Solved My Wah Dilemma - Dunlop 535Q!?!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by LSchefman, Mar 20, 2006.


  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    OK, here was my wah dilemma: I've owned the following great wahs in my time on the planet: A 60s Vox, back in the 60s and 70s; A Teese Picture Wah: A Budda wah; and finally a Fulltone Clyde Deluxe. All had very good sound.

    My old vox...well, that's a long gone memory. The Teese was great on solos, maybe had a little too much of the classic vomit sound for chording; the Budda great on OD, less so on clean; the Fulltone was terrific, but none of the three positions was exactly what I was looking for, i.e., all close, but no cigar exactly, however it was my favorite modern wah to date. And all were sold. I was wah-less for several months.

    So this past weekend, I was at GC to help my son pick up his new amp, and on a recommendation, I took home a Dunlop Dime wah to try out. It was ok. Maybe I had a bad one, but it didn't approach my old wahs tonally. A day of experimenting left me feeling unsatisfied.

    Yet I didn't want to (a) spend well over 200 clams, and (b) get something I already before. So I took the Dime back, and said, "What else ya got?"

    They were out of Vox pedals, so I took home a Dunlop 535Q.

    At first, again, it was merely ok. I dialed it in a little. Better. Then I tried something else. Better still. On the third try, I found IT.

    Exactly, I mean exactly, the tone I had been looking for. Closer to the Fulltone in terms of less vomit sound, closer to the Teese in terms of quack!

    And we are talking about a $110 pedal!

    You have to understand, I've never really liked mass market wahs in the past, at least the ones I played after my original Vox from 1968. I like this one a lot.

    It isn't perfect; the bypass switch pops a bit (anyone know how to fix this?), but I do like the tone.
     
  2. drolling

    drolling Member

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    That intermittent popping is a chronic problem w/some true-bypass effects. Some reccommend stomping on it a dozen times in rapid succession to discharge the static buildup that causes the 'pop', but that'll just lead to premature switch failure. Others will reccommend soldering a cap or resistor on there, but that just defeats the whole point of having 'true-bypass'. I've had a couple of pedals that did that, and my solution was to just get rid of them. Hopefully, someone will chime in here w/a more practical solution..

    I had the Crybaby Q - a very versatile wah, for sure - but I couldn't find a sound I liked.

    I presently have two; a V847, modded w/a DP/DT switch & a FoxRox booster kit - I use this one in front of a fuzz/univibe for those 'Band_of_Gypsys' moments. A Budda Bud wah for everything else. Neither are *perfect*, but close enough for rock & roll. Good to hear you finally found something that works for you.:RoCkIn
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    Hang on a minute, I just realized that I have the solution to the pop!

    I can use my Switchbox, which is true bypass and doesn't pop, and just leave the pedal on! When I need to switch it in, I can just hit the Switchbox instead of the pedal's toe switch.

    Doh! Shoulda thought of this before.
     
  4. RickB

    RickB Member

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    I had been using a Budda wah for years and on a whim this past Christmas, I mentioned to my g/f that I wanted a 535q. Well she got it for me and I was really amazed at how great it sounded. It is now on my board instead of the Budda. The 535q does exactly what I want out of a wah and like you said, for the $109, it smokes! I am more than happy with mine and it has stopped me from exploring the Picture Wah and others.

    I have no popping issues with mine. I assume you have the newest version which is true bypass and only uses one 9v? Have you tried eliminating certain other pedals in your chain to see if it is truly the wah or if there is something else in your chain causing it to load up?
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>I have no popping issues with mine. I assume you have the newest version which is true bypass and only uses one 9v? Have you tried eliminating certain other pedals in your chain to see if it is truly the wah or if there is something else in your chain causing it to load up?<<

    Yup and Yep.

    Also my other wahs didn't have this problem, and they were true bypass as well.

    I have enough gear to solve it anyway.
     
  6. Sol

    Sol Member

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    RickB,
    I have a Budda Wah and like it alot, could you explain the merits you found in the 535Q that relagated your Budwah to the sidelines?

    Is the 535Q so much better that your Budwah is now obsolite, or is the need for different flavors of wah meaning that you may keep both ?:AOK :cool:
     
  7. RickB

    RickB Member

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    Hey Sol,

    Good question. To be honest with you, I think it just comes down to the fact that the 535q is tweakable. It has allowed me to dial in certain characteristics that I couldn't get out of the Budda. Don't get me wrong, I think the Budda is a great wah and mine won't be going up for sale (unless I need the money) however, over time, it has grown a little stale on me. The volume boost on the 535q is useless to me. It adds a ton of noise. The best thing I like about the Budda is how quiet it is. The 535q definitely is not as quiet but it just has that classic Cry Baby sound that you don't get from the Budda. One thing I haven't done is hook them both up and A/B them. I got the 535q from my g/f and I hooked it up that night and just started using it and tweaking it and liked the results. I am sure once I A/B them, there is a good chance that the Budda will go back on but for now, I am going to keep exploring the 535q. I need to get new rubber stoppers for under the treadle. Mine have gotten squashed down and it makes for an extended throw which I dislike. That might be part of the problem. Not sure if any of that answered your question or not!
     
  8. Sol

    Sol Member

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    Yup, I think that covers it.
    Choice and tweakability, and we all like that ,eh? I know I certainly do

    Keep it loud ! :RoCkIn

    Sol :D
     
  9. KLB

    KLB Member

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    I wonder why Dunlop doesn't have a fasel inductor version of the 535Q?
     
