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Way Huge Green Rhino MkII review

  • £165
  • $209.99
The pots are quality items, and the Rhino is as solidly built as its namesake.

MusicRadar Verdict

To paraphrase This Is Spinal Tap, the Rhino's big bottom really will drive you out of your mind.

Pros

  • +

    Impressive tone-shaping. Easy to use. Sturdily built.

Cons

  • -

    A little pricey.

Back in the '90s, effects manufacturer Way Huge had a cult following. When the business folded, many feared that killer effects like the Green Rhino, inspired by the classic Ibanez Tube Screamer, would be lost to the world.

Happily, Jim Dunlop Electronics resurrected the brand, and the Green Rhino MkII - actually the third incarnation - is one of the revitalised models to emerge.

"There are no irritating fizzy overtones - just powerful, clearly defined drive."

Despite the retro heritage, the feel of this pedal is modern thanks to the two-millimetre-thick anodised aluminium chassis. The controls are smooth and solid, and the footswitch feels like it was designed to operate something important on an aircraft.

When you trigger it, you're instantly dazzled by an intense blue light. Has it been fitted with an anti-theft laser? No, it's only the LED that tells you the effect is activated, but it's very, very bright. If you like to perform amid a carpet of dry ice, this could be handy.

The Rhino also has true bypass circuitry, so it should be totally transparent in the signal chain when switched off.

Plugged in, the first few strums reveal heavy-duty tone. With everything set to halfway, the Rhino gives riffs impressive definition and warmth, while solos gain extra punch and sustain.

There are no irritating fizzy overtones - just powerful, clearly defined drive. Adding extra gain makes the sound wilder and more compressed, but at no point does it dissolve into a muddy mess.

The Rhino also shines when you wind up the volume but turn the gain down, allowing the pedal to drive your amp in a subtler, bluesy way.

It's the tone-shaping powers of the MkII that really set it apart, though. The 100Hz control allows you to cut or boost the low-end by a hefty 12dB. In practice, you'll probably turn this control up full and never turn it down again: it's like injecting Botox into your tone.

In play, it adds a fat dollop of whoop-ass to the icy bite of a Telecaster bridge pickup, while P90s become snarling, PAF-baiting monsters.

At more moderate settings, it adds warmth and body to your rig's sound without changing its basic character.

The Curve control allows you to subdue sharp edges in the upper mids, while a standard tone control adjusts treble. There's nothing fancy or mysterious about how it all works and you can get rock star results out of the Rhino in about two minutes.

Get your overdrive tone right and it'll hold the rest of your sound together. So although the Green

Rhino MKII isn't the cheapest 'drive, you may profit by the extra investment in the end.

It can do vintage rock to a T, but won't sound out of place in a modern indie setup either, while the extra booty-factor offered by the 100Hz control makes an already tempting package a real object of desire.

Jamie Dickson
Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.