Check it out! Jim Dunlop is going to release a Joe Bonamassa Crybaby. It’s designed to fit in with Joe’s rig both sonically and visually, and it has vintage-style ‘thru-hole’ components, a Halo inductor, a true bypass switch and an extended vocal sweep range. You can preorder it from Joe’s website, which I suggest you do promptly to cheer him up after that unfortunate Grammy snub.
Jim Dunlop is giving away a Crybaby Rack Wah at their site. Now, these units seem pretty hard to come by and they’ve been used by some of the biggest names in the biz. Personally I use a Jim Dunlop Buddy Guy Crybaby and I love it to bits, but I’ve heard such continually high praise for the Crybaby Rack Wah that it’s almost worth going the rack route just to have one for the bragging rights!
Here’s some info on the giveaway on the Dunlop blog.
The Crybaby Rack Wah – the ultimate in control and versatility. Found in the top studios and racks of the world’s best guitarists, the Crybaby Rack Wah is usually reserved for the guitar industry’s elite few. Many swear by it because they can dial in the exact tone they hear for each gig and situation. Well guess what? This month we’re giving one away.
For premium, rich and vocal tone, this King of Wahs is versatile enough to handle an astronomically wide spectral range of Wah sound. Dial in anywhere between a vintage sounding thin “quack” to a fully powerful throaty “growl” with a six position switch that lets you select your sweep frequency range. Then for fine-tuning use the on board EQ and the variable Q control, which allows you to determine where the shape lies in the frequency. Go +10db of boost on up to six controller inputs for coverage anywhere onstage. Used by the pros and serious Wah players.
Phil Demmel/ Machine Head
Rob Flynn/Machine Head
Jim Root/Slipknot-Stone Sour
Mark Morton/Lamb of God
Damon Johnson/Alice Cooper Band
Dave Kushner/Velvet Revolver
Richard Fortus/NIN-Guns n Roses
Bumblefoot/Guns n Roses
DJ Ashba/Guns n Roses
Mick Mars/Motley Crue
Bjorn Gelotte/In Flames
Jerry Cantrell/Alice in Chains
John Garcia/Trisha Yearwood
Zoltan Balthory/ Five Finger Death Punch
Vivian Campbell/Def Leppard
Tom Dumont/No Doubt
Dunlop seems to be going full tilt with the signature wah pedals lately – Dimebag Darrell, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Eddie Van Halen… and finally they’re honouring one of the originators of wah in a blues/rock setting, the great Buddy Guy.
Even at a glance, anyone familiar with Buddy would know this is his wah. It’s kitted out in the same white polka dot on black background as his signature Fender Stratocaster, and his signature is present in moulded form on the treadle. The finish of the pedal itself is very slick, thick and glossy, and looks like it would withstand a huge number of knocks and bumps before starting to show the even the faintest hint of wear. Normally stuff like that wouldn’t bother me on a pedal (I’m sure everyone has a banged-up Boss DS-1 or Crybaby under their bed, if not on their pedalboard), but in the case of the Buddy wah I’d like to preserve that neat polka dot finish for as long as possible.
Similar to the boost switch on the side of the Dimebag wah, there’s a small kick button on the right side of the pedal which allows you to go from the default “Deep” mode to the “BG” mode. There are LEDs on both sides of the pedal to let you know if the effect is engaged (blue) and if Buddy’s “BG” mode is selected (red).
Inside, the pedal features true bypass switching and a Fasel inductor. The inductor is the brain of a wah circuit, if you will, and tone hounds have long praised older Crybaby wahs which used a Fasel brand inductor, over later models which didn’t. In recent years the company has brought back this venerated component in many of its wahs, and it’s become a strong selling point.
Let’s kick the pedal into action and start with the “Deep” mode. The filter sweep of this mode includes a low pass range of 250Hz – 330Hz and a high pass range of 1.3kHz-1.6kHz (by comparison, the ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Signature Wah has a low pass range of 250Hz-350Hz and a high pass range of 1.4kHz-2.4kHz). This mode is very thick and deep sounding, with certain harmonic overtones located at about ¾ of the way through the pedal’s sweep which almost sound like they’re generating an additional octave above whatever note you’re playing. It’s a very addictive sound which works really well for single note riffs, and even better for low, gruff distorted rhythm guitar. On this sound alone a lot of people will be sold on this pedal. It also sounds particularly great when used ‘in reverse’ – that is, rocking the pedal from toe-down to heel-down over the course of a note, instead of the other way around.
Purely on the strength of the “Deep” mode, the Buddy Guy Signature Wah would be a unique addition to the ever-growing stable of Dunlop wahs. The “BG” mode, though it’s really the featured mode of the pedal, is almost a straightforward option compared to the strength of the other mode, and you really do get two pedals in one: A hepped-up but more traditional wah, and the fat, funky “Deep” mode that you’ll have a hard time turning off. While I only had this wah for a few weeks for the purposes of review, I will definitely buy one soon to replace my tired old Crybaby.