Dunlop has taken the original Cry Baby and added the three most popular and requested upgrades: the famous “Q” control, which varies the intensity of the wah effect by adjusting the effect’s bandpass shape; the volume Boost, for up to +15 dB added gain; and Dunlop’s Auto-Return function that automatically engages the effect when you place your foot on the pedal. The 95Q is a flexible tone monster that retains the original Cry Baby’s fast-reacting characteristics.
“This is one of the only pedals that I’ve got that is a an expression pedal, that you can effect it and it’s different every time you do it. The wah wah sound was very influential to me. Most guitarists use the Cry Babys and they were originally invented for keyboards in Italy back in the 1960s, I believe Jimi Hendrix was one of the first guitrists to use them, but Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, all the real innovators from the sixties grabbed hold of these effects pedals and started using them. When I was really young I remember hearing Hendrix ‘Voodoo Chile’ it’s a classic Wah Wah effect song. Then seeing it live with bands like Thin Lizzy who I saw in ’75 and ’76. Brian Robertson did some incredible solos using wah wah pedals, with a Gibson Les Paul Custom. Especially on a couple of songs in particular, ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Massacre’ from the Johnny the Fox album. Also influential was Mick Ronson on all the Bowie stuff particularly ‘Ziggy Stardust’ live and ‘Aladdin Sane’. On ‘Pinups’ a Les Paul and a wah wah pedal was used. Throughout my career I’ve always tried to improve what I do as a guitar player so originally I just had a regular Cry Baby but when I became famous enough to get them to modify them for me I did. I have a great relationship with Dunlop and they made me a personalsied pedal based on the Cry Baby. Then working with producers like Bob Rock and Rick Rubin who’d worked with other great musicians, all this time I’m gathering knowledge on why these guys are getting a great sound. How can I make my sound better, how can I make the guitar better for The Cult, how can I express myself better, how can I get these sounds that are in my head out. Sometimes in my career I was frustrated by not having the right gear so it’s been a journey trying to express myself with the right equipment. Interestingly Dunlop have now made a production pedal incorporating stuff that that they customized for me. So now it’s that pedal with a few differences. For example on stage when you click the pedal on they used to put the light at the front of the pedal so I couldn’t see it but the audience could! So sometimes with all the sound on stage I was like “is that pedal on or off as I can’t really tell?” So it was important for me to put the LED light where I could see it from the stage perspective. Also every time you turned on an old fashioned wah wah from the 60s and 70s they would give the effect but they would take away your volume. In funk you can play rhythm with a wah wah but for The Cult and me it’s usually for a solo or a featured part of a song so I want it to get louder not quieter. So I got Dunlop to build an automatic boost so that when I hit the pedal on it got a 10 db increase in volume. Now they’ve incorporated that in the newer version of these pedals they sell but I’ve had pedals made like that since 1988. A great example of The Cult and the wah wah is ‘The Pheonix’ on the ‘Love’ album, that’s the classic White Falcon with the wah wah. There can’t be many people have tried to channel the spirit of Jimi Hendrix into a post punk psychedelic disco album! Also my favourite ever guitar solo in The Cult is the lead guitar solo on the track ‘Love’ from the ‘Love’ album.”
Billy Duffy – January 2013
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Dunlop 95Q Cry Baby Wah Pedal