Guitar effects have long been the secret ingredient that elevates a bassist’s performance. But now, Way Huge, the name behind numerous iconic pedal designs, has finally answered the call of bassists everywhere. Say hello to the Pork & Pickle, Way Huge’s first-ever pedal designed specifically for bassists. This new offering aims to please players who find themselves torn between the allure of overdrive and the allure of fuzz. How does it do this? By ingeniously combining two of their most beloved pedals—the Pork Loin and the Russian Pickle—Way Huge has created an unbeatable sonic feast.
When Pigs Fly
The idea of merging two pedals is not entirely new, but what sets Way Huge apart is the way they seamlessly integrate these two seemingly competitive pedals. When the gain is set low, the Pork side of the pedal features a sweetening circuit that enhances specific frequencies. Think of it as a light mastering effect for bass. This sweetening circuit pairs harmoniously with the Pickle side, resulting in a sonically delightful experience. Having prior experience with both pedals that the Pork & Pickle is based on, I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to dive into this pedal’s auditory banquet.
The controls are laid out in a similar fashion to Way Huge’s Pork Loin. However, there are some subtle differences. A mini toggle beneath the bright-blue indicator light enables you to effortlessly switch between overdrive and fuzz. Additionally, there are two mini dials: one for clean blend (the new standard in bass pedals) and the other for clean tone, which controls the aforementioned enhanced sonic spectrum offered by the Pork side.
With my ’75 Jazz RI plugged in and running through an Eden CXC210 combo, I was ready to take this pedal for a spin. Starting with the overdrive section (Pork), it didn’t take long for me to discover the magic within. Even with the drive set low, the pedal added just the right amount of grit to my Jazz bass. This is the secret sauce that has contributed to countless rock records. The clean blend, while not dramatically altering the core tone, provides stability as you delve deeper into the pedal’s effects. As I experimented with different combinations of tone and drive, my ears were treated to a wide range of sounds ranging from vintage to modern. With the clean tone control, I could fine-tune the character of my bass, dialing in anything from a warm and muddy tone to a bright and distinctive sound. Switching over to the fuzz section (Pickle), I was met with a delightfully nasty dirt. The tone knob allowed me to open up the fuzz tone from a gritty growl to a scorching scream. It’s like the burnt ends in a BBQ sandwich—you may not want a whole plateful, but you’re certainly grateful they’re there.
Way Huge’s entry into the realm of bass pedals is nothing short of impressive. The Pork & Pickle pedal is undeniably a game-changer. While it offers a plethora of tonal possibilities, the Pork side alone is a perfect solution if you simply crave a touch of dirty tone enhancement. Personally, I would have appreciated a tad more original-signal oomph, but make no mistake—this pedal will cut through even the densest mixes with dominating authority. Furthermore, rather than agonizing over which of Way Huge’s two popular pedals to invest in, you can have the best of both worlds on one saucy and satisfying plate.