wahs, brahs

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Hey folks,

After the way helpful advice you all have given me on amp tubes and fuzzes, I figured this is probably the best place to go regarding my latest desired purchase.

I really dig wah pedals, but I haven't had a ton of success in finding one I'm completely happy with. I haven't really had the opportunity to play too many models, but I've tried out the two standards - a Vox reissue and a plain ol' Dunlop CryBaby. I've found each to be both great and frustrating for different reasons.

With the CryBaby, I love the smoothness of the response and the tonal variety I can get, but I hated how mine would cut down the volume whenever I turned it on - I mean, if the whole point is to cut through the overall sound then it's kind of annoying that you get quieter when you use it. I also really dug being able to lean my guitar up against the amp and "play" the resulting feedback - the tone of the feedback note would change with the sweep of the pedal and it was really awesome.

The Vox, on the other hand, gave me no such trouble with the volume. Stays just as loud as it was before I turned it on, which is very much appreciated. I also like the actual tone of the wah better - it sounds very agitated in a way that the CryBaby sure didn't. But the tonal range is way smaller, and I can't play feedback anymore.

So I'm sort of looking for something that'll combine the pluses of the the two different models I'm used to - a really cutting tone that's still got a lot of range, no change in volume (even a small increase would be great), and I don't know, "richness" or whatever. Wahs seem to be super expensive, so any recommendations would be awesome. Thanks a ton!

wangdangsweetpentangle (teenagequiet), Monday, 13 March 2006 21:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Wahs that people seem to like, though each has its detractors:
Budda Bud-Wah
Dunlop Crybaby Classic
Fulltone Clyde
HBE Medicine Bawl
Teese RMC 1/2/3
Teese Picture Wah
Teese Wizard Wah (though maybe for high-gainier stuff?)
Vox Clyde

For about a hundred bucks you can get a new Classic, a new 535Q, or a used Vox Clyde.

I'll be playing with a couple this week:
Dunlop Crybaby (modded with buffer, TB, and battery door)
Dunlop Crybaby Classic

I'm hopeful that the Classic will be the answer, but I'll report back with findings either way.

rogermexico (rogermexico), Monday, 13 March 2006 23:57 (thirteen years ago) link

dilemas like this is exactly what got me into modding/building my own gear. both of these are pretty simply-fixed problems using information freely and easily available off the internet, if you know how.

where are you located? heh, if you're anywhere near boston or are willing to drive, i'd do it for you just for the hell of it. cost of parts is either 0 or no more than $5. i modded my crybaby to have an adjustable range and a really high Q (sharpness of the EQ peak you get), and the sweep you get through harmonics is really cool sounding. maybe try one of the other dunlop versions?

as is i couldnt recommend a single wah to you, although I've never personally experienced a dunlop with that volume cut problem.

AaronK (AaronK), Monday, 13 March 2006 23:59 (thirteen years ago) link

I really can't say enough good things about the WD7 from Ibanez
(other than the questionable aesthetics, and the horrifyingly stupid name). Ultra-adjustable, including the option to run either switchless (ala morley bad horsie) or side-switched, no toe switch forcing you to engage/disengage at the top of the sweep, adjustable boost/cut, q frequency, adjustments for the physical stiffness of the pedal, blah blah blah. It's really pretty fucking great, and sells for $99.99 USD.

link here:http://www.ibanez.com/accessories/spec.asp?m=102

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 01:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks for the tip on that. I've never run into one irl. The adjustments have always struck me as both supercool and potentially a one-way ticket to tweakland, but the questionable aesthetics and horrifyingly stupid name just made me think it was, y'know, not for me.

rogermexico (rogermexico), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 01:49 (thirteen years ago) link

that looks really funny and awesome all at the same time.

AaronK (AaronK), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 03:00 (thirteen years ago) link

I really like the old compact looking DOD FX17 wah volume pedal, but then Joey Santiago is my hero...

Other than that DOD, the wah I use most is a Bruno (sometimes they were branded Ibanez and sometimes Marlboro!) "Wau Wau Machine." It honks with the best vintage wahs, honestly sounds obscene, and it's backwards! (Heel is treble, toe bass.) I have another one with a ridiculously over the top fuzz built in that is called a "Wau Fuzz." Sometimes they go for too much money on ebay, particularly the ones branded with the Ibanez name, but sometimes you can find them dirt cheap. Stock, they have the opposite problem from the newer Crybaby... they raise the volume quite a bit when engaged!

If yer bored you can hear the Wau Wau Machine in this mp3. (Right or CTRL click and Save As, please... My server doesn't always like trying to stream.)

martin m. (mushrush), Tuesday, 14 March 2006 04:03 (thirteen years ago) link

I absolutely hated my Wah Classic (I bought for $10 many moons ago). I ripped that fucker open and just soldered shit all over it until it finally became practical as a freq. adjustable ear-piercing torture device. I think I still have it somewhere, maybe in storage?

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 15 March 2006 17:16 (thirteen years ago) link

The recommendations so far have been way helpful - Aaron, unfortunately I'm down D.C.-way, so although your offer is ridiculously nice, I probably can't take you up on it. Really, what all this searching around is doing more than anything else is making me want to learn how to fuck with pedal design and modding myself. That said, I have about zero knowledge on engineering of such things, so for right now I'm probably just gonna buy one of the ones you all have already suggested.

