Bow Chicka Wow Wow! One of the most recognizable guitar effects perhaps, the wah-wah pedal! The wah pedal has permeated popular music since its invention in 1966. It is characterized by a weeping or crying tone, akin to a human voice. The guitar, however, wasn’t the first instrument to benefit from this type of effect. As early as the 1920s, trumpet players would create this effect by covering and uncovering their bell. Some songs through the years that have utilized the funky wah are Isaac Hayes’s Theme From Shaft, Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, and Metallica’s Enter Sandman just to name a few! So, what is wah-wah? How does it work?
Put simply, a wah-wah pedal is a type of filter. It works by changing the tone of your signal. As far as sound goes, it changes the sound of your guitar from bassy to trebly as you move the foot pedal from up to down. However, wah effects pedals work by engaging a bandpass filter that has a resonant peak at its low-pass roll-off frequency. Thus, the foot pedal lets you move the frequency of the peak up and down. Now that we all have a better understanding of wah and how it works, let’s look at some different pedals!
The Classic Switchless Wah Pedal features Morley’s world-famous Electro-Optical circuitry and switchless design in mini-format. Simply step on the pedal to engage Wah and step off to go to bypass. Equipped with our True Tone buffer circuit & custom MQ2 Inductor. Measuring 6.75” x 4.5” W x 2.75” H. Powers from one 9V battery or optional Morley adapter. LED Indication, cold-rolled steel housing & quick clip battery door.
Dial in your ideal wah tone with the incredible Friedman No More Tears Gold-72 Wah! This great pedal delivers the classic wah tones you crave with the ability to fine-tune the pedal’s feel and character tone. The first thing you’ll notice when stomping down on the Gold-72 Wah is the convenient LED, which is perfectly placed to let you know when it is engaged. Another player-friendly feature is the inconspicuous 3-way sweep switch hidden under the pedal’s treadle. With a simple flip of the toggle, you’re able to find the sweep that feels ideal for your style.
- A classic voice that works equally well with clean and driven tones
- A familiar form factor that feels great under your foot
- Great with single-coil and humbucker-loaded guitars
- 3-position Sweep Switch offers three voicing options that you can feel
- Allen screw tension adjustment gives you complete control of the pedal’s action
- Easily visible LED indicates when the pedal is engaged or disengaged
- Internal buffer/true bypass switch allows the pedal to work flawlessly in multiple pedal arrangements
- Custom designed inductor based on 70’s TDK
- Includes 9V Friedman battery
- Dave Friedman’s name is synonymous with high-quality electric guitar products
- Crafted with only the finest materials for flawless performance
- Every unit is inspected and tested before shipping
The Xotic Wah is modeled based on the Holy Grail wah, 1967-1968 Italian-built Clyde McCoy Wahs. With the Xotic Wah, you don’t get one or three sounds in one pedal, you get unlimited sounds with unique controls that shape and contour your sound the way you hear it! The adjustability and flexibility of the Xotic Wah make this one of the most versatile wah pedals available today!
- Bias Control – Changing the bias warmer will lead the Xotic Wah to have slightly more output & firm up bass frequencies along with a more pronounced wah through the sweep. A cold bias is common with vintage wah pedals for a very clear voice that is more transparent in tone and smoother in operation.
- Wah Q Control — This knob adjusts the Q (the width of the filter peak) and in basic terms, adjusts the amount of the wah effect for precise filter shaping to achieve vocal-like effects.
- Treble and Bass Control — A two-band EQ with +/-15 dB center-detent potentiometers optimize the voicing for different playing styles and gear.
- Adjustable Rubber Stopper — Located on the backside bottom of the treadle this rubber bumper can be shimmed to adjust the travel range of the pedal.
- Adjustable Pedal Torsion — Fully-adjustable rocker pedal torsion by adjusting Hex nut on the treadle.
- Led Indicator — The LED indicator is located at the top of the Xotic Wah and lights up when the pedal is on. One unique feature of the Xotic Wah is the LED will flash if the battery power falls below 50% and indicates that it is time to change the battery.
- DC Jack — 2.1mm x 5.5mm 9VDC — Negative Center. When an external power supply is used, the battery is disconnected from the circuit. When using a battery, the life of the battery can be extended if you unplug the input when the effect is not in use for long periods of time. Battery access is through the removal of the bottom plate (4 screws).
Don’t let its small size fool you – the CBM95 Cry Baby Mini Wah doesn’t skimp on tone or usability. It comes equipped with the legendary Fasel inductor, a full sweep range, and three internally adjustable voicing’s – Low, Vintage, and GCB95. At half the size of a standard Cry Baby pedal, the CBM95 is perfect wherever space comes at a premium, such as on a travel board. To top it off, this pedal features true bypass switching and high-quality hardware so that it can take a beating on the road. Save precious space without sacrificing tone and put a Cry Baby Mini Wah on your pedalboard.
- Half the size of a standard Cry Baby pedal
- Three internally adjustable voicing’s
- Full sweep range
- True bypass switching
Wah-Wah Wrap Up
Thus, ends our Wah-Wah article. Hopefully, the information in the article accompanied by the videos helps you to better understand the effect and aid in purchasing a new pedal. There are a lot of options out there and they all have their own nuances. Wah-Wah may be one of the oldest effects, but it certainly is still as prolific and popular in today’s music as it was in the past.
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