Tech 21 Killer Wail - Review
Like I said in the Bad Horsie 2 topic, I had the chance to try out the Killer Wail, so I took advantage of it yesterday.
My first impression is that it's small. My foot over-hangs it by about 3 inches (size 13 shoe), possibly more. The construction is heavy duty. I'd feel comfortable stomping on this thing anytime. It was a Tech 21, so I wasn't really expecting junk. I didn't have the chance to try it through my rig, but the UV777BK and the little Crate practice amp over at the store sufficed.
As you can see from the ad's in the guitar mags, you can see that there is no output on the left side, which made it obvious to me that they were both on the top, (like Ernie Ball Volume pedals), and I was right. I brought my Bad Horsie along to A/B the two together, so the chain was just -Guitar-BH-KW-Amp.
There are 3 different settings (as most of you know) for the Killer Wail, Deep, Extended and High. These three can be switch with a little switch under the pedal. No removing of screws or anything, just flip the pedal upside down and the switch is right there. Also, the battery compartment is under the pedal as well, no removal of screws for that either. When turning on the pedal, I was disapointed. I had to put an incredible amount of pressure on the top part of the wah to turn it on. (The reason I wanted a switchless!) Once it was turned on I played a bit and really dug it's sound. It's very thourough....it covers the ranges well. I was set with the Extended one first. The range of this thing is incredible. When your waiting for the 'end' of the wah sound to come, you find you have a little more time for it to get there. Definitely something very cool I don't hear with any other wahs.
* *The Deep setting was very cool as well. The thing I noticed about this the most was that it kept everything clear, but still added more than enough color. Sometimes with my Bad Horsie I notice it's not really coloring or adding to the sound enough. Even in the bass zone of the pedal while playing very heavy riffs, you could still differentiate each note. The High setting reminds me a lot of your basic Crybaby or Bad Horsie. Good for playing solos and clean parts. I got some awesome tones on the clean channel with the Deep setting though.
* Back to my gripe about the pedal not turning on easily enough, this went both ways. Not only was it a bitch to turn it on, but it was twice as much of a bitch to turn the thing off! It'd get stuck in the in-between position where I only got a weak signal and a lot of hiss. Before I tried it out anymore, I wanted to get that fixed. I grabbed a business card and some duct tape, cut a little piece off, big enough to fit the entire push button, and taped it to the foam and the treble. Just the thickness of one card did the trick perfectly. Now the pedal was up to 100% in my book.
* * I went back and played for a while longer. Cranked the amp, sat the pedal right next to it, no feedback or microphonic noise! YES! That was a bad problem with the Bad Horsie. If I were cranked up and standing right next to the amp...hitting that bass zone would get some serious feedback honk, and in the treble zone, I either got an ear-piercing squeal or nasty hiss. Nothing with the Killer Wail. Also, the entire pedal, despite the setting, was incredibly quiet. No hissing or howling anywhere.
* *The pedal definitely one me over. Bwah Bwhye Bad Horise. I'd prefer something switchless, and a little longer to comfort my feet, but the sound makes up for both. Also, side mounted jack's would please me quite a bit, but...can't eat my cake all the time. You can also adjust the tredle with the bolt on the side as well. Cool feature.
This one gets an A+ from me.