Big Muff Pi

Distortion/Sustainer
The NYC original. Hendrix and Santana were among the first to get a piece of the Pi, and for over 40 years the Big Muff Pi has been defining the sound of rock guitar. Revered by contemporary guitarists and rock legends for its rich, creamy, violin-like sustain, from Pink Floyd to The White Stripes, everyone still wants a piece of the Pi!

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From the Blog
Posted 7/31/2014


Wow. Much Muff. Such fuzz. So tone.



Posted 6/2/2014



Kris Munday sent this stop motion in showing what guitar pedals do while the guitarist is away!


Posted 4/24/2014



Austrian director, Reinhold Bidner and the band M185 sent Mike Matthews this video featuring Big Muff Man. Watch what happens!


Posted 4/4/2014



Reverb.com wrote a great article on the EHX Big Muff Pi. Enjoy!

http://reverb.com/blog/fuzzy-memories-a-profile-of-a-big-muff-master

Posted 3/19/2014



Gaz Taylor wrote Mike Matthews to say: “Guitars and amps come and go, but the thing that’s always in my rig is my Big Muff. It’s all I need. So I got a tattoo to show the love.”



Posted 12/27/2013



Blondegraemey pulls a cool old Bad Stone Phase Shifter out of the vault.


Posted 12/11/2013



OTOYAMOVIE demo of the original Big Muff Pi. BTW, EHX just released the Nano Big Muff Pi. It’s identical to the original in sound and function, just in a smaller die-cast package. If you haven’t heard it, check out this demo.




Posted 10/31/2013


Jason Helm created this amazing Big Muff jack o’lantern! Happy Halloween!!

Posted 8/6/2013


Funky Muff tones made by combining the Big Muff Pi with Bassballs by The Funk Pumpkins on Bass


Posted 8/1/2013


Big Muff Pis after silk screening at EHX NYC.

Posted 5/28/2013

EHX EFFECTOLOGY
Mr. Effectology, Bill Ruppert, pays homage to the Pink Floyd creation, “On the Run,” a track from their 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. The tune was originally created using an EMS synthesizer. Here, Bill unleashes his powers of prestidigitation to re-create the original instrumental using (only) his guitar, EHX effects pedals, and a whole lot of talent and imagination.

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 5/20/2013



Videosongster, Bayu Ardianto, checks in from Indonesia with his latest offering.  The band’s (Lola Bangs the Drum)  message is that love isn’t logical. Bayu says he used a lot of EHX effects in this production, as follows:

HOG Harmonic Octave Generator: pianica, synthesizer
Stereo Electric Mistress Flanger: synthesizer
44 Magnum Power Amp: bass, Rhodes, guitar cabinet
Stereo Talking Machine Vocal Formant Filter: electric guitar
Deluxe Memory Man Echo/Chorus/Vibrato: electric guitar
Ring Thing Single Sidebande Modulator: electric guitar
LPB-1 Linear Power Booster: electric guitar
LPB-1 electric guitar
Big Muff Pi: electric guitar

Posted 4/8/2013



Back in the 1970s, EHX occupied two floors on West 23rd Street in NYC (the fifth and sixth) in an area of Manhattan known as Chelsea. Today Chelsea is home to numerous art galleries, but way back when it was the home of Mike Matthews and his crew who were cranking out Big Muffs, LPB-1s and this black & white catalog!

 

Posted 2/25/2013



JJ Likes Guitar created a cool video dedicated to the classic EHX Big Muff Pi.

BTW, well known knife and sword designer, Kit Rae, has created a truly comprehensive site dedicated to everything Big Muff Pi! You can find it here: www.kitrae.net/music/music_big_muff.html

Posted 11/5/2012



EHX EFFECTOLOGY
Guitar effects guru, Bill Ruppert, pushes the envelope (hard) of what is possible to achieve with “just” a guitar and a handful of EHX effects pedals. In this latest edition of Effectology Bill re-creates the synthesizers from the Pink Floyd classic “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” Check it out. This really is one of those things you have to see and hear to believe!

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 9/18/2012




We are very pleased to inform you that Mike Matthews has been nominated for Vintage Guitar Magazine’s Hall of Fame. The category is “Innovators” and this is an unabashed solicitation for you to cast your vote for Mike, a guy who truly is one of the most innovative characters in the music equipment biz.

