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Footloose: Electro-Harmonix Crying Tone Wah

The Crying Tone is a total redesign of an original EHX wah/volume that was produced in the mid-'70s. It doesn't have any moving parts, footswitches, optics, potentiometers or magnetics to produce its vocal-like wah.

The Crying Tone resembles a slim, contoured brick with an angular bottom that allows you to rock the wah back and forth on the floor. It features input and output jacks, a calibration button (important for adjusting its sweep depending upon the slope of the surface), and operates with a 9V battery or optional power supply.

The Electro-Harmonix Crying Tone Wah is unlike any other wah you’ve ever played. One thing you can say about the Crying Tone is it’s virtually indestructible, as evidenced by a popular YouTube video of it being abused. Having this bulletproof construction is crucial because it stands alone on the floor and you’re forcibly rocking its rectangular chassis on a flat surface.

Simply tipping forward on the pedal lights up the EHX logo at the center of the rubber treadle and engages the wah effect. The wah has a full sweep range, although it will take some finesse with your foot to control it from belching its very pronounced “wah” effect. It won’t hold a fixed position like a traditional wah, but it’s a whole lot of fun to have your foot freely rock the pedal to coax some very vintage-like wah tones — just be careful not to kick it across the stage!

List Price: $116

I try very hard to remain under the radar despite being on camera as gear editor, but in this age of social media it was only a matter of time before it had to come to this. So with that, I will make my blog painless and a quick and easy read so you can get on to more important things like practicing guitar and sweep picking, or if you’re like me, obsessing how to race the Tour De France and trying to be Kristen Stewart’s next mistake. I will use this blog to inform you of things I find cool; like new gear I’m playing through and what I’m watching, reading or listening to at any given moment. So feel free to ask me anything that’s gear related — or if you have a problem with your girlfriend, you know, life lesson stuff, I’m pretty good at that too — and I’ll do my best to answer or address it here.

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Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.