  10. SteveStrat

    SteveStrat Member

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    I had a 535Q for years and I can't say that it exactly hit's the sound I hear in my head, but it sounds better than most all other wah's I've tried. Glad you found yourself one.

    I found that I like the third position the best one mine too. Boost on for Strats and boost off for Les Pauls. I keep thinking I should try out some of the more boutique pedals but for the price and the amount that I use a wah, the 535Q can't be beat.

    Congrats!

    Steve
     
  11. RickB

    RickB Member

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    The new 535q's have the Fasel in it.
     
  12. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Glad to hear someone else is simply using their ears :).

    No offense to those who do like the other wahs for their tone, but I think the Dunlop 535s are very under-rated.

    I have the older 535 (no Q). It's the best wah I've ever heard, period. I A/B'd it against the Clyde Deluxe and kept the Dunlop :eek:. The Clyde was maybe sweeter and more vintagey-sounding, but the 535 has a power and evenness that none of the others do, and yet still sounds like I expect a wah to. I actually prefer it to the 535Q, even though it doesn't have the Q control and only has four ranges. A big difference is that it's fully buffered, and absolutely does not pop. I use the volume boost a lot too - it really makes the wah hold up (volume-wise) into a high-gain sound.
     
  13. mwbrock

    mwbrock Member

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    Yeah, I dig my 535Q a lot too. I'm not sure what my settings are, but when I first got it, I just turned the knobs until I liked the sound, and haven't touched them since. I haven't experimented with the boost function. I also had the older 18V version and sold it because I wanted to use a 9V 1-spot adapter. I haven't noticed any serious difference sonically between the 2 versions, but I never had them side by side.

    I haven't tried any of the boutique wahs. But I can't really imagine what more I could want. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. Ignorance is also cheaper in this case.

    I tried a Ibanez WD7 for a while, which is roughly the same price. Lots of cool features and tweakability. Great construction. But a little sterile sounding somehow. Felt the same about a Morely I owned ages ago.
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>Is the 535Q so much better that your Budwah is now obsolite, or is the need for different flavors of wah meaning that you may keep both<<

    Nope. I kept the Budda, and my son uses it mostly, but it hasn't changed title. ;) I like the Budda with really high gain amps.
     
  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    Les' Update:

    OK, after my earlier posts, I decided I should redo my pedalboard to create a separate bypass loop, my board is pretty complex, with several bypass loops, a patchbay, and lots of stuff on it. I realized I'd need a bunch of new cabling to create this new loop for the wah, and then, if the wah was in loop #1, I'd have to put everything else in subsequent loops, because I like the wah to come first. I figured, a good 4-5 hours on my workbench, making new cables, testing connections, troubleshooting noise, etc., not including driving to the store to pick up more George Ls....and I have an ad session tonight!

    So then I thought, "Just return the frigging pedal and get a different one, you can buy an expensive pedal later."

    Unfortunately, the store was out of 535Qs, but session needs loomed, so this time I took home a Dunlop Zakk Wilde model. I'd have taken home anything with a deadline looming. I didn't expect to like it.

    Anyway, here's yet another pedal that falls into "mass market" territory, and it sounds better than its price would indicate. Actually, it's a lot like the way I had my 535Q set up, with a wider range, and a fatter Q. Sounds great. Total bargain.

    No pop, and no tone suck (I don't think this one is true mechanical bypass, it's not spec'ed out that way in the literature).

    As John Phillips notes, the Fulltone is sweeter, but has a lot less quack; the Teese is more vintage-vibey, but this one is kind of halfway between the Fulltone and the Teese, which is not a bad place to be!

    Every so often something comes along that surprises me....
     
  16. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    where did you get that info?

    i just looked at the web site and there is no mention that the 535q got updated with the new red fasels?!:confused:
     
  17. mwbrock

    mwbrock Member

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    Mine says it on the box: "Sweetened by Fasel - original lush wah tone". All next to a picture of a red Fasel.
     
  18. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    cool

    i will have to go to gc and get me one!

    when did you get yours? how much?

    thanks:jo
     
  19. mwbrock

    mwbrock Member

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    I got mine a few months ago from Musician's Friend for ~$110 I think.
     
  20. JD411

    JD411 Member

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    Hello fellow slingers. I'm sort of new to this whole posting thing, but the gear page looks like a pretty cool place to network w/ other musicians and get good info on effects and stuff. I recently posted a new thread as follows, but thought this might be a good thread to post it to as well. . . .

    My question is if anyone out there knows of a true-bypass mod for the Dunlop 535Q Multi-Wah? I've googled stuff and it looks like the circuitry in the 535Q is something tech's don't wanna deal with.

    I've viewed previous posts and some of you mention the model is true bypass, but I confirmed just recently with Dunlop that the 535Q model is not "true bypass"-- in the sense that when not engaged it has zero effect on tone.

    Info on the pedal says "Hard-wired" bypass, which apparently is different than "true-bypass". This was also confirmed in an e-mail I got from Dunlop

    The pedal is absolutely incredible and I love the sounds I can get out of it, but I noticed an overall drop in treble and output from my other dist. pedals when it was unengaged. Infamous "tonesuck".

    This led me to contact dunlop. In any event I absolutely love this pedal, but don't want to sacrifice my fundamental tone (strat w/ fralins through a Maz38 Sr).
     

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