A hollow boast? Hardly! Here is a short list of just some of the innovations Mike Matthews has been responsible for in his career at the helm of Electro-Harmonix:

  • First product to introduce the age of overdrive: LPB-1 Linear Power Booster
  • First portable, battery powered, guitar amp; Freedom Amp
  • First to introduce feedback with a phase shifter: Bad Stone
  • First electronic flanger: Electric Mistress
  • First with an analog delay: Memory Man
  • First inexpensive digital delay: 2 Second Digital Delay
  • First to pioneer an electronic looper: the 16 Second Digital Delay
  • First to introduce inexpensive sampling: Instant Replay, then the Super Replay

In Mike’s 45 year history of relentless product innovation, he’s also been responsible for iconic effects pedals like the Big Muff Pi and the POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator. More recently, he continues to redefine the landscape of effects with products like the Freeze Sustainer, Ravish Sitar Pedal, Superego Synth Engine and the ground-breaking Crying Tone Wah Pedal with no moving parts. His successful battles against violent Russian mobsters only spiked his creativity!

Voting is easy. Just go to http://www.vintageguitar.com/hall-of-fame/
Log in and cast your vote. Oh, there’s an added benefit to you. Voters are entered to win a beautiful new D’Angelico guitar, so do it now! And many thanks for your support.

Posted 1/27/2012



Effectologist extraordinaire, Bill Ruppert, defies the impossible to re-create the theme from the movie Blade Runner. Using “only” his Electro-Harmonix pedals and unbridled imagination, the maestro delivers an auditory tour-de-force.

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 10/31/2011



Effectology Volume 24. Soundscape for Dr. Frankenstein’s Laboratory.

Take a trip to the macabre with effects wizard, Bill Ruppert, as he transmorgrifies popular EHX effects pedals to create a chilling soundtrack fit for Frankenstein’s laboratory. Happy Halloween!

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 10/4/2011



proguitarshop.com does a great job demoing Classic Big Muff Pi.

Posted 8/24/2011



Jim Studios checks out the EHX Big Muff Pi.

Posted 8/1/2011

Guitar Buyer magazine created “The Shortlist” of five, must try, distortion and overdrive pedals. The legendary Big Muff Pi appears on the top of that list!

Click image below to enlarge

Posted 7/8/2011



August Guitar World magazine’s featured cover story is the “100 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs of All Time!”

A panel of luminaries picked the tunes and talked about some of the gear used. Pink Floyd’s anthem, “Comfortably Numb,” scored the number 20 position right behind the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

What gear did David Gilmour rely on? Guitar World says: ‘69 Stratocaster, HiWatt DR103 amp, Big Muff distortion.

Click here to see the large size review

Posted 7/6/2011



Bill Ruppert is a Jedi Master at the art of creating soundscapes that are truly not of this world. Travel along with Bill, into the astral plane, as he explores the outer limits of “Paranormal Guitar Effects.” In this latest edition of Effectology, Bill once again uses “only” his guitar and Electro-Harmonix effects pedals to conjure aliens, poltergeists and more!

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 6/10/2011



Guitar World Magazine selects their Top 50 stomp boxes of all time and Electro-Harmonix scores with five winners.

Click here or the image below to read the review

Posted 5/16/2011



Them Fuzzy Monsters get heavy with the Big Muff Pi.

Posted 4/18/2011



Claudio VonBarbaz Traina posted this photo of his Big Muff Pi tattoo on our Facebook page and we wanted to share it.

big-muff-tattoo.jpg

Posted 4/8/2011


Want to put some thunder down under and some junk in the trunk? Check out the “Fuzz Bass” effect. It’s been used by The Beatles (“Think For Yourself”), Sly & The Family Stone (“I Want to Take You Higher”), U2 (“Get On Your Boots”) and countless others.

Running your guitar into an Octave Multiplexer and any one of the Big Muff pedals generates a thick, distorted, sub octave that will shake the walls. The Octave Multiplexer uses an analog flip-flop circuit to produces a unique, fat, grainy sub octave tone.

Settings and sample video are below:

Previous Tone Tips posts:

Stay tuned, more Tone Tips posts coming soon!

