What is it?
Made in 1973, this version two of the Big Muff is so-called for the ovine head on the enclosure, was made famous by tone-conscious patrons such as David Gilmour, and is now reissued as part of Electro-Harmonix's nano range of Big Muffs. That range includes the V1 Triangle Muff, Op-Amp Big Muff and Green Russian, but the Ram's Head offers something a little bit different.
Here, EHX has fine-tuned the circuit, referencing vintage models and when we compared and contrast with an original '73 unit the result is uncanny.
Performance and verdict
It is immediately apparent that this 2019 Ram's Head has "the stuff." The sustain knob might start out peddling a sweet mid-gain overdrive crunch, harmonically juicy, but it soon shows its true colours with an effervescent, sustain-rich fuzz tone that might lack some of the low-end fortitude of other Big Muffs yet delivers excellent articulation to chords. Amid the hard-clipping chaos there is a musicality that is hard to beat.
We could say that of any number of Big Muffs, and what it comes down to is how you like it. The subtle variances in break-up and harmonic overtones make all the difference. With this you're talking Comfortably Numb tones or loose-leaf grunge and alt-rock, but you could nail a lot of early '70s fuzz tones when you hold back a little on that sustain control.
It's good to have the Ram's Head back, and at a price that suggests the act of sourcing an original for obscene prices on Reverb is truly the first sign of madness.
MusicRadar verdict: A classic Big Muff is back in stock and sounding just as good as it did back in the '70s.
The web says
"To the extent the Ram’s head does lower-gain distortion tones, it excels. Placing the Ram’s Head’s gain control at noon yields some of the smoothest high/mid-gain fuzz you’ll hear from the Muff family.
Premier Guitar (opens in new tab)
- ORIGIN: USA
- TYPE: Fuzz pedal
- FEATURES: True bypass
- CONTROLS: Volume, Sustain, Tone, Bypass footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
- POWER: 9V battery or 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 30mA
- DIMENSIONS: 68 (w) x 111 (d) x 50mm (h)
- Electro-Harmonix (opens in new tab)