Big Ear Pedals launches the WHAC-A – a boost pedal with no knobs and an obscene number of footswitches

Big Ear Pedals Whac-A
(Image credit: Big Ear Pedals)

Nashville-based pedal builder Big Ear Pedals has a knack for assembling especially attention-grabbing stompboxes.

Not too long ago,it unveiled a wild pizza-themed fuzz pedal in collaboration with The Tone Mob podcast – called the Slice of Pie – which looked like a literal slice of pizza.

Now, Big Ear Pedals has teamed up with yet another podcast for its latest ambitious offering – the WHAC-A boost pedal, which crams nine (yes, nine) boost footswitches into one compact unit. If that sounds excessive and indulgent, that's because it totally is.

The result of a team-up between Big Ear Pedals and 60 Cycle Hum podcast, the WHAC-A was originally conceived when the latter’s Ryan Burke discussed an imaginary pedal adorned with only footswitches.

That episode was recorded several years ago, but was recently unearthed by the Big Ear team who – after reaching out to 60 Cycle Hum – sought to resurrect Burke’s dream and make it a reality.

Since it’s literally just footswitches, the pedal is pretty easy to appraise. There are nine switches in total and absolutely zero parameter controls, with the nine bypass switches all engaging the same boost circuit.

So, instead of getting a range of different boost pedals, it’s effectively just one boost pedal but with an obscene amount of switches. Of course, in practice, the boost circuit can be doubled up and layered up to nine times, but owing to the topography of the WHAC-A itself, we imagine precise presses might be hard in the heat of a gig.

It’s an operational aspect duly noted by Big Ear Pedals, though, which revels in the fact the WHAC-A is a novelty stompbox first and foremost. Indeed, in the company’s own words, the WHAC-A is “a pedal for no one. A pedal that no one asked for and no one needs”. Heck, the pedal even comes with a small wooden mallet to turn it into a tonal game of Whac-A-Mole.

“You can use anywhere from one to nine boosts simultaneously,” the company says, “but the idea is to just stomp on the pedal and engage a random number of boosts each time. Or you can always utilize your mini-mallet – just start mashing.”

The WHAC-A is limited to 60 units and available to secure with deposits of $125 now. The full price will be $250.

To find out more about the pedal, head over to Big Ear Pedals.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.