I thought I'd just write a quick one about the new Big Box enclosures I'm working on for my Big Muds.
For years I've used my hand made stainless steel enclosures for all my Big Muds, originally in a portrait format and then in the landscape boxes I've used for years. There's info and pics on my enclosures here on my blog so I won't bore you all with that again.
Recently I decided with everyone making smaller and smaller pedals, which personally I'm not a huge fan of aesthetically or functionally, I'd start making bigger enclosures, like the good ol' days.
I worked with the people who help me with my current enclosures and took measurements from an original Triangle Big Muff and the common black Russian Big Muff. These are both smaller than the more famous "standard US version" and the Green Russian but are a nice size and shape.
I settled on a size exactly the same length and height as a Triangle, but as wide as the black Russian, which is just mm's wider. This allowed me to spread the knobs a little more and work with more of my custom PCB's.
I sent Tone the new dimensions and he started doing some artwork for my current Muds in this new format. In these new boxes anything that was originally in a Triangle format (Triangles, Civil Wars, Green Russians etc) will be in the same format and anything that was originally a straight line of knobs (V3's, Rams Heads, Reverses etc) will all be in this format.
While I was waiting for the artwork to arrive I started making sure everything fitted properly from my dodgy hand drawn sketches that were turned into 3D stainless steel.
In doing so I started making a Rams Head version which is my personal favourite and was going through boxes of NOS electronics I have here when I found a bag of old BC549s marked 1973. These are common transistors, especially in Australia where they were widely used for nearly everything. The BC-548 family is essentially a BC108 in a TO-92 package with the BC-549 being a low noise version.
The thing about these ones were that every one I measured came in at exactly 286 hFE? I tried another transistor in my tester to check if it was faulty 'cause I've never had a packet of transistors all test exactly the same before. The bag came from a government telecommunications workshop that was closing down and may have been initially bought for specific repair that needed very minimal tolerances?
Anyway, I'm a huge fan of Rams Heads with around, but under 300 hFE as they're more "open" and less compressed with more harmonics. This goes for all the BM circuits with, generally speaking, higher gain versions being more brutish and less harmonic and touch sensitive.
So, with all of these being bang on 286 I thought I'd give 'em a try, and I'm glad I did. While transistors alone can make no, or very little difference to the tone of a BM circuit, different gain structures and frequency responses from the transistors can, and these sounded great.
I decided to give the circuit more mids as my standard RH is very scooped and these transistors had a top end fizz that sounded better with more pronounced mids, much like my Violet Rams Head version.
I stamped a box and put it on social media letting people know about this new Big Box version that would come when the artwork and packaging arrived and, well, people loved the stamped look, so, this might become a thing?
Of course, I'm still going to do the fully artworked Big Box Big Muds as I LOVE all of Tones artwork and that was what I originally intended to do, This is just a little side track that may, or may not, take off.
More on my series of Big Box Muds soon but until then, enjoy these.