As far as effects pedals go, one of the main added effects – if not the main one – is most definitely distortion. If we were to break it down, there are essentially three main types of effects that fall under the distortion umbrella; you have your typical distortion, overdrive and fuzz. They are very similar to each other in that they are created the same way but differ the way they affect the sound. Overdrive effects, for one, is the mildest of the three and often give off that warm vintage sound that most think of when using vintage tube amplifiers, sounding slightly gritty at quieter volumes and with much harsher distortion when gain is increased. Distortion effects on the other hand sound just as harsh at any volume level with sound alterations being much more intense. And finally, fuzz effects, or fuzz boxes, sound as gritty as a bit of overdrive but nowhere near as harsh as typical distortion. For those of you unfamiliar with the Way Huge brand of guitar pedals, these uniquely designed pieces of equipment started off in 1992 as boutique level items meaning that they were not produced at nearly the same scale as those by bigger brands such as Electro Harmonix or MXR. Furthermore, by 1999, the company had closed down production, making their pedals even rarer, which is how several began being regularly sold at hundreds above cost.
Flash forward to the future and Way Huge pedals are back and now under Dunlop, giving players who did not have the opportunity to pick one up back in the ‘90s the chance to experience some of the most unique pedals around, and at a way better price than you would find at auction. With that said, today we will be looking at what might be hands down one the most versatile distortion pedal around – the Way Huge Fat Sandwich, and all for less than two hundred dollars! Seriously, the sheer amount of sounds one can get out of this thing is amazing. Everything from that signature AC/DC-Marshall amp combination to punk rock or even classic metal – the Fat Sandwich will deliver. So, for those of you interested in what might be the next über-popular choice in distortion pedals, check out all the details of the Way Huge Fat Sandwich.
The Features of the Way Huge Fat Sandwich Harmonic Saturator
The Fat Sandwich is controlled via eight different sontrols; you have five on the face of the pedal and three internal trim pots. On the front you have your Volume, Tone, Distortion, Presence and Resonance. Volume and Distortion are pretty self explanatory; the former controls the strength of the output while the latter lets you decide on how much crunch you want in your distortion. The Presence lets you manipulate the high frequency response while the Resonance knob controls the lower end of the frequencies. The Tone knob works directly with the Presence and Resonance controls to adjust the tonal mixture of the effect which is mainly used for compensating for the small differences in your specific guitar and amp combination. The internal controls – Curve, Drive and Highs – are more of the set-and-forget types that are more for fine tuning the overall sound than they are for creating variety in your tone. Curve is used for focusing the first stage of distortion while Drive does the same for the second stage of distortion. Highs meanwhile lets you tweak the amount of high end on the second stage of distortion. Although most players won’t need to mess around with these three controls to achieve most of their desired sounds, tone-freaks will undoubtedly love the subtle differences these three can give you. And just in case you’re a bit in over your head, the included manual does a great job of detailing all of the specific uses for each of the controls although a few hours of messing around with the pedal will give you a good idea of what’s achievable. And speaking of what’s achievable, the Fat Sandwich has so many tones available that it seems almost impossible to describe them all – you honestly have to check it out for yourself. After messing around with the pedal for a bit, it becomes clear that Way Huge created this pedal for use with clean amp settings as the amount of distortion available through just the Fat Sandwich is more than most would ever need. Also, probably most impressive is how clear the tone of you actual guitar shines through. Sure, the Fat Sandwich can take even the weakest guitar tones and give them plenty of needed power but even better still is that those of you who already love the signature tone of certain makes of guitars can rest assured that this pedal works with your tone while never drowning it out.
The pedal itself is bit bigger than your standard sized single effects pedal but not so big that it’s overwhelming. The build is as strong as you should expect from similar Dunlop items with similar die-cast frames. Even still, the design alone should be enough to win over plenty of those on the fence as the Fat Sandwich looks as unique as its name suggests; all bright yellow with a retro-esque style that is sure to stand out on anyone's effects pedal boards. The Fat Sandwich is powered with your standard 9 volt battery or an AC adapter of equivalent voltage. Those of you who aren’t too fond of pedals that require you to unscrew the bottom plate of the pedal in order to access the inner compartment will be happy to know that switching the battery is as easy unclipping the bottom lid.
If you are in the market for a distortion pedal, the Way Huge Fat Sandwich has so much variety in terms of sound that it will undoubtedly become a welcomed edition to any player of punk rock, classic rock, classic metal or even modern rock. Even if you AREN’T in the market for a distortion pedal, the tones created with this are so pristine that it should be checked out at the very least (in case you don’t believe the hype). All in all, for only $179.99, the Way Huge Fat Sandwich is most definitely worth every penny.