Posted 4/1/2011



Blondegraemey does six Big Muffs in seven minutes…

Posted 3/21/2011



EHX’s Mike Matthews appeared live recently on the popular NPR Soundcheck radio show to talk about distortion in popular music and legendary Electro-Harmonix products like the Big Muff Pi.

Click here to listen to the interview

Posted 1/28/2011



A fresh review on the legendary Big Muff Pi by the British guitar website, Guitar Jar.

Click here to read the review

Posted 12/17/2010


From France, a nice demo of bass guitar played through a Big Muff Pi USA. The Bass Big Mufff Pi, which is tailored especially for bass, is, in our humble opinion, even richer sounding!

Posted 11/30/2010

Posted 10/27/2010

When Premier Guitar magazine decided to do a special pedal issue, the iconic Big Muff Pi was a natural. Inside the issue, I relate the topsy turvy history of Electro-Harmonix, with some never told tidbits. 

Click here to see the interview with Mike Matthews

Click here to see the issue cover


Posted 9/8/2010

Renowned artist, fantasy knife and sword designer, and self-avowed Electro-Harmonix historian, Kit Rae, has created this very unique website documenting the history of the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi.

http://www.kitrae.net/music/big_muff_history.html#TriangleBigMuff

Big Muff Pi

Posted 7/6/2010

Posted 6/3/2010

This is part of an interview in Guitar World Magazine with Phil Taylor, David Gilmour’s guitar tech.

GW: I notice David tends to use stomp boxes instead of rack-mounted effects. What is his reasoning?

PT: I think his general feeling is that while rack effects tend to cover a lot of areas, they don’t cover any of them particularly well. He feels that foot pedals such as a Big Muff tend to have more character.

GW: How does Dave achieve the classic sound that we hear on the solos of songs like “Comfortably Numb”?

PT: It think it’s just pretty much him. He is obviously using a couple of effects, like a Big Muff and a delay, but it really is just his fingers, his vibrato, his choice of notes and how he sets his effects.

Posted 5/27/2010

Posted 4/28/2010

Posted 3/14/2010

In Effectology 14, pedal guru Bill Ruppert takes us on a journey to previously unchartered sonic territory. Using only Electro-Harmonix pedals and his guitar, Bill creates a series of “believe it or not” soundscapes. Whether it’s the sound of songbirds singing joyfully by a babbling brook or a vintage vinyl “lo-fi” recording complete with clicks and scratches, Bill’s mastery of effects will amaze you. As he says, “Never judge what an effect pedal will do by what you have heard it will do. Experiment and you will find new sounds not yet discovered!” Indeed!

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 2/25/2010

Sonic master Bill Ruppert reproduces the legendary Pink Floyd synth textures from “Welcome To The Machine .” Using only his guitar and the perfect blend of EH pedals, Bill re-creates the amazing sound-scapes that made this recording special. Each EH pedal provides its own magic to reveal the complexity and textures of the EMS VC3 synthesizer with stunning accuracy.

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 2/2/2010
A catchy demo showing what our pedals can do with synths. Featuring the
Deluxe Memory Man, Big Muff Pi and Small Stone.




Posted 11/6/2009

Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins discusses his “first recognition of the power that the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi”  had in establishing his sound and early tonal foundation.
The established identity of the Big Muff Pi is well known throughout the music world. When it is talked about, first hand, the weight and humor of Billy’s recollection deliver one more powerful endorsement of just how important the Big Muff Pi  and the Deluxe Electric mistress have had and continue to have to the entire guitar playing world. Special thanks to Kerry P. Brown of Coldwater Studio for his permission to present this insightful article.

This is the full article Billy Corgan “first recognition of the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi”

Posted 10/19/2009

Welcome to the fifth installment of EHX Effectology. In today’s episode Genius sound producer Bill Ruppert has produced another amazing “Effectology” sound clip. Using only Electro-Harmonix pedals and NO synthesizers, Bill recreated of Kraftwerks’s classic “Autobahn.”

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 10/7/2009

Posted 9/21/2009

Yet another great Effectology episode by the great Bill Ruppert.

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 6/26/2009
With thanks to Michael-in-Paris we just discovered the Pommery Champagne house in Reims, France (photo via Wikipedia):
When there, be sure to get a tour of the cellar. That's where you'll discover their contemporary art collection, which features an installation work composed of a pair of Les Pauls, Big Muffs, Marshalls, and a lot of birds.

