How does this wah sound?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Phillip_H, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    I just finished building this wah on the GGG PCB (here's the basic layout). It's based on the Vox 847, but I changed a lot of the component values and I used one of those "The Whipple" inductors that you can get on eBay.

    Here's a clip

    Please pardon my playing, but how does the wah sound? I'm too close to it to be objective at this point. Is it too bassy, trebly, is the sweep too abrupt, etc?

    Thanks in advance,
    Phillip
     
  2. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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    I like it. More WOW versus WAH.
     
  3. mistercoffee1

    mistercoffee1 Member

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    It's good.

    It's got a good Quuaahhh, so the sweep is about right - but that's really up to you and how it 'feels' to your foot.
    I think you got it right.
    What component values did you change? The standard stuff, such as Q, mids, bass/gain, input resistors?
    Good balance of volume as well, when compared with the bypassed signal.
     
  4. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    I changed the Q (R7) from 33k to 100k, I changed the .01uF cap (C2) (before the inductor) to .022uF for a deeper sound, I changed the 510ohm resistor (R4) to 330, I changed the transistor in Q1 to a 2N2222, I left the gain (R1) at 68k, and left the saturation/mids (R2) at 1k5.

    I think that's all I changed.
     
  5. cuz/karl

    cuz/karl Supporting Member

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    I like it too.:AOK
     
  6. TaZMaNiO

    TaZMaNiO Senior Member

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    Definately more wow!
     
  7. D 2 Z

    D 2 Z Member

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    excellent, what are you playing through?
     
  8. GBlekas

    GBlekas Supporting Member

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    It sounds good but you need to try it live in a band mix to see for sure.

    I had cloned a vintage Clyde McCoy and then did some tweaks that I thought made the pedal sound even better than the original Clyde only to find out it didn't work in the band mix.

    I mostly play in bands and don't do any home recording so my situation/needs may be different than yours but that is pretty much how I decide if it "sounds good" or not.

    For grins try placing magnetic tape on top of the inductor to see what that does to your sound.

    Any idea what the inductor reads in ohms? (has to be out of the circuit to read)

    Last point, raising the value of C2 may be good with single coils and way to flubby for humbuckers.

    Have fun and keep the clips coming!


    Regards,
    George
     
  9. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    I'm playing my Les Paul into a GarageBand amp sim (using the Liverpool Clean setting) if you can believe it. For the distorted tone, I'm using the RAILhead Effects io distortion pedal.
     
  10. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    I don't do much recording either. My main gig is a church thing, so I'll try it on Sunday and see what happens.

    What would this accomplish?

    I didn't check it, and I don't really feel like desoldering it at the moment.

    As I mentioned, I was using my Les Paul w/WCR pickups, and it seemed to be okay. I have C2 socketed, so I'll experiment with some different values.
     
  11. cuz/karl

    cuz/karl Supporting Member

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    Thar gian pedal sounds great 2.
     
  12. GBlekas

    GBlekas Supporting Member

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    The magnet tends to smooth out the response of the wah in the upper end.
    An inductor is not supposed to be magnetic but impurities in the core seem to have made the old inductors slightly magnetic and which can account for how smooth some of the vintage wahs sound.

    Don't blame you for not wanting to unsolder the inductor but the vintage inductors read around 40 ohms. I have seen newer inductors closer to 20 ohms and most likely the cores of the newer built inductors are probably purer than the old ones and my reason for mentioning the magnet idea.

    Have fun at the gig!


    George
     
  13. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    I've figured out a way to address the sweep issue. The problem is in capacitor going to the wiper (C4 on the diagram). The specified value is .22 uF, but since I changed up so many things, that value wasn't really working anymore. I wanted to try a .33 or .44 capacitor in there, but I didn't have any. My solution was to wire a .1 uF in parallel with the .22 that was already there. That really opened up the sweep.

    I still need to mess with it a bit, but it sounds a lot better now. I'll try to get another clip recorded and posted tonight.
     
  14. GBlekas

    GBlekas Supporting Member

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    Geoffrey Teese explained that .33 cap mod as the one to do if you want to simulate an Icar pot. It's a good one.(Leave it to Geoffrey to figure something like that out!)

    Hey Phillip I checked out your gear and you obviously know great stuff and have good taste! :dude

    The point I was trying to make was that I had noticed over the years you can sometimes get into the bass guitar frequencies and get lost in the band mix as a result. It's frustrating and I just wanted to point it out. I felt, with my wah, like it needed more volume. I loved the sound but it needed more volume! It was a frustrating learning experience.
    Listening, at home, to a friend's $600 vintage Clyde McCoy one would hold their ears in pain as the treble content was just about unbearable but in the band mix it was perfect!

    This brought be to rethink of where the vocal sweep should be or if I liked the deeper vocal sweep how does one retain the upper end frequencies which cut through any mix while also having the more vocal wah.
    That is the trick and not posted on the web.
    Funny how one can build using the exact schematic as a Clyde McCoy and yet not get the same sound! It's more than the layout but the layout does have something to do with it.

    You may want to try a pot in place of the input 68k resistor so that you can adjust the volume some. You could try a 47k resistor with a 20ka pot perhaps.
    The best wah I ever tried had a 3.9uf parallel with a 82k resistor in place of the 4.7/100k in the schematic. This varies with the actual MH rating of the inductor though.

    Just trying help a fellow soldering gun addict.:rotflmao
    Sorry man but you should never picked one up in the first place because there is no end!

    Have fun!

    George
     
  15. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    Here's a quick demo of the revision:

    Link

    I think that the heel down position may be a little too bass heavy. Maybe it's too vocal or something?
     
  16. gregb

    gregb Member

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    It's too abrupt for my tastes... it sounds like it cuts out in the middle of the sweep.

    Kudos for trying though, and thanks for the clip!
     
  17. GBlekas

    GBlekas Supporting Member

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    It kind of sounds like if you were to have a 1H inductor in the pedal now.
    You have found two ways to get a wider sweep now.
    First was to change the .01 to the .022 and second was to increase the wah sweeper cap to a .33 value.
    You now have a choice to lower the .022 or the .33 as it's not optimal together.
    Otherwise you could lower the input resistor to a .01 or less and see how this affects the bass content.
    Try a .009 if you can find one. Usually I have a batch labeled .01 that read .009 with a cap. meter.
    Either way you are on your way!;)

    R4 is optimal at 470 ohms
    Change the .022 cap to around .015
    I believe .068 and above is more for a bass wah.
    Change the .33 by removing the .1 cap and adding .022 to the .22 cap (This will give you more vocal but not over the top)
     
  18. Phillip_H

    Phillip_H Supporting Member

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    Ok, I changed the frequency cap back to .01 (I didn't have a .015 cap) and there is noticeably less bass in the heel down position. It certainly sounds more balanced in this configuration and the sweep is a lot smoother.

    Check it out.

    I still need to mess with it, but I think it's getting closer.
     
  19. GBlekas

    GBlekas Supporting Member

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    Sounds very close now.
    I especially liked the sound with the distortion box going.

    If you PM me I will give you a mod that should help.
     
  20. mistercoffee1

    mistercoffee1 Member

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    George, what does lowering to 82k do? (I understand the 3.9uF electrolytic)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008

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