Big Muffs vs Fuzz Faces... Which one is better?

Louise Smart
Thu, Sep 16, 21

There was once a time, a simpler time, when if you needed a fuzzed out guitar tone, you would reach for your circular source of savagery... an Arbiter Fuzz Face. We'll call this time 1966. Oh they were great days, filled with wailing feedback, explosive solos and a frankly unbelievable run of number 1 chart hits ( honestly, google it ). 

"Nothing lasts forever" as the phrase goes and in 1969 the serenity of the "Fuzz" scene was shattered by the new kid on the block. The Big Muff had arrived and it wasn't going away any time soon. This circuit was somehow "bigger" sounding with more sustain and slightly easier to control. We say "slightly" in the same way that a Bengal tiger is "slightly" easier to control than a hurricane is... 

Yeah yeah yeah, never mind all that, which one is better?

Well lets hear them! First up is the Fuzz Face style circuit. We've gone for the Formula B Fuzz Rangers, which is one bad mother f**ker of fuzz that also includes a treble boost, for extra insanity :

Now let's hear the Big Muff. This time we've opted for a Stomp Under Foot Pumpkin Pi. Stomp Under Foot are devoted to bringing us accurate "Muffs" from every era of the circuit and this is one of our favourites. It nails the classic "over the top" Big Muff tones, drenched in glorious, sustaining fuzz tones. Imagine hearing this in 1969!? It's so wild it might even have made you put down the mind altering drugs...maybe :

So now we've heard them it's time to get down to the brass tacks. Which one is better? A HA! It was a trick question all along you silly goose! There is no "better". Both are brilliant in there own right. A Fuzz Face will give you something more unpredictable that reacts constantly to your playing and can slice through the mix with its searing tonality. A Big Muff will flatten all before you with its instantly recognisable and impossibly wide sonic signature. You simply have to have both. Trust us. 

Now, what happens if you turn them both on at the same time....?