NAMM 2024: “From buttery goodness to gnarly thunder and lightning distortion”: The limited edition Way Huge Smalls Geisha Drive packs tumultuous tones into a seemingly peaceful package

Way Huge Smalls Geisha Drive overdrive
(Image credit: Way Huge)

NAMM 2024: Why have a generic-looking overdrive pedal when you can have one with a colorful Geisha girl and cherry blossom tree emblazoned on it instead? That’s the thinking behind Jim Dunlop’s new limited edition Way Huge Smalls Geisha Drive pedal, which was just unveiled at NAMM 2024.

Look past its oriental artwork and its simple ‘three-dial and stomp-on-me’ footswitch may look streamlined, but the boffins at Way Huge assure us its tonal offerings are vast. Its adjustable volume, gain and tone controls can therefore help sculpt subtle overdrives, all-out distortion tones and plenty in-between.  

The overdrive, it says, offers “a wide range of dynamic, touch-sensitive tones.” These controls are shaped by the intensity of the player’s attack and the volume of the guitar to allow “the personality of you and your guitar to shine through.”

Dial the drive settings back and players can expect “warm, buttery goodness with a bit of velvet around the edges.” Whilst the midway point will start to conjure a thicker, tube amp-inspired overdrive, by cranking the drive knob all the way to the right, players can achieve what Jim Dunlop excitedly calls “gnarly thunder-and-lightning distortion.”

Once players are happy with the drive amount, the tone knob is in place to brighten or mellow out proceedings. The volume knob, on the other hand, lets players go as loud as they want, much to the delight of your next sound engineer.

Way Huge, an arm of the Jim Dunlop brand, adds the Geisha Drive to its growing list of tone-brutalizing pedals. Its Stone Burner fuzz was compared to molten lava in Guitar World's review of the pedal. Back in 2021, it joined forces with Joe Bonamassa for the Penny Saver Modulation and Overdrive pedal.

Way Huge had previously dropped the design on a brushed steel pedal. However, as it was limited to just 40 pieces it was quickly snapped up. Now offering a crisp and clean white finish, it returns to give pedal collectors another chance to grab one.

The pedal becomes available on February 18 2024. If the overdrive makes its way onto your ‘need’ list, you can sign up to be notified when it drops via email on the Jim Dunlop website. It retails at the very specific price of $242.84.  

 

As expected, NAMM 2024 has seen Jim Dunlop deliver a veritable feast of notable releases. It's celebrating two decades of partnership with the imperious Zakk Wylde by reissuing Wylde’s go-to Rotovibe pedal, then there’s the MXR Gran Torino overdrive and is has even launched a reproduction guitar strap inspired by the one worn by Jimi Hendrix during his incendiary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.   

For more information on the Way Huge Smalls Geisha Drive, head to Jim Dunlop .

The NAMM 2024 news is coming in thick and fast, but we have our fingers firmly on the pulse. Keep up to date via our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.