Sunday, June 15, 2008
Way Huge Swollen Pickle Jumbo Fuzz
You may have a different opinion, but personally, I don't think it matters too much what guitar you play through when you use a big, fat fuzz pedal. It all sounds the same...it's like playing through a Line 6 amp...what difference does it make if you use a Strat or an SG if all you are doing is dialing in some modeled sound of a "British Stack" with delay? For me it's the same with a fuzz pedal...it all sounds the same. I'm sure there are variations that I'm not discerning enough to grasp, but for me, no need for fuzz. Which brings me to the Way Huge Swollen Pickle I used to own...for about a week.
The good news is that Way Huge is about to reissue some of their pedals. The bad news is that those of you who own some of the originals might be getting ready to lose some of the enormous value that these pedals command. Maybe not...maybe the fact that they are "originals" will keep the prices high. A Way Huge Aqua Puss analog delay pedal easily goes for $800 or more. Back when they first came out I remember reading something about them and that some famous guitarists were saying they were the best pedals ever made. I stopped in a well known guitar shop in Huntington Beach one day to gawk at the super rare vintage Marshalls and old Fenders and other cool stuff and, lo and behold, they had a couple of Way Huge pedals. I didn't know much about compression (still don't), and I already had a delay pedal, so I migrated toward the Swollen Pickle, which was categorized as "Jumbo Fuzz." Not just regular fuzz...JUMBO fuzz. I think that I forked over around $200, which was unheard of for a new pedal at the time, and walked out the door feeling pretty pleased with myself.
Maybe I should have tried the pedal out first.
I got home and called my fellow bandmates and bragged about my new possession. We had band practice the next night and I was the first one there. I got all plugged in and powered up and kicked in my new Way Huge, cream of the crop, coveted by many owned by few, Swollen Pickle and...FUZZZZZZ. Big fat fuzz. Jumbo Fuzz if you will. Man, I'd heard that before in a $45 pedal and it didn't sound much different than the thing on the floor that I just paid two hundred bones for. Let me note right here that I know some of you are reading this right now and thinking to yourself, "Holy shit, this guy's an idiot. Fuzz is awesome and there is good fuzz and bad fuzz and the Way Huge Jumbo Swollen Fuzzy Pickle Machine is the best f*$%in' fuzz known to man!"
I'm sorry. It's me, it's not you. I just don't like you that way.
Let's continue...I had no use for a fuzz pedal for the kind of music I play. I quickly realized my mistake and thought about seeing how fast I could pack it back up and put it in the car before anyone else showed up for practice. Too late. Door opens and in walks our lead guitarist, also not a big fan of the fuzz. I decided to get his very valued opinion. Quote: "You paid HOW MUCH for that?" Damn. And at the time there was no such thing as eBay or Craig's List. I honestly don't remember how I sold it or for how much. I do wish I had it back right now to sell on eBay since the value has gone up so much. And, by the way, I have played through other Way Huge pedals and they really are amazing...I don't want anyone to think I'm bagging on Way Huge...it's the fuzz that I'm not excited about and the fact that I bought a fuzz pedal is my own mistake. I'm a little stupid.
Ironically, just last year I got an email from Jeorge Tripps, the original inventor/owner/mad scientist behind Way Huge and he had seen my website about Locobox pedals. He asked if I would be interested in building a tribute website for Way Huge pedals. I was gung ho and we were going to do a trade out for some Way Huge pedals he still had...but Jeorge is a super busy guy who now designs pedals for Line 6 and MXR (Jim Dunlop) and it just never came together. From what I understand, MXR just came out with an analog delay pedal called the Carbon Copy that is supposed to be as good as or better than the Aqua Puss for less than $150. I believe Jeorge designed it. I think I'm going to need one.