With the introduction of the new big box Muds (and others) I decided I was going to do some new versions I've had bouncing around in my head for a while. Some of these will only be available in these new big box versions.
As discussed in earlier blogs about these enclosures they are approx the same size as the early Triangle BM and the smaller black Russian BM which are very similar in size. Being that the black Russian was a Mud I hadn't ventured into yet, and that I once owned a black bubble font BM in the big (usually) green enclosure and just sold my green bubble font and black big box with later artwork in the shop, which were of course the versions directly before and after this version, I thought I'd make one of these for the first limited edition big box Big Mud.
The history of these rare BM's is well documented but basically the missing link between the Bubble Font green BM and the black Russian BM was a series of short lived black boxes with different prints.
The original was exactly the same as the last green Russian with the enclosure painted black with a yellow print. This was to be known as the Black Bubble font version that this is a clone of. Through a series of six and later four screw big, medium and then small black boxes the black Russian went through changes just like all previous and later BMs.
The black Bubble font was exactly the same circuit as the last of the greens which were essentially the same circuit as the earlier greens (known as Tall Fonts) which was essentially the same circuit as the earlier Civil War. There are however, just like vintage US BMs, slight variations in these circuits that make some sound better than others which has always made buying a original vintage BM such a gamble without playing it first. Thankfully there are many great BM clone builders around making their favourite versions of these vintage circuits with accurate consistency and low tolerance components.
This version of my Big Box Black Bubble is a slightly modified version of my Civil War and sonically falls somewhere between this and my Red Mud, which I designed to have lots of bottom end as it's always been a favourite for bass players.
Early Russian BMs are famous for their mids and bottom end and tend to be darker than most middle era US versions. Later Russian ones, like this one is based on have slightly less bottom end (still PLENTY) and more mid and treble clarity while keeping that big fat BM tone intact.
This Mud uses original NOS KT3102 transistors like my Red Army Overdrive but with standard silicon diodes for clipping which give slightly more volume and saturation. I used high gain 2N5088s and silicon diodes in my Civil War as I was chasing the tone of an actual original CW and these got much closer than the NOSs with KD522 diodes.
Even though the Bubble Font has plenty of mids I decided to add a push/pull pot on the tone knob of this version to give slightly more mids. It's not the flat mids of my other Muds as I actually don't like the honk Russian BMs get with flat mids but instead this is just a little bump in mids to cut through more if you want it? The tone knob down is the standard circuit or pull the knob up for more mids.
These big box versions all have specially printed vinyl artwork instead of my smaller aluminium plates to keep costs down and make smaller, custom runs easier to do. Tones artwork looks great as always.
Like all my pedals these have standard BOSS style 9V adaptor inputs and true bypass switching with no facility for batteries which I stopped using many years ago.
Anyway, this Big Box Black Bubble Mud will be available from this weekend with more of everything coming in small quantities as I get time.