Big Bad Wah Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 07/31/2014 category: Guitar Effects
Vox: Big Bad Wah
The "Big Bad Wah" dual-mode wah pedal is the third effect pedal created in collaboration between the world-renowned guitarist Joe Satriani and Vox. With two wah modes and some unique features, it delivers a wide range of wah sounds.
 Ease of Use: 8.8
 Sound: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 8.8
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reviews (4) pictures (7) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Big Bad Wah Reviewed by: LoLex, on july 31, 2014
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 125

Purchased from: A Nice Stranger

Ease of Use: Since there are bunch of controls, you might find it a little bit complicated. But experiment with the settings and combining it with your rig will give you a better vision of setting the options of the wah. The manual included gives some explanation of the controls, so it should give you some useful info on how to get your desired sound. For me, the most basic thing you should know is what genre will you apply the wah into, since different genre requires different wah sound. If you already know how to set it up, it should be easy to change the settings later! // 9

Sound: Bought it from a guitar player, said that he used it just about 3 months. It comes complete with the box and manuals. It has 2 wah type, which can be switched easily. The first wah is a fine-tuned wah sounding by vox, which is claimed to be the best wah sound. Then you have the "inductor" switch, which changes the characteristics of the wah from the UK to US style wah. IMO, the inductor adds a wider wah range, which sounds nice. When you engage the second wah, you can set the voice by choosing the settings for the "Voice" toggle and "Drive" knob. The "Voice" toggle changes the midrange of the wah. "Up" scoops the mid, giving a throaty, sharp wah sounding. "Down" boosts the mid, makes it more mellow, talkbox-like sounding. The "Drive" knob is basically just a booster which adds up to 10dB boost to the wah. When you crank it up, yo can hear a slight drive sound, which is great if you are going to play a solo and you want your guitar sound ahead.

My current rig is as follows: Fender MIM Strat w/EMG 81/SA/SA - Vox BBW - Boss SD1 - 30W combo amp. It's very versatile, even though it's quite confusing to set it to get the desired sound, but once you get it, you'll love it:) Place it ahead the overdrive, the wah sounds wide and clean. Put it behind and the sweep gets nicer with the dirty overdrive.

However, don't set it on a hi-gain signal chain without a noise gate or whatever you can do to get the noise silent. It's noise is more annoying than a 5 y/o baby in a theater, especially if you add the drive boost. Also, I think the Satch custom pot gives some flaw here, because you'll hear less bass, especially when you compare it to a Dunlop wah (I did it with my friend's). I find the solution by just boosting the amp's bass. Another path which I find quite cool is just switch the JS pot with the Dunlop's and add the fasel inductor, giving a vintage sound to the wah. Aside from the noise and the Satch pot issue, everything sounds awesome from this wah pedal! // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's made of thick hard-a-s steel, bash it as hard as you can and it'll stand still and sounds great. I've been using this pedal for 4 months, and the finish still looks gorgeous (black is sexy IMO). The switches however, seems to be a little bit complicated in shape. The wah 1/2 switch is a standard switch, the inductor is a tiny plastic button, while the voice toggle, well, I'm sure you know what toggle is, right? The true bypass switch is easy to engage/dis, just a press to the edge of the pedal, which is nice. You can either use a 9v adapter or a battery to power it up. I always use the adapter for home use, batteries are for gigs for me. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly rock, blues, and sometimes metal. This wah sounds great for all my needs, either on a clean settings or when the gain kicks in. You can go from Hendrix's squeaky tone, Clapton's soft clipped wah, to Hammett's raunchy sound (with distortion, obviously), and of course the Satch's soaring lead, thanks to all the controls served. I once compared this to a Dunlop wah of friends of mine, and I can say this wah wins at versatility, but lack of range (as I've said before, less bass). But that doesn't bother me a lot, since there are alternatives to solve it. 

