Having a snowballing interest in building and modifying my own guitar pedals I started out by purchasing a kit from GeneralGuitarGadgets.com. A fantastic site run by a guy named JD Sleep, who was really helpful when I had a few questions during construction.
From GGG as they’re known, you can buy kits to build clones of many different pedals, and i’d heard good things on a few forums such as harmony-central and guitargeek about the kits from GGG, especially their tweaked Big Muff Pi Clone, so I grabbed my trusty soldering iron and had a crack at it.
Delivered pretty speedily from the states, the kit arrives with everything you’ll need for just under £40, even spare resistors should you want to modify what they guide your through making. Then you can simply print off the copious documentation online including wiring diagrams, parts lists and get your solder on!
The ease of construction with the GGG kit is fantastic, and being fairly new to soldering I had a ready to use pedal in only a few hours of work. The entire PCB was labelled for each resistor so there was little ambiguity with wiring to confuse the beginner, and as soon as the pedal was complete I was eager to try it out, as i’d heard that similarly modified Big Muff pedals are what bands such as Baroness are using – which as you’ll know if you’ve read my previous posts, im rather taken with.
Having owned a Marshall JCM 2000 head for about eight or nine years, I’ve enjoyed the sound and warmth of the ultra gain channel, but being a metal lover, always sought alternative distortion solutions. Having own a Boss Metal Zone for a number of years and enjoying it’s density, I never really got into distorted tones until I started listening to less mainstream metal bands such as Mastodon, Baroness, Torche, 5ive etc, and realised that actually my Metal Zone is really not much cop.
Post Metal Zone i’ve been using various solutions for distortion, but the GGG Big Muff is easily the best i’ve found thus far – bettering my Marshall’s Ultra Gain channel in my opinion. I recommend you get yourself a kit and get building – you won’t be disappointed. There is a sound sample on the page of the kit here :
..but I found that it has a fair bit of reverb applied and so I made a quick demo myself and tried to make sure it had no reverb, compression or eq, and hopefully it captures the sound of the pedal well, its a riff from a song I did last year called ‘Disharmonious!’ and yes, its a bit of a rip of Metallica’s ‘Orion’ before you make for the comment box!