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Electro-Harmonix Crying Bass Wah/Fuzz Pedal

Dynamic, musical wah/fuzz effects tailored for bass and EHX's Next Step technology make for one hell of a good time.

By Ara Ajizian

Much like fuzz, which I talked about in my review of EHX's Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi, wah is one of those effects that's hard to get just right for bassists. Forget about using a guitar wah, as the frequency range most are designed to affect is far too different to get any sort of usable effect. I won't speak for every bass player, but the reason I chose the instrument was because I love the way bass tones envelop the room with that low-end warmth and those round waves of goodness, so any effect that takes away from the bottom doesn't usually last long on my pedalboard. Given the experience I had with the Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi, I was hoping for the same kind of response from the Crying Bass, and wasn't disappointed.

 

 

What You Need To Know

  • The Crying Bass has no moving parts—you simply rock it back and forth for an unprecedented amount of control over the effect
  • An onboard fuzz effect with level control blends added growl into your dry signal, enhancing the wah effect
  • To avoid the dreaded loss of low end, a low pass filter fixed at 194 Hz is also at your disposal—simply raise the LPF level to keep those low frequencies in the mix without sacrificing the musicality of the wah effect
  • Buffered bypass keeps your signal intact over long cable runs
  • Calibration is a painless process and ensures you get the right response from the Crying Bass

Limitations

  • There is a bit of a learning curve if you're used to standard, potentiometer-driven wahs. I found that if I positioned my foot a little differently than I do on a traditional wah, controlling the Crying Bass felt more natural.
  • The EHX logo in the center of the pedal lights when the effect is active and turns off when the pedal is disengaged. However, your foot sits on top of it so there's no immediate visual indicator that the effect has been turned on/off.
  • I had some issues with the pedal moving around a bit underfoot, but it looks like the specially designed Cradle from EHX is a solution (I didn't have one for this review).

Sleek and stylish, the Crying Bass offers plenty of control over your wah tone plus onboard fuzz and a low pass filter

Conclusion

Though it took a little getting used to, once I had the hang of using the Crying Bass I found it to be a tremendous source of inspiration. The controls are simple but powerful, offering you a virtually endless array of sounds in addition to just a great-sounding wah. Because it responds so smoothly, you can employ some plantar acrobatics to conjure all sorts of sounds, from long, heel-to-toe sweeps to shorter, faster warbles. The incorporated fuzz circuit is icing on the cake, allowing you to enhance your tone even more.  All in all, the Crying Bass is a great pedal with loads of sonic potential.

 

Resources

          

Electro-Harmonix Crying Bass Wah/Fuzz Pedal Demo

Electro-Harmonix Crying Bass Wah/Fuzz Pedal at Musician's Friend

 

 

 

Ara Ajizian, Harmony Central's Editorial Director, has been playing bass and guitar as well as singing since he was 18, and soon that love of music combined with a passion for writing; launching what's now a decade-long career immersed in the gear world. He's thrilled to be back on the Harmony Central team after two years as Managing Editor for Musician's Friend covering gear, bands and events and gigging in the Los Angeles area.

 

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