Known for their reliability, consistency and unique tone, the original line of Way Huge pedals quickly became expensive collector’s items as soon as the company folded back in 1999. Luckily for us, the brand was resurrected a few years later and with it came a whole slew of reissues that aim to retain everything that made the originals amazing while trimming the way huge price. Today, we’re taking a closer look at one of these reissues, the Aqua Puss Analog Delay.
The Aqua Puss is as easy to use and straightforward as it gets, consisting of simply three control knobs: Delay, Feedback and Blend. The delay knob controls the amount of timing in your delay which can range from 20ms to 300ms. The feedback knob controls the amount of echoes in the effect. Give it a little for a slight reverb sound or turn it all the way up to send the Aqua Puss into what Way Huge likes to call “psycho-freak-out mode,” which sounds like a ton of echoes endlessly repeating. And finally, the blend knob is your wet/dry signal control, allowing you to dial in your preferred amount either signal.
Not only are the controls the same as the original, the paint job is right on the money as well, besides the MKII insignia in the name. Everything else is pretty much the same. Well, almost. Instead of the using the original (and hard to find) bucket brigade delay chips from Panasonic, the Aqua Puss MKII comes equipped with modern, less expensive chips from China. It was a necessary choice in order keep the cost down. They might not be the originals but these new chips are still good quality pieces.
The Aqua Puss also offers hardwire relay bypass and will lock into bypass mode if the battery goes dead, great for those looking to add this onto their effects chain without worry. The anodized aluminum casing is as tough as it looks and should take a good beating before you even get a dent on the thing.
If you are worried that the new modern chips degraded the top-notch tone of the orginal, put them to rest; the Aqua Puss MKII sounds great. Play your guitar on clean and then add the Aqua Puss into the mix and you’ll be surprised at how much it affects the overall tone, and I do mean that in a good way.The warm qualities of the delay are amazingly smooth with the same organic tones that people love about vintage sound. If you’re familiar with the sound of old recordings that used manual in studio delay effects, you’ll be amazed at how close this pedal comes to reproducing those tape-like characteristics in its delay.
Give it a little bit of delay with just enough feedback and you get that rockabilly-style slapback reverb or crank it up for a very spacey sound with tons of echo. You can even recreate some pretty cool ambient Pink-Floyd type sounds, although this would require you to manually sweep the delay knob around which isn’t at all practical for a live show setting.
There isn't much to complain about with the Aqua Puss but there will be players out there a bit put off with the somewhat limited 300ms of delay. While 300ms of delay is on the shorter end of the spectrum for modern analog delays, its more than enough to suit many different styles. Beyond that, the rest of the pedal is excellent.
While this pedal might not be 100 percent exactly like the original, its 99 percent close enough and for the price of this reissue compared to even a used version of the original, which can run more than twice as much, the Aqua Puss MKII is definitely a great delay pedal worthy of the legacy created by the vintage model.
Those looking for something with long delay times will probably be turned off by the Aqua Puss’ 300ms of delay, most players will find that more than enough. With the Aqua Puss, you get all that warm, smooth and organic sound that analog delays are known for plus the consistent, reliable and unique tones that are present with Way Huge pedals. And for $149.99, you just can’t beat it.
You can here the Aqua Puss Delay in action in this slapback and feedback instructional demo:
Looking for something a little different? Browse our entire selection of Delay Effects Pedals, guaranteed at the best prices around.