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Wah wah pedals compared



CLEAN SAMPLES
Recording Setup
This page is not intended to be a thorough and deep analysis of each of these pedals, but might help you get a overall view of what different pedals sound like in the same environment with the same input sample.
   The samples are recorded straight through a Line6 Pod XT, so no amplifiers, microphones or studios were used.
Sample 4 has an added distortion (Ibanez TS10), but due to the recording setup the distortion is before the wah-wah, which results in a unoptimal sound in some cases (due to the harmonic content of the sample) and does thus not reflect the best sounds achievable. Nevertheless, since all are in the exactly same environment a comparison can be made.

The frequency response shows the gain (in decibels) of the wah-wah as a function of frequency. The frequency response of is measured in several positions throughout the entire sweep to cover the whole frequency range and behaviour of each wah. The red line in each plot shows the frequency response in the bypass-mode, thus a wah with true-bypass (or a direct connection between input and output) will give a straight line at 0 dB over the whole frequency range (no loss, no gain). Buffered pedals may have different behaviour. Non-true-bypass pedals with a direct connection in bypass mode (like e.g. the stock CryBabys) may still load the input signal and thus have frequency dependant losses, which are completely dependant on the output impedance of the previous unit (guitar, other pedal etc...). This measurement will nevertheless show a straight line in such cases since the driver in the measurement setup (a mixer) has very high driving capacity.

