backwards wah playing and rewiring

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by wellstrung, Mar 12, 2006.


  1. wellstrung

    wellstrung Member

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    My first post to The Gear Page...and maybe an odd one...

    My first and only wah was a Foxx fuzz/volume/wah I owned for around 6 years in the 80s. (It disappeared mysteriously around 86. Loved that wah...) Here's a strange thing, tho: It was wired backwards so that the closed w- sound was with the pedal front down, and the treble open -ah sound was with the pedal front up. (No idea how/when this was done, I got it this way.) Since then, every wah I try I don't play well unless I turn it around, which simply doesn't work well. It is simply much more intuitive for me to play it "backwards." Haven't owned a wah since then.

    So, a couple of questions: First, just out of curiosity, anyone else have or know of this experience of backwards wah playing?

    Also, anyone know if this would be a simple thing to change or rewire in a wah pedal? Or even possible? Does it depend on the wah? After reading numerous threads here and elsewhere, the Teese Picture wah looks enticing... Thanks for any help or feedback.

    And just for context, I am hugely reconnecting with electric guitar playing after 16 years of doing mostly solo acoustic gigs (and becomeing a teacher). I've owned a strat and les Paul for years, and just 3 weeks ago bought (pant...pant...) a spanking new American Deluxe ash aged cherry stratocaster with maple neck. My God... I... am... totally... smitten... Can not describe how much I LOVE this guitar, how it plays, feels, looks... how I am connecting with band playing again. Of course (of course!) had to get a new tube amp--solid state just won't cut it. Got the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. Then started researching and monitoring forums and soon found the name of Robert Keeley. I now have the Keeley BD2 and TS9 (I'm blown away! Never knew I could even come close to these sounds), with the CE2, DD3, and DS1 all on the way from him (all bought on eBay, also a new discovery for me). Course, had to have power and a board, so now have the Pedal Power 2+ in hand and a Pedaltrain 2 on the way. All of this within the last month. And now I needa wah.

    Thing is, back when, I had no CLUE and seemingly no motivation to learn about tone, sound quality, equipment, gear. ("I'm a musician, not a technician, dammit!") Buzz-****ing-city, thin tone, ****** sounding distortions, etc. No wonder I quit the electric (along with certain lifestyle... considerations...). Now I'm DOING IT RIGHT. I'm feeling good.

    Nuthin like a good ol' mid-life...event!

    Jammed at length last night for the first time in years and--how's this for blatant immodesty--I impressed the hell outa myself. Seriously, I was surprised and overjoyed at how fluid I felt expressing my ideas. I make no claim to greatness by any means, but after 16 years of very little electric playing, it felt fantastic, and it was cool to see my playing has progressed. Maybe it's all the meditation... Or maybe the Keeley pedals... or the new guitar... And I have been doing the acoustic gigs...

    Thanks
     
  2. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

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    I think it is just a simple matter of switching around wires on the pot inside. I've wired about a thousand tone controls backwards just because i wasn't paying attention. This should be no different.

    Scott:dude
     
  3. amoebas

    amoebas Guest

    hmm... you'll have a hard time finding the right taper...
     
  4. capnbringdown

    capnbringdown Member

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    I've heard about people doing that to their wahs before, so it's not impossible, but I don't know if it's specific to certain models or can be done on any of them.

    And everybody knows you can't get good tone out of a strat. :eek: :D
     
  5. wellstrung

    wellstrung Member

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    Thanks for replies. I've emailed AnalogMan about this also. Not something I'd do, would give to someone else to do. I am definitely not a techie.

    "Good" tone, Capnbringdown? Done right, a good strat's THE tone! Clearly not EVERYONE knows that...;)
     
  6. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    No you won't... the pot used in all the standard CryBaby-style wahs is a 100K Linear, which means that it's the same either way round :).

    Swap the wires from each of the outer terminals round (there should be two on one terminal) and then readjust the rack and pinion so the pot reaches the end of its travel, less one tooth back, at the heel end not the toe.

    I have experienced a backwards wah... I think one of the old Colorsound Fuzz-Wah-Swell pedals - where like the Foxx, in order to get the volume taper the right way round they had to make the wah backwards, with the primitive circuit they used. I could not get used to it at all - it's everything to do with how you first learned to use one I expect.
     
  7. wellstrung

    wellstrung Member

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    Thank you, John. I am pretty nontechnical (meaning I just don't dabble and do, but I ain't no idjit!:NUTS), and this all sounds very doable. Now just finding out whether this would invalidate the warranty on a new pedal, on a Teese, for example. Anyone know?

    Do I needa wah? hmmm... still deliberating. If I do, I don't want to waste time with anything but the "best," which seems to be, if not by consensus, and if not a majority, at least by a plurality, the Teese Picture wah by folks on these forums.
     
  8. hbar

    hbar Member

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    If it's really a linear pot, why not add a switch to flip the wiring from forward to reverse at will? Just a thought.
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Because the position of the sweep along the track will be wrong. The rack only drives the pot through about 2/3 of its range, and you need the treble position to be right at the end of the track or it doesn't work properly.
     

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