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Which Whammy?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by kevteop, Apr 28, 2009.


  1. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I have searched, but "Whammy" turns up a whole mountain of threads...

    I'm thinking of buying a Whammy as a cheap way to see if there's likely to be any point in me getting a Pitch Factor. I'm not going to buy the Bass Whammy because the prices are silly, and from looking at eBay it seems the most common ones used are the Whammy IV and the XP-100 Whammy/Wah.

    Has anybody compared these two and formed an opinion that they'd like to share? Or has anyone tried one of them and found something unreasonably unpleasant about it that I ought to know about?

    I'm not interested in reproducing Justin Chancellor riffs, I wouldn't know a Tool song if I heard one, never listened to them, so any specific settings he uses aren't important to me.

    Please advise!
     
  2. Chris Ramlar

    Chris Ramlar

    Feb 8, 2006
    Mexico
    I think the PitchFactor its a lot more than the Whammy, I've been able to use the Whammy IV on bass and I just didn't like the sound of it its synthy but thin
     
  3. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Yeah I know the PitchFactor has a whole lot more features, but I'd be using it more for special effects than whole songs anyway I think. Full-on seas of delay/arpeggio would be a bit much for a bass part.
     
  4. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    I actually thought the Whammy IV worked quite well on bass. Tone's fine (it's what you expect from a Whammy), and no low end loss. As far as tracking goes, the Bass Whammy is better, but it's not quite night-and-day like some make it out to be. I don't think the Whammy IV sounds thin, although it does sound noticeably different than the Bass Whammy. If you want a different tone entirely (thinner, brighter, less dirty), a Boss PS-3 with an expression pedal is an interesting combo to consider. Personally, I wouldn't get a PS-3 for just the pitch shifting, however, as its other features are the real prizes.

    I'm not too familiar with the XP-100, but it does have a few differences in the available modes (IIRC, it has the 5th up / Octave up harmony that every Tool fanboy seems to lust after :D). It also reportedly has worse tracking than other Whammy pedals. Not necessarily a bad thing if you're aiming to use it for sound effects, though. ;)
     
  5. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Banned

    Nov 8, 2007
    Maine/Vermont
    I use the Whammy IV with no complaints--MysticBoo is, as usual, right on the money.
     
  6. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I'm looking at one now and feeling immense guilt about buying it. I mean I always feel like that about pedals but so much more with this one. I need to see a shrink or something...
     
  7. +1 for Boo: Don't get a PS-3 if a whammy is all you want. Like he said, it's pretty neat but a little more on the crisp side.

    I use the EHX HOG (for now [I'm talk to you, Pitchfactor]) for my whammy needs, but it also does more than just that, and may be overkill, but the whammy component of it is excellent.

    I used to have a Digitech XP-100, but I gave it away. I've seen a couple of people here with it, but honestly, I thought it was a piece of junk with a poor bypass and few usable patches.

    Conclusion: Never used it, but I'd think the Whammy IV would be the one to try out.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No way in hell I'd pay what the older models get, especially the Bass Whammy. I bought a IV a couple weeks ago. I think it works pretty good on bass. It's not going to be a regular thing I'll use on every gig, but I'm glad I got it.
     
  9. whoatherechunk

    whoatherechunk

    Apr 4, 2008
    the IV is great. most of the time the bass whammy just has huge hype surrounding it because of JC of Tool.
     
  10. Although I've only ever tried the Whammy IV, my favourite whamy bass tone is done using an XP-100. Autolux's 'Turnstyle Blues'. Awesome sound, but in this case it's mostly whatever fuzz he is using with it.
     
  11. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    I have never tried an XP-100 but I remember many people complaining about it on bass. the IV should be what you're looking for in term of price/usability
     
  12. I have previous owned a bass whammy, I tried out a WH-4, and I currently own an XP-100 (well, its a modded XP-200 to be precise), so I feel qualified to have an opinion here. All of the following comments are obviously IMHO.

    The WH-4 has a better feeling sweep, and SLIGHTLY better low-end tracking (below A on the E string) than the XP-100 does. Any higher than that, the tracking is identical as far as I have been able to tell.

    The Bass Whammy has a similar sweep to the WH-4 and even better low-end tracking. It also has the best whammy mode of all time (5th/Octave Up Harmony). Contrary to what many people around here would have you believe, it is NOT just for Tool Fanboi "Disposition" wanking. It is the most useful and musical whammy mode for all kinds of soloing and cool intro/outro melodies. The fact that this mode is not included in the WH-4 is criminal.

    The XP-100 has a slightly shorter sweep than the other two, and yes you can occasionally get a slight warble on the lower notes. However, it is the only other whammy to have "that" mode, and to me, that makes it worth it.
     
  13. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Interesting comments. I'm not too concerned about what the harmony voice sounds like, I'm not likely to leave it unprocessed anyway. The XP-100 sounds like it's worth a look, then.

    A friend of mine recommended the Digitech Quad rack unit on the phone last night, which also sounds like a good option. Given that it's got four processors, has ins/outs between each, it's MIDI controllable and has delays available too, it sounds like it's ideal for wiring into a pedal board.

    Hmm, decisions...
     
  14. I've used the WhammyIV and Bass Whammy

    I really have to say boo is pretty much 100% correct, they both do their job and do them well, although the bass whammy has the 5th up/1 oct up option the WHIV has some options the bass whammy doesn't have that are certainly not to be snuffed at, and it really does track quite brilliantly on bassier notes if your good enough at muting strings when not using them. If your not interested in the harmonizer side so much then the WHIV really is the best option because of all the extra pitch shift options it has

    And as a side and personal note, both do an absolutely sickly delicious detune chorus tone that you can sweep during a riff, i've found it incredibly useful
     
  15. I love my whammy 4, i also have a whammy 2 that i aquired in a trade of my first whammy 4 but it is off my board because it is hard to find and I am afraid of it getting hurt live.

    I like the sound of the 2 more but the 4 does a great job.

    this guy likes his whammy 4 check out the crazy solo: this song made me rebuy a whammy.
     
  16. The only whammy I ever owned was the XP-100, and it was a great unit. I kick myself for selling it.
    Sure, it sounded kinda glitchy at times, but it made some great noises.
     
  17. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Hmm.

    Now I've gone and looked at the PS-5. I'm such a chump. It seems to track well, nice and compact, harmonies don't sound any worse than the Whammy from what I've heard.

    Worth a punt?
     
  18. The PS-3 is better for bass as most people will say
     
  19. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    In what way? I thought some people preferred the PS-3 because of the available modes that aren't on the PS-5. I think I'd prefer the PS-5 because it looks quicker and easier to set musical pitches for the synthesised notes. And it also seems to have a choice of more "whammy" pitches than the Whammy.
     
  20. jblock

    jblock Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    CT
    I'm a fan of the PS-5 and think it tracks fine. I use the harmonist mode mostly, which all sound interesting. The pitch mode is ok but there is a bit of warble built in; this is not as much of an issue if you use both pedal outputs I've discovered. The whammy and trem arm modes are nice as well, particularly when I use the pedal in the effects loop of my Line 6 M13. Using a couple of delays and a filter you get some very wild sounds. I tried out an Eventide Pitchfactor and couldn't justify the extra cost based on what I can do with the PS-5 and M13 together.
     

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