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Electro-Harmonix J Mascis Ram’s Head Massive Muff Pi Evaluate

Electro-Harmonix J Mascis Ram’s Head Massive Muff Pi Evaluate

Reducing, open, and ethereal fuzz that communicates chord element and packs a punch.

You may, ostensibly, purchase the identical pedal with out a signature and with much less fancy paint for 17 bucks much less.

If there’s a single high quality that distinguishes the music of Dinosaur Jr., it’s the band’s knack for wedding ceremony brute pressure to heart-wrenching melodicism. And although a lot is manufactured from the band’s quantity, a very powerful pillars in Dinosaur Jr.’s musical structure are the deceptively tuneful sensibilities of songwriter and guitarist J Mascis.


Mascis and Dinosaur Jr.’s potential to graft Gene Clark’s sense of tune to Motorhead’s megatonnage is a trick that may really feel simply in need of sorcery. And as anybody who has tried can attest, speaking nuanced, lovely melodies and moods via a haze of fuzz injury just isn’t straightforward. For starters, you want a fuzz that doesn’t crumble underneath the harmonic weight of a primary place chord. Surprisingly, given its capability for sheer horsepower, an Electro-Harmonix Massive Muff is fairly good at that job. The place different archetypal fuzzes like Tone Benders and Fuzz Faces have a tendency to show to a spitty mess whenever you play a C chord, a Massive Muff stays surprisingly cohesive. This capability for readability and efficiency caught J Mascis’ ear within the earliest days of Dinosaur Jr.’s evolution. And as a lot as some other issue, the Muff grew to become a crucial underpinning of Mascis’ stay sound.

The J Mascis model gives heaps of the balanced however scorching tone colours that make the music of Dinosaur Jr. so melodically monstrous.

Electro-Harmonix elected to have fun Mascis’ allegiance to the Massive Muff with a signature variation of the Nano Ram’s Head. That’s no small matter: In EHX’s lengthy, storied historical past, that is the corporate’s first signature version. Appropriately, the J Mascis doesn’t disappoint. It does every thing the already superior Ram’s Head Big Muff does. That’s little shock on condition that EHX tells us there isn’t any vital distinction between a daily Ram’s Head circuit (in its present guise) and the Mascis model. I performed the 2 facet by facet for a very long time and swear I heard a extra current high-end and a contact extra buzzsaw aggression within the J Mascis. Your outcomes—or perceptions—might range. Both means, the J Mascis model gives heaps of the balanced however scorching tone colours that make the music of Dinosaur Jr. so melodically monstrous.

Vive Le Différence

As is famous typically in Premier Guitar, there isn’t any definitive Ram’s Head Massive Muff. Inconsistencies in parts in the course of the authentic run make the chance of any two Muffs sounding equivalent fairly slim. Even Mascis’ personal favourite authentic Muff is an oddball, with wildly drifting part values which have thrown obsessive circuit detectives like Matt Holl for a loop.

These inconsistencies aren’t typically a difficulty nowadays. And admittedly the variations I heard when evaluating the J Mascis model to my very own current-issue Ram’s Head have been small. At instances I puzzled in the event that they have been attributable to inconsistent potentiometers or another issue. At different instances, I grew to become much less positive that they even existed in any respect. But when pressed, I’ll stand by my assertion that the Mascis—a minimum of at my most popular vary of acquire and tone settings (wherever between 1 o’clock and most)—is each just a little extra buzzily aggressive and clearer within the excessive midrange. Maybe the lesson right here is to strive each variations, or a number of of every, within the flesh and let your ears resolve.

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There are numerous musical types suited to the J Mascis Ram’s Head tone profile. Dave Gilmour followers that love his extra-grindy tone from stay Animals tour bootlegs will significantly dig the way in which it each growls and soars with further angle. It additionally generates high-gain variations on psych-punk ’66 fuzz colours that might make a Tremendous Fuzz blush. And high-desert-dwelling Iommis will love its doomful mass.

The Verdict

Whether or not or not you select to spend an additional 17 bucks to accumulate a J Mascis Ram’s Head fairly than a daily EHX Ram’s Head will in all probability be all the way down to the diploma of your Dinosaur Jr. fandom, your completist tendencies as a Massive Muff collector, or your desire for purple-on-white paint schemes. However whereas EHX insists that this circuit is equivalent to the inexpensive Ram’s Head, I heard sufficient distinction to underscore the notion that—even in instances of tighter-than-ever manufacturing and part requirements—small variations can exist amongst related pedals, and that it pays to strive a number of out. Regardless of the baseline, the J Mascis Ram’s Head Massive Muff positively cooks for a 132 greenback fuzz, and is greater than able to the element and copious energy that made the Massive Muff an indispensable a part of the Dinosaur Jr. components within the first place.

Electro-Harmonix J Mascis Signature Ram’s Head Massive Muff Pi Demo | First Look

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