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MXR Distortion III or Big Muff Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 8th September 2011
Lives for gear
MXR Distortion III or Big Muff

Hey peeps,
Just picked up my first guitar pedal to run Mopho/Tetra through. It's an MXR Distortion III that I got for $50 at a local pawn shop. I see the Big Muff is available here and that some people on GS like it on synths. I had some fun with the MXR but am wondering if the Big Muff is more suited to synths. I'm making house/techno styles FYI. I'm not looking to spend more than $100 on a distortion pedal... I see there is also a ZVEX Fuzz Factory here too - any love for these? The guitar demos sound alright, not sure what a synth would be like through it. Opinions? I have only until tomorrow to return the MXR Dist III if I am going to grab one of the others instead.
Old 8th September 2011
Lives for gear
Rogue Ai's Avatar
Get a ProCo Rat 2. They sound great on synths, especially squelchy analog bass. Also, they are cheap. About $60 I think. I used it on the bass in this track.

Old 8th September 2011
Lives for gear
GeorgeHayduke's Avatar

Please bear in mind that some pedals can't handle a line level signal properly, so that is always the most important to me when getting synth pedals.

Consider this rough guide from an old guitar player (me):
-Distortion: hard piercing 80ies metal guitar
-Fuzz: 60ies/70ies fuzzy guitar
-Overdrive: A mild driving of components, typically no major tonal change. E.g. used in Moog's pedals.
-Treble-boost (Dallas Rangemaster): Used to overdrive the input of a tube amp, cuts bass/boosts hi frequencies gradually as you move up tonally. Can be used to overdrive another pedal!

I'm afraid I haven't tried any of the pedals you've mentioned with a synth.
Old 8th September 2011
Lives for gear

I do like muff style peddles, but I am not sure if they are most versatile for synths. The Fuzz sustain thing can sound great, but you are a bit limited in terms of the types of tone you can get out of them. The rat is a good option, or as another option, something like the boss mt2 with a more sophisticated eq... I would consider getting a cheap overdrive to supplement a heavier sounding pedal to dial in just a bit of grit. If you really want to try a muff type fuzz, and I know this is heresy, but the Behringer VD1 has a decent cost/sound ratio. As my guitarist friend said when comparing it to his russian big muff "It is not quite the same, but it gets the point across" Also on the cheap side, but still decent, Danelectro makes some good sounding stuff (though I hate the politics of their parent company) cheap tube preamps (like that cheap one Art makes) can also dirty things up, or even putting a microphone in front of a cheapish guitar amp.
Old 8th September 2011
Lives for gear
Thanks for the replies. I'll have to check out that ProCo Rat pedal.
Hopefully I can get my mits on a MXR Phase 100 too...

Edit: Damn I forgot all about this...
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