Boss FW-3 Foot Wah
Manufactured between 1992-1996 in Taiwan, the FW-3 is the successor of the PW-1. The pedal features a peak control that determines the range of the wah as well as a jack for an external on/off switch.
IMAGES
Boss FW-3 Wah Pedal   Boss FW-3 Wah Pedal   Boss FW-3 Wah Pedal Bottom   Boss FW-3 Wah Circuit Board   Boss FW-3 Frequency Response
BUDDA BUD-WAH
Budda has manufactured high quality wahs, distortion pedals and amps since 1995 in San Francisco, California. The Bud-wah features true-bypass, boutique quality components and a custom made coil based on the Italian Fasel inductor found in early Cry Baby wah's. The first Bud-wah versions had a black label, which was soon replaced by the purple label.
IMAGES
Budda Bud-Wah Pedal   Budda Bud-Wah Pedal   Budda Bud-Wah Pedal Bottom   Budda Bud-Wah Circuit Board   Budda Bud-Wah Frequency Response
SOUND SAMPLES - VERSION 1 (Purple label)
SOUND SAMPLES - VERSION 2 (Black label)
Danelectro Dan O Wah
Danelectro was founded by Nathan Daniel in 1947 and produced amps, guitars and basses from 1946-1969. In 1996 the Danelectro brand was revived and has focused mainly on effects pedals and guitars. The DanOWah has different wah modes (60s, 70s) as well as additional fuzz and octave effects.
IMAGES
Danelectro DanOWah Pedal   Danelectro DanOWah Pedal   Danelectro DanOWah Pedal Bottom   Danelectro DanOWah Circuit Board   Danelectro DanOWah Frequency Response
SOUND SAMPLES - 60s mode
SOUND SAMPLES - 70s mode
DeArmond - Weeper
DeArmond (originally founded by guitarist Harry DeArmond in the late forties) offered a line of effects pedals in the seventies, including the Weeper wah wah. Several versions of this wah were manufactured with similar topology but a variety of components used. Naturally the choice of components affects the sound and frequency response of these units.
IMAGES
DeArmond Weeper Wah Pedal   DeArmond Weeper Wah Pedal   DeArmond Weeper Wah Pedal Bottom   DeArmond Weeper Wah Circuit Board   DeArmond Weeper Frequency Response
Dod FX17 Wah Volume
The Dod FX-17 Volume/Wah was produced from 1987 until the late nineties. It is a clever and unique inductorless design with a variable capacitor quite different from a basic crybaby topology. The sound is also very unique, with a frequency response quite unlike any other wah. Also the operation as a volume pedal is very smooth. In addition to being a wah/volume pedal, it also can be a 0 to +5V controller for use with a synthesizer or other devices.
IMAGES
Dod FX17 Wah Volume Pedal   Dod FX17 Wah Volume Pedal   Dod FX17 Wah Volume Pedal Bottom   Dod FX17 Wah Volume Circuit Board   Dod FX17 Wah Volume Frequency Response
Dunlop - Original CRYBABY GCB-95 (Transition model 1982-84)
Although the first commercially available wah-wah was the VOX/Thomas Organ Clyde McCoy, the Cry Baby wah has been and still is the most popular guitar effects pedal of all times. Countless artist have utilized different versions of Cry Babies already since the late sixties. Officially the Cry Baby was introduced in 1968 by VOX/Thomas Organ, but since they neglected to patent the wah-wah circuit, the design was soon blatantly copied by dozens of manufacturers.
Dunlop started manufacturing the Cry Baby GCB-95 in 1982 and for the first couple of years produced wahs containing a "stack-of-dimes" inductor, which was also frequently used in many Thomas Organ/Vox wahs a decade earlier.
IMAGES
Dunlop Original Crybaby Pedal   Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah Pedal   Dunlop Original Crybaby Pedal Bottom   Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah Circuit Board   Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby Frequency Response
Dunlop - Original CRYBABY GCB-95 (Re-issue)
Dunlop started manufacturing the Cry Baby GCB-95 in 1982 and still produces it amongst many other versions of wah-wahs, although quite a few changes and revisions have been made in the circuitry and component choices since its original birth. This Re-issue wah was manufactured 2005.
IMAGES
Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby Wah Pedal   Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby Wah Pedal   Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby Wah Pedal Bottom   Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby Wah Circuit Board   Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby Frequency Response
FULLTONE    CLYDE DELUXE
The Fulltone Clyde Deluxe wah-wah represents the high end of boutique wahs and features a 10-step variable input level control, True-Bypass and status indicator LED. It has 3 selectable modes: Wacked, Jimi (Clyde Standard) and Shaft which all have a different tonality and frequency response. Fulltone uses their own custom inductors and pots on the Clyde Standard and Clyde Deluxe wahs.
IMAGES
Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah Pedal   Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah Pedal   Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah Pedal Bottom   Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah Circuit Board   Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Frequency Response
SOUND SAMPLES - WACKED MODE
SOUND SAMPLES - JIMI MODE
SOUND SAMPLES - SHAFT MODE
Ibanez Standard 57 Wauwau
The Ibanez Standard 57 Wauwau belongs to the first series Ibanez released and was manufactured in Japan during 1972-1978. Similar units were also sold under other brands like Bruno and Aria.
IMAGES
Ibanez Wauwau Pedal   Ibanez Wauwau Pedal   Ibanez Wauwau Pedal Bottom   Ibanez Wauwau Circuit Board   Maestro Boomer 2 Frequency Response
Kay W-1 Wah wah
Kay WH-1
Very rare and unique wah wah pedal from the mid-sixties by Kay Musical Instruments Company of Chicago, Illinois, USA.
IMAGES
Kay WH-1 WahPedal   Kay WH-1 Wah Pedal   Kay WH-1 Wah Pedal Bottom  -- Kay WH-1 Wah Circuit Board   Thomas Organ Crybaby Frequency Response
Maestro Boomer 2
Maestro was a Gibson subsidiary and produced among many other things a line of effect throughout the seventies. The Boomer 2 was produced 1972-1976 by All-Test Devices. In the off-position the pedal works as a volume pedal.
IMAGES
Maestro Boomer 2 Pedal   Maestro Boomer 2 Pedal   Maestro Boomer 2 Pedal Bottom   Maestro Boomer 2 Circuit Board   Maestro Boomer 2 Frequency Response
Morley - Power Wah PWO
Morley PWO
Morley (an outgrowth of Tel-Ray Electronics) has been around since the late sixties featuring a wide variety of different effects throughout the years, most of the designed by the co-founder Raymond Lubow. The AC-powered chrome pedals (known as the Power Series) included many treadle-type effects using photo-resistors instead of traditional wah pots. The PWO was manufactured ca. 1969-1984.
IMAGES
Morley PWO Power Wah Pedal   Morley PWO Power Wah Pedal   Morley PWO Power Wah Pedal Bottom   Morley PWO Power Wah Circuit Board   Morley PWO Frequency Response
Morley - Power Wah PWV
Morley PWV
The PWV Wah is from the Pro Series (1992-1998) and has an additional volume control to control the overall signal level. Also this wah is based on a photo-resistors instead of the traditional potentiometer.
IMAGES
Morley PWV Wah Pedal   Morley PWV Wah Pedal   Morley PWV Wah Circuit Board   Morley PWV Frequency Response
THOMAS ORGAN - CRYBABY
The Thomas Organ Company was heavily involved with VOX from 1964-1972 and imported and assembled instruments and products, including the wah-wah pedal. Thomas Organ labeled their wah-wah Cry Baby to distinguish from the wah-wah VOX together with JMI (Vox's European distributor) offered. Thomas Organ assembled their wah-wah pedals in the U.S., first in Sepulveda, California, later in Chicago, Illinois. It seems that Thomas Organ used different components thoughout their production, but most of their Cry Babies contain either the 03 "Stack of Dimes" or the TDK 5103 cube inductor.
IMAGES
Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah Pedal   Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah Pedal   Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah Pedal Bottom   Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah Circuit Board   Thomas Organ Crybaby Frequency Response
VOX - V847
VOX V847
Vox was founded in 1957 by Tom Jennings and has throughout the years made many significant contributions to the world of effects and amps. The first VOX wahs were offered in partnership with Thomas Organ, but in the seventies the Vox name continued under CBS-Arbiter. The V-847 wah is a re-issue of the original V-846 Wah and has been manufactured from 1992-present. It was first manufactured in the U.S but later the production moved to China.
IMAGES
Vox V847 WahPedal   Vox V847 Wah Pedal   Vox V847 Wah Pedal Bottom   Vox V847 Wah Circuit Board   Thomas Organ Crybaby Frequency Response
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