Intended for electric guitarists and bassists, the Electro-Harmonix Sovtek Deluxe Big Muff Pi is a fuzz distortion pedal that combines several classic Big Muff stompboxes into one versatile unit. Its Volume, Tone, and Sustain controls hail from the Green Russian, while the Wicker switch is borrowed from the Big Muff Tone Wicker. Finally, the sound-sculpting capabilities of the midrange control section are derived from the Big Muff Deluxe. The result is a fuzz distortion pedal with a classic sound and a lot of sonic control not available before.
With the Volume, Tone, and Sustain knobs, you can control the output level, timbre, and distortion level of the effect. The Tone knob isn't just a low-pass filter for the highs, but an emphasis control for the lows as well. The Wicker switch adds the brightness of the Big Muff Tone Wicker, and brings out your pick attack as well. With the Blend knob, you can dial in some of your dry signal into the effect. The Gate knob can cut out unwanted residual noise from your pickups when you're not playing.
The Midrange section allows you to home in on midrange frequencies between the 300 Hz range and 5 kHz, giving you the option to boost or cut selected frequencies by up to 10 dB. Use the Q switch to select between a rounder, gentler affectation (low-Q) or a sharper, more needling effect (high-Q). Plug your favorite compatible expression pedal into the expression jack to control the midrange frequency, giving you a wah wah or cocked wah effect.
The pedal provides a 1/4" instrument input and output jack. It can be powered by the included 9V battery or a separately-available power supply. By default, it offers true-bypass circuitry to render your clean tone totally unaffected when the pedal is disengaged. However, you can switch the bypass circuitry into buffered mode to preserve high-end over long cable runs.
- Volume Knob: This is your master volume controller.
- Blend Knob: This mixes between dry and distorted signals.
- Tone Knob: This tailors the pedal's bass and treble response. At lower values, you'll have more bass and less treble. As you turn the control clockwise, treble increases while bass content decreases.
- Sustain Knob: This adjusts the amount of sustain and distortion
- Gate Knob: This knob controls the Gate's threshold. Turning it clockwise will raise the threshold, requiring you to play harder to open the noise gate. Use this control to keep the pedal from adding unwanted noise at undesirable moments.
- Mids Level Knob: This boosts or cuts the level of the midrange by up to 10 dB. This control is bypassed when the Mids footswitch is disengaged.
- Mids Frequency Knob: This sets the frequency of the midrange EQ circuit, ranging from 310 Hz to 5 kHz. This control is bypassed when the Mids footswitch is disengaged.
- High Q/Low Q Switch: This switch sets the bandwidth of the midrange EQ. Set to Low, the switch has a more broad, round effect, affecting a larger swath of frequencies. Set to high, the EQ sounds sharper and affects a narrower range of frequencies.
- Wicker Switch: With the switch up, high frequency content is emphasized for a bright and clear top end and more pronounced attack. With the switch down, the brightening effect is disengaged.
- Mids Footswitch: This engages and disengages the midrange EQ section of the pedal.
- Bypass/Engage Footswitch: This toggles between effect mode and bypass mode. By default, the pedal offers a true-bypass circuit to preserve your tone. However, you can switch the pedal into buffered mode so that tone will not degrade over long cable runs. The switch to do this is located inside the pedal itself.
- Plug a compatible expression pedal into the EXP input, and you can sweep the frequency of the midrange EQ. This allows you to create wah wah and cocked-wah effects. The expression jack is also receptive to CV signal.