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Is the wah pedal's sound supposed to cut out?

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Trusted Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 33
Topic starter  

I have a regular non-adjustable Dunlop Crybaby Classic and a Fender Princeton Chorus amp and while every note from the first fret to the 12th fret sounds okay, notes past the 12th fret seem to cut out prematurely. For example, instead of getting a nice round "wah wah" sound it sounds more like "wa-- wa--". Sorry, it's kind of hard to explain but it just sounds like the higher the pitch goes, the shorter the wah sound and if you're too high the sound cuts out even before the pedal is all the way up. I got the same problem with the wah on a Digitech RP350 and thought it was just that pedal and that I'd need a real wah pedal to get a good sound.

Is this a known issue with wah pedals? Or can good wah pedals with good settings make a nice, round "wah wah" sound no matter how high or low a note is? Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1162

Does the sound cut out while playing clean? It seems really unlikely to me that somehow the RP350 and Crybaby are both having the exact same problem. If it does cut out when you play clean then it's probably a problem with your guitar: maybe the action is too low or there is something wrong with the frets (that's just a guess, i'm not a repairman). If you could record a soundclip that might help to diagnose the problem.


Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1543

It sounds to me like this is an issue with just the way Wah pedals work. That is, they are variable filters. Does the sound cut out equally when "closing" the wah as when "opening the wah?(the ooh part as opposed to the ah). If it cuts out primarily during the ooh part, that is just the way it works. It's a variable filter. Kind of like the frequency sweeper of a parametric eq. So, at both extremes some frequencies can become either severly attenuated or completely cut off altogether. I think it will be just a matter of practice to keep those frequencies audible. In other words, try not making such wide sweeps with the wah.

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 192

I'm not sure about the Dunlop, but that kind of cut-out is real common on my rp250 if I dial back the guitar's volume, there appears to be a sensitivity threshold with digital modelers and signal input.

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Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 2167

I agree with Hue. It's a filter, and when a note is above or in the same range as the highest part of the filter, it'll be like the signal just going straight through. I noticed you have a regular analog Dunlop. What you might try is opening the bottom of the wah, loosening the 'rack' gear from the 'pinion' on the pot, backing the pot back 3-5 'teeth' then re-meshing the rack gear to it and tightening it up again. You'll have a less trebly sound when the pedal is all the way forward, but you'll have moved the pot's 'sweet spot' back a little bit, so you might be able to hear more 'wah' sound.

I had to do this when I switched from Les Paul to Strat because the Strat was sounding too tinny and nasal with the wah set the way it was.

Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 837

Hue is right. I had this same problem and I did a lil research on it. Him+Demo already said the problem.

I will add in this though...while doing some research they said having two wah's would get rid of this problem. Yes, more complicated, but it creates some far out sounds. I borrowed my friend's digitech rp80 for a while, and having two wah's is pretty crazy. I hope to get a dunlop wah for cheap soon.

New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2

Im having the same issue with my set up.. I've tried both my vox and ibanez weeping demon wahs and both cut out during high notes whilst playing leads.. very frustrating! is it a power issue in my circuit or a dodgy cable/lead? did you resolve this? cheers