Big Bad Wah review by Vox

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 4
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 6.5 Neat
  • Users' score: 9.2 (11 votes)
Vox: Big Bad Wah

Price paid: £ 119

Sound — 7
I run the Big Bad Wah through my Maverick X-1, into the Wah then straight into my amp (VOX VT100), and just about every setting on the amp worked pretty well with the Wah on every setting imaginable except maybe something like an overly trebly sound, like Randy Rhoads or Dimebag Darrell. The pedal itself when tweaked around to work best with whatever settings your amp may have will always sound pretty strong, even when the battery starts to run low (apart from the occasional background noise when not playing) but this can be solved pretty easily by getting an adapter for it. I mainly play Metallica style stuff and sometimes more Hendrix-y and Eric Clapton style stuff, and for the older things this Wah sounds incredible, the British inductor works very well with Vintage style Overdrive and a touch of chorus. With the toe down you can get a very controllable feedback with sustained notes, if you get the feedback going over something distorted it sounds beautiful, though maybe not so much over clean guitars, but that goes for anything, screaming feedback over the top of an Acoustic guitar, for example, never sounded good anyway.

Overall Impression — 7
Overall I think the Big Bad Wah is very good if you're looking for something to suit a playing style similar to Joe Satriani, where else to start than using the same gear as him? I haveily recommend it for anyone looking for a Wah that's more focused around the mids but doesn't affect high notes that much (anything above the 8th fret sounds exactly the same, with or without wah), then I can't recommend anything else except possibly the Dunlop 535Q (or any variation with a "Q control") if you're looking for something more customisable than this, but if you wanna just put the pedal on the floor and play with no 5 minute set up before hand this will suit you perfectly. The only reasons this doesn't get a higher score for me is because mine broke very quickly and it's a little too "gargly" with not enough high end for my personal tastes (Metallica-style heavy stuff).

Reliability & Durability — 4
This thing is built from solid metal, but surprisingly it's possibly a bit lighter than a Crybaby, even with the big panel at the side with the options on it. Sadly I have to say I wouldn't trust it for extended playing, as mine broke after roughly 3 weeks of owning the thing, it wasn't rough handling or anything, as the only time it wasn't the floor was coming out of the box. I'm waiting for a replacement now and hopefully this one will work perfectly, so don't let some horror stories put you off this pedal if you're thinking of buying it.

Ease of Use — 8
Straight out of the box the Satriana Wah sounds great, although maybe a touch too "gargly" for my taste, but then again I prefer something to have a sweep a mile long. Mr. Satriani himself uses it, which has to be a good sign though, as I personally haven't seen many artists using their own "signature" gear. Anyway, the Wah has different inductors built in, to give you either the "old school" British Wah or a more modern sounding American inductor, the American inductor (LED on) seems to suit high gain sounds better, being darker and more "evil" sounding, while the British model is more aimed at cleans and some gently overdriven kind of stuff.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Anybody know if i can get a good Voodoo Chile sound out of this and/or a good Ceremony tone? if so this pedal would be exactly what i'm looking for.
    I had this pedal and the pot on mine died after a month, I don't know if I should get another one or what.
    I sold mine... (I now use a Sonuus Wahoo because there are no pots... it's optical). The pot was making some very obvious noise within a month or two... brought it in to the music store and they replaced it... and within a few months it was back to the same thing (same cheap pot replacement?). Otherwise, I actually liked the tones I got from it... very different from conventional wahs.