Vox wah wonder!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by teddy boy, Dec 31, 2005.


  1. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Gentlemen,

    Happy new years eve!

    Ok, I took out both the Vox Clyde McCoy and the Teese Picture Wah out for testing from the local guitar store. I really wanted the classic wah sound and I heard the wah for that was the Teese. The Vox looked great so I dragged that along too.

    I was really surprised when I actually discovered the Vox was exactly what I was looking for. A nice clean sweep and really wet and whacky. On the other hand the Picture Wah I got was a bit distorted at the heel position and seemed somehow darker and and not as pronounced as the Vox. The Vox is what i think a wah should sound like and what i think Hendrix's wah sounds like.

    Do you reckon there was something wrong with the Picture Wah? I mean, everybody really digs the Teese stuff here and somebody even mentioned trading a Vox Clyde McCoy for a Picture Wah. Is it really that much better or is it just boutique? I know the Teese is better built, or at least the components are better. I opened them up and noticed the Vox switch isn't as good as the Teese switch but those can be changed, right?

    Now that I got my OCD last week and I'm really really really loving it, I might give the Fulltone Clyde a go. Fulltone stuff seems to be real quality. The Vox is a beaty though....

    Ok lads, remember to have a few drinks tonight ok?
     
  2. GeorgeBlekas

    GeorgeBlekas Senior Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manorville, NY
    What guitar and amp were you using for testing?
    Perhaps a guitar with hotter Humbucker pickups?
    Was the pedal new or used?

    Technically the Vox Clyde wah is not a true Clyde wah at all. If you grab a Dunlop Jimi Hendrix wah schematic you will find it closer to that than an original Clyde. What's the difference? There is an input buffer in the Vox and a Fasel clone inductor where the orginal had a Halo inductor and no input buffer. This could have changed over time but the one I have here at the house has a halo. If you look at the board it says Vox on the parts side and Jim Dunlop Manufacturing on the solder side. I think the addition of true bypass and external power jack to be a welcome addition as well as an improvement but the input buffer? What not an output buffer instead?

    Regards,
    George
    www.PedalworX.com
     
  3. drolling

    drolling Member

    Messages:
    6,100
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Loved every clip I've heard of the Picture wah, but in the gear desert I call home, I'd have to order w/o trying.

    When Vox came out w/the Clyde McCoy, I A/B'd it with the plain vanilla V847, and ended up going w/the 847. To me, it sounds closer to the classic Clapton & Hendrix tones I grew up with. Of course I installed a DP/DT switch, and recently added a Foxrox booster for those situations where it just has to go in front of a fuzz.

    Most of the time, tho', I still use my Bud wah. Sounds great & has worked flawlessly for years now. Like the Voxes, it's also manufactured by Dunlop, but seems better put together than most Crybabys I've owned.
     
  4. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the replies,

    George, what does the Vox's input buffer actually do? Can it affect the fuzzes running after it? It is supposed to be true bypass though.

    I'm running an AV'62Reissue Strat and a Les Paul Standard with Burstbucker Pro's into a Vox type 15W class A combo with 2x10" Celestion Vintage 30's. The Vox just sounded wetter and quackier with both guitars. B.T.W, both the wah's were new.

    sidenote: George, I replied to your email about the Cactus Crunch last week but I was notified of an undelivered mail for some reason. Nevertheless, I ordered one and I'm really looking forward to it!
     
  5. GeorgeBlekas

    GeorgeBlekas Senior Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manorville, NY
    Sorry for any problems with the PedalworX site email. There is something going on with the emails there and I will take a look into it and get it corrected.

    Drolling had mentioned putting in a FoxRox output buffer into his whas to make them work better with a fuzz and that was what I was implying by adding an output buffer. I am not sure why an input buffer was added to the Dunlop wahs and perhaps someone else can enlighten us on that here.
    Usually your guitar goes right into the wah so perhaps it was added to make up for being true bypass and the issues associated with having all true bypass pedals on a pedal board.
    Dunlop does own the patent on the wah shell so unless you design a new shell yourself you pretty much have to go through Dunlop if you want to make a wah. Looks like Fulltone did just that and made a much longer sweep than the original wah. I have been using wahs for years and prefer the original type throw a lot more so although I found the Fulltone to be a nice wah it just was not for me. I think it probably would be better for a fella with Jazz sensabilities than a Voodoo Chile kind of guy.

    The PW is a darker toned pedal and one I believe Geoffrey modeled directly from an original Clyde that he thought sounded excellent. I find the PW to sound really cool (tons of mojo) through a cleaner Fender type amp. Heading into Vox amp land it could perhaps be to dark as those amps seem to like brighter wahs. You could always email Geoffrey and ask him about which Teese wah would work better with your Vox as GT makes wahs to suit but I am not exactly sure which model. As a side note I believe the RMC-3 gets the tones of most of the other wahs Geoffrey puts out and the only difference is the inductors used. You would have to ask him about the inductors as well.

