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|Recorded using a 2006 Gibson Flying V|
The overabundance of distortion and overdrive pedals available today has made it awfully tough for one to stand out from the pack. Large numbers of them are copies of legendary designs with a few tweaks here and there to address some of the issues players have had with those devices. Others are based on new concepts that try to creatively stretch the boundaries of what “good” guitar tone can be, and provide tonal options that can make the instrument sound completely different altogether. Sailing through this crowded arena is the Fat Sandwich Distortion. Bearing the Way Huge name may draw some intense scrutiny, but the Fat Sandwich holds up to just about anything you can throw at it.
The faceplate has the same basic layout as the other two pedals in the line: Volume, Tone, Distortion, and two mini controls that adjust specific frequencies. In addition, there are two internal controls to adjust the corner frequencies of the overdrive (similar to the controls inside the Pork Loin), and a Sustain control to add even more distortion to the sound. Plugging in a Gibson Flying V into an early eighties Marshall JCM 800 50W head, the Fat Sandwich was fired up with everything set at 12 o’clock, volume to taste.
One of the surprising qualities of the unit was the very focused tonality of the drive, not harsh in the least. The feel of the distortion is modern, but with more give in the lows and mids, yielding a very spongy tone. Certainly one of the best features of the original JCM 800 line was how great they sounded cranked. After dialing up a mild drive from the preamp and pushing the master up, engaging the pedal caused the amp to open up and surrender an incredible rhythm tone, with wonderful note separation and control. It simply rocked—that made it really difficult to take a break, even after two hours of playing.
The two controls on the face of the device, Presence and Resonance, control the response of the high and low-end frequencies. Pushing up the presence and maxing the gain gave up a killer eighties metal and hard rock tones, and with the volume knob rolled down it was very responsive to pick attack—really responsive. A higher setting of the Resonance control with the gain turned down was perfect for vintage rock tones in the vein of Kossoff and Red-era Robert Fripp. The sound and feel was tight but giving, and a blast to play. This is definitely the sleeper in the new Way Huge line, and could easily hold it its own against most boutique distortion pedals.
a versatile, dynamic distortion is just the ticket.
the idea of such extensive control scares you.
Street $180 - Way Huge - wayhuge.com
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