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The Echo-Puss analog delay is sort of the middle child in Way Huge’s delay-pedal line. On one end, there’s the classic analog Aqua Puss MkII, and on the other sits the immensely powerful Supa Puss. That doesn’t mean the Echo-Puss is a middle-of-the-road compromise between the two, though. It’s designed to appeal to players who favor the delay times and modulation circuitry of delay pedals from the ’70s and ’80s (for instance, the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man). It features a brand-new circuit that uses bucket-brigade IC chips to deliver 600 ms of delay time and a handy, tweakable chorus.
Touch ’n’ Go
Compared to other Way Huge pedals, the Echo-Puss has a slightly narrower enclosure. It isn't any less road-worthy though. The circuitry and components are neatly housed in an enclosure made of the same thick steel used elsewhere in the line. The footswitch and knobs feel built to last and, thanks to the flip-out door, replacing a dying 9V battery is a cinch. But since delay circuits tend to chew through batteries like there's no tomorrow, you're probably better off powering it with a power supply via its Boss-style power jack.
The two large knobs set the delay time and number of repeats, and two mini pots (tone and blend) adjust the brightness of the repeats and wet/dry mix of the delay, respectively. The two remaining mini pots determine the depth and speed of the modulation circuit. If you're not a fan of chorusing, simply turn the mini depth pot all the way down to completely remove the effect from the Echo-Puss's warm, adorably lo-fi-sounding repeats.
Wish You Were Here
The Echo-Puss is capable of generating everything from a touch of bathroom-tiles slapback to massive echoes, all with the vintage-sounding grit of yesteryear’s famous delays. Though the thickness of its repeats doesn't exactly match those of the Aqua Puss, the clear and open-sounding high end gives the echoes a crispness that the Aqua Puss can't quite match—which will make the Echo-Puss perhaps a better match for experimentalists, modern rockers, metalheads, and players who like to hear a lot of definition and texture in their delay tone.
Both single-coils and humbuckers sound great through the Echo-Puss, but I found that it shines best with the former. Stratocaster single-coils bring out the chime and sparkle of the pedal’s repeats, and the springier lows you get from single-coils offset the delay’s grittier texture.
The Echo-Puss excels at adding detail to dry tone in subtle delay settings. I did this by turning down both the delay and repeat times to around eight o’clock, blending the repeats so they sat fairly low in the mix, and turning the delay’s tone control up to match brightness of the repeats with that of the Stratocaster’s dry tone. When I then picked the intro to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary of a Madman,” the subtle delay underneath thickened each note, and as they all mixed together it sounded bigger and more increasingly dynamic. I used the same trick with a Les Paul to thicken overdriven leads through a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, without any muddiness or garbled lo-fi artifacts between the notes.
Jacking up the delay time and repeats creates seriously cavernous sounds. It’s at these settings—between noon and five o’clock—that the modulation effect is most noticeable. The range of the chorus isn’t as extreme as you’ll hear in some more modern modulation delays, though, and it’s not unlike a Deluxe Memory Man in terms of intensity.
Repeats became more chaotic and harder to control when the delay time and repeat knobs reached their three o’clock positions, often putting my tone on the brink of white noise and a wash of endless delay. Dial things back a bit and the Echo-Puss creates the atmospheric textures that define rock bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Mono.
With the Echo-Puss, Jeorge Tripps and Way Huge team have given guitarists an impressive and affordable analog-delay option. It delivers that magical combination of spacious echoes and grit that so many guitarists love in older bucket-brigade units, but repeats are also clean and lively enough that they’ll jump out of the mix much like they would through a digital delays. The Echo-Puss will likely become a great option for vintage Deluxe Memory Man users who are reluctant to gig with their treasured units. But beyond that, the combination of performance, familiar functionality, and excellent sounds may just make this a future classic.