Tone Tips

Billy Corgan’s First Look at the Electro-Harmonix Op Amp Big Muff Reissue

The Smashing Pumpkins leader talks about the fuzz that hooked him and EHX's new reissue of the pedal.

It's a story that many guitarists and musicians can relate to. You're playing in a band, trying to define your signature tone, and you hear an effect—that one ethereal noise—that changes everything. From then on, your newest compulsion is collecting the tools necessary to replicate that sound exactly. For Billy Corgan, the sound that changed everything was the Big Muff.

One day, as Corgan and fellow Smashing Pumpkins guitarist, James Iha, walked into a rehearsal space that they shared with another band, they heard three guitarists all using the Big Muff. Corgan and Iha went straight out to pick up their own.

From then on, Corgan was hooked, and he set about learning how to use the pedal effectively. Corgan heard that certain iterations of the circuit sounded better than others, and he and Iha learned how to use them without turning their thunderous Big Muff soundscapes into sludge while playing through their powerful Marshall JCM 800s.

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8 Comments

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