I figured it might be worth writing some reviews on some pedals that I don’t have on my pedal board but were at one time a big part of my sound.
To start things off I want to begin with the standard model Cry Baby (GCB-95) from Dunlop. I have had two of these pedals over the years. My first wound up suffering from a failed on/off switch which resulted in modifying it into a tone controller for a Big Muff. The second CB I bought has a bit of an odd story.
Around December 2011 I purchased another GCB-95 to replace my broken one. I didn’t try it out in store and it was a on sale at L&M. Anyway, when I got the unit home I noticed a slightly different sound to the CB then I had previously known. I opened up the unit and to my surprise the GCB-95 had a big red Fasel conductor rather than the usual black cheap unit used in the basic model. Usually the red Fasel costs another $30-$40 so I definitely thought I had a great deal.
After a bit of research a few years later I found out the Dunlop wound up running out of the regular black Fasel and instead of stopping production put the higher end red Fasel in the GCB-95. I guess that really speaks to the actual cost associated to the red Fasel but in any case it is a real win for the consumer.
With regards to the tonal differences having a red vs black Fasel in the wah, is that the red Fasel as a bit more of a bright fuller tone. The red Fasel was used in the original Hammond Organ Wah Pedals and it definitely is a very distinctive sound. I do have to say though, that unless you’ve owned a few different wahs (like me) you probably won’t care to greatly about the red vs black Fasel because they both accomplish the same thing. I however have become a bit of a wah junkie and just love all the different sweeps and tonal differences each unit can give.
If you;re looking to just get a basic wah without any extra bells and whistles or one that sounds like another artists, then the GCB-95 is a perfect fit. BUT if you want something that may end up being a keeper for years and years, I still would push anyone to grab the Dime Bag wah, especially if you can find one used for around $100. I wouldn’t ever suggest buying an artist series new because they decrease in value as soon as you use it once.
I do believe I used this pedal when I played the solo for “Open” at least I know I did in a number of previous recordings so I can’t see why I would have changed that. If you take a listen to the song you’ll get a really good grasp of the tone versus the other units found on my other tracks. In fact if you listen throughout my album many of the wah tracks are different wahs so you can really hear the differences.
In case you’re wondering, while Dunlop will list the likes of Hendrix and Page as users of the GCB-95, they didn’t. In fact Hendrix primarily used the Hammond unit while Page used Vox. While the GCB-95 is based on those models it is distinctively different.