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Cygnus Distortion / Sustainer

Based On
Cornish G-2
Effect Type
Distortion/Sustainer, Fuzz
Build Difficulty
Project Summary
Based on the classic Big Muff circuit, this pedal adds a meticulously-tuned buffered bypass along with an additional transistor-based buffer stage on the effect input.
Cygnus Distortion / Sustainer printed circuit board

Printed Circuit Board

What's included?
PCB only. Build instructions and parts list can be viewed or downloaded from this page.


In stock

Complete Kit

Not yet available.
Kits are developed based on interest, so if you’d like to see one for this project, let us know.
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325 people are interested.

Project overview

The Cygnus Distortion/Sustainer is adapted from the Pete Cornish G-2, a Big Muff-based circuit created in the 1990s for Lou Reed.

Cornish pedals are probably best known for being extremely expensive. There are two reasons for this. First, the build quality and reliability is unmatched. Second, the mysterious nature of them, partially due to the fact that the circuit is obscured and partially because of the A-list of clients. (Along with Lou Reed, the G-2 has also been used by David Gilmour.)

Inside, the circuit is a basic Big Muff with a few changes such as the use of germanium diodes for clipping instead of silicon, and of course the famous class-A transistor buffer design. Both buffers together (the bypass buffer and effect input buffer) have almost as many parts as the main circuit! The classic Big Muff tone control has also been replaced by a standard low-pass filter (treble cut). This creates a significant EQ difference since the tone stack is mostly responsible for the Big Muff’s characteristic scooped midrange.

The Cygnus is a faithful reproduction of the G-2 circuit, but with one major update: an internal switch allowing the pedal to be used in true-bypass mode instead of buffered bypass. As with the Klon KTR, the buffer mode is “almost always better”, but you can be the judge of that.