Also, does anyone know anything about Chicago Iron's Tycobrahe reissue? Way too expensive for my blood at the moment, but it looks kinda cool.

pyjamagrama (teenagequiet), Thursday, 16 March 2006 16:02 (thirteen years ago) link

not that it's been mentioned, but steer clear of the morley 'bad horsie' wah.

superultramega (superultramarinated), Friday, 17 March 2006 18:55 (thirteen years ago) link

any company with mark tremonti signature lines is a company that will not be getting my money

pyjamagrama (teenagequiet), Friday, 17 March 2006 19:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Adding a Vox Clyde to the wah-off but stuck working this weekend, so it'll have to wait. Sigh...

rogermexico (rogermexico), Saturday, 18 March 2006 23:18 (thirteen years ago) link

Update: teh Clyde pwns.

The Crybaby's were both capable of great sounds, but it felt like work to find them. The sweet spot on the Clyde feels much broader, and the sound is brighter and, and, and... and I was really surprised at how quickly it became no contest. At least for me. All of this is a matter of personal taste, so ymmv...

rogermexico (rogermexico), Saturday, 25 March 2006 06:42 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Ah, here is the wah thread.

I just got a V-Wah. Seems to be some kind of digital wah simulator that models a whole range of classic wah sounds (Crybaby, Vox, even talkbox) but also has programmable wah and autowah. You can almost infinitely adjust the filter sweep, and also - this is one of the best bits for me - it also has a gain function so you don't get the volume drop-out mentioned above.

It's got a light sensor, which I hope will cut down on moving part abuse and wearout (which was another problem I had with my Crybabies and Vox, that I just killed them).

I played it a bit in the shop, and it seems like a lot of fun. Can't wait to get it home and make it sit up and do tricks.

The Minimal Criminal (kate), Wednesday, 17 May 2006 10:41 (thirteen years ago) link

God, I love that V-wah.

I've tried switching it around in the chain - i.e. putting it last, except for delay and reverb and THAT sounds amazing. Rather than a room with a wah in it, it's like a WAH with a room in it. I especially like the way that the phaser and the wah interact to produce extra peaks and valleys in the tone, plus the gain on the wah makes up for the loss on the phase.

The Minimal Criminal (kate), Thursday, 18 May 2006 11:02 (thirteen years ago) link

I got one of the reissue Vox wahs a couple of years ago. It sounds good but I don't like the narrow sweep of the pedal. It goes from open to closed in such a small area compared to how far the pedal will move. The sweet spot is so close to the switch, I find myself accidently hitting it off. I don't use it much, it just isn't that fun to play, which is the antithesis of a wah wah pedal.

A friend of mine got one of those Rocktron Tri Wahs and I was impressed by it's sound and feel. It seemed to be built pretty well, considering it is not an expensive pedal. Some of the low end crybabies, especially like the one I had a long time ago, you could break them by just looking at them let alone letting your porno guitar epic spin out of control.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Friday, 19 May 2006 04:11 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

is the crybaby fasel noticeably better than the regular one? also is it true that its staticy/noisy when used on a clean channel (reading that in a lot of reviews of it; why would a company release something that does that??)

am0n, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 18:44 (nine years ago) link


am0n, Friday, 5 March 2010 20:16 (nine years ago) link

four years pass...

After a pretty serious discussion with my daughter about the lack of pink pedals in my pedal line, I've decided to keep my eyes peeled for a pink Dunlop Crybaby. Apparently it was a limited edition run produced for Guitar Center back in 2006? Apparently a couple have sold somewhat recently for modest rates on ebay, so they must be out there and not in too high of a demand.

There's this Chicago Iron retrofit up on Reverb right now, which is probably very WAOW, but it's a little out of my price range:


So if any of you pedal nerds come across one of these, or if one walks in the door at jjj's store, hit me up.

how's life, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:49 (five years ago) link

Good info, jjj!

how's life, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:50 (five years ago) link

Oh I also posted an open call for one on our Facebook page, so if you want to watch the results (or lack of) roll out in real time, friend us up. EclipsemusicMN

Everyone is awful except you. Wait, no, you are also awful. (jjjusten), Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:50 (five years ago) link

Yes, I believe I subscribe. ;)

how's life, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:51 (five years ago) link

seven months pass...

So I bought one of those wahs. It fit the bill. Decent vox clone. Pink as all get-out. A few months later, some of those pink crybabys showed up for like $50 on ebay, but no big deal.

And he only had a couple hundred followers on facebook, so I followed too to show my support for the proverbial "little guy". But about once a month dude will just throw down a tirade.

Did you know? Every time you buy the latest hyped effect you are paying for overhead and advertising? Think. If you desire a certain effect, why? Did you read something, see an ad in a mag/online mag or ad? If you jump in, you are a success story to big money, big advertising money. Is your latest overdrive,etc the best ever? It must be because what you read told you so. How about standing up, use your brain and your ears and see what really sounds best? I doubt I will ever match up with the big money ad folks who latch onto a product and have the money to hype it. I am the guy, like you, who works at his craft and believes in what they do, no matter what. Please "boutique" mass produced effects like Wampler, don't keep insulting the working musician with your claims of hand built effects ( is it warehouse guitar speakers still?) that are so over saturating the market it is sickening.

If you want limited run, hand built from start to finish effects, then join the movement.

Pretty intense.

how's life, Wednesday, 14 January 2015 17:13 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

Well, I'm only 2 years late, but guess what just showed up

Here, let me Danesplain that for you (jjjusten), Friday, 12 August 2016 21:21 (three years ago) link

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