Have you ever been abroad, exploring a new country and stumbled across one of those impossibly small local eateries, that only serves one thing? You know, the kind of place that only has one dish on the menu but you'd be damned if that one option wasn't the best thing you'd ever put in your mouth? With us so far? Well Stomp Under Foot is that restaurant but for pedals!
However, instead of fine, meat filled pastries or Grandma's old tomato sauce recipe, Stomp Under Foot specialise in fuzz. Specifically in the Big Muff flavoured variety ( although they also dip their fuzzy little toes into the odd Tonebender and Rat inspired circuits, from time to time ) .
So how can you build a range inspired from just one pedal? Surely all Big Muff's are the same, right? Wrong, my pedalboard obsessed friends, very wrong!
You see through the decades that the Big Muff has been in production, it has undergone the kind of design tweaks and changes that any product goes through. A change of resistor here, a subtle circuit design modification there, it all meant that the final product evolved throughout the years. This is turn means that everyone has a favourite Big Muff. Now if only there was a company that faithfully reproduced these different eras of the famous fuzz box, using new old stock ( NOS ) parts so we could compare and contrast...
So which is the best Stomp Under Foot pedal? Oh thats easy, its the... Of course its not easy! They are all different, so lets run through some of our favourites.
First up we have the Tri-Muff 72, which is based off the OG "Triangle" Big Muff from...you guessed it...1972. The "Triangle" refers to the layout of the knobs, before they settled on the now classic "three in a row" design we see today. This Muff is Stomp Under Foot's most versatile and harmonically rich, in our opinion. It's a great starting point for someone who has maybe never owned a muff style fuzz yet ( shame on you ) as it can cover a large tonal palette.
Next we have the Ram's Head, which is Stomp Under Foot's take on a particularly rare Big Muff from 1975, complete with the purple text of the original. If you're looking for those smooth lead tones that'll really make you Wish You Were Here, then this is the (slightly) more refined fuzz pedal for you. Double cream Mr Gilmour? Yes please you filthy animal!
In date order, lets now talk about the Pumpkin Pi. This is something different all together as it is one of the few Big Muff style circuits to use op amp distortion...just as they did in 1977. These muffs have far more cut and can be really in your face, tone wise. A quick listen to "Siamese Dream" by the Smashing Pumpkins ( now you get the name ) confirms everything you need to know about this orange box of fuzzy goodness. Its an absolute riff machine! Well done Stomp Under Foot, another home run.
So you're looking for a fuzz pedal with ALL the low end? That'll be the Russian Big Muff inspired Civil War then. Stomp under Foot have built a Big Muff here that is equally at home on the bass as it is on guitar. Make those searing leads bloom into chaos or that bass line growl gutturally! The 1990's were never the same...
It's not all perfect recreations though. No no no, Stomp Under Foot also like to get under the bonnet and get their hands greasy, so the speak. Both the Sonic Generator and The Violet Menace take the Big Muff Pi and Ram's Head respectively and add a mids control for greater fine tuning of your fuzz tone. Especially in a live context, where you need to be able to cut through a mix. The Stomp Under Foot Sonic Generator is a sun drenched stoner rock delight by the way. An epic fuzz box!
So whether you’re a seasoned fuzz veteran or a total newbie to the insane and addictive world of pedals, Stomp Under Foot really do have a pedal for you. In fact, they may just have several. Grab one today and crank that sucker up!
See you soon!