He’s one of Japan’s most iconic shredders and plays in a band called Loudness – now Akira Takasaki has an outrageous fuzz-loaded Cry Baby worthy of his reputation

Dunlop Akira Takasaki Cry Baby Fuzz Wah
(Image credit: RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP/GettyImages / Jim Dunlop)

Dunlop has teamed up with Japanese guitar icon Akira Takasaki for a new Cry Baby wah pedal that features a built-in fuzz circuit.

Takasaki is best known as the guitarist for Japanese heavy metal outfit Loudness, where he has dazzled audiences with his astonishing technical prowess and high-speed picking accuracy for over 40 years. Seriously, check out the time he swung by the Guitar World offices back in 2011. Scary stuff.

Accordingly, Takasaki – who is known for his somewhat extrovert ESP Random Star and Killer Guitars – has taken a similarly high-octane approach to his signature wah.

Dunlop has equipped his personal take with a custom low-frequency sweep and switchable fuzz circuit, plus auto-return switching. The latter feature allows players to inject molten fuzz-wah at just the right moment before the pedal stems the flow as soon as you take your foot off. Also, it’s a very pleasing shade of blue, which in our eyes makes it one of the best-looking Cry Babys of recent years.

The wah’s actual sweep is preset to that lower frequency range, but there are controls to adjust the fuzz: an oversized knurled knob to adjust Fuzz Sensitivity and a kick-switch to turn the circuit on and off.

It can be powered by a nine-volt battery or power supply, and features LED indicators to show when the fuzz and/or wah are on.

There’s no official demo as of yet, but renowned Japanese guitar magazine Young Guitar got their hands on one a couple of months back. From the sounds of it, Takasaki’s wah offers a throatier performance than you’d get from your standard GCB95, while adding the fuzz adds almost square-wave synth-like textures at higher levels, with a very pronounced toe-down sweep. We like.

Takasaki is clearly overjoyed with the pedal, calling it, “The best ROCK wah pedal for live performances”.

“From the moment you step on the pedal, this badass effect simultaneously roars out fuzz along with the traditional Cry Baby Wah sound!" he adds, enthusiastically.

This is the second fuzz-equipped wah pedal Dunlop has launched this year, following the DareDevil Fuzz Wah, which was launched in May.

The Akira Takasaki Cry Baby Fuzz Wah is available now for $229. For more information, head to JimDunlop.com.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.