Black Emperor - V8 muff / fuzz
by Blue Colander
Effects: Big Muff, Fuzz
Black Emperor. Here it is, finally my long-awaited V8 muff recreation model.
I've been sourcing and examining dozens of black muffs for this long-time project to find out there's no precise 'black muff sound' - they do vary a lot, thanks to poor quality of used components with really wide range of out of tolerance values. Comparing two black muffs can lead to an unexpected conclusions (well, the same for green ones, etc.), since they may work like completely different pedals. Eventually I found the unit sounding really good with it's tremendous low-end and extravagantly heavy feel. No surprise, many of it's components appeared to measure up to 30% out of indicated values, what resulted in very distinctive sound. I took it's recipe and added some EQ flavour from another, early 6-screw unit which I'm fond of for it's particularly bold, aggressive attitude... and that's how Black Emperor was born.
Black Emperor is voiced for remarkably high gain fuzz feel, with compressed, bursting attack and earth-shaking bass content surpassing even the fattest green muffs I've tried. Throughout it's tonal range the overall sound character is very 'dark' - not in terms of treble amount, but in 'black magic' kind of darkness. Good amount of treble presence secures fuzz clarity, while it's bass capacity results in sound almost collapsing under it's own power. You won't find many muffs sound like that, but I make sure each of Black Emperors sound like it was the one fuzz device to rule all others.
Pedal is built in similar way to original V8s in quite an oversized box (it's pretty much the same size), with funky looking printed circuit board and original chickenhead knobs (which I have in very limited amount). Circuit is executed with many non-standard parts values I individually measured - all of these has been found in actual, 'out of spec' muffs I probed... call that happy accidents standardised for superior tone.
Black Emperor wants you to feed it with a standard (negative center) 9V DC power supply - no battery operation is possible by default, but I can add battery option on request.