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What's the difference between a bass wah and a low pass filter controlled with an expression pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Krakob, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Krakob


    Nov 30, 2017
    'allo! The reason I'm asking is that I'm pursuing a career in pornography soundtracks and have been eyeing both the EHX Superego+ and the 105Q Cry Baby. Since the Superego+ provides a built in low pass filter and supports an expression pedal, I'm wondering whether this could be used to emulate a bass wah. As I understand it, a wah is a pedal adjusted band pass, and a bass wah would reasonably be built to retain more low end and be closer to a low pass, right? A dedicated wah would of course provide more control and could be run along another effect from the Superego+, but would there be any significant tonal differences?
  2. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Some bass wahs are low pass filters, some are bandpass but just tuned with a lower sweep than a guitar wah, and some are bandpass with a bit of extra clean low end blended in (I think the 105Q falls into this category). They will all sound a bit different but basically do the same job!
    Bob_Ross and Krakob like this.
  3. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    While your assessment is generally true, I don’t think you can get a convincing wah effect from the SuperEgo+ and an expression pedal. Now a Moog MF-101 and an expression pedal? For sure.
    mobdirt likes this.
  4. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals

    There is a brief bit around 6:45 where he uses the filter with an expression pedal. Doesn’t sound anything like a wah to me.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    Krakob likes this.
  5. Krakob


    Nov 30, 2017
    It's at 6:45. Anyhow I don't feel like that short clip quite does it justice - he's kind of just showing the effect, as opposed to playing with it. Maybe it'd be best if I tried it in a store, I just don't want to come there and ask them to bring out a bunch of stuff to try knowing I wouldn't be able to purchase anything right now :p
  6. Mosfed

    Mosfed Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    If you really want a good auto-wah sound that cops that cheesy but awesome 70s vibe get a Mutron Micro-Tron or Broughton Josh Wah. The SuperEgo+ isn’t going to do it.
    Matt Dean, GMC and Krakob like this.
  7. Krakob


    Nov 30, 2017
    I'm more of a stoner metal dooder. Probably should've clarified that, guess the joke in the OP might've given other impressions, sorry! The EHX Freeze piqued my interest and from there, the SuperEgo. I figured that if I were to go for a SuperEgo one may as well go for the + version since it has a good repertoire of effects built in, so it's most of all a question of "could I get away without a dedicated wah pedal if I get this thing" :)
    Appreciate your input anyhow!
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Worth noting that different specific filter designs sound quite different. The shape of the filtering will make them more "quacky" or "fat" or "vocal" etc. Classic wahs use a different circuit than most common LPFs or BPFs. So broadly they're all just sweepable filters, but "what's the difference" depends on the specific circuit used.
    mobdirt and Krakob like this.
  9. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    So, on my board currently I have a H9, Mobius and a EHX hog2, all controlled via midi via a Boss ES-5 which also has an expression pedal attached and allows me to pass midi expression to all three units. All three devices have a filter or wah wah patches and in some cases...both. Not all filters are the same and by far the weakest of the three is the Mobius. It's ok...but not great. The H9 has a lot of great filter / wah algorithms and some are stronger than others, but some are really good. The hog2 has an unexpectedly good filter and if I didn't have a dedicated filter pedal...i would use that feature in a pinch. So my point is...that regardless of how good or expensive the pedal is...not all filters are equal.
    For me...I would consider a Source Audio Manta or Iron Ether Xerograph deluxe any day over any effect with a bundled filter option that may be of questionable real world use.
    Mosfed and Krakob like this.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    This is way too complicated a discussion:

    -- If you want a wah, get a wah.

    -- If you want an envelope controlled filter, get one.

    One does not replace the other.

    As mentioned to the point of overkill, different filters will sound different. Just pick the one you like the sound of best.
  11. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I’ve been using a standard Xerograph with an expression pedal for years to do Wah like filter sweeps. It truly excels at this.
    Krakob likes this.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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