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Electro-Harmonix Classics USA Big Muff PI Distortion / Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal

Sound Quality

This pedal has a very unique sound, I'd say the distortion sounds that became famous in the 70's. Although Jimmy page didn'y always use pedals for distortion you can defenitely get some led zep tones with this pedal. Keep in mind that this pedal has cut back mids no matter what, so you might like that or you might not, but it sure sets it apart. Many famous guitarists have used this pedal such as John Frusciante of the Red hot chili's and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, which kind of tells you something. If you want to hear what the pedal sounds like for solos, listen to the solo in the RHCP song "I could have lied". The band Bush (sorry I dont know the guitarist's name) uses this a lot, and a perfect example of how it sounds when you turn the sustain knob down and use it as a fuzz can be heard on their song "Swallowed". At the beginning of the song he is playing chords softly so it provides a light distortion/fuzz. Then when the chorus comes around he strums harder so it provides more distortion. To me it sounds great (it didn't always fit my style though, but read on). Also the song Glycerine is a great example.


Well I bought one that had been used for a few years since It was 1/2 the store price if I were to buy it new. I dont regret it at all, this thing is a trooper. Although I haven't gigged with it, I sure as hell have had quite a few intense jam sessions in which ive practically jumped on it and it still works. I've had it for about 7 months now.

General Comments

I didn't always like this pedal, I'll admit. When I first got it I was actually estatic and thanked god that I finally didn't have to press the damn channel button on my combo amp to play a solo. After a while though I wanted to get some metallica tones, which is what I was covering at the time, and this pedal wasn't the best for that master of puppets saturated distortion. Eventually the pedal died and I didn't bother to replace it. I ended up lending to my friend and kind of forgot about it. A few days ago however, I finally bought a tube amp (Epiphone valve junior head+speaker), and I decided to give it another try. WOW! huge difference between tube amp and solid state amp. The sound is fuller (which I know is because of the amp) and it is a lot more touch responsive. I realize that I was dumb to ever stop using the pedal. If you mix this pedal with an overdrive pedal such as the Boss BD-2 (blues driver) you can get some ridiculously rich tones.

At the moment my gear is just a Highway one strat w/ MIM pickups (hope to uograde soon), then Big Muff->Vox Wah->Epi valve junior, and it sounds sweet.

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