Swollen Pickle MkII WHE401 review by Way Huge

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (21 votes)
Way Huge: Swollen Pickle MkII WHE401

Sound — 10
The Swollen Pickle mKII is one of the most versatile and musical fuzz pedals I have ever played. On one end you can get a nasty biting fuzz tone ridden with tonal anomalies and 60s character; on the other end there's a modern Smashing Pumpkins style Big Muff wall of sound fuzz...and everything in between. My favorite tonal aspect of this pedal is the Crunch control, which allows for more contained fuzz tones. With a little bit of tweaking I was able to achieve the David Gilmour The Wall-era distortion, fuzzy and Vintage but very contained and dynamic. Usually I would achieve this tone by running a Big Muff through a Tubescreamer which would round the edges of the Big Muff fuzz. With the Swollen Pickle in my rig I can dial all of my favorite classic fuzz tones as well as modern harmonic fuzziness. There are even hints at an upper octave when dialed a certain way. Check out sample 4!

Overall Impression — 9
The Way Huge Swollen Pickle mKII Jumbo Fuzz absolutely rules for a one-stop fuzz pedal. In the boutique stomp box world there are hundreds of different fuzz pedals out there, and many of them sound great. However, this is by far the most versatile of the bunch in my experience. The only downfall I can think of is that it's not entirely intuitive at first to dial in. For serious tone seekers it is definitely worth the time and effort to check this pedal out and integrate it into the live rig. Check out the Way Huge website for some of the coolest audio clips I've ever heard, and also an impressive endorsee list. This is probably my new favorite pedal.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've been rocking this thing for a few months now and it seems to be holding up like a champ, but time will tell. It hasn't taken any drops or suffered any spills yet.

Ease of Use — 6
Way Huge Electronics was Launched in 1992 by Jeorge Tripps who set out to make reliable, rugged, and pedal-board friendly stomp boxes for the serious guitarists. Mr. Tripps invented some highly sought after products, but in 1999 closed the doors on Way Huge. Almost 10 years later the demand for Way Huge pedals seemed greater than ever with online auctions and bidding wars reaching the $1000 mark. Teaming up with Dunlop the Way Huge pedals have returned and the Swollen Pickle MkII Jumbo Fuzz is a serious addition to the Dunlop family.

Heavy-Duty footswitch
True bypass
Blue LED indicator
2.1mm power jack with AC protection
Easy access battery door
Aluminum anodized chassis
Cliff jacks
Military spec Teflon wire

The Filter control retains on the Swollen Pickle has a very wide range of heavily band-pass-filtered tones. You could think of it as being a reverse filter than that of a ProCo Rat. As you turn the filter clockwise the high end becomes sizzlier and as you turn it counter clockwise the low end gets fatter. The Loudness (volume control) cranks out more dB than any pedal I have ever used... seriously. The updated features on the mKII include a tone stack Scoop control that allows for flat or mid-sweep tones, and a Crunch knob to that adjusts the compression intensity of the fuzz much like running a tube Screamer after a Fuzz Face.

Additionally the Swollen Pickle MKII pedal has two internal mini controls that control the outboard trim pots. The Voice control sets the intensity of the external Scoop control from light to heavy mid-cut. The Clip varies between two sets of clipping diodes for smooth or opened fuzz sustain. // 9

Ease of Use: I actually found this pedal to be a bit difficult at first. There really are a lot of tonal options on this pedal and the Scoop trim pot and the Filter knob really work with and against each other. Once I found the right spot for these two knobs the pedal really opened up. I definitely wouldn't advise throwing this pedal on a pedal board before a gig without a few hours of getting-to-know time.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I got the swollen pickle, but just cant get a good lead tone with it.
    I got one of these about two months ago. It's kind of taken over my whole rig. I've still got my Big Muff and Superfuzz, but it's taken two distortions and an overdrive off the board. My only complaint is that the Pickle has less gain than my Little Big Muff. If it could match it for big, roaring fuzz, I'd only need two dirt boxes on my board.
    Nice review. And I agree, the Pickle is hard to tame. But once you do it's an awesome fuzz.
    Koolaid Kid
    I had several big muffs(modern, NY, RUSIA, tone wicker), and the swollen pickle kills them all, you can get creamy vintage tones and sharp modern tones out of it and even more, recommended with both single and humbuckers, makes my Fender Hot Rod Deville 212 sounds more than my Orange 412! and makes my "8 practice amp sound like a 112!, its amazing all the vintage tones you can get and the modern tones eats all the big muffs I had!
    Teen Spirit
    this, or the big muff? additionally, didn't Scott Lucas of Local H use this? for those that want to hear it, check out any song by them, it has a nice fuzzy distortion tone...
    i tried out both the swollen pickle and the zvex. I ended up buying the zvex, but the swollen pickle was very nice. The pickle is a more tame beast, it does what you want it to and can give a very nice fuzz sound. The zvex does anything but what you tell it to unless you use a strong hand. Its crazy and is not for the faint of heart. Both great pedals, but apples and oranges.
    the zvex fuzz factory is a totally different animal. it uses two germanium transistors almost similar to a fuzz face pedal (more harsh fizzy and imo very unusable), rather than this fat and smooth silicon big muff type pedal.
    What about the Zvex Fuzz Factory in comparisson? Since the Vexter series version is cheaper than this?
    Go look up some Demo's on youtube, I personally am adding one of THOSE to my wish list :]
    Got this today. $15 off with a guitar center coupon. The amount of control and tweakability is very nice but it's also a bit hard to grasp at first. I'd say the first thing you should do is open up and adjust the Mid-Scoop intensity based on how much mids you do or don't want.