Whenever a sweet baritone rolls through the doors at zZounds HQ, it’s hard not to plug it into a nice dirt pedal and riff out for hours. So, when the Hagstrom Viking Deluxe Baritone showed up a few weeks back, we did just that. The semi-hollow construction and humbucker-sized P90 neck pickup make the Viking Deluxe a unique baritone, capable of a wide spectrum of tone, from full-on stoner metal to the traditional “spaghetti western” baritone twang. Even unplugged, this thing resonates with deep, brooding baritone goodness. Favoring this guitar’s stoner metal persuasion, we decided to plug it into the Way Huge Electronics Russian Pickle for a truly doomy riff session.
The Russian Pickle, as you can imagine by the name, is Way Huge’s take on the sought-after Russian “Tall Font” Big Muff fuzz. Vintage Tall Font Big Muffs can be hard to find on the used market, and when you do find one, they’re generally pretty pricey. Plenty of boutique companies have taken a stab at the gnarly bass fuzz tone that the legendary Tall Font is capable of, but most have their shortcomings. Honestly, this is the most spot-on clone we’ve heard in quite some time, and like its predecessor, it’s perfect for down-tuned instruments. With enough low end to trigger an earthquake, the Russian Pickle was an ideal match for the B-to-B tuning of the Viking Deluxe, allowing for each slow-burning riff to fully resonate.