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Vox Big Bad Wah

 
Vintage and modern settings - Dark and Bright Voice switch - Variable gain boost up to 10db - Swtichable US or UK style inductor


Price: $137 to $137 at 1 stores
Searched Vox Big Bad Wah in Reviews
 

 

Versatile wah pedal - not just for Satriani fans. featured

Ease Of Use There are a lot of options to play with, so you may find the manual useful on this one. It breaks down as follows :

Standard stompbox 9V battery or power supply. Input and output jacks. Nice and standard so far. Bear with me, it gets interesting.

The BBW is effectively two wahs in one box. One has fixed settings, one can be heavily tweaked. Don't be fooled by the footswitch, the effect turns on and off like a regular wah, i.e. by pressing it fully toe-down. The footswitch switches between the two wahs.


Sound Wah 1 is apparently based on a classic Vox wah, tweaked to Joe Satriani's preferred settings. In an A/B comparison with my 1990 Crybaby, I could hear very little difference in sweep or tone. Very nasal-sounding, works great for everything from Voodoo Chile to Starsky & Hutch wacka-chacka clean chords. One difference I did notice compared to my Crybaby, the BBW works fine with your neck pickup.

Wah 2 is where it gets interesting. It can, if desired, be set up to sound exactly like Wah 1. You also get the choice of two different inductors (the small, doughnut-shaped thing at the heart of every wah pedal). I didn't find a massive difference between the two but there is a subtle difference in tone and sweep.

Wah 2 also brings the Drive control into play, giving up to 10dB of boost to the signal for a bit of extra gain to your wah sound. It's enough to tip a clean amp on the verge of breakup right over the edge into distortion and, on an already distorted sound, gives a nice bit of extra drive.

The biggest chance to shape the sound of comes from the Voice switch. Flick this and the BBW changes from a classic Vox/Dunlop into a modern Morley, with a massive sweep and a fantastic, dark, saturated tone. With high-gain tones, the BBW in this mode is an absolute monster, especially with the Drive control cranked.


Reliability Compared to my Crybaby, the BBW seems a bit lightweight. It's far from flimsy, though, and the auxilliary controls are nicely set down from the treadle so you would be hard pushed to accidentally kick the Drive knob or the Voice switch in normal use. The pedal action itself feels nicely weighted and smooth.


Customer Support I've had no problems so no reason to deal with Vox.


Liked about it - Amazingly versatile, One-Size-Fits-All wah pedal.
- Straightforward setup, despite the many options.
- Stage-ready design, no knobs and switches hanging off the sides like some wah pedals.


Didn't like - You could buy 2 good wah pedals and have change left over from what the Big Bad Wah costs. Maybe you're paying for the Satriani association?
- Slightly light weight feel to the chassis.
- Umm, it's a slightly boring black colour?


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By MarkE
Dec 28, 2009
 
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Pricey but lots of options featured

Ease Of Use It's a wah pedal but it has a ton of options for tweaking. Despite the multitude of voicing and tonal options, it's fairly straightforward and I was easily able to get a variety of good wah tones. The knobs allowed for plenty of tweaking without requiring you to be too precise in your adjustments. What I mean by that is that you can spend the time fine tuning the tones, but it doesn't take long to get a good usable tone for what you're looking to acheive. The vaccuum style switch for the on/off makes it easy to get on and off without too much effort.


Sound The vintage voicing worked excellent for classic Clapton/Hendrx styles (example would be White Room tones). I was also able to get good funk wah and chord comping wah tone with this setting (think Earth Wind and Fire type stuff). The sounds were warm and round, perfect for that vintage vibe. The sweep was very smooth across the frequency spectrum.
The Satch side of things was very modern, much more focused on the upper-mids and treble frequencies (what you'd expect for soloing and Satch sounds). It was crisp and clear without being too thin or brittle. There is a definite difference between the two inductors. That's something I was happy to see and it should provide the user with a good amount of versatility (or more likely, provide a lot of different tastes with the one style they like and leave the wah set to). The sweep became more sharp and distinctly treble when using the US inductor as opposed to the more classic and rounder UK inductor. To be honest, I didn't feel that the voice switch made a great difference in the wahs tone. The one way I could see it being useful is if you plan to use the wah for rhythms vs. leads but want to keep a similar tone. The gain boost performed as expected in boosting the volume of the effect as well as adding a little bit of harshness to the tone that would cut through on a solo. It was a very quiet pedal. I did not notice any hum until I maxed the gain boost. There was no noticable tone loss when not engaged. I played with this pedal plugged directly into a blues jr. with no other effects.


