Imperial BC183 Fuzz
Who out there doesn’t appreciate a good Big Muff pedal? After all, they’re powerful, dynamic fuzzes that sound punishing on chords yet sweet and singing on single-note lead tones. When all is said and done, the circuit is a triumph. In fact, it's Imperial.
Our Imperial takes the best parts of the classic Muff topology and adds our own finishing touches, ratcheting up the utility, range and overall tone of this venerable fuzzbox.
The Imperial starts with a high-impedance JFET preamp that lets it go anywhere in the chain—no, seriously, try it. This preamp circuit also gives the Imperial the uncanny ability to clean up spectacularly with your guitar’s volume knob: Try that with your average Muff.
We spent many hours auditioning any transistors we could get our hands on, and we settled on the BC183—well, three of them—and the result is a smooth fuzz character that responds well to pick dynamics without any harsh edges, with a healthy dose of midrange content.
The mids are further emphasized with our three-position tone toggle switch. This switch gives the Imperial a midrange profile that can be set to scoop, boost or flatten the mids that matches up with your band’s mix settings, or for extra flavors in your next recording session.
The Tone and Fuzz knobs are borrowed from the original Muff circuit, with the Fuzz control reworked for a much smoother taper, making it much easier to dial in. The result is a positively molten fuzz tone that can play nice with all the pedals in your chain, or a lone wolf that pulverizes amp and audience alike—positively Imperial.
All prices are in USD.
Vol: Enough output to dethrone your boost pedal, should you decide to.
Tone: Turn the dial left for a darker, woolier fuzz, turn it right for a brighter, cutting fuzz. This control works in blissful tandem with the Mids toggle.
Fuzz: Covers the entire range of chunky gain to oversaturated fuzz mayhem.
Mids: Almost every Muff has a problem with the dreaded mix. This three-position toggle switches between flat (left), boosted (middle) and scooped (right) mids.
Input: Instrument or other pedal goes here.
Output: Amplifier or other pedal goes here.
True bypass footswitch: Turns the effect on and off.
Power: The Imperial requires a center-negative 9VDC power adapter with at least 3mA of current (not included). Almost all power supplies meet this requirement, but check yours beforehand.
Dimensions: 4.77" x 2.6 x 1.39" (121.1 x 66 x 35.3mm)