Last time I counted, Cry Baby makes 12 signature wah pedals for some of the most celebrated guitarists like Buddy Guy, Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Zakk Wylde.
But now you can add John Petrucci to that esteemed list as the legendary prog-metal shredder and Dream Theater guitarist has introduced his very own signature wah.
What makes Petrucci’s wah particularly unique is that he and Dream Theater engineer Richard Chycki teamed up with Dunlop to accurately reproduce the tone of their Cry Baby Rack Wah system he’d been using into a singular wah pedal. Thankfully, they’ve succeeded with the John Petrucci Signature Cry Baby wah, which is voiced with Petrucci’s custom setting but can also be easily fine-tuned to your own preferred wah sound.
The JP95 John Petrucci Signature Cry Baby Wah looks absolutely elegant, coming in a rugged, road-ready housing with a beautiful smoked chrome finish and Petrucci’s JP shield logo on its rubberized tread. Its simple, uncluttered design is appealing, with no protruding switches or external knobs to get in the way, and only two tiny LEDs located near the front of the pedal that light up bright blue to let you know the pedal is engaged.
All of the pedal’s fine-tuning is housed internally underneath the bottom plate with controls for volume (which also adds gain), Q (to adjust the band-pass width of the wah sweep), and a six-band EQ (from 100 Hz to 3.2KHz) to shape the overall tone and frequencies of the wah range.
If you know anything about Petrucci, he’s extremely detailed about his sound and it certainly shows in this expressive signature wah. Petrucci’s custom setting is assertively intense, with the throaty low-end growl of the Zakk Wylde Cry Baby but also produces the musical upper mids and quackiness of the Clyde McCoy Cry Baby wah. It’s totally ideal for shredders who want to cover an expansive range of low to high frequencies in a single sweep.
In fact, you can get biting Cream–era Clapton wah tones from the mid-point and forward, and pulling back from center to heel will induce guttural belch and growl with whammy-like frenzy. If you’re willing to tweak the EQ, which you’ll need a precision screwdriver to set, you’ll be rewarded with greatest hits of wah-voicings, from the sonic wallop of the Dimebag signature to the vintage wacka-wacka of the Bonamassa.
STREET PRICE $199.99
MANUFACTURER Jim Dunlop, jimdunlop.com
THE BOTTOM LINE
The John Petrucci Signature Cry Baby Wah is tailor-made for shredders with its aggressively musical sweep but also packs the adjustable range of Cry Baby’s Custom Shop Rack Wah internally to sculpt your personal wah tone.