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Way Huge Doubleland Special Overdrive Pedal

Bonamassa good ....

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

 

The elusive “D” sound, forged in crystal lattices and defined by smooth-but-rude mild overdriven tones, is one of the most sought-after sounds by players of classic rock and jazz. The craze has made kings out of boutique amp makers and put several effects pedal makers on the map, given the extremely limited availability and sports car level pricing of authentic original units. Way Huge, by way of Jeorge Tripps, brought its take on the Overdrive Special sound to the market a couple of years ago in the form of the Way Huge Overrated Special, and it has doubled down (literally) on the circuit in a limited collaboration with Joe Bonamassa with the Way Huge Doubleland Special.

 

What You Need to Know

 

The Way Huge Doubleland Special Overdrive is limited to a production of 1,000 units, shipping with a custom Pick Tin featuring 25th Anniversary Way Huge Picks, custom silver Jazz III Picks, and signed and numbered by Joe Bonamassa. The pedal features Volume, Drive, Tone, and 500Hz controls for both of the identical overdrive circuits, a switch to toggle between circuit selection or running the circuits simultaneous series, and a true-bypass foot switch.

 

The Way Doubleland Special Overdrive is essentially two Way Huge Overrated Special circuits wired in series in a single pedal enclosure. While the pedal was designed for Bonamassa to address both single coil and humbucking guitars without needing an additional pedal, the circuits can be stacked in series for a more layered and thick tone.

 

The throaty punch that was captured in the Overrated Special OD is alive and well in the Doubleland, with a vocal lower-mid focus and subtle bloom. I found the touch-response of the circuit to be looser than a TS-style overdrive but not quite as open as an original Zendrive pedal I compared it to. The 500Hz control, which fine-tunes the midrange frequencies, is crucial to determining whether the overdrive is being used for rhythm or lead tones, with the Tone knob itself offering typical high frequency filtering. There is plenty of volume on tap in each of the circuits, and the Drive goes from “Is this on?” to surprisingly aggressive, although most players seeking the D sound won’t tread much past the middle of the dial.

 

Run in series, the pedal produces a significantly more saturated and compressed sound, interesting as its own thing, but sacrificing the dynamics that give the individual circuits their amp-like feel for a bolder, if simpler, statement.

 

Limitations


While it was intentional that one of the circuit’s controls were put in slider format for a set-it-and-forget-it setting, players who like to nudge controls with their feet in real-time during performances would be better served buying two Overrated Specials.


Conclusion


Given its limited production run and artist association, the Way Huge Doubleland Special Overdrive may well be sold out before publication of this review, which seems like a lost opportunity for sales but a fantastic marketing opportunity. There are few pedals as clearly defined and targeted as the Doubleland Special, and if you are a fan of Bonamassa or amps made by people named Alexander you’ve already likely pre-ordered one, and my hands-on review experience is that you won’t be disappointed, either as a collector or a player.  -HC- 

 

Resources

 

Way Huge Doubleland Special Overdrive Product Page

 

Buy Way Huge Doubleland Special Overdrive  (MSRP $428.56, Street $299.99) at American Musical Supply, Joe Bonamassa's site, or Musician's Friend

 

 

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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