Wah-Wah Pedal, my favourite ones

Wah-Wah Pedal, my favourite ones

Hi Everyone,
the Wah-Wah Pedal, in this post we talk about another iconic pedal. The birth of this effect is entirely random. The first pedal was presented to the public in 1966 by the producer was Warwick Electronics Inc. / Thomas Organ Company. This pedal was named Clyde McCoy in honor of the trumpeter who used to vary the phrasing of his instrument with a Harmon Mute in 1920. Legend says that in 1965 Brad Plunkett was paid to disassemble Vox AC-100 and find out if there was a way to make it at a lower cost.

The Genesis

The amplifier had a switch to push the mid frequencies and Plunkett realized that the key could be replaced by a potentiometer. After drawing a circuit that varied the frequency, he asked a friend to connect the guitar to the amplifier and while he was playing, Brad moved the potentiometer. Thus, Wah-Wah was born. Since the guitarists have their hands slightly occupied, he thought of turning an organ pedal into a pedal to control the potentiometer of his invention.

What is the Wah-Wah Pedal

The effect of the Wah-Wah Pedal is a characteristic sound produced by a narrow band filter that accentuates a frequency band that varies over time. One could say that you simulate vaguely similar to a meow or a cry. Precisely for this reason it can also be called baby cry.  Technically, the Wah-Wah Pedal is a frequency filter in which the central frequency range is moved by a potentiometer, controlled by the pedal. The potentiometer is set to close the frequency, setting the range on the low frequencies and cutting the others. When the pedal is towards the heel (pedal up), a very closed and unclear sound is produced. In peak position (pedal stepped) mid-highs are opened generating a much sharper and more incisive sound. Moving the pedal back and forth generates the Wah-Wah effect.

Who made him famous and who uses it nowadays

Wah-Wah Pedal can be found in all kinds of music and recently also in Metal. This pedal is one of the few traditional musical effects that have not been changed by digital versions or sound processing software. Virtually every self-respecting guitarist has a Wah-Wah pedal on his pedal deck. The first to bring it to success were Hendrix and Clapton. It is easy to imagine how many artists and ordinary people have inspired. Famous pedaling artists include Zakk Wylde, Jimi Page, Steve Vai and Tom Morello.

Tutorials

Before proceeding with my reviews I wanted to spend few words on this online downloadable tutorial that includes all the various effects that i’ve already indtruced for the Distortion Pedal review. This tutorial is well-structured giving a general overview on all the effects. I consider it a bit like a bible for whom wants to start venturing into the fantastic world of guitar Pedal. Just click on the image or here if you want to have more info about.

 

 

 

 

Wah-Wah, here my preferite ones:

Dunlop Cry Baby GCB 95N


Dunlop took the original Crybaby and added three of his most famous options. The famous ‘Q’ control that varies the intensity of the wah effect by adjusting the bandwidth. Volume Boost for an additional gain up to + 15dB. finally the Auto-Return function that allows you to automatically activate the effect by resting your foot on the pedal. All this in addition to an impressive and versatile wah sound.

 

 

Specs

Silent “Auto-Off” switch puts the pedal in bypass mode when you lift your foot
Q variable control that adjusts the bandwidth (intensity) of the effect
Volume control for an additional gain to your wah signal up to + 15dB
Boost On / Off switch to activate or deactivate the preset gain
Weight: 900 g
Power supply: Dunlop ECB-003 power supply (not included), 9V battery
Best place where to buy : amazon.com

VOX WAH847A

Perhaps the most popular Vox wah wah pedal among guitarists who are fan of certain Hendrix sounds. Based on the specifications of the pedal developed in the 60s. The V845 represents the right compromise between quality and price. It has the usual design of classic-style wah-wah pedals and manual pressure activation at a decidedly low price. Thanks to the optimization of the construction materials, VOX has created an economical, compact version of the Wah, but without any compromise in terms of sound and quality. All covered in black, with a durable rubber pedal. The V845 has the perfect look and size to get into the guitar pedal setup of every guitarist.

