Billy Corgan and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) built an empire on Siamese Dream's distinct brand of psychedelia-meets-rock-alternative. A key ingredient to this record's iconic sound, as guitarists today know, is Billy's famed late-'70s V4 IC Big Muff. Now, Corgan and EHX have carefully bottled the tone and response of the original in the Electro-Harmonix Op-Amp Big Muff Pi. This pedal faithfully captures the fuzz-laden and explosive textures of Billy's op-amp equipped '70s Muff. Controls for Volume, Tone, and Sustain (gain) make it quick to dial in the textures your music demands. Meanwhile, a tone bypass toggle temporarily bypasses the pedal's tone circuit for maximum output and aggression. The new compact size and die-cast durability preserve the Siamese Dream tone for a new generation of fuzz fans.
Earlier transistor-loaded Muffs are regarded for their smoother bite and more controlled sustain. Yet a key ingredient in Corgan's Siamese Dream tone was the op-amp-loaded, late-'70s Big Muff Pi. The EHX Op-Amp Muff captures the grit and gain of Corgan's classic in a compact new pedalboard-friendly footprint.
Corgan's Siamese Dream tone was rarely a single full-range performance, but more commonly, the stacking of 5, 10, or 20 guitar parts at varying stages of gain and contour. The EHX Op-Amp Big Muff Pi affords limitless options for tone stacking, from hot snarling leads to plaintive, lingering pedal-point drones. A feature that Music Experience reviewers particularly enjoyed was the tone bypass switch, which temporarily bypasses your settings for bursts of raw power.
With original late-70s Op-Amp Big Muffs selling for exorbitant prices, Mike Matthews decided to take the power to the people and reissue the classic pedal at a price that players could afford! The circuitry of the new Op-Amp Big Muff —sometimes also referred to as the IC or V4 Big Muff— has been faithfully re-created while several practical enhancements have been added including a compact, die-cast chassis and true bypass switching. “The Op-Amp Big Muff was popularized by the brilliant Billy Corgan who first used it on the Smashing Pumpkins’ epic 1993 album Siamese Dream. After he was videotaped playing and talking about the reissue, Billy stated: ‘The magic’s still in the box, I can still get what I’m looking for!’” - Mike Matthews. The pedal relies on op-amps rather than transistors and three gain stages rather than four, to create its signature sound. It’s a sound that’s been described by noted Big Muff collector and historian, Kit Rae, as: “a huge, crushing Big Muff sound with more crunch… great for grungy, wall-of-sound distortion, heavy rhythm playing and heavy leads.”