The gear is left plugged in, and the birds actually "play" the guitars when they land on the strings. Michael wasn't too keen about the bird guano on the instruments, but c'est l'art:

For more Big Muff Pi art, see Robin Rose's "Cypher" Exhibit, Washington, DC and also Big Fluff Pi vs. Music-Industrial Complex. For even more, see the Big Muff Pi page.

Posted 6/22/2009
This summer, look for the new documentary film "It Might Get Loud" featuring Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2), Jack White (White Stripes), and directed by Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth").

Here's how producer Thomas Tull describes it: "I wanted to see a movie that captured the essence of why people are so fanatic about the guitar. While there have been a lot of performance documentaries, this one is really about the relationship between these three men and their instruments. We tried to show what drives the artists, what got them passionate as players, what made them pick up the guitar in the first place."

As for me, I was especially chuffed to see the movie's trailer, which begins and ends with Jack White playing a hand-made instrument through a Big Muff Pi. The trailer also includes the White Stripes' "Blue Orchid," one of the first tracks to feature the then-new POG (recently replaced by POG2):

But that's not all! You'll also get a quick look at The Edge sharing a tender moment with his Deluxe Memory Man at the beach:

You can watch the full "It Might Get Loud" movie trailer here:

Posted 6/15/2009
Welcome to the second installment of Electro-Harmonix's new "Effectology" series. In the first episode, we transformed a regular electric guitar into a blues harmonica.

Today Bill Ruppert, Professor of Effectology, recreates the sound of Pink Floyd's "On the Run" from "Dark Side of the Moon" (pedals used: Micro Synthesizer, Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai, Frequency Analyzer, Big Muff Pi, Stereo Pulsar).

Please note: Bill will be in the EHX Forums to discuss his sounds, settings, and process. We hope you join us there.

Previous episodes:

Stay tuned, more Effectology episodes coming soon!

Posted 5/18/2009
Thanks to Vicktor Stilling for pointing me to his music video for "Rock Scientists" by Danish indie band Gravy, with an opening cameo by the Big Muff Pi. Victor co-directed the video and tells us that it showed at SXSW.
SXSW Synopsis: "It took directors Victor Stilling and Mads Hjort 150 hours and lots of coffee to complete this partially animated, partially real life footage video. The video for 'Rock Scientists' is inspired by the featured band Gravy's 'naked to the waist' live performances (vastly popular among female fans). One of Gravy's two drummers is a highly skilled chef, and thus the idea of cooking up a rocking stew with all the bands' secret ingredients came to life. Have fun spotting the spicy references to Rock 'n' Roll History in the video."

Posted 5/6/2009
Cheers to Jack Conte for "This Disaster," his latest 'videosong' -- I spotted a HOG, a Big Muff Pi, and a Tube Zipper (and for EHX shirts, check out the merch shop).

btw, Jack's videosong rules are: 1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice). 2. If you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds).

Posted 4/28/2009
Robin Rose is a long-established painter specializing in 'encaustic' works[?], but back in 1979 he played guitar and synth for new-wave/punk band Urban Verbs (Warner) and regularly performed at clubs like CBGB here in NYC.

For Robin's new exhibit, titled "Cypher" (April 7-May 17, American University Museum, Washington DC, info/pics), he changes gears and revisits those roots.

"Ascendant" (below, starting top-right) captures the skyward joy that comes when you catch a good groove. Gearheads, from top to bottom: that's a 1965 Fender Stratocaster with reverse tremolo, gold guitar cable, Marshall 800 Lead Amp Head, 1960 Slant speaker cabinet.

"Isolation," the circular work on the left, is assembled from 50 guitar effect pedals, with interconnecting cables. Robin explained that each pedal is an independent entity (in reality, and metaphorically), and each is connected to its peers, but through a loop that never accepts external input or offers external output. So, we can use this to consider the social world, where social circuits can also loop closed and cut off outside contact.
Robin's daughter, a 16-year-old rocker, artist and Sonic Youth fan with Asperger Syndrome[?] color coded the pedals (note the rainbow gradation on the left side). Robin tells us: "When the decision came to arrange the direction of the pedals, she said 'there is only one way they can go, Pointing IN.' I asked why, and she replied 'that made them lonely.'"

