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Nexus Distortion / Sustainer

Based On
Catalinbread® Manx Loaghtan
Effect Type
Distortion/Sustainer, Fuzz
Build Difficulty
Project Summary
Based on the classic Big Muff circuit, this pedal switches out the original tone control with a 2-band Baxandall EQ, allowing control of both frequencies independently.
Nexus 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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14 people are interested.

Project overview

The Nexus Distortion/Sustainer is based on the Catalinbread Manx Loaghtan, a mouthful of a pedal whose name is taken from a British breed of sheep native to the Isle of Man. This, of course, is a reference to the Big Muff and more specifically the Ram’s Head.

As expected, the Manx Loaghtan shares a lot in common with the classic Big Muff topology, but with two notable changes that make it stand out.

First, the tone control has been replaced with a passive Baxandall tone control (also called a James tone stack) allowing independent adjustment of bass and treble frequencies. With the right settings, you can get a very close approximation of the mid-scoops of several different Muff variants, or you can come up with something entirely your own.

Second, a JFET-based gain recovery has been added to help counteract the ~20dB signal loss of the tone stack. This JFET stage is placed between the tone control and the stock Big Muff recovery stage (Q5 in this project).