Haunting Mids Reflection

The goal of this project was to build three Haunting Mids, keep one and sell the other two, hopefully coming out ahead!

This post covers the original Haunting Mids Fuzz. Note! This is not the JHS pedal with the same name.

What is Haunting Mids?

Haunting Mids is a Big Muff variant. Besides careful choice of resistors, capacitors, and diodes the biggest change to the circuit is dropping the tone stack and the output buffer. This offers the sound of a Big Muff but with more hair and volume. It’s really loud. You hear the raw distortion from from the two clipping sections unfiltered.

In the original the Sustain control is meant to be an internal trim pot, set and forget. With only the volume control on the outside of the box. I decided to put the sustain control on the outside of the box for convenience.

The original is a must have for people who like single knob boxes!

I found this PCB for Haunting Mids while searching for DIY projects on OSH Park.


It’s a well laid out PCB for a 1590A sized box. I ordered three of these and built them successfully. This board works well I would recommend it. The switch is mounted to the board which saves trouble wiring.

A little History

The Haunting Mids Fuzz was developed around 2005 by a group of DIY pedal fans who set up a private forum, which I’m guessing was dedicated to the development of the Haunting Mids circuit. I say “guess” because I was never a member though I had heard of the forum.

Not sure when but the Haunting Mids forum died and went away. Go figure, an anti social site is going to have growth issues. That said there is something pleasant about discussions with a small group of like minded individuals rather than everyone and their friends and family.

It seems that Haunting Mids has gone through a couple iterations. The board linked above is labeled v3. You can search Haunting Mids and you’ll find several versions. To my knowledge all versions are based around the Big Muff sans tone and output buffer.

At some point JHS made a commercial pedal with the same name. I’m not sure why they did this. I suspect it was joke, or some sort dig at the original Haunting Mids group, or they just wanted to get a media boost by piggybacking on the name. I wish they hadn’t done this since it makes researching the circuit more difficult.

What’s it sound like?

Sounds like a big muff! It also has its own character like all of the other Big Muff variants, which the world of pedals is full of. But the two cascaded clipping sections guarantees you get the classic Big Muff character. Without the tone stack you hear the clipping section raw and unfiltered! It like a big muff with all the hair and grit.

This demo compares five different DIY Muff variants. Haunting Mids is in the center.

Here’s is another demo of the Haunting Mids:


I built three of these. The parts were were all easy to find. You can get everything at Tayda. I chose to build mine with two knobs and put the Sustain/Gain control on the outside of the box.

I like having the sustain/gain control but the range is not that usable, or maybe there is some less useful range. With the gain up all the way there is too much gain. On reflection I see the reasoning behind making this control an internal set and forget option. I think I might go this route for future builds!

The PCBs from OSH Park are designed for a 1590A enclosure. I decided to build two in 1590B enclosures because I like these better than the small A sized boxes. I did build one in an A sized box.


This is a pretty cheap box to build. None of the parts are expensive or hard to find. You can source everything from Tayda and order boards from OSH Park.

Ordering the boards from OSH Park requires that you buy three boards but the cost is $14.85 which is about $5 a board. Making the board the most expensive part unless you get a fancy enclosure. The overall cost was about $25 for all the parts to build a single box.

I built three and managed to sell two on Reverb. I kept the last for myself. They sat on Revered for a month or two but eventually sold for $220 (both) not including tax and shipping. Reverb took their cut which left me: $202.50. I spent roughly $75 to build all three so I cleared $127.50.





3 responses to “Haunting Mids Reflection”

  1. PeelingPaint98 Avatar

    If you’d like a little bit of backstory, the Haunting Mids was a splinter forum started because the moderation at Harmony Central was becoming too cumbersome and everyone thought TGP was too filled with assholes.
    Fun fact, this is actually the Haunting Mids v2 pedal, we just decided to label it v3 to fuck with people who got a hold of them later to make it seem there was some unobtainium pedal floating around in the wild. The v1 pedal wasn’t muff based, if memory serves, it was a different flavor of distortion but I don’t remember for sure as I never got one of the first run and it’s bee a long time. As far as why we built the pedal itself? Just because, at the time we were attempting to make it sort of an every couple years thing for the community, but it only lasted for the two pedals
    As far as the forum goes, it was a pure social forum, there were DIYers there, some actual large names back in the day from Subdecay, Skreddy, Malekko and Catalinbread and others, but it was as you’d expect any insular social forum. People moved on, drama pushed people on.

    1. admin Avatar

      Thanks for this information. That’s a great story! Haunting Mids is a really great fuzz/muff style pedal. It does sound good. I think the real mojo is in the selection of clipping diodes.

      1. PeelingPaint98 Avatar

        I think that was decided upon by the dude that volunteered to build them for the community. If I remember corrected once we voted on this for the design he sourced all the parts. At the time it was one of Analogman’s in house builders, so the man knew his stuff. Shoutout to him if he still works for Analogman, my baby blue v3 still sits on my pedal board.

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