Guitar effects have long been the secret ingredient in enhancing the bass pedalboards of talented musicians. Now, the renowned brand behind numerous iconic pedal designs, Way Huge, has finally created a pedal specifically tailored for bassists. Say hello to the Pork & Pickle, the latest offering from Way Huge, designed to captivate the ears of those players who find themselves torn between overdrive and fuzz. How? By ingeniously combining two of their revered pedals—the Pork Loin and Russian Pickle—to create an unparalleled sonic experience.
When Pigs Fly
Merging two pedals is not a novel concept. Way Huge (actually Dunlop, the wizards working their magic behind the scenes) has managed to seamlessly unite two pedals that could be seen as competitors and join forces to create something extraordinary. And with good reason: when the gain is set lower, the Pork side offers a delightful enhancement circuit that sweetens certain frequencies (think of it as light mastering for bass). This feature beautifully complements its Pickle counterpart. As someone who is well-acquainted with both pedals that serve as the foundation for the Pork & Pickle, I couldn’t wait to indulge in this feast of sound.
The controls are laid out in a manner similar to the company’s beloved Pork Loin, albeit with a few subtle differences. A mini-toggle switch is conveniently positioned beneath the bright-blue indicator light, enabling effortless switching between OD (overdrive) and fuzz. Additionally, two mini-dials control the clean blend (a new standard in bass pedals) and the clean tone, which regulates the aforementioned Pork side of sonic enhancement.
I plugged in a ’75 Jazz RI and connected it to an Eden CXC210 combo. Starting with the overdrive (Pork), it didn’t take long for me to discover the magic this pedal has to offer. With the drive set low, the pedal added just the right amount of hair to my Jazz, much like the secret sauce found on countless iconic rock records. The clean blend doesn’t overwhelm the mix with original tone, but it does provide stability as you delve deeper into the effects. As I experimented with different combinations of tone and drive, my ears were treated to a spectrum of sounds, ranging from vintage to modern. The clean tone control allowed me to fine-tune my sound, offering everything from muddy to bright shades, depending on the desired flavor. Switching over to the fuzz (Pickle) side, I must say the dirt is pleasingly nasty, with the tone knob allowing the fuzz to transition from skanky to searing. It’s like the burnt ends in a mouthwatering BBQ sandwich—not something I’d devour by the plateful, but I’m thrilled they’re there.
Way Huge’s inaugural entry into the realm of bass pedals is an impressive one, to say the least. They opted for a winning combination, and I have no complaints. While the Pork portion excels in providing a delightful dirty tone enhancement, I would have loved a touch more oomph in the original signal. Nevertheless, this pedal cuts through even the densest mixes with authority. What’s even better is that you don’t have to agonize over which of Way Huge’s two popular pedals to purchase. Simply acquire this saucy and satisfying plate that combines the best of both worlds.
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