Best auto wah pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Poor Tom, Dec 14, 2009.


  1. Poor Tom

    Poor Tom

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, Florida
    Having tried out a couple of envelope filters, I think that I would prefer an auto-wah. The only one I really know of is the boss aw-3. I'm looking for something that isn't going to be greatly affected by my playing dynamics like an envelope is. So, what's out there? Which one's get the most praise?

    thanks guys.
  2. gnasher1993

    gnasher1993

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Location:
    Wakefield, UK
    WMD Fatman
    3 Leaf Audio Groove Regulator
    Boomstick Bottom Feeder
    EHX Q Tron (in various forms)
    Mad Professor Snow White Auto Wah
    Maxon AF-9
    Xotic Robotalk
    TWA Little Dipper
    Subdecay Prometheus

    There's a fair few out there. In terms of which is best, the GR gets alot of praise. I'm not an envelope filter guy to be honest so I'll pass on the flame to someone who knows what they're talking about ;)
  3. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    The terms 'auto-wah' and 'envelope filter' often mean the same thing, unless you're talking about a cyclic autowah with speed/depth controls like found on a flanger for example.

    Some filters sound really funky and quacky whereas others sound more like a traditional wah (like the Tonefactor 442 Red / Mojo Hand 442 Red / Boomstick Bottom Feeder which is what I use).
  4. Poor Tom

    Poor Tom

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
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    Palm Harbor, Florida
    oh. I was led to believe they were different. nvm then.
  5. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    The state of denial.
    Well, there are oscillator-controlled auto-wahs that move the filter at a user-defined rate, but there are lots of touch-sensitive filters that give a throatier, more wah-like sound, as opposed to the gurgling, high-end focused sound associated with many envelope filters. What are you after? A more midranged sound, a more vocal quality?
  6. jimmy ray

    jimmy ray

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Location:
    moncton new brunswick
    I just saw this earlier today, I have no idea how it works on bass at all, or if its even what you're looking for, but it seems kinda neat
    http://media1.zvex.com/seekwah.mov
  7. Poor Tom

    Poor Tom

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, Florida
    Well, I don't really like the high-end focused sound so much. Maybe I do want a touch-sensitive filter, but I want one that isn't insanely hard to set the sensitivity on. I had the enigma, which was way too ridiculous. Every once in a while you find a great setting, but then if you accidentally nudge one knob, good luck ever finding that sound again. So I guess I am also looking for something a little easier to control. I'm looking for something that sounds good on its own, but will really shine when combined with an OD and an Octave pedal.

    I'm unsure whether midranged or vocal. I do know that I don't want it to sound like the ehx enigma. So whatever is opposite of that, I guess?
  8. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    If you're actually looking for an auto-wah (in the TB parlance meaning an LFO regulated filter) then the MXR Auto Q is a solid, good sounding and relatively inexpensive choice. They'll come up used for under $100. It actually does both dynamically controlled and LFO controlled envelopes.

    If you want a dynamics controlled filter (what is generally just called an envelope filter in TBFX) that doesn't have a lot of resonance (meaning "peakiness" or volume spikes) then the 3leaf Groove Regulator is a great option.

    The trade off for filters will always be (so far as I've found) that if you want big, greasy super wet sounding filters they will have big volume spikes and if you want something easy to control it won't be as wet sounding.

    The 3Leaf and the EMMA DiscumBOBulator are two filters with a great funky sound that lets your tone come through with no big spikes.

    Personally I like my filters much wilder which is why as great as it is for what it does, my Groove Regulator is headed to the classifieds soon.
  9. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I've got the Mad Prof Snow White Auto Wah and it falls into the "touch-sensitive filters that give a throatier, more wah-like sound" camp. It's pretty easy to dial in a good sounding wah for the bass.... especially works well for 8th and 16th note patterns.
  10. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    The state of denial.
    The 440 (and its myriad clones), the robotalk 2, and the mad professor snow white autowah are all very mid-rangey, wah-like envelope filters (I've owned all three, and like the swaw best by a large margin, but it is pricey). All three are also pretty easy to dial in. I would not recommend a groove regulator for what you are asking, as I've also owned that and it did not give a mid-focused, wah-like sound (not what it's designed to do). If you want a very vocal sound, look into formant filters.

    I've posted clips here on TB for both the robotalk 2 and the swaw, if you want to hear them on bass.
  11. Deepak

    Deepak

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    MA
    Jared, I remember some time ago you were looking at the Jacques Trinity. Were you able to get your hands on one to test out?
  12. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    Not one of my own. I played around with a friends on guitar and really dug it which is why I wanted to try it on bass. I ordered one twice and was told it was in stock at both places only to later be told it was backordered so I gave up. I still want to try one on bass though.

    That and the Little Dipper are at the top of my filter GAS list. But I've put an embargo on my spending until February. Maybe if I sell some gear . . .
  13. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth

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    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
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    I've owned a Trinity. Personally, I found the envelope filter and wah sections to be mostly worthless, as they mostly sweep through frequencies too high to be audible when used with a bass guitar (and that's on a Stingray). Also, the sweep jumps up to the top end way, way too quickly. The autowah mode was the only usable mode, in my opinion, on bass.
  14. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    Well, that saves me time and money but it's a bummer to hear.

    That pedal is really fun on guitar.
  15. gumtownbassman

    gumtownbassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    The Boss GT-10B have some very programmable Wah's & filters. There are 3 independant wah's to use at the same time, each with loads of settings.
    Also the GT-10B has Assigns which allow other parameters to control the Wah and modulation.
    But it is only good if you are the type that can get your head around lots of settings.
  16. Deepak

    Deepak

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    MA
    Man you guys are fast!

    Thanks for the input.
  17. TheWoodShed

    TheWoodShed

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I was wanting to try out a Guyatone BR-2 Bottom Wah Rocker, but it seems the prices of these have gone all "Deep Impact" on me. Last one sold on eBay for $250.00

    It seems the Maxon AF-9 is what I want as a replacement. Specs seem similar and from what I heard when I tried on very similar to the Guyatone sound.
  18. Poor Tom

    Poor Tom

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Palm Harbor, Florida
    Ok so this is what I am looking for:

    no dynamic envelopes. I don't want my playing to affect the filter triggering or anything. I would like knob controls that let me shape the sound and speed of the filter. I like vocal sounds best, but I should be able to control whether or not it is high or low pitched vocal sounds. Does anything like this exist at a reasonable price?
  19. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

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    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Define reasonable...
  20. Poor Tom

    Poor Tom

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
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    Palm Harbor, Florida
    under $200?

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