused a lot of tone loss.
Yes loaded bypasses, worse than buffers id say. I think they may have arisen simply because hadnt thought connecting both input and output was important, it disconnects the latter only so signal goes through resistors by some accident.

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