Soundwise the Big Bender really is BIG. It’s a huge, crisp, full-frequency wall of noise. Like a sharper and more focused muff fuzz. Not bees-in-a-can like some vintage silicon fuzzes. The tone control operates much like a muff tone control.
The vintage Jumbo tonebender design has a pronounced low-end, which makes it much loved by bass players, but I find it a bit too much for guitars, so we added a switchable ‘tight’ mod to the Big Bender, which makes the low-end much less boomy (switchable via DIP-switch inside). I ship the pedal in ‘tight’ mode, because it sounds amazing.
The iconic fuzz sound of Edwyn Collin's 1990s evergreen 'A Girl Like You' was recorded with a vintage Bum Fuzz / Jumbo tonebender, and the Big Bender delivers this sound.
There’s a lot of sources claiming the jumbo tonebender was a big muff circuit, but that is not true. It’s actually kind of an amputated muff. One clipping stage is omitted compared to a muff, and the recovery stage removed, saving one transistor. Ironically, when we fixed the flaws of the jumbo, working with the aim of preserving the vintage sound, we actually ended up with one more transistor than in a muff (five BC184s goes into a Big Bender).
(There was also an earlier 1970s tonebender version called the ’Supa Tonebender’. Some of these were full big muff clones and some, later ones, had the Jumbo circuit. In other words, the Reuss Big Bender will also sound similar to some Supa Tonebenders)
Casual demo, running through the knobs, showing different settings. A techincal demo more than a musical one. Just to let you hear it:
Only 30 pedals in the first production run!
Big Bender features and specifications:
Download the Big Bender manual here
Inside the Big Bender:
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