Ratings

Pros:
It makes good sense to have Pork Loin and Russian Pickle sounds in one pedal.

Cons:
An additional footswitch would’ve been nice for easier switching between fuzz and OD.

Street:
$169

Way Huge Pork & Pickle
wayhuge.com


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Guitar effects have served as the secret sauce on many a bass pedalboard for years, but recently the name behind a number of iconic pedal designs has given in to the pressure and designed its first pedal for bassists. Enter the Pork & Pickle, the new offering from Way Huge, intended to satisfy the ears of the many players that sit on the fence between overdrive and fuzz. How? Way Huge essentially slammed two of their revered pedals together—the Pork Loin and Russian Pickle—to create a cookout like no other.

When Pigs Fly
A mashup of two pedals is not a new concept. Way Huge (actually Dunlop, the wizards behind the shiny curtain) has figured out how to take these two pedals that could be viewed as competitors and had them join forces. And for good reason: When not occupied in OD mischief and the gain is set lower, there is a sweetening circuit in the Pork side. It enhances some frequencies (think light mastering for bass) and pairs nicely with its Pickle counterpart. As someone familiar with both pedals the Pork & Pickle is based on, I couldn’t wait to dive into this feast.

In its most minimal setting with the drive set low, the pedal added a few hairs to my Jazz, which is the secret sauce to so many great rock records.

The controls are laid out in a similar fashion to the company’s Pork Loin, but with some subtle differences. There is a mini toggle beneath the bright-blue indicator light that switches between OD and fuzz. The two mini dials are for clean blend (the new standard in bass pedals) and clean tone, which controls the aforementioned Pork side of sonic enhancement.

The Sauce
I plugged in a ’75 Jazz RI and ran it through an Eden CXC210 combo. Starting with the overdrive (Pork), it didn’t take long to figure out how to make this pedal soar. In its most minimal setting with the drive set low, the pedal added a few hairs to my Jazz, which is the secret sauce to so many great rock records. The clean blend doesn’t add a ton of original tone into the mix, but it does stabilize things when you get deeper into the effect. As I swam through the different combinations of tone and drive, my ears were hit with everything from vintage to modern sounds. I used the clean tone control to tweak my sound from muddy through bright, depending on the desired flavor. Switching over to the fuzz (Pickle) side, I’ll say the dirt is just wonderfully nasty. And the tone knob opens the fuzz tone from skanky to searing. I’d liken it to the burnt ends in a BBQ sandwich. I wouldn’t eat a plateful, but I’m very happy they’re there.

The Verdict
Way Huge’s first foray into the bass pedal arena is a grand entrance, indeed. They went with a ringer of a setup, but I’m not complaining. While it obviously has much more to offer, the Pork portion works great if you just want a dirty tone sweetener. I would have liked a touch more original-signal oomph, but this pedal will cut through the thickest of mixes with authority. What’s also great is that you don’t have to decide which of two popular Way Huge pedals to buy. Just get them both in one saucy, satisfying plate.

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