Wah pedals are useful for more than just the standard “wah wah” effect. Sweeping the pedal’s filter to find a cool tone and then leaving it static as you play is also very effective. Known as the “cocked wah” effect, that’s the basis of Electro-Harmonix’s Cock Fight pedal, along with built in fuzz and a talking wah. read more…
Though not as well known for their pedals as they are for their guitars and basses, Fender has been making classic pedals for more than 50 years. Following the recent re-issue of the Fender Blender Custom pedal, Fender decided to launch a range of new classic-inspired stompboxes with some vintage tones and looks. Let’s take a closer look….
User reviews on Wah-Wah/Auto Wah/Filter for Guitar products
Diverse Setup Options and Ultra-Clear Signal (G-Lab - WW-1 Wowee-Wah)
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 28/02/2019
Some wahs have a growl or dirt to them, which is fine, but I found with the Wowee-Wah is how it stood out in the mix due to its great clarity. Certainly its non-potentiometer photo element has much to do with it; as well as its increased voltage wiring (to prevent distortion). But another big factor is the ability to customize your wah sound. This is important since what works well with a clean tone may not be best with a high-gain tone; likewise, what wah quality is best for some crunch rhythm may not be ideal for lead playing in a higher registry. The ability to customize your tone by giving it more or less bass (deeper wah tone), to keep the wah shallow or deep, whether there’s an increase or decrease in the wah boosting (Q Factor) and how loud you want your wah in the signal is both impressive and versatile to meet the needs of just about every wah user. When set for the biggest sweep, most depth and range/boost the Wowee-Wah ranges from typical to good. I heard and experienced larger sweeps, although sometimes that results in a very deep growl wah that sounds a touch muddy. Nonetheless, a feature of this wah is that it takes very little foot movement to create a wah tone (due to the photo element vs. a potentiometer).
OVERALL IMPRESSION: G-Lab obviously selected a good name for a Wah that is so diverse and so clear in the mix. There is a lot of quality in this wah, including its all steel structure (with rubber foot pads and base feet), the photo element (rather than a potentiometer that wears) true bypass function that necessitates smaller resistance-to-motion for smaller effort and greater reliability, its fully analog circuit with increased voltage (which decreases distortion and lowers noise level), its battery on/off switch (if powering by battery) and its front light indicators for easy finding on a dark stage. Although the overall quality of the Wowee-Wah is impressive, there are a number of external switch elements that allow you to shape the sound of the wah and relative to your gear and the tone you’re trying to create. G-Lab provides guidance as to how to switch among lower- and higher-intensity settings when working with clean, crunch or high-gain tones, although you can adjust any of those parameters as desired and to your own liking. The Wowee-Wah allows control of the boosting of the resonance (how strong the wah sounds), how broad a sweep you hear and also if you want more high-end or low-end resonance to be heard. On top of that, you can select a classic mode (wah shuts off when treadle is all the way down) or touch mode (the wah only activates when you step on the treadle). Those are a lot of features in a wah for 198 Euro and a very reasonable price considering.
GENERAL USE: There are a number of elements in the Wowee-Wah’s operation. First, there is a battery on/off switch. And so, if powering by battery you need to turn the pedal on (turning it off means you preserve battery life without having to unplug your guitar from the IN connector every time you’re not playing or not wanting to use the Wowee-Wah). Second, there are two modes of operation (switch located near the side of the treadle). The SWITCH mode operates like a classic wah, and shuts off when the treadle is all the way down. In TOUCH mode the treadle can be in any position and the wah does not activate unless placing your foot (there is pressure) on the treadle. If you want to park the Wowee-Wah and use a particular tone for some rhythm or lead, then obviously it needs to be on SWITCH mode.
Now we get to the part where you can customize your wah tone. Obviously you can set the Wowee-Wah and use it for any application you wish, and there is a particular setting that mimics a typical and classic type of wah. However, if you want subtle or more extreme wah settings, and based on whether the tone is clean, crunch or high-gain, then you have options to customize a wah sound. Fortunately G-Lab has provided suggestions in its manual (that can be altered) that tend to work best in both low-intensity and high-intensity conditions when working with clean, crunch and high-gain gear settings. These are presented in the demo video, and so I will not belabor the six different applications here. Suffice to say that the differences are changes in the degree of sweep, the degree of high-end or low-end of the resonance and the boost or strength of the resonance. It takes a little getting used to, but it’s easy to zero in on combinations you like and it only seconds to ‘switch’ parameters.
OTHER DETAILS: Standard weight and size at 1.4 kg (3 lbs) and 25 (l) x 9.9 (w) x 8.5 (h) cm or 9.8 x 3.9 x 3.3 inches, the Wowee-wah is made of steel, both powder coated (base) and stainless, which accounts for its solid weight and build. The top of the treadle has two rubber pads for secure footing. The bottom has rubber feet to prevent slippage when used, but there also are two pre-drilled holes in the base if you wanted to affix the Wowee-Wah to a pedalboard. Its use of a photo element, as opposed to a potentiometer, means smooth and reliable action without the wearing of any pots. There are two front LED lights to easily find the Wowee-Wah on a dark stage. It has a power supply ‘switching off function’ that protects from accidental battery discharging after unplugging the cable jack IN connector (and you don’t have to unplug your guitar if using a battery and when not playing). There are six switches to allow for various settings, all of which have a solid click and are low profile enough that they will not catch or be prone to breakage. The Wowee-Wah works on a typical 9VDC regulated power supply and only requires 10mA consumption. Finally, like any good wah, you can adjust the resistance to motion so that the Wowee-Wah’s treadle is a bit stiffer or looser in use by adjusting its spring set screw.
