Fulltone Clyde Wah Deluxe - high-end wah pedal based on the '67 Vox Clyde Wah. 10-step variable gain control, true-bypass with status indicator, 3x selectable modes (Wacked, Jimi (Clyde standard) and Shaft). and ne the Fuzz/Friendly circuit., optional poser supply 115941 or 102842 not included, handmade in USA
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The first thing I noticed about this Wah-wah when plugging it in was that it was noisy. After investigating, I found that the noise was coming from two sources: a scratchy potentiometer and the removable base plate which was not electronically connected to any ground point, as the paint was insulating it from the rest of the chassis. I sprayed the potentiometer with electrical contact cleaner, but it didn´t seem to help, so I contacted Thomann, who were very helpful and said that they would replace the pot free of charge. Once the wah got back to me, the second pot was much quieter. I solved the base plate issue by covering the inside of it with copper tape, and connected a wire from the tape to the ground lug of the input jack. After this, the wah was much quieter. Once these noise issues were solved, the wah sounds good and feels good. It is obviously well built. My favourite sound is the ´wacked´setting, which gives you a deeper bass when you rock the treadle back. The LED is very handy, the input level adds a nice bit of grit, and the Buffer does its job well to make the wah usable in front of fuzz pedals. Overall, it´s a good wah, my only criticism being that it comes with the base plate unconnected to ground, which could be frustrating if you have little experience in tracking down noise problems in your rig.
Having tried a large number of the wah's on the current market, this one holds up as one of the most feature packed, useful pedals.
One of the things that was most important to me was that the wah pedal be true bypass or at least very high quality buffer. The Fulltone true bypass system is great. When the pedal is off, it's like it is not even there as far as retaining the signal to how it should be. Many of the wah's I have either owned or tested, would roll off a high amount of treble and high mid's from the guitar when in bypass mode, which was a deal break for me as there are only rare times that I need to use a wah, and for the most part of my playing it is off. Having something that makes the signal compromised when off just wasn't worth the trouble. The Clyde makes this a complete non issue.
The different modes on the deluxe version of this pedal are very useful as I found the Jimi setting sounds best with single coils, instant 'Jimi' wah flavour. The 'wacked' setting seems to work best with hot humbuckers, so it is nice to be able to choose these modes to suit which guitar I am using at the time. The wacked setting I would compare to something like a Bad Horsey wah or a Dunlop modern voiced wah. All 3 modes on the Clyde Deluxe however, use the same inductor.
The full metal pedal housing and bottom plates are very robust, and due to the shielded inductor, doesn't audibly hum when near other pedals or power sources as some other wah's do. The output buffer (not to be confused with true bypass/buffer bypass systems) allows you to use a Fuzz pedal or very high gain amp after the wah without any problems and simply, it allows it to just work right as you would want it too. The only thing I would change is perhaps to have the output buffer foot switchable with a kick switch as opposed to a flick switch as when changing back and forth between the clean and dirty channels on an amp, the clean channel with the wah with full output on the buffer, suddenly becomes very loud. A foot switch button on the side (like the CAE wah) could be useful to get around this.
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