The Big Muff is probably one of the most sought after, and heavily replicated pedals on the planet. Even though it is still made by the original manufacturer, it's long and varied history has made it's way into many other pedal manufacturer's fold. When we set out to create the Manx Loaghtan fuzz, our goal wasn't to brush off an obscure build to recreate. Rather than looking back over that pedals heritage, we wanted to try and push it forward. One of the more common traits among fuzzes of that ilk is the tone control. However, we felt that such a tone stack was rather limiting. Often you would follow the sweep looking for the one spot that sounded right. The one spot where it didn't sound too boomy or constricted and thin. Where the pedal finally finds its harmony. We wanted it to not be a compromise between too bright and too bassy, but also be capable of doing either or both with a nice mid range scoop in order to sound HEAVY for chunky chords. So rather than using the traditional tone control we incorporated the Baxandall.
However, our goals included more than just including a more effective tone control. We wanted sustain that wouldn't wolf out with the neck pickup. We wanted a flute like sing with nice upper harmonics ringing through. We wanted to be able to use this into a hot amp if you wish to, so when you lower the bass nice mid range content can cut through. We also wanted the SUSTAIN range to be usable all the way throughout the dial. Some of the tones we referenced range from Gilmour to Black Keys to J Mascis to Dead Meadow to Thurston Moore to Adrian Belew.
The LEVEL controls the overall output volume. Unity gain will differ depending on where the EQ levels are set, and the gain setting. However, there is still plenty of volume on tap no matter where the other controls are set.
The SUSTAIN knob has extra saturation when cranked and when dialed back has a great lower gain overdriven crunch sound without being hashed, spitty, and under biased sounding. A twofold approach was taken to achieve this. Careful gain staging and a bit of treble/midrange bypass on the Sustain pot. Basically it boils down to a Sustain knob that is extraordinarily flexible and remarkably wide ranged. In other words the Manx Loaghtan can do low gain to high gain and everything in-between with- out compromise! No joke!
About the Baxandall tone control: Crank both treble and bass and you get a classic scooped midrange. Back both off, while turning up the volume knob and your midrange content increases. Park the treble and roll back the bass and the midrange scoop frequency shifts downward so you have complete control over which frequencies you are cutting. Roll the bass below noon and you start to add a bump to your midrange which is great for running into a hot amp. This tone control style is capable of numerous sounds, making the Manx Loaghtan one of the most versatile pedals of this style.