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Big Muff clone "Green Russian" -> possible mods
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Big Muff clone "Green Russian" -> possible mods
xenosapien
Hello folks,

I just received a DIY kit from MusikDing.de , the "Green Russian" Big Muff clone, this one specifically:
https://www.musikding.de/Der-Muff-Green-Russian-Distortion-Bausatz

Now, before I get around to building this, I was wondering if you guys knew of any simple mods/parts upgrades I could do to this?

I am not entirely new to soldering, have built a few Eurorack kits, but completely new to Guitar Pedals.

And I kind of want to get the most out of this sucker, but I remember reading that some older Big Muff versions had bad noise issues?

Maybe that´s something that can be preemptively "fixed"...

Any ideas, please comment - thank you!
ClausF
Maybe a "starve" pot? Often in (stranger) pedals, the idea here is to simulate as lower battery.
xenosapien
Yeah, that´s the kind of stuff I´m interested in smile

You got any link or (simple) explanation on how to do that ?
I`m guessing I´ll have to put a pot somewhere in the power line to simulate the voltage drop from a dead battery?

(my electronics knowledge is very basic, but my google-fu is exquisite! ^^ )

I´ve also read about some noise-gate mod?

Maybe a feedback loop that can be switched with another footswitch?
nigel
xenosapien wrote:
Now, before I get around to building this, I was wondering if you guys knew of any simple mods/parts upgrades I could do to this?

I don't know the details of that circuit, but one standard fuzz pedal mod is to replace the diodes - instead of two back to back, use one in one direction and two (in series) in the other. (Or more extreme, swap in an LED for one of them.) The schematic shows two clipping stages, so you could tweak one or both of them.
keninverse
All the info you need:
http://www.kitrae.net/music/Big_Muff_Mods_and_Tweaks_Page.html

Starved supply is interesting. If this is for a synth I'd do feedback, and modify the gain possibly. The green ones are relatively lower in the gain structure but for synths this may be good unless you want the effect of just square wave fuzz.
xenosapien
great tips guys, looks like I´ll have more than enough reading material for my upcoming vacation wink

keep it coming!

Thanks nigel & keninverse!
ClausF
xenosapien wrote:
You got any link or (simple) explanation on how to do that ?
I`m guessing I´ll have to put a pot somewhere in the power line to simulate the voltage

Just goggle guitar pedal starve, that here looks good:
https://tonereport.com/blogs/do-it-yourself/get-the-most-out-of-moddin g-pedals-part-1-bass-and-starvation
xenosapien
great, thanks!
that page is awesome, they next article in that line actually is about modding Big Muffs in particular!

... now I just have to wait until the weather calms down... I´m afraid I´d spontaneously combust if I turned on a soldering iron in this crazy heat Dead Banana
pricklyrobot
A couple of good, general-purpose DIY pedal forums should you continue down this road:

https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/
http://www.madbeanpedals.com/forum/index.php
http://www.byocelectronics.com/board/
xenosapien
Okay, the pedal is built (in boring stock form) and working...

Time to go look at some after-the-fact mods.

First thing I´m going to try out is that Noise Gate Mod I read about on one of your linked pages...
Because this sucker has a MEAN "Hum" to it (something at about 200+ Hz, not a ground loop)

It says to put a 100k potentiometer in parallel to one of the existing resitors, on another site it says to just replace it with a higher value:

Quote:
"what this mod does is add a second 1ook resistor from base to ground on Q3. Or in other words, replace the existing 100k resistor from base to ground on Q3 with a 47k resistor."


thing is - I´m not that good at reading schematics.
I´m not completely lost, but yeah...

So, my problem is - I have a different PCB / schematic than a stock BigMuff, obviously.
Can anyone help me find which resistor they are talking about on this one?
(schematic link: https://www.musikding.de/docs/muffgreen/muffv2schalt.pdf )

Which one would be "Q3" ?
Am I correct to assume this would be "T2" in the musikding schematic?
I tried comparing it to an original BMP schematic... in that one, Q3 is the second transistor/diode array thing from the left (I really hope I´m not saying anything stupid, hah ^^)...
(http://www.bigmuffpage.com/Big_Muff_Pi_versions_schematics_part1.html  )
Or is it T3 ?!?

So the resistor to "parallel enforce" / replace would be R8 or R13 in my schematic? (these are the 100k ones in those places that go to ground... )

Thanks for your time!
ultar
R13 is correct.

I've used this mod in a similar stage of a different pedal and it works well.

I highly recommend wiring it as a potentiometer so that you can adjust it to taste on the fly. I used a switch to choose between the stock value or the variable "noise gate" pot.

When I'm home later I'll post the exact details.
xenosapien
@ultar
so you did wire it in parallel, but then also added a switch to choose between which "path" the current takes to ground?

Am I understanding that right?

Thanks for confirming R13 wink

I probably won´t get around to actually doing this mod for another 2 weeks since I´m going on vacation - so if you would like to add anything I should know, I´d be really grateful.

Thanks!
Rex Coil 7
For fuzzies, I made a power box that houses two 9v batts. It also has a standard 9v power inlet jack. A pair of toggle switches allows me to swap "power supplies" (if you will) from one battery to the other, as well a being able to switch to wall wart power.

Most fuzz circuits respond heavily to not only different levels of battery charge, but also to different types of batteries. Alkaline batts sound different than NiCads, which sound different L-Ions, which sound different than yet other types, which all sound different than a wall wart. The batt-box allows switching between all of these options. An easily made pigtail to connect the batt box to the fuzzy is the only other thing needed. Plug the wall wart (if wanted) into the box, then plug the box into the fuzzy.

Dunzy! (ok ok I'll stop with the ~fuzzy wuzzy~ trip).

Another option with the box is to place two batts of different charge status in it.

So just this one little gadget makes any fuzz create different sounds aside from internal circuit modifications.

Think about it.

thumbs up
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