Wren And Cuff Tall Font Russian
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True hard-wire bypass
9V battery or 2.1mm adapter
Made in the USA
I have literally hand-wired (meaning point-to-point, no proper circuit board, on perf-board) over 150 muff and muff-related pedals in the early days of Wren and Cuff, then many many more after getting proper PCB boards. Why I mention this is because as you might imagine, my ears have become very accustomed to the nuances and intricacies of these pedals.
I’ve spent many hours digging for some slight difference between a vintage pedal I love and one I’m building for one reason or another to be sure I could truly nail the sound. I’ve had my employees flat out saying, “Sorry man, I just can’t hear a difference”, then giving me the, man, this guy is crazy look. Why I mention this is to say that after all the muff type pedals built under my belt, The Tall Font Russian was the toughest pedal to nail.Why did I choose the Tall Font S****K version to recreate? After a conversation via email with an acquaintance who plays in a very successful band this quest began.In his words, after being asked about his affection for these pedals he said: “Yet to find anything close. And (after) hearing a lot of players, rarely do I like their distorted/fuzz sounds. I really think there is a reason the s****ks are so collectable. I prefer the first series green ones with the screws on the side. The series after this had them on the top. I don’t like the civil wars or any others besides the green ones. In a pinch, I’ll use a screws on the top one, but it has to be green.”
I was curious why he didn’t follow the standard, civil war muffs are the best Russian muffs belief. After some investigation I found that they’re very, very, similar in tone, parts, and values. Very close. But to me, the highs are more present and clear in the Tall Fonts resulting in an openness in the highs unique to this pedal. They’re generally not as dark sounding, which gives them a slight gritty edge not found in the war muffs. Some dislike this trait but to me there is a rudeness to them that sets the TF’s apart from the C-War.
As usual with our muff-type pedals, I found that transistor selection was very important. After removing the transistors from vintage units then testing the gains I found some inconsistencies between vintage units. After some obsessive listening tests I went with one particularly sweet sounding pedal and matched the gains as closely as possible using a mix of trannies. I also was surprised to find an important biasing resistor and a capacitor that were a much different value than stated on the components and schematic. Discovering this helped to find that sound I was looking for!
One of my favorite traits is a “boxy” quality to the sound that was the toughest thing to reproduce. Wish I had a better way to describe it, but “boxy” is what it is to my ears.
It almost sounded right, but I couldn’t get a certain growl I heard on the vintage pedal and the boxy thing still wasn’t quite right..Finally, I tested the pots and found the actual vs. stated pot values were over 30% “off” in some cases. IMO this inconsistancy is partly responsible for one unit sounding particularly sweet and another sounding so, so. In other words, those absolutely crappy pots created a happy accident. After custom tweaking those pots, I realized that this was one of the things responsible for keeping the low-mid range from getting to mucky and is also a factor in the more over-drive type quality these Russians can produce. I found the growl! The kooky valuesfound can’t be purchased as such so we have to mod each pedal’s pots ourselves to get the desired values.As far as I know, we’re the only company that goes as far as to modify the pots for a S****k clone.
This boxy-growl also helps make them particularly great on bass, and fantastic for raunchy, less friendly guitar tones ala The Black Keys, White Stripes, Mars Volta, and many others seeking a nasty F-You snarl (not saying the afore mentioned bands use these exact pedals, just using their tones as a reference). With many other desirable muffers (and our Tri Pie 70’) the goal is warm, smooth and buttery, but the TFR has a different goal in mind. There is a growl and raunchy yet truly musical sound produced by these ugly green beasts. The lows have an overdrivey compression that keeps things tight, and the highs have a rich upper-harmonic thing going on that’ll make one understand the affection some have for this pedal. The mids have the standard muff-scoop but it is not as pronounced as some of the other generations. Add to that a less gainy/fuzzy tone overall and you end up with a unique muff with a character all its own. Good stuff.
Sadly, my quest for this tone resulted in a couple of butchered vintage pedals, but the end result was worth it.
The bummer about the vintage Tall Fonts? Cheap, cheap, cheap plastic jacks mounted to the circuit-board that beg to be given a hard knock resulting in a cracked circuit board. Equally cheap pots (knobs you turn) that feel flimsy, break easily, and barely hold the knobs in place making it rare to find one with all three original knobs. Non-true bypass tone-suck, no power supply jack, huge footprint, and heavy as hell round off the list of negatives the originals carried.
In short, they could be a big pain in the ass.
So pickup your Tall Font Russian and get all the positives and none of the negatives!
All New products are covered by the manufacturers new warranty. Please check their website for the length of warranty and warranty conditions.
If an item you receive is faulty get in touch with us ASAP.
Second Hand products come with a 4 week warranty from us. If there is an issue let us know ASAP!
This covers normal use and does not cover accidental damage, misuse, wrong power plugged into it, modding, water damage or any other damage caused by mistreatment.
Just treat it nice and all will be good!
We send A LOT of packages every week so don't worry about the shipping side of things!
We've never lost a thing and your awesome new gear will be packed up really well to avoid any damage in transit.
If your order comes in before 2pm we will ship it same day. Most of the time we pack things up all the way to 4pm so just call if you need it to leave same day after 2pm.
We ship mainly with Australia Post but may use a courier depending on location and size of the package.
Free Post ships with Australia Post standard and expected shipping times are between 4-6 business days depending on location. It will be longer to outside of metro and rural areas.
Express Post will usually be with you next business day in metro areas of QLD, NSW, SA, VIC and TAS. WA will take 2 days to metro and extra days after that to out side metro and rural areas.
Everything we ship has a tracking number with the exception of some power cables and smaller envelope packages. You will be emailed tracking once your order has been shipped!
"LOVE IT Or Exchange It Within 14 Days"!
The item MUST BE sent back in the same condition it arrived in and have all the materials it arrived with (manual,warranty card,all accessories) and be packaged in the original box.
Items returned in undesired condition (scratched,chipped, etc) will be subject to a restocking charge of up to 30%. Modded items will not be refunded!
Postage must be paid by the purchaser to get the item returned to us and we will exchange at our discretion the amount of the products but not the postage costs.
Items must arrive here within 14 days of your order being placed.
Some items cannot be returned like Pedalboards you have already put velcro on, strings, pedalboard tape, Cables and DIY cable kits.
Please don't use the Manufacturers box as the packing box or you will automatically be charged a 30% restocking fee!
Email us BEFORE returning your items so we can resolve or sort out any problems you may have and just so we know to expect the item. You may also want to insure or register your item as we don't take responsibility for lost or damaged post.