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User Review

Diverse Setup Options and Ultra-Clear Signal - Reviews G-Lab WW-1 Wowee-Wah

Value For Money : Correct Audience: Anyone

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).

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.

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.

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.
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