    I have not heard any complaints with Budda wahs either but had only tried one and it wasn't through my gear. Budda is a really wonder manufacturer though as is Dunlop, Teese and Fulltone so I suppose it comes down to personal preference.

    I had bought an Eleca wha last year for $35 brand new and that wah was pretty cool for the dough. It had something going on mojo wise but upon close inspection you could see that the others were better built. Regardless, the pedal sounded cool and if someone dropped a beer on it at a gig it is cheap enough to easily replace. It was made in China and they pretty much don't care about Jimmy Dunlop owning the patent to the wah shell and cloned it regardless of International Laws. This could be enough, for me, to not buy one again but it will be interesting to see how it pans out in the future with China cranking out Pirated everything at cheap prices. Oh yes who is going to be passing up on a $35 pirated Klon?

    Sorry for the tangent there

    Regards,
    George

    www.PedalworX.com
     
  6. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

    Messages:
    6,059
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Absolutely - it does seem like a daft move to add an input buffer stage at the same time you're adding true bypass...

    The Dunlop GCB-95 (or standard Crybaby, to most of us) got an input buffer section in 1990, which was intended to alleviate some of the ill effects of the bypass system. That buffer sits on the circuit side of the switch, so it isn't there to buffer the guitar signal before the split (to switch->output and circuit, respectively), but rather to raise the circuit's input impedance a bit, so it wouldn't steal as much signal and treble in bypass mode. Now, I haven't traced the V848 circuit, so I can't tell exactly where the buffer stage is located (if it sits before the switch, to buffer the entire guitar signal, or on the circuit input).

    The Vox V847 never did get the buffer stage, and the V848 got true bypass to finally alleviate the tone-sucking problem. So why add a buffer stage? It seems like a dumb business move to add components that aren't really needed, after you've also spent extra money on a DPDT switch. But I suppose it wouldn't be the first time... :D

    /Andreas
     
  7. LesPaulPlayer

    LesPaulPlayer Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Central CA
    The Budda Wah also has an input buffer. In fact, the board layout is VERY similar to the Vox V848.

    I asked Jeff Bober, the designer of the Budda Wah, why there was an input buffer even though there's a true bypass switch. He replied that it couldn't hurt to lessen the load on the guitar signal whether true bypassed or not...
     
  8. 58lespaulman

    58lespaulman Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    That makes sence, they are covering there tracks to make sure the signal is strong. I have been through all the Crybaby's and I had the Vox V847. Then I bought the new Vox Clyde reissue and it is the best Wah that I have heard in some time. I think they nailed the Hendrix vox sound with this one. I am very pleased with it. I think the buffer helps for when the wah is on, and it also gives it a little volume boost, and it keeps the high end it tacked. IMO

    Shane Pasqualla
    WET ANIMAL
    http://www.wetanimal.net
     
  9. GeorgeBlekas

    GeorgeBlekas Senior Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manorville, NY
    Point is that the buffer was not in the original Clyde wha so to call it such appears ludicrous or simply a sales gimick especially considering the pedal schematic matches the Jimi Hendrix wah nearly to a tee. As a matter of fact there is a few places on the board for capacitors that are in the JH wah and left vacant in the Clyde wah. Obviously good business to save on having to do a new layout.
     
  10. 58lespaulman

    58lespaulman Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Well I've tried all the Dunlop's and they are not as sweet as the Clyde Reissue. I love my Vox.

    Shane Pasqualla
    WET ANIMAL
    http://www.wetanimal.net
     
  11. drolling

    drolling Member

    Messages:
    6,100
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Great thread, gentlemen! Lots of good info. George, I agree w/you 100% on the 'throw' issue. Unless you're into subtle tone shaping, the shorter the better, as far as i'm concerned.

    In fact, I was surprised to find how comfortable I am w/a pedal like the DigiTech Hendrix "artist" series, where the whole 'envelope' of the wah occurs in a tiny fraction of the normal travel of the treadle.

    I'm also using the wah presets on a BlackBox (beat-synched effector based on the Adrenalinn II) w/a real cheap chinese exp. pedal. It's not properly calibrated for smooth sweeps - almost an off-on effect with some patches. But for wah, it's surprisingly expressive considering that all the action's confined to a movement of less than 5 millimeters.

    A Q for you, George; where'd you find that 35 buck wah? Sounds cool..
     
  12. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yep,

    I went for the Vox Clyde McCoy eventually too. I tested the Budda and the Picture Wah. I think the PW and the Budda were quite alike but the Vox had the sound I wanted. Plus it looks cool! Now I need to stick it on the pedalboard somehow...
     

Share This Page