Noise Boyz Review
The Smashing Pumpkins sound in a pedal, with some other nice tones to go along with it.
So I won’t lie, I specifically bought the Big Muff Pi Op Amp because I heard it was what Billy Corgan used on the Smashing Pumpkins’ seminal 90s album ‘Siamese Dream.’ I have always loved the guitar tone on that album so I felt I just had to give this pedal a shot (although I generally advise against thinking you’ll automatically sound like Billy Corgan just because you own the pedal). I absolutely love this pedal, which I don’t say for every pedal on the site (looking at you Verbzilla and Tap Tremolo. Of all the big muff variants (Big Muff Pi Nano, Big Muff Pi Green Russian ) it is my favorite and I basically haven’t found a setting on this pedal yet that I didn’t like. Let’s take a listen to how it sounds. In this first sample I have the tone control on with sustain at noon and tone at noon. On this setting I like that every note is still clear while there is still a really nice amount of fuzz – sometimes when things get too fuzzy and dirty you can lose a lot of the characteristics of the notes (and if that’s what you’re going for, check out our review of the Swollen Pickle which is a super dirty and awesome fuzz pedal).
Now to turn the sustain up a bit. In this next sample I play a poorly played semi-phrase from Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Mr. Crowley’ because even though this is ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ pedal, the tone actually reminds me quite a bit of Randy Rhodes’ tone on ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ (even though I know he mostly set that up with dual amps instead of a pedal). The below sample is recorded with tone at noon and sustain at 10, and that extra sustain really turns up the shredability.
For this third sample I wanted to show what the pedal sounds like with the tone off and sustain at 10. I’ve heard a lot of sounds like this from a range of artists and it reminds me a lot of the tone Muse uses on some of their tracks.
For the final sample I played another riff from ‘Mr. Crowley’ with the tone still off and sustain at 10 – again, this really gives me Randy Rhodes vibes and I absolutely love how the pedal sounds at this setting with a lot of the high end taken out. I let the last note here ring out for a while so you can hear just how much sustain there is.
To sum things up, the Big Muff Op Amp is a pedal you definitely want to try if you’re into the fuzz sound. There is not a setting on this pedal I have found that I didn’t like, and if you’re a Smashing Pumpkins fan and want to get that deep grit 90s sound, this is the pedal for you. But beyond just the Pumpkins this thing can definitely be used when you’re trying to get that full shred 70s/80s metal arena sound. Give it a shot, I sincerely doubt you will be disappointed.
1 x 1/4"
1 x 1/4"
How It Works
Choose a Plan
Pick how many pedals you want to try a month, from one to three.
Play Them All
Try every signal-chain you can imagine until you find the tone that’s right for you.
Keep, Swap, or Buy
Keep the pedals you rent for as long as you want. Love them? Buy them. Hate them? Swap them.