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more... GearEffectsSound SamplesReviewsBoostFuzzOverdriveJanuary 2009Way Huge

Way Huge Pork Loin, Fat Sandwich, and Swollen Pickle Review


Originally conceived as a small start-up operation in 1992, Way Huge was helmed by relatively unknown upstart inventor Jeorge Tripps with the intent of constructing high quality effect pedals for gigging musicians. Way Huge products helped start the golden age of gear we’re now in, but when the company closed down in 1999 the boutique pedal boom had hardly even begun. Current boutique mainstays were crafting their designs and slowly gaining ground with players at the time, and some believe that Way Huge simply missed the boat because of unpredictable timing and the unforeseeable explosion of demand that was only a couple of years away. Timing aside, the design and construction of Way Huge pedals was nothing short of perfection. They were classic effect foundations combined with modern revamps that were truly ahead of their time.

Tripps chose very high quality components with very closely matched tolerances, which provided smooth analog warmth and feel, and a much more consistent tone from pedal to pedal. On top of that, the pedals left a modest footprint on the pedalboard. Because of the very high quality parts and production, their limited availability and unique personality drove prices through the roof, with some selling for over a $1000 dollars. Way Huge (along with numerous other small companies) informed a generation of guitar players that there were many more choices available to them than they could find at major chains.

Because of the high demand, Jim Dunlop commissioned Tripps to bring back the Way Huge line, to give the average player a chance to enjoy some of these renowned pedals. Along with the reissue of the Swollen Pickle Jumbo Fuzz comes the introduction of two new products: the Fat Sandwich Harmonic Saturator and the Pork Loin Soft Clip Injection.


Download Example 1
Recorded using 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom and 1982 Marshall JCM800.
Way Huge Pork Loin Soft Clip Injection Overdrive

A new addition to the Way Huge effect pedal line, the Pork Loin is aimed at the more established styles of blues, country and classic rock ‘n’ roll. It is certainly the subtlest offering in the new lineup, aiming to thicken and refine the inherent tone of the instrument without excessive EQ-ing and distortion. The unit accomplishes this by taking the original signal and running it through a preamp, then layering it on top of a variable soft overdrive. This gives a three-dimensional feeling: a very cultured clean tone over a foundation of warm distortion, mimicking the technique of playing through a clean amp and an overdriven one at the same time—a method that has become a staple of the blues and rock tones achieved by such players as Stevie Ray Vaughan. Grabbing a 2007 Fender Nashville Telecaster and a 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom, I put the pedal through its paces with a 1982 Marshall JCM800 50W head.

The Pork Loin’s controls are very simple and well laid out: Volume, Overdrive and Tone, and two smaller controls labeled Curve (which allows the player to tailor the corner frequencies to round out the tone) and Clean (volume control for the clean sound in the overall tone). Unlike most of the other overdrive pedals Way Huge has introduced, the Pork Loin doesn’t have a lot of gain on tap. This was a little disappointing at first, but after figuring out how to dial in the unit, it became apparent that it doesn’t really need a lot. The pedal really shines with single coil guitars, as the Telecaster/Pork Loin combination demonstrated. The clean on this particular JCM800 is very smooth, but a little flat. After engaging the Pork Loin, dialing up the overdrive control to about 70% and mixing in the clean to taste, the tone gained a lot of bite and muscle. It’s important to note that there are internal controls for Filter, Voice and Mix, which offer even more options: they can change the frequencies used and even allow the pedal to be used as a preamp if you dial out the overdrive completely.

Pushing the volume control higher, the amp really started to cook, mixing the Pork Loin’s signal with the natural Marshall bite. It was a very pleasing tone. The Pork Loin makes a great fit for players in the “set it and forget it” category. Rolling down the volume and picking lightly proved that the Pork Loin is also highly sensitive to picking style, as it has a very natural way of cleaning up. The Les Paul definitely hit the amp harder than the Tele did, but the results were spectacular (albeit different) with great, responsive overdrive tones. Boosting the amp while it was overdriven pushed it into Alice in Chains territory, making the combination a force to be reckoned with.
Buy if...
your tone is lacking in punch, definition, and refinement.
Skip if...
more gain is necessary.
Rating...
4.0

Street $170 - Way Huge - wayhuge.com


Go to Page 2 for the Fat Sandwich Harmonic Saturator Review...