The next version of the Big Mud I made was ........ unconventional in BM cloning circles apparently as I'm one of the few people who actually does a clone of the version three ?
To me, it was the obvious choice as although it's probably the most common of the vintage Mvffs, it was the to me the most recognizable and like all BMs, was "patchy" in terms of consistency of the originals, although by the early eighties they seem to have got slightly better, probably due to bigger runs and buying more stock at one time, but around '77, when this model was introduced, they were still VERY inconsistent.
This was easy to make after making my modded triangle Muds as, like all BMs (except the OP Amp version) all BMs have "essentially" the same circuit with different component values to effect tone. I worked from a couple of vintage V3 BMs and some schematics and info off the net.
This is where I really realized that any "version" of a certain BM I made was going to be "MY" version of that BM. Looking through these I had and the info on the net convinced me that there was just too much variation in the originals so it was best for me to "fine tune" the circuit where I thought it sounded good (not that I think I have a good ear for"tone" ?) and make THAT version as "mine"
They started out in my portrait style boxes for the first 20 or so but when I started making more, I switched to my landscape boxes and a new PCB for easier manufacturing. It seemed people wanted these and they were taking me ages to make so I had to streamline the process a bit as I refuse to outsource any of my products to make them cheaper and/or easier to make. If you have one of my pedals in these enclosures, I made it myself.
Like I said, to me this was the BM that everyone knew, at least the aesthetics of it was for me. This "version" has more mids and more bottom end than previous versions. While it's not my favorite by any means, I can see where it is great. It is HUGE sounding, even with smaller amps and single coil guitars. That bottom end and mids push these Mvffs right out. It gets a little too "muddy" for me as I like tight and clear, and whenever you introduce too much bottom end (I can hear some of you laughing now !!) into a distortion circuit, it can loose focus. These have more gain than previous versions too and my very loose rule of thumb with BM clones is "less gain sounds better". To me I like the harmonics of the lower gain BMs if everything else is equal. That's just me.
With the Big Mud well under way and selling, it was time to work on a new version and I knew exactly what I wanted to make ...........