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Vintage mode is like a traditional wah pedal with a classic Clyde McCoy vocal tone. A brief history lesson: Clyde McCoy was a famous big band trumpet player who was known for his muting technique. Vox tried to approximate his sound by creating the first wah pedal, which McCoy endorsed. Wahzoo’s vintage mode is based on that classic sound with its wide sweep and vocal-like qualities.
In this mode, you control the wah with the treadle, just as you would with a traditional pedal. You can even adjust it to your preferred responsiveness. You can also adjust an internal trimpot to control how high the treble position is, with either a warmer tone or a brighter, edgier one. Also, the bypass isn’t enabled by pressing forward on the pedal, which is another feature I really like. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stomped on a wah pedal in a live situation and played the guessing game of whether I turned it on or not.
Auto Wah is voiced like a traditional wah. This mode turns the Wahzoo into an automatic, foot-free wah pedal. The effect is controlled by how soft or hard you pick and the wah follows along nicely, regardless of what tempo you’re playing at. Auto Wah mode is ideal for playing live, since it enables you to wander freely around the stage.
There are two controls: Sensitivity and Normal/ Reverse Envelope. The Sensitivity knob allows you to dial in that “sweet spot” and the wah effect will adjust to the velocity and output of your playing. The Normal and Reverse Envelope adds even more variety to your wah tone. With the treadle all the way back in “heel” position, the autowah filter is closed. The velocity of your playing determines how much the filter opens, as well as the time before it closes. When the treadle is down in the “toe forward” position, the filter is reversed. It is normally open, and the velocity of your playing determines how much the filter closes. I played rhythm in the normal “heel” position, and then switched to the “toe forward” reverse position for leads. This produces a different variation and sound of the wah that is a cool effect, and the combination of open and closed filters makes for interesting and innovative use of the wah.
Step Wah mode opens up even more possibilities for wah sounds, creating rhythmic patterns by automatically jumping through different treadle positions. The result is a wide variety of tones and rhythms that I’ve yet to see in a wah pedal until now. The patterns and tones are reminiscent of an arpeggiator in a synthesizer. Moving the treadle up or down easily controls the tempo of these step sequences, allowing for faster rhythms than your own foot could ever pump on the treadle.
The Step Sequence knob allows you to select four different presets of user programmable patterns which are very easy to create.
The Wahzoo is an analog pedal with true bypass, and now includes a Tap Tempo feature that’ll have you busy creating dreamy soundscapes and rhythmic wah patterns for hours. An external footswitch can be used to control the tap tempo and/or switch between modes. Each pedal is handmade in the U.S. and the build quality is excellent.
The Wahzoo is definitely the most versatile wah pedal I have played. It’s as if they took my wish list of everything I’ve ever wanted in a wah pedal and more, and put it into one unit. With its wide variety of sounds and controls, the Wahzoo will not only make your guitar cry, it’s likely to make other guitarists (who don’t have one) bawl, too.
You want complete control of your wah sounds and are not afraid to experiment.
You’re in love with your traditional wah pedal and refuse to cheat on it.
MSRP $279 - Voodoo Lab - voodoolab.com