Why I, The Most Venerable andvari7, No Longer GAS For A Chicago Iron Parachute Wah. INTRO: I love the City of Chicago. If it weren't for the 12,000% sales tax, the recently-increased income taxes of both the city and the State of Illinois, or the fact that there are absolutely no hills of which to speak anywhere remotely close to it, I'd live there. But, I do enjoy going down to the city, and this weekend was no exception. The reason for the season was, as it typically happens to be, a concert. More specifically, I went to see Slim Cessna's Auto Club (Google them; they're worth it). But, I also had some proper work to do - reconnoiter the loading docks of several downtown facilities, and determine a way to get a 28' box truck onto Lower Wacker. Having accomplished my goals early, I proceeded down to N. Lincoln (admittedly, a bit of a drive, but I'm not going to bog you down with unnecessary details if I don't have to), and to Rock N' Roll Vintage. I went here, in the hopes of being able to try out the Chicago Iron Parachute Wah, a painstaking reproduction of the old Tycobrahe Parapedal. As other Chicago guitar shops failed to have them, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did, and was even more so when the shop attendants actually let me test it. TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS: And test it I did, using, initially, a 1974 Fender Strat, through some small Ampeg guitar amp. When I switched to bass, I went with a Steinberger XM-2, through a TC Electronic bass amp, although I'm not sure which. Now, here's the part where I should be careful with what I type, as I'm betting Kurt over at Chicago Iron is watching my every move. PART ONE: HARDWARE That said, I'll start with the actual pedal hardware. It's big - longer than any Morley I've ever used, and I've used a few of them - and it was built very well. I'd have no qualms stepping on one, despite my 250 lb. mass, my tendency to work the effects harder than absolutely necessary (except for the Tech 21 VT Bass, because I treat that like it's made of glass), and my general disregard for manufacturer's instructions on such matters. The switch feels sturdy, and operates like most other switches (except for, again, the Tech 21 VT Bass), in that there's a clicking, and a slight bit of resistance from it. I now bring up the issue of treadle sweep. All expression pedal-based effects, of which wah pedals are the most famous example, need to have the right amount of sweep for their assigned task. Chicago Iron claims that their pedal has the longest throw of any wah pedal ever made; we know this to be untrue - that would be either the old Colorsound wah, or the original Tel-Ray Morleys, of which there was an example at Rock N' Roll Vintage on Friday - but, all the same, it was much longer than a standard CryBaby-derived wah (which is most of them). Unfortunately, the rest of my comments aren't going to be as flattering, so it was nice knowing you here at TalkBass, and I am proud to have been a part of it lo these five years. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, the throw. I was underwhelmed by it. It should have been longer in the heel end, like the website says it is. I didn't get that distinct volume drop. But, I'll save that for the sound part... PART TWO: SOUND ...Which begins now. An inductor-less wah sounds like it would mean something radically different from the norm. But it just wasn't. I felt that it sounded a bit like the Fulltone Clyde Deluxe, in Wacked mode, with the frequency range expanded a bit on both ends. As for that volume drop, I quote the company's website (and this is taken directly from the website; I admit it, so DON'T ACCUSE ME OF PLAGIARISM, KURT): "At the end of the heel stroke, the pedal creates a loss in volume and brightness that has to be played to believe." It could have been me, or it could have been that particular unit, but I didn't notice a distinct loss in volume. Brightness, yes. Wah pedals with lengthy travels will do that. I kind of liked that, really. Before I conclude, I will say that I don't dislike the sound at all. It's not an unpleasant sound, this Parachute. But, there is something else that must be said about it: An effect has to do more than sound pleasant; it needs to move my heart a certain way, at a certain time, and for the right reasons. And, regrettably, this doesn't do it for me. CONCLUSION: The moral of the story is, as always: Never meet your heroes. Your memories will always be better. WILL THEY? I suspect that, had I purchased a Parachute when I bought my Clyde Deluxe, my opinion would be different. And, there's more to this story than just the Parachute. However, space constraints force me to save that until the next post.