I received an email the other day from someone who had bought some pedals from me, it must have been 10 or 15 years ago! I was really happy to hear they were still using and enjoying them!
The reason for the email was to ask what the pedals were? I said send me some pictures. I couldn’t remember selling these so long ago, I needed some reference!
These were etched enclosures. The design is based on a Tibetan motif. The etching was done with ferric chloride and the process was experimental for me at the time. I love the look of these but the process is very time consuming and the results are variable.
The first (on the left above) I recognized right away. I made three of these. It is a clone of the Way Huge Swollen Pickle. I sold two of these and still have one.
Before they were absorbed into Dunlop Way Huge was the original boutique pedal company. Run by one guy, Jeorge Tripps, they sold modded clones of Boss, EHX, and others. The Swollen Pickle was a clone of the Big Muff. What makes it interesting is that it uses an MPQ3904 transistor array instead of four individual transistors. The transistors array is nothing special its just 4 standard 2N3904 type transistors on a single 14 pin DIP. The story goes that Jeorge said using the transistor array made for fewer parts to stuff. He was making all of the Way Huge pedals himself so it saved a little assembly time.
I think this pedal sounds pretty good! There is another factor here that effects the sound. The MPQ3904 has some pretty low gain transistors, lower than the standard 2N3904 transistors that you get today. I feel this gives this pedal a smooth sustain.
Inside the pedal I built it on some PCBs that I made. These had all of the wiring for the switch, LED, input and output jacks, along with a board mounted DC jack combined with a perfboard/pad per hole area that filled a 1590B.
Below are some old pictures I took when I made the original pedals.
Here is a demo of some big muffs along with this pedal.
Here is a video of an interview with Jeorge Tripps.