Way Huge has come a long way from being a proper boutique pedal shop. They have managed to combine niche designs with a more commercial pricing and production. In other words, we get the best of both worlds. Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss is one of the best examples of what we meant. It is an analog delay pedal that blows most of its competition clean out of the water. Simple, robust and incredibly refined, this thing is an obvious choice of you are looking for that vintage tone. Today we are going to take a closer look and show you what Aqua-Puss has to offer.
Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss Review
Delay is by far one of the oldest guitar effects in use today. It is so simple yet capable of making a large impact on any piece of music. In a market full of digital delays which sound too artificial, finding a good analog one makes all the difference. Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss brings you that, but in a package that is easy to handle and pretty intuitive. Lets elaborate on that for just a moment. Most analog delays usually come with a complex control interface. You can adjust just about any facet of the effect. Those who are adamant of having complete control over their tone might enjoy this. However, such complexity can quickly become a nuisance. Way Huge has basically created a pedal that offers that awesome vintage analog performance but minus all of the complicated controls.
Since vintage tones are sort of their specialty, Way Huge reflects that in their designs. Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss Comes in a rugged but simple metal chassis that can take all the abuse you are capable of dishing out. Seriously, the sheet metal they have used thick enough to take a hammer and still retain shape. Not that we suggest you do this, of course. The entire thing is coated in a somewhat metallic blue paint which allows the brushed aluminum finish to break through to the top. Only additional aesthetic details are the white labels on top.
The chassis features the standard I/O in the back, along with a power adapter plug. At the front, you will find the battery compartment. It is super easy to access and doesn’t require you to dismantle the chassis in order to change the battery. One more thing worth noting is the fact that the pedal sits on four rubber feet.
As we have said before, Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss is a simple pedal. That was the whole point. Because of that, the controls and features are also very simple. You have three knobs and the main foot switch at your disposal. Available knobs include a Delay knob, Feedback and Blend. Delay knob allows you to pick the type of delay you want. The range goes from 20ms to full 300ms of delay. Next comes the Feedback knob which regulates both intensity and duration of the delay. Lastly, there is the Blend know which is pretty self explanatory. Full clockwise position gives you a completely wet signal, while full counter clockwise yields a completely dry signal.
Real features are underneath the metal chassis. Way Huge have used top tier components in their analog circuit. We are talking Bucked Brigade Device analog delay IC, BL3102 CMOS and more. In other words, Way Huge went the full 9 yards to ensure that what you are getting is a proper vintage performance. The most interesting part about all of this is the fact that Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss still falls within the category of affordable effects pedals.
With all the technical specs out of the way, it is time to talk about the elephant in the room. What does Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss sound like? To start things off, we have to reiterate that Aqua-Puss is about as vanilla as it gets. There are no trippy delay modes, or anything similar. What you get is a no nonsense delay, just like in the olden days. The secret to WHE701’s performance is sound clarity and that organic vibe it has. Analog delays are still the norm for a reason as no one likes the clinical almost sterile sound of their digital counterparts. Way Huge has tapped into the vintage stream almost 20 years ago with the first version of Aqua-Puss. This reissue that we are looking at today brings you that same performance with a few almost unnoticeable tweaks. If you mostly play classic rock or blues, Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss will be right up your alley.
We thought that being limited to the three basic controls might take away from the whole experience. However, that was not the case. On the contrary, being able to focus on the sound and only make tiny, quick adjustments has made Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss a favorite in our shop. This must be why so many popular guitar players are using this very pedal as their main. The only thing to be careful of with Aqua-Puss is to not go overboard. Maxing out feedback and delay can push the pedal into a spiral of madness. Even though the threshold is fairly obvious and easy to stay away from, it is still something to keep an eye out during regular use.
Way Huge effects pedals are probably the best way to experience boutique sound on a budget. Since Jim Dunlop owns Way Huge, people usually think that pedals available today are just the watered down version of what Way Huge used to build 20 or so years ago. That is definitely not the case. Instead, Dunlop has more or less kept the quality standards of Way Huge, but boosted the entire brand by pushing it through Dunlop’s massive manufacturing apparatus. Way Huge WHE701 Aqua-Puss is definitely worth checking out if you need a good, vintage delay pedal. Especially if you like simple control interfaces and no-nonsense tone.