A great pedal at a great price (Mooer - Funky Monkey)
By Tarmogoyf, 08/03/2019
This is a small pedal. If you do not like small pedals, then this will not be for you. Don't buy a pedal that you know in advance is small and then complain about it's size.
Even though these are small pedals they are not too difficult to dial in, unless you're inexperienced and/or have fat sausage fingers.
It would be nice if Mooer had put small white dots on the two smaller knobs, but that is easily rectified with a little paint.
I'm a power seller on eBay for vintage music equipment, especially pedals, and I've bought and sold literally thousands on them at this point. As such, I've had the opportunity to try out more rare, expensive, and obscure pedals than the average person ever will. I'm fairly adept at judging what is a good sounding pedal and what isn't or what is a good value for the money and what isn't.
Personally, if you're looking for a cheap auto wah and can find one of these used in the $40-$50USD range, then pick it up. Are there better and more expensive pedals that do the same thing? Sure. Of course. But don't ignore the Mooer Funky Monkey just because of it's size or price; it's a good pedal and I like it a lot.
3 Fender American Standards,
a 20th Anniversary 1974 Les Paul Custom,
a 1981 Les Paul Standard (Tim Shaws),
and a Rickenbacker 330.
My amps: A 1977 50w Marshall JMP MK.II,
a 1984 100w Marshall 2203 JCM 800,
a 1987 Marshall 2558 Silver Jubilee 2x12" combo,
a Mesa Rev. G Dual Racktifier,
a Mesa Strategy 500,
a Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus,
a Vox AC15C1,
and a Peavey Bandit 65.
With all of that in mind, again, I think this pedal is a really good pedal for the price. To my ears, through my equipment, it sounds good and I like it.
Mooer pedals can certainly be hit or miss, but in this case I think they did very well with the Funky Monkey. I've owned this pedal for over 4 years now and I don't think that I'll ever sell it. It's not something I use a lot or on a regular basis, but when I need this specific sound it does it's job and it does it well. This is the only Funky Monkey that I have ever owned, as I usually don't deal with too many modern pedals as I do vintage, and I've never felt the need to sell it. It does what I need it to do and it was cheap, so that's a win/win in my book.
Great Sound and Space Saving (Morley - Power Wah Volume (2019-Current))
By MGR/Brian Johnston, 28/09/2019
You’re guaranteed a lot more purity of tone with minimal background noise (a real concern with high-gain tones and a wah combination) with Morley’s Optical (MQ2 custom inductor) technology. The Volume component of this pedal is very smooth – a taper that ranges from zero sound to full sound over a short treadle stroke.
The wah is impressive in that it offers a vintage wah sound that seems to be primarily mid-range – there is no muddy or muffled bottom end and the top end is only a bit more trebly than the original tone. Gone is that top end shrill you sometimes hear with wah pedals, which makes wanting to avoid a full toe-down position during play. Concurrently, if you want a honking or growling wah, this is not it – the Power Wah Volume is far more classic Morley wah. Part of the great sound and clarity of this pedal comes from its 20/20 Buffer Circuit that retains your tone and prevents any tone loss or volume drop, but also the silent switching to prevent pops and noise. The demo included with this review combines both clean and driven sounds while playing an Eastwood-Backlund 400 DLX guitar into The Countess V4 Preamp (MESA cab sim via the Axe-Fx II). But rather go simple with the tone I also included the Eventide H3000 Band Delay plug-in so that the volume and wah of this pedal manipulates some wild and freaky presets for some impressive results.
GENERAL USE: Easy to operate, just like any basic wah or volume pedal. Give it juice via a 9VDC adapter or with a 9V battery (via the quick clip battery door in the bottom). If using a battery, you will need to unplug the input when not in use to prevent battery drainage. The input and output are standard for this type of pedal, along the sides and with ¼-inch cables. Choose whether you want to use the Volume or Wah aspect of the pedal with the side footswitch (in wah mode the LED lights up). The pedal is switchless, and so simply step on and use. In Volume mode there is no sound with heel fully down, whereas there is full signal strength with toe fully down. In wah mode you activate the lower frequencies with heel down and the higher frequencies with toe down. Moreover, you can adjust the strength of the wah signal with the Wah Boost knob, which gives upward of 20dB of clean boost. Of course, you can use either volume or wah in specific and limited settings, e.g., use the Wah as tone filter by leaving in desired position or set the volume level by leaving in any desired position.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Morley’s 20/20 Power Wah Volume is a solid buy at $159 USD (there are several pedals in the 20/20 line, a moniker that refers to “focused and new; a refocus of the Morley pedal line for 2020”). It has a solid build in every respect and operates flawlessly, from its very smooth volume taper (with the Volume component) to its unmistakable classic Morley wah sound. Not only do you have a space-saving design by combining two pedals in one, you actually get two more pedals under the hood. First, the wah component has a 20dB (clean) Boost knob, just in case you want to push your lead (or rhythm) up a notch. Second, this pedal includes the new 20/20 Buffer Circuit that prevents signal loss while maintaining tone (and most buffers do cost $75 or more), allowing for the use of a lot of pedals on your board or long cables. Other pleasant features include the classic Corvette yellow cold-rolled paint with the Morley glow-in-the-dark grip topper on the treadle. As well, along with its compact size, the treadle breadth is short when compared to larger volume/wah pedals, which makes any treadle movement highly sensitive (which is good for those who know how to control their wahs/volumes, but not so good for those with uncoordinated feet). This is something I like, since you don’t have to sweep big distances to produce a desired outcome or to get a favorable result.