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I have a brand new MXR Super Badass and a brand new Original Crybaby Wah, separately they're both brilliant pedals however the when chained together and especially when the Wah is set to off I seem to get huge tone loss. I know tone loss is a common complaint with Wah given the original Wah is not true bypass, however it seems to be far worse than I might have expected.

I seem to lose all the highs when the wah pedal is set to off, I imagine this is an impedance mismatch but I don't know enough about electrical impedance to solve the problem. I don't know if I need to modify the wah to help the two pedals work together or if there's a way I can solve the problem with a buffer pedal. Can someone please offer some advice as to what's causing the problem and ways to solve it.

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    Please specify what particular configuration (guitar, effects order) causes the problem. – leftaroundabout Oct 24 '16 at 14:47
  • How long of a cable are you using? A long cable might be aggravating the problem. It does sound like you need a buffer pedal before the wah. – Avalanchis Oct 30 '16 at 15:47
  • @leftaroundabout - playing a fender strat – JamiePatt Nov 1 '16 at 4:48
  • @Avalanchis Using a 5 meter cable – JamiePatt Nov 1 '16 at 4:49
  • @JamiePatt You might try using a shorter cable and see if that helps. – Avalanchis Nov 1 '16 at 20:03
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As I understand it, the Original Crybaby has a buffered bypass circuit. There are many people out there who dislike this buffer and what is does to their tone. It sounds like you are one of these people.

So what now?

  1. Try placing a buffered-bypass pedal (anything standard boss pedal should do the trick, borrow one if you don't have one to hand) before the wah pedal, see if that makes any difference. You might find that it effects the sweep of the wah, but we might hear an improvement in the on/off tone.
  2. You could use some kind of ab-y switching, or pedal loop set up. In this set up you would leave your wah on, but switch it in and out of the loop entirely. Take a look at Boss LS 2 Line Selector or the BigShot Loop Controller and you'll get what i mean.
  3. You could fit a true bypass switch inside your wah as see in this video
  4. Do some research and get a less tone-sucking wah, as a headstart consider the Budda Budwah. You can always flip your cry-baby on ebay?
  5. Learn to love the tone you've got. If it works for Jimi and Slash it can work for you too.

In short, I don't think there is a specific issue with your set up, you just have a product which you don't like or doesn't work how you had hoped.

For many people nailing 'that tone' is a long journey which involves a lot of experimenting, research, mistakes, and lessons learned. Finding the wah for you will be a part of that very journey.

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Are you just putting the pedal in the up position, or are you actually shutting the pedal off by pressing forward until it clicks the on/off button. If it sounds fine while you are using it there shouldn't be a problem when the wha is turned completely off. I use one and the only thing I can find is if you just press the pedal so it's in an upright position the high end goes away but that's because the wha is still engaged.

  • No, the problem occurs when the pedal is disengaged. – JamiePatt Nov 1 '16 at 4:49

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