Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Elk Muff Sustainer

Description from the Big Muff Page

Among the many Japanese Big Muff clones, one of the first on the market was the Super Fuzz Sustainar, a nearly exact clone of a 1972 era Big Muff made by the Hoshino Gakki company (early units possibly made by Miyuki Ind. Co.) sometime around 1973. It was housed in an identical enclosure to the V1 Big Muff with very similar graphics. These were sold throughout the 1970s, and not long after its introduction, Gakki shamelessly changed the name from Super Fuzz to Big Muff. The pedals marked Electro Sound are the earliest, and those marked Elk Incorporated or Elk/Gakki are the later made production. 

The circuit is identical to a PNP triangle circuit from 1972, almost identical to the PNP circuit shown above. The only change made was the high pass cap in the tone section at C9. Typically .004µF, it was changed to 330pF in the Sustainar. This had the effect of retaining treble when the tone pot was turned to the bass side, making the bass range more useful. When fully in the bass position the overall volume level is significantly higher than other tone settings as well.

Note: this effect is PNP, positive ground, and you will NOT be able to daisy chain this with normal NPN, negative ground, effects unless you add a negative voltage inverter board.

With requested Mids Switch


  1. Sick! I know it probably wont sound much different, but a PNP big muff has been on my list for a while! Saw this in the requests, glad to see it made the cut! Thanks Dudes

  2. You can tag it Verified. The tone control sweep reminds me of some kind of filter a synth would use. The tone stack is darker sounding that what I've heard from the originals online, so I'll probably tweak around until I find something I like (suggestions are welcome). Also, adding the Mid's toggle switch from some of the other Muff layouts gets you into more classic Muff territory. I used a 3.9nF cap on a DPDT on-off-on switch (I'm still experimenting with cap values on the other side.

    1. Awesome man. You could brighten it up if you use higher gain transistors. I’ll make a layout with a mids switch.

    2. Good call. I'll have to see what other PNP's I have lying around. I think the transistors that are currently in there are BC327's with hfe around 250.

  3. i could invert all the polarized things to make it negative ground right?

  4. Hi ! Thanks for this share !
    I'm building one and hope I don't make mistakes ;)
    just one question : why is there a cut hole in G3 ?

  5. Hi Zack, i have almost finished this circuit but i have one doubt. There is note on the circuit that says "cut under 100nF cap colume 8 next to q4". There is a 100nF cap on the colume 7, maybe is that one?