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Wah and fuzz

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rollyfoster, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    If people have known for years that wahs and fuzzes have had problems getting along, then why haven't wah builders been putting these "foxrox" style gizmos in the pedals all along? Why do we have to spend 200+ bucks on a "boutique" pedal if it has inherent/known design flaws? Was this fix a recent discovery or something?
     
  2. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    Buffers in wahs change their tone, which is why most manufacturers won't put one in.
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I've wondered the same thing...and though your answer probably is correct (though when I installed Foxroxs' Wah retrofit in my Picture Wah, I didn't notice any change in tone, sound of the wah. Hard to tell, yes, but it sounded like the same wah to me except it now worked with a fuzz after it, very well!) in theory....one would also have to think that they could "tune" the wah AFTER they did the retrofit back to where they wanted it?

    I still don't really think we know why. It costs (for a consumer, I'm sure any manufacturer could make their own and keep costs down, OR buy Foxrox in bulk and get an even better deal) 60 bucks. I bet they could make the same profit and only raise the price of their wahs by say 30 bucks. Who wouldn't pay that? I mean...I bet the percentage of people that want a wah also use fuzz...or would like to.

    After I put mine in, the change in sound was fantastic! My Sunface went from barely registering wah to REALLY wah, and my Fuzz Factory went from unusable (in ALL settings I tried on the FF, got intense squealing from the wah into the FF...that changed with the treadle...foxrox kit installed, and the squeals went away and it Wah'ed again.)
     
  4. bluedreamin

    bluedreamin Member

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    hmmm...this is interesting ! My wah craps out thru a hi gain amp , even when it's the only effect between my guitar and amp ! Sounds great when the amp is clean but any gain added and the wah sounds terrible , will the Foxrox take care of this as well ? Anybody else have this problem ?
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Please go a little more into detail on what you mean by "craps out"..??

    There are at least a few symptoms, all different that the foxrox will take care of. If I were you I'd ask Fox, or Analogman (that also handles the retrofit), but in general I'd say the thing ought to fix when there is no real "wah" going on, and when it squeals like a theremin....as you move the wah pedal you have high feedback that actually changes notes when you move the wah...without playing anything.

    But what do you mean, what are you experiencing?
     
  6. bluedreamin

    bluedreamin Member

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    Thanks for the reply ! It seems to lose definition when into hi gain with the amp and there is also a spot in the sweep that is very weird and is more pronounced when not playing in a cleaner mode , it's kind of hard to explain ....just not as vocal as when playing cleaner . The wah is a stock (but true bypass)V847 and my guitar has buckers , custom built Omega Amps tube amp , there is no squealing involved but just loses a lot of the wah sound and smooth sweep ...sounds crappy ! Are there wahs that work better when using a hi gain amp ? How did Hendrix do it ? Am I missing something here ...Mr. Teese , perhaps ?
     
  7. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    I've found that you sometimes need to dial in the amp to sound best with the wah. Either that or get a wah that works with your eq settings. I've owned the V847, Picture, Clyde, 70s Colorsound, RMC1, RMC3 and still own a Marshall Supa Wah and a 60s Colorsound. Each wah reacted/reacts differently to my set up and to different eq settings. I've had wahs that sounded like crap through my cranked Bluesbreaker, but shined in front of a full distorting 5150 head and vice versa. The Retrofit won't help if you're just going right into the amp. I would either try out a bunch of wahs or get a RMC3.
     
  8. Wilbo26

    Wilbo26 Member

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    I like this "flaw" myself. You can get some crazy sounds when running a wah in front of a cranked fuzz, and if you need dirt and wah at the same time without the oscillation its not like there aren't more than enough dirt options available that don't have that problem. Plus you can always just put the wah after the fuzz.
     
  9. Purple

    Purple Member

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    I totally agree with this (except for the putting the wah after the fuzz part).

    I use a Picture Wah into a Captain Coconut 2. There's a trimmer inside the CC2 that allows me to set the input impedance (I think that's what it is) for the fuzz. I have the wah on and adjust the trimmer on the fuzz until the wah is just out-of-control enough for me; or I can dial out all the fun and just have the wah act normal into the fuzz as well.
    I think the "bias" knob on the '69 fuzz works in a similiar way.
     
  10. retro

    retro Member

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    Buffers can be easily bypassed so I am not sure on the reasoning for not including one with a bypass switch in a wah. Or go the Roger Mayer route and supply buffered output jacks and hard wire or TB bypass ouput jacks.

    Which makes a lot of sense to me to have on any pedal.

    Having said that I just run my fuzz and 8va in front of my wah with no problem.

    (I would assume the bias knob on the '69 is to adjust voltage.)
     
