Fuzz Review: Euthymia – ICBM


Who: Euthymia Electronics
What: ICBM
Price (MSRP/PAID): $164.99/$100
Battery: Yes
Power Supply: Yes 9V Center Neg (Boss Style)
Size: 4″ X 4 3/4 X 2 1/4 (Approx: including jacks and knobs)
Available from: Dealers
Bypass:  True
Review Date: 1/26/2012

Marketing:

You may have heard that for a period of time in the 1970’s, Electro-Harmonix changed the circuit of their legendary Big Muff Pi* from one based on discrete transistors to one based on integrated circuit operational amplifiers. This is true.

As a matter of fact, the opamp Big Muff Pi was the first fuzzbox I ever fell in love with, back in 1983. I didn’t know that it was an opamp one until I bought my own Big Muff and thought it sounded different from my friend’s. His later needed repair, and when I opened the case to check it out, I saw that the printed circuit board had a pair of integrated circuits on it, where mine had transistors.

Over the next 20 years, I never again encountered a Big Muff Pi made with opamps. Mike Matthews of E-H went out of business a couple of times, then got into the vacuum tube business, started making Big Muffs again, and then launched a new Electro-Harmonix with a mix of historical E-H effects and new ones. Still no opamp Big Muff Pi.

I myself started building and selling effects, helped greatly by the information available on the www, but when I tried building opamp Big Muffs from the schematics I found on the web, they didn’t work. Finally, I got my hands on an actual unit, and sat down with it to see if I could learn its secrets and make my own.

It worked, and once again I heard that immense yowl that only an opamp-based Big Muff circuit can make. And once again, the music-playing public can get that sound for their very own.

Unlike the old one, mine has true bypass switching, a fiberglass printed circuit board, and a cast aluminum case. As with the rest of the Euthymia pedals, I use silver Teflon wire for all interconnections.

Comments:

This is not a pedal that I liked very much on bass guitar. I’ve had the chance to try an origional IC muff on a bass previously, and didn’t like that much either but it’s one of those things that I didn’t get a chance to record before I broke it. I’ve always wanted to give the ICBM a go and when a used one popped up on the market when I was feeling flush I jumped at the chance. Despite being well constructed and sounding just peachy on guitar I have nothing much to say here except that if you a fond of strange honking fuzz that lacks low end, and don’t mind not having an LED indicator… this is the fuzz for you.

Bottom Line: Not much of one. This is a pedal designed for guitar and those bass players looking for a gem here will likely be disappointed.

Photo Gallery and Video:

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or let me know Note: A rating of 5 = acceptable and should be considered a ‘good’ basic score

Sound Description: Big Muff, Strange Honk
Versatility: 3
Sound: 2
Value: 6
Overall: 2