This one came out of a lot of people asking me to make a clone, like the Red Mudd. To be honest, although I'd heard a few "Civil Wars" over the years, I never really got into them. They have that "fatness" I don't really like in a Big Muff.
Having said that, I can't resist a challenge so I rang a customer of mine who has an IMMACULATE Civil War era Big Muff in it's original box. This thing has never been used. It's crazy.
He bought it round and didn't really want me to open it up. So, I said lets just listen to it and I'll see where I need to go. I already had several schematics of this era Big Muff so it shouldn't be hard to work back from there ? Well, it sounded ALMOST exactly the same as my Red Mudd ............... I was a little ...... disappointed to be honest.
I then rang my friend in Melbourne who has used one of these Big Muffs since the mid 90's when he bought it after, of course, hearing Mudhoneys Superfuzz Big Muff. I knew his was "special" as several bands I knew had mentioned it in conversations about Big Muffs and he had always had a great guitar sound on record and live. He sent it up and ......... well, there it is. I don't know exactly what period within the Civil War series this one falls but it has two of the original earlier knobs so I'm assuming earlier than the other one I tested which had the knobs from the first issue green Russian Big Muff.
It wasn't worlds apart (they're all Big Muffs) from the other one but had more "clarity" (there's that word again) and a "rasp" to it that I liked. This was it. This was my Civil War clone.
After reverse engineering this one I now appreciate the CW Big Muff a lot more. It has a close but different sound than the Russian that I can see works with guitar better, for me anyway.
Still big and fat with lots of bottom and mids but with a "creamy" sort of tone but still with fuzzy edges. On a neck pick up you can hear that Gilmour tone but it still has enough nastiness to please most Big Muff fans.