And I catch that lonely vibe: I first imagine myself standing in the middle of a dream pedalboard, but then I realize they're all turned away from me.

We're honored that Robin placed the Big Muff Pi at the bottom-center position. Thanks to Hemphill Fine Arts for the introduction. Images courtesy of the artist and Hemphill. Photography by Brandon Webster.

Posted 4/10/2009
Be sure to catch John Frusciante's comments on the English Muff'n in the April 2009 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine: "The Electro-Harmonix English Muff'n tube fuzz has some really extreme EQ and a big, thick and meaty sound. I used it on the solo for 'Enough Of Me.' I turn the EQ up, but leave my guitar tone knobs down and use either the middle or neck pickup so the original source sound is really dark and plain. If you blast the tone controls on the effect, you get a really thick, beautiful sound that reminds me of an exaggerated Eric Clapton tone in cream, where you have this really smooth fuzz."

In addition to the English Muff'n, John has also toured and recorded with the Micro Synthesizer, Big Muff Pi (both USA and Russian), POG, Metal Muff, HOG, Holy Grail, and Deluxe Electric Mistress. That said, I'm sure you fru-heads are still going to email and tell me what I left out.

Posted 3/26/2009
We recently discovered this hand-sewn Big Muff Pi cushion by German artist/maker Gwendolin Tñ¤gert. It immediately struck us as funny and wonderful. (Translated from the German: "Wouldn't you love to hug a Big Muff all the time? Now it is possible! A super cute large stuffed cushion in the form of the world famous guitar effects pedal BIG MUFF!")

However, there was a touchy complication: the Big Muff Pi is a registered trademark, and if we discover unauthorized uses of our trademarks, we're legally obligated to do something about it (we have no choice about that).

We're all too familiar with the endless lawsuits suffocating the world of music, and so we decided to do something different. Instead of threats, demands, and legal letters, we contacted Gwendolin, told her we loved her work, and offered a formal license in exchange for an option to purchase them at discount. So, rather than a new enemy we now have a new friend, and a beautiful Big Fluff Pi. Take that as a lesson, music-industrial complex!

(Thanks for the tip to 'Ned Flanders' over in the EHX forums)

Posted 3/14/2009
In honor of Pi Day (3/14) we proudly present yet another splendid Pi shootout (Big Muff Pi vs. Little Big Muff Pi vs. Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker) by YouTube's esteemed gearmanndude. And yes, we know, some folks celebrate Pi Day on 22/7.

Posted 9/25/2008
It's a little known fact, but a few years back we produced a very limited run of Big Muff Pi pedals customized for the experimental Scottish band Mogwai, thought you might enjoy seeing one...

Posted 9/3/2008
This is just plain cool -- look for the Big Muff Pi at exactly 1:00 into the clip -- but don't blink! If you do blink, here it is:

Posted 8/29/2008
A short excerpt from the documentary film "Fuzz: The Sound That Revolutionized The World" in which Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews tells the story of EHX's first product, the LPB-1.

Mike also reveals the origins of "Muff," which we take care to use very sparingly: Bass Big Muff Pi, Big Muff Pi, Big Muff Pi (Russian), Double Muff, English Muff'n, Little Big Muff Pi, Metal Muff, Micro Metal Muff, Muff Overdrive, and Pocket Metal Muff (all featured in our Distortion, Fuzz, Overdrive category).

The clip also features Chris Ross (Wolfmother) and ends with J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) showing off his unbelievable Big Muff Pi collection.

Posted 8/29/2008
Here's a short experimental video by Radiohead's Thom Yorke -- look carefully, and you'll spot his Frequency Analyzer, Stereo Polychorus, and Big Muff Pi.

Posted 6/30/2008
Fourteen year old YouTuber cville57 plays Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" (ed note: Pink Floyd's David Gilmour made heavy use of the Big Muff Pi and Deluxe Electric Mistress). Be sure to catch the switch at 2:00 -- cville57, you rock.

Posted 5/5/2008
Behold: J Mascis' (Dinosaur Jr.) Muff Museum. Why have just one Big Muff Pi when you could have 20? Kids, don't try this at home!

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Quick Specs
True bypass
Singing sustain with attitude
Crushing distortion
Adjustable tone
9-volt battery included
Optional 9DC-100 power supply available
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