  11. capnbringdown

    capnbringdown Member

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    The reason they don't put it in more wahs is because it'd probably cost them 10 cents extra per pedal, which really adds up over the thousands of pedals they'd sell. The same reason that tb isn't more prevalent, though, thankfully, some mass manufacturers are getting the hint.

    Putting the wah after the fuzz always sounds like total dogshit, especially if you use it in a fixed position like I tend to do.

    Some wahs work with some fuzzes fine, though I've never had a fuzz face that liked it, for obvious reasons.

    And I've had a wah with a buffer before. It definitely changes the sound. I personally like the wah without the buffer. It gives it a lot more chance to meld with the amp od or fuzz pedal, assuming you can find one.
     
  12. Wilbo26

    Wilbo26 Member

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    I just keep that trimpot cranked on the fuzzcard, gives me lots of noise, and I can just roll off the volume on my guitar to tame the craziness and get the normal filtered wah sound with fuzz.

    I agree wah after fuzz sounds like crap, but I think wah after anything sounds like crap.
     
  13. bluedreamin

    bluedreamin Member

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  14. Purple

    Purple Member

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    Oh so you have a CC2 as well? I'm using the stock hybrid card although I have the hot silicon and NKT275 cards as well.
     
  15. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

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    Ahhh the great marketing label "bias". It's actually just a pot that limits the input signal. It is wired to the input jack, it has nothing to do with the actual biasing of the transistor.

    You could think of it as a Pre gain knob.

    Now back to the wah's. I hate that my wah and fuzz don't get along. I havn't tried the buffer thing yet. I might this weekend. I have a little buffer that I built to help with long cables between my board and amp laying around. I may stick it between the wah and the fuzz and see what happens.

    Scott
     
  16. Wilbo26

    Wilbo26 Member

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    Err...the bias knob, which does the same thing as the Grit knob on the CC2 I believe, makes a noticeable difference in the overall sound of the fuzz.

    But yeah if you really want to do fuzz and wah together, try out the buffer. Its not going to work any other way. Let us know how that works. I haven't heard of anyone else using something like this between a wah and fuzz. They always say putting a buffer before a fuzz kills its tone, hopefully you can verify that or not. :AOK
     
  17. retro

    retro Member

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    I see, the knob on the '69 is used like a series resistor.

    Not sure how the grit knob is implemented on Dave's gear. But it seems relatively common on a modern fuzz to have a pot to adjust voltage to the transistors to adjust the bias.

    As far as sticking a buffer in between the wah and fuzz that's what the wah kits do, I believe.

    AFAIK they buffer the output side to deal with the low impedance input on a fuzz. As the low impedance input really loads down what's driving it.
     
  18. Wilbo26

    Wilbo26 Member

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    Here's Dave's description of the grit knob on the Fuzzfoot:

    One thing that makes FuzzFoot different from other similar fuzz boxes is the GRIT control. This knob allows you to fine tune the attack, tone and fuzz level. The control is subtle, but very effective. As a continuous control, you can dial in the exact sound you want. Here are some examples of what to expect as you try out different GRIT settings. Counter clockwise: Dull loud tone. Sounds great when overdriving a tube amp, or pushing an already overdriven amp over the top. This is a very fat fuzz sound that can be heard on lots of old recordings from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
    Middle: Even tone with lots of fuzz and sustain. This the most user- friendly of all the settings. The tone is very round, without sputter. If you like to clean up your sound by turning down your guitar’s volume knob, this is where the GRIT control should be - the 10:00 - 1:00 settings work the best.
    Clockwise: Clipped, farty and burnt out. If you’re looking for some of the nastier fuzz sounds, experiment with GRIT settings in the 2:00 to 5:00 (max) area. The sound gets very choppy while you pick and the sustain trails off abruptly. This sound can be pretty ugly at times, but it’s great for reproducing certain vintage tones that originally occurred due to unmatched transistors or drained batteries. Extreme GRIT settings sound great when your amp is turned up loud. Stand near your amp and play around with the feedback.



    Subtle, sure. Marketing gimmick...no.
     
  19. retro

    retro Member

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    All my fuzz pedals, save one, have a bias control.
    Which is a good thing to have.

    FWIW I see Dave and Mikes fuzz control implementations as improvements to the classic fuzz circuit.

    I didn't read gimmick anywhere?
     
  20. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I wonder if some pedal makers use the "bias" in this way...to adjust input impedance, and others use it...also to change input impedance but at the same time do so in the feedback loop on the transistor, so it actually does change the bias of the transistors?

    on my Sundial (sunface with "bias" on the outside) at bedroom and slightly above levels, I am having a hard time hearing the difference. It seems like maybe it hits the pedal with the signal a little harder with bias counterclockwise, but it is really subtle...unless I am just not listening closely enough.

    Anyone else care to comment on bias specifically on the Sunface fuzz?
     

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