Today’s offering comes to us from the company that was given a new lease on life by Jim Dunlop Electronics after being defunct for several years. The company of note is Way Huge Electronics, founded and run by mister Jeorge Tripps in the 90′s. The line was extremely popular in the boutique pedal circuit and today’s pedal, the Green Rhino MkII, is a reissue of one of the original pedal designs. The Green Rhino Overdrive II was highly sought after for many years following Way Huge closing its doors and commanded several hundred dollars used. The reissue comes back with a vengeance and with a few key improvements while maintaining the tone that everyone loves.
Let’s take a look at the layout. The light green brushed aluminum enclosure is quite nice and looks really appropriate considering the name of the pedal. You’ve got three big knobs and two little ones. The big ones consist of Volume, Tone and Drive. The little ones are more like trim pots and consist of 100Hz and Curve. The big ones behave quite predictably if you have ever used a TS-808 or similar overdrive. You add the amount of overdrive with the Drive knob, roll off any unwanted high frequencies with the Tone knob, and adjust the overall level going to your amp with the Volume knob. The other two knobs are the fun part of this pedal.
My personal fave is the 100Hz pot. One criticism about many tube screamer style pedals is that they drastically cut the low end to the point that they can become unusable in certain situations. I have definitely experienced this. What the Green Rhino does to combat this with the 100Hz knob is to allow the user to boost the low end (100Hz) by as much as 12dB. Crank this knob and you instantly have body back in your tone. This comes in super handy when adding a little overdrive to your rhythm work. It even makes your solos and riffs just sound meatier especially when using the deeper strings. The second little knob is the Curve and it basically allows you to roll off highs before hitting the tone section. This effect is pretty subtle and is felt rather than heard for the most part. It helps combat excessive fizziness which can often make an overdrive sound cheesy and artificial. What I really like about the design of this pedal is that Mr. Tripps really thought about what the TS style overdrives were missing and rather than just implementing these solutions into the circuit, he put the control in the hands of the user. Great choice!!
I want to take a minute to describe the overall sound of the pedal and suggest some implementations. The Green Rhino sounds really clear and meaty. It doesn’t muddy up your tone, but definitely sounds best in front of bright amps. I like the way it sounded in front of my Fender Blues Jr. I wouldn’t really recommend it if you consider your amp as a dark sounding one. It certainly won’t brighten your rig. Most of the tonal controls are there to beef up your overdrive sound. Because of the addition of the 100Hz knob I felt like it would make an excellent choice for Bass Overdrive. I tested it with my Fender Jazz Bass going directly into a budget tube pre and loved the result when cranking the 100Hz knob. It sounded huge and wicked. So basically I would say sell your TS and buy one of these. It sounds better and has extras. The Green Rhino stampedes the competition! I would say that the Way Huge resurgence is pretty awesome so far. – Gus Green
P.S. You can check out my review of the Aqua Puss Mk II here.