crying tone side viewThe Wah pedal has long been a staple in rock, funk, r & b and many other styles of music. The concept of the Wah was created by accident by an electrical engineer in the mid 60’s who was commissioned to redesign a tube amp as a solid state for mass production. The original bread-boarded circuit was installed in a volume pedal’s casing. That’s why I always welcome “happy accidents” when they occur in the world of music or recording. You never know when you are going to accidentally create something that lives on for decades. Electro-Harmonix is a company that has been pioneering guitar pedals for years, and they have recently decided to put a modern swing on the wah pedal with the Crying Tone, a member of their new Next Step line.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Crying Tone is that it doesn’t really look like your average wah effect. It doesn’t have any movable parts or knobs. I was a bit skeptical until I plugged my guitar into it. In practice it actually provided some of the smoothest and predictable response I’ve ever gotten out of a wah. It sounded beautiful and had a liquid response to my foot’s rocking back and forth. The tone was sweet and sounded very characteristic of the original Cry Baby by Dunlop. You can get all of your favorite wah sounds by just rocking to the beat. The pedal has a mono in and out port as well as one button labeled Calibrate. What Calibrate does is allow you to adjust for using the pedal on different surfaces. When the pedal is flat you touch the button and the logo starts to blink, then you tilt the pedal all the way to the heel position and press the button again. Now it’s calibrated and ready for action. Additionally, it comes with a 9V battery pre-installed, but also has the ability to plug in an external PSU.

To activate the pedal you tilt it forward toward the toe and the logo becomes illuminated. It’s nice that you don’t have to hope that the little switch inside latches. Once activated the pedal responds extremely well to rocking it back and forth. I found the motion to be extremely fluid in a way that I have always dreamed of with most other wahs. The tone is genius and rivals that of any other wah out there including the classics. It’s simple design, great tone, and affordable price are going to make this pedal a serious contender in this niche market.

This pedal is simple and concise in design and concept. Love the motion, love the tone, love this pedal! Great job E-H! – Gus Green