Reliability I was suprised by how light it was. It felt like there was a lot of empty space within the metal housing. Not that it didn't feel sturdy, but it was not a brick like most crybabies. The knobs were all sturdy and recessed into the pedal to minimize the chance of knocking them around with an errant step. It felt well constructed, and having had gigged with the Satchurator for over a year, I believe it to be solid.


Customer Support Never had to deal with them.


Liked about it 1. Distinct wah voicings were as advertised: Vintage wah setting was perfect for vintage wah tones. Modern wah setting was tweakable and could do Satch and other modern wah tones.
2. Excellent sweep across the frequency spectrum.
3. Vaccuum switch on/off made it easy to engage the effect, controls were easy to access and adjust compared to my 535q.


Didn't like 1. Pricey. It is two wah pedals in one and it costs the same as if you bought two wah pedals.
2. It felt really light-weight and that was disconcerting to me.
3. It's kind of big on the pedal board.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By smooth55
Aug 24, 2009
 
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Meets most demands

Ease Of Use This wah pedal is quite easy to use, no matter how much previous experience you have with wah pedals. The manual comes with tips on settings including some of Joe Satriani's own settings. It gives you plenty of options with the inductor (switches between UK wah and US wah) plus the footswitch to wah 2 where you can add drive and voice effect. It is by far the most versatile wah I've ever tried.


Sound The sound options are many and you can get a good variety of sounds. However I have noticed that I get unwanted feedback when I have wah 2 with drive combined with my Vox Satchurator when the latter is in "More" mode.


Reliability The Wah is both big in size and light in weight as other reviewers has mentioned. There is two minor details I wished were solved differently on this wah; The Inductor that lets you switch between UK and US sound is nearly impossible to switch mid song with your foot as the switch is a small black-on-black rubber button.
Secondly I would have preferred a LED-light to indicate if the wah is on or off.
That aside, I find this wah to be very reliable and it's sound is a definite wow-factor.


Customer Support Not dealt with.


Liked about it - Versatility
- Great sounds
- Easy to use


Didn't like - Takes up a lot of space on the pedal board. If only a simple volume pedal feature were included...
- Inductor knob impossible to operate by foot mid-song.
- Lack of on/off indicator.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By hp29
Aug 26, 2010
 
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Versatily and quality

Ease Of Use The pedal offers a variety of controls, and it does a take a bit of experimenting before you get familiar with all the combinations possible. The instruction manual tells you what the controls do but it's better to just fiddle with them and listen how they affect the sound.


Sound You can really get nearly any wah sound possible with this. From vintage to modern, and everything in between, as well as different "flavors" thanks to the two inductors and the voice switch. It sounds great with clean and distorted sounds. I use it with a satchurator and it really screams.

The pedal does make a very faint noise, even when turned off. I can't say if that's coming from the pedal itself of from another small defect somewhere in my effects chain.


Reliability Feels very sturdy and well made.


Customer Support Not need for the moment !


Liked about it - sounds great
- lots of different sounds
- high quality product


Didn't like - pricey for a wha, but this one might very well be the last you'll ever need


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Professor Jones
Apr 25, 2010
 
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Great Wah pedal, Great vintage and modern sounds!

Ease Of Use Works like a wah should, LOL, but with two different voice's, plus it has a gain control, from more Growl....
I used the original Vox wah for years, this is just as good, if not better!
Standard stomp box 9V battery or power supply.


Sound I used a Peavey Valve king 100 watt all tube head, into a Randall cab, w/4 Celestion red label 70/80.
Sounds awesome.


Reliability the case is made out of metal, so far so good, no problems.
Always bring a back up, if you have it.


Customer Support no I have not.


Liked about it the multiple voices that can be gained from this is awesome!


Didn't like I can think of anything.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Jamm'n Jimmy
Sep 21, 2011
 
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