Gear Review: Way Huge Electronics’ Green Rhino MkII

Way Huge Electronics Green Rhino Mk IIThe Green Rhino MkII, by Way Huge Electronics made its debut at the NAMM Show in January, and I recently took it for a test spin. Way Huge was making pedals back in the 1990’s and sort of fell off the radar for a while. Dunlop now manufactures this new series, and one of the most popular requests for a reissue was this pedal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: this is a guitar effects pedal, NOT a bass effects pedal! This is true. And I will be the first to admit that as a bass player, there aren’t many effects to choose from, even fewer I actually like, and I would almost never actually plug in through a guitar effects pedal.

However, many bass players have adapted guitar effects pedals throughout history, and this pedal has been pretty hot on the bass scene since it’s debut in January. With all the recent buzz, I knew I had to try this pedal with a bass. Here’s the run-down:

Appearance and Construction

The Rhino is essentially a Tube Screamer-type pedal, which is a very popular overdrive pedal for guitarists. The lime-green, brushed aluminum chassis is quite appealing. Coupled with really cool looking black and white knobs and a blue LED power indicator light, the pedal is attractive. It is larger than most stomp boxes, which is usually a pet peeve of mine, but still smaller than others like the Big Muff.

The little rubber feet on the under-side of the pedal is nice for traction, yet by removing a few screws, you can take them off to add Velcro to secure the unit to your pedal board. The battery compartment is also very easy to access. It is on the back of the pedal (as if you were looking straight at it), rather than on the bottom, which makes changing-out the battery when you’re in the middle of a show (heaven forbid!) quite easy.

Controls and Tone

I have always wanted a Tube Screamer for my guitar work. They’re an industry standard. But every time I play one, I remember why I hate them: there’s a huge mid boost (it is, after-all, used primarily for soloing), and almost no bass response. The Green Rhino takes care of this by adding a 100Hz 12dB boost/cut control for the low-end, and a mid-section “curve” control to regulate how much of the mid-hum is accentuated. This takes care of a lot of the problems I have had with the Tube Screamer.

The Drive control offers a lot of flexibility in how much distortion you want to come through. Keeping it set low, you can get a warm vintage tube-like overdrive that’s quite subtle. When you crank it open, it really gets dirty, almost like the old Cliff Burton solos from the ’80’s or Les Claypool’s stuff when he’s feeling crazy. The Tone control allows you to regulate how bright or mellow you want the tone. I like it a little more on the bright side, but you can lower it to a “bassier” sound pretty easily.

The two most exciting features, in my opinion, are the bass boost/cut and curve controls. The Curve control allows you to scoop-out your mids, or give them a boost to accentuate them, so you can get more of a Geddy Lee sound. The bass boost/cut is simply awesome. You can cut-down the bass to make it smooth and silky, then crank-up the boost to make your amp rumble and rattle all the doors of their frames!

Bottom Line

The Green Rhino is a phenomenal pedal. The bass boost and mid curve controls really set this pedal apart from others in its class. It’s attractive, versatile, and sounds really great. This is a great investment for any musician, regardless of instrument. To all those nay-sayers out there who question using a guitar pedal for a bass signal path, I say if it works for you, it works. I know this pedal has earned a spot on my pedal board.

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