Specs
Input/Output: instrument input, amplifier output, power supply input
Power supply: 9V battery (not included)
Battery life: approximately 100 hours
Dimensions: 102 x 75 x 252 mm
Weight: 942 gr
Best place where to buy: amazon.com

 

Morley M2WV

Morley’s M2 Wah is a vintage-sounding Wha effect. It has Wah level control, True Tone buffer and LED indicator together with a convenient Volume pedal. A foot switch toggles the two Wah and Volume functions. The knob adjusts the wah level. The volume range goes from the unit to a considerable boost. This means that you can get some more drives for your amp if you wish.

 

 

Specs

Traditional vintage Wah sounds
Volume control and swell volume
LED indication
Wah volume control
Integrated “True Tone” buffer to preserve timbre and signal level
Steel frame
Ideal for guitar and bass
Power supply: 9V battery or Morley 9V power supply
Made in the USA
Dimensions: 232 x 149 x H69mm
Weight: 1.7kg
Best place where to buy: amazon.com

Electro Harmonix Wailer Wah

The Wailer Wah promises the same sound as its predecessor without mechanical parts. The excursion is identical, wide and always usable. Optimal for funk rhythms as for imitating the famous Clapton woman tone if everything is closed or to generate a stimulating cocked sound if left halfway. The pedal is robust and lightweight with a traditional rack and pinion operating mechanism. Last but not least, it’s also extremely convenient.

 

 

Specs

Traditional rack and pinion operating mechanism
Robust but light. It is lighter than most Wah pedals.
9 Volt battery, also works with the optional EHX 9.6DC-200 power supply
Dimensions: 252 x 87 x H75mm
Weight: 712 g
Best place where to buy: amazon.com

 

Voodoo Lab Wahzoo

The Voodoo Lab Wahzoo Pedal is an extremely useful and versatile FX guitar pedal. It has various wah settings ranging from Vintage Autowah to Stepwah, each offering a unique sound. The Wahzoo pedal has the classic Clyde McCoy vocal tone with an adjustable position of the pedal tip. Instantly transform the sound of your guitar by combining the best classic and vintage wah tones with this high quality Voodoo  Lab pedal. The Auto Wah is voiced like a traditional wah. This mode turns the Wahzoo into an automatic, foot-free wah pedal. The Step Wah Step Wah mode opens up even more possibilities for wah sounds by creating rhythmic patterns by automatically jumping through different treadle positions. The result is a wide variety of tones and rhythms.

Specs

Classic vocal tone by Clyde McCoy
Built in Vintage, Autowah and Stepwah Modes
Sequencer with steps up to 29 patterns
True Bypass via Gold Relay
Handcraft in California
Best place where to buy: amazon.com

As for the review on distortion pedals even for wah wah I pass you my personal experience. The market is huge and offers different wahs for all tastes and pockets.
I hope you enjoyed this post too!

Rock on

Benny

4 thoughts on “Wah-Wah Pedal, my favourite ones”

  1. Those are interesting facts about the Wah-Wah’s origin. I know get that moving the pedal back and forth is what give it that Wah-Wah sound. I saw the use of Wah-Wah in a recent music festival event.
    Thanks for the tutorial, it has shade some light on the pedals world.
    This is a very insightful article. Thank you for taking your time to compile this.

    • Hello Carol and thanks for the comment. This pedal is a classic and every guitarist has at least one. I own a Dunlop but I tried all the pedals listed. The tutorial is actually very interesting for those who approach this world. in case you have any other doubts do not hesitate to contact me it will be a pleasure for me to answer or help you.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this article of the wah-wah pedal. I found it very interesting. I would love to share your online course of guitar effects with my family who likes to master guitar as you do. And for the recommendation for different kinds of wah-wah pedals, may I know which one is something you used the most during the online course or any gigs?  

    Your #1 fan, 

    Matt

    • Hi Matt and thanks for the comment. I have personally tried all the pedals mentioned but I have the Dunlop. I feel good with this pedal that I use almost always. But soon I will also be given the Morley. For courses or tutorials, you can have your family cheid you at any time, I am always available.

      Benny

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