So I found myself with a spare 20 minutes on Friday afternoon and thought I'd get onto some old EH restoration/repair projects I've had here for a while (along with a million other jobs)
Since I had 3 old Big Muffs all from the early/mid seventies I thought I'd start there.
While they all had different issues that will all become blog stories I thought I'd start with what appeared to be the easiest. This was a mid seventies Ram head with a broken on/off switch which is pretty common on these. The plastic slider switch which was used for turning the battery on and off is exposed and quite weak when knocked.
The plastic and thin sheet metal switch can bend and fall apart quite quickly and once it does you can't use the pedal at all as these earlier Muffs only had battery power.
Apart from the switch it needed very little work. I just cleaned out the pots and switch and all was good.
This type of PCB corrosion is quite common on these older EH boards and this Muff had obviously had A LOT of work done in the past. Once I got the new switch in I tried it to see what THIS ONE sounded like.
It's quite nice. Not the best I've heard but certainly not the worst. The worst ones are unusable in my opinion. That's one of the reasons I don't personally collect old effects anymore, especially EH.
Once upon a time when they were cheap you'd take the risk (and it's a risk) of buying one that might not be up to scratch because they were cheap. Now that old Big Muffs can collect up to $2500 and you don't even know if you're getting a good one ? No thanks, I'll take a reputable clone any day.
This particular Big Muff has had nearly every component changed ? Everything except the transistors (BC239's) , the jacks and one pot which dates to 16th week 1976. All the resistors and caps have been changed at some stage along with all the wires, the switch and two pots.
Assuming that whoever did the work replaced value for value it's slightly different to the other 8 different versions of Ram Heads I have traced. Having said that, it does have a nice "fizzle" to the edge of the distortion that I quite like. It still has that clarity I like in a Ram Head and good bottom end.