So I received my new ARC Effects - Big Green PI (BGP) pedal in the mail today via USPS and thought I would post a review of it on HC. You may be able to guess by the name that this is a homage to the Green Sovtek Big Muff (Tall Font) from the 90's. A pedal many of us have savaged the stage and the studio with, moved some air, pissed off many a soundman, etc, etc... Fond memories. So when I saw a post on the internet about the ARC Effects - Big Green PI, I was intrigued. Not just because it was a homage to the Green Big Muff, but because you could tell simply by checking out the pics of the pedal that whoever made this thing, absolutley killed it with the design. Gone are the shortcomings like the board mounted input/output jacks, the battery compartment that you are going to lose guaranteed and the gargantuan size of the old Green Sovtek Big Muff. The Big Green PI is the same great green incredible hulk color as the original but with a gloss finish, very nice heavy duty knobs, folded metal enclosure in the same spirit of the original but smaller and more functional, not to mention the true bypass foot switch.
Ok, so the sound, right...you want to know how it sounds. For the sake of knowing what type of gear, test setup and taste in gear that I am bringing to this review, I should give you a brief rundown of the functional elements of the rig I was running to test the Big Green PI today. Guitar was a Fender Custom Shop Fusion Classic Strat with Dimarzio Area 58/61 pickups, Fargen AC Duo & Fargen Blackbird VS2 Amps running simultaneously into 2 Dr. Z 2x12s (gold & blue Celestions), lava cables throughout. Signal flow was Guitar into vintage Real McCoy RMC3, Gold Klon Centaur, Xotic EP1, Big Green PI, Fulltone 69SR, Fulltone DejaVibe2, Big Briar Analog Delay with Moog Cluster Flux in the loop, then into the Triple Banger then into the amps. Phew... Ok so that's my gear resume. I know what sounds good basically.
Some background on me... I have been trying to fill the big fuzz distortion slot on my pedalboard for awhile. The old Sovtek Green Big Muff wasn't cutting it because it A) didn't seam to sound like it used to and B) it's F'n huge. I had been running a Sustain Punch - Creamy dreamer but it sounded too metal for my rig. I needed something more complex. Also I have a couple of Devi Ever Silver Roses, but too many knobs and not enough complexity to the sound...also kind of metal sounding which is not my speed. Needless to say I was psyched to get my BGP plugged in this afternoon and I was not disappointed. The Big Green PI sounds like the Big Muff sound that was in my head, complex, string separation, robust oomph, basically the best of the best, the holy grail. When I think Big Muff, I think J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. The ARC Effects - Big Green PI reminds me of J's sound from his 90's albums and concerts. Unrelenting, anti-authority tone, while at the same time very sophisticated and sexy sounding. Not only do rhythms sound great but the leads sound even better..thick and with a sound that seems to move with you.... a little extra zizz an zazz here and there as you bend the strings. Palm mutes don't flub out. It's the total package.
So the Big Green PI passed the sound test with flying colors. It killed it point-blank actually. Next thing that is important to me is if it plays well with others. I am big on blending pedals together to achieve an overall sounds. The BGP is definitely a team player, even with the wah pedal. No complaints of my end as that type of problem is normally a deal breaker with me. Other than that, the Big Green PI has a set of 2 internal dipswitches 1) for Diode Lift (sounds like a Supa Tone Bender when engaged) which is nice if you are playing bass, 2) for Flat Mids incase you need a little more cut in the mix. Cool stuff and I tested it all, but I love this thing stock all knobs dimed. @ $160.00 you can't go wrong. So that is my review. Hope this helps you in the guitar pedal pursuits. http://arc-effects.com/big-green-pi/