What makes this wah great IMO is the inductor switch and voice toggle, which I think changes the wah tone a lot, or in a simple sentence: I love the versatility (lol). However, I think it'll be better if you swap the stock pot. If it was stolen? I'll just buy another, since the price is great. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Big Bad Wah Reviewed by: Alibavomit, on october 06, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 220

Purchased from: Music Club

Ease of Use: It passed at least three weeks before I understood the whole functions of this monster (really it was my fault because I didn't read the manual). The Manual is way really complete, but you must read it before using the Big Bad Wah. It isn't that hard to use once you read all you have to read, two kinds of wah, two inductors, a gain knob, and two voices to sellect. Wah 1: Is the classic Vox Wah without any kind of voicing. Wah 2: Is The real stuff, is where you can fully customize your sound, the amount of gain, the kind of voice. // 9

Sound: As a hardcore Fan of Mr. Satriani, I use an old JS 600, a Vox Satchurator, a DigiTech Whammy, all plugged in a Fender Deluxe Reverb. The Wah itself sounds great through the distortion, I think every guitar player loves a Wha Wha Pedal sounding complete with the distortion on without losing the clear sound of a Wah. It's very silent except when battery is low, it really gets noisy when it happens, I got no problem with it since I use a 9V adapter. All you must do to adjust is change from Wah 1 to Wah 2 to have different Wah's for different styles. // 10

Reliability & Durability: One of the things I check in the pedals is the Material. The Big Bad Wah is metal made, so it is hard, really hard. The Knob is out of danger of damaging, the buttons are all metal. Even the Leds are well protected, so your foot doesn't break them. I use it without a backup without any fear, the only thing you must worry is the battery or an addapter. // 10

Overall Impression: The Big Bad Wah was made with Satriani himself watching the whole process, and every one knows Mr. Joe Satriani can play it all... so this Wah. I play Funk, Rock, Hard Rock, even Pop Rock, I just need my two configs to sound exactly how I want. This pedal has been with me three weeks with me. No problems, ignore the rumors the potentiometers screws fast or it becomes noisy, none of them are real except for the ones with bad luck. I think if it was stolen I would really cry for the loss, then I would seek revenge, and then I would buy another Big Bad Wah. I love the crystal clear sound of it, I love even the paint (it shines with the lights), the led colors. I checked the Dunlop Crybaby, The Morley Bad Horsie, and the Ernie Ball Wah. They are all great products, but I didn't liked the "Wah" phrase of any of them nor the design. Really this is really an investment you will not be desapointed of. This is pure Vox-Satriani quality. // 10

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overall: 9
Big Bad Wah Reviewed by: SwampAshSpecial, on march 26, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 130

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Ease of Use: Most Wah pedals don't have more than maybe one knob or button, but the main reason I chose it was its versatility. I've found from a settings point of view there is very little that will make this Wah pedal sound bad (other than the player) but the multitude of options may confuse some. // 9

Sound: I use this pedal with a VHT Pitbull 45 (an EL84 powered combo) and a PRS Swamp Ash Special. I have also used it with a Vox AD30VT. I've found that it sounds good with almost any amp. At full Drive levels, there can sometimes be a little background noise, but so little you hardly notice it while playing. The main reason I chose this Wah was for versatility, and it fulfills that perfectly! At the flick of a few switches or the twist of the Drive knob, I can go from Eric Clapton in cream, to Jimi Hendrix, and all the way to Kirk Hammett's aggressive solo Wah tones in Metallica and Mark Tremonti's signature growl. Of course there are also some very usuable Joe Satriani Wah tones on here, this being his signature pedal. I find that even the OD boost on this pedal sounds great! If I could, I'd use it as an OD boost without the Wah function, its very transparent and quite Vintage sounding. The other thing I like about it is that the controls actually alter the sound, and not only that but every setting is easily usable! Its no use having a million knobs and buttons if half of them don't seem to affect your tone at all and the other half switches between two totally unusable tones, but I've found that almost every combination of inductors and settings can be applied in a song situation. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This Wah is built really solidly out of metal, and I'd have no problem gigging it without a backup (in fact, I will be in the next few weeks) but a word of warning; this pedal wears out batteries extremely fast, and I would never gig with it without a proper 9V power supply as well as a battery in case anything went wrong. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a massive range of styles, from funk to blues to rock to metal, and have been playing 6 years. I own a PRS Swamp Ash Special and a VHT Pitbull 45. If this pedal were stolen or lost, I'd buy another one without hesitation. Its easily the most versatile Wah pedal I've ever come across, and although it certainly wasn't cheap, it was worth it! My favourite feature has to be the dual inductor system. At the press of a button this truly transforms the Wah into something more aggressive and modern, and just as quickly back to that Vintage Vox Wah tone again! My only 'pet hate' with this amp is that it requires quite a lot of force to Switch it on/off. This can make playing it sitting down, or without shoes on, a bit of a problem sometimes. // 9

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overall: 6.5
Big Bad Wah Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 20, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 119

Ease of Use: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 4

Overall Impression: 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). // 7

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