Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 145
DUCK IN A BOX
TWA WR-3 Wah Rocker
f it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
it might be the TWA WR-3 Wah Rocker.
Lovingly known as "the duck box," the Wah
Rocker is based on the vintage Guyatone of the
same name - with a few new wrinkles.
The WR-3 falls in the envelope-filter family, producing funky wah effects without the
need for a moveable footpedal. Listen to '70s
Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, and Jerry Garcia (or
modern ripper Guthrie Govan) for an idea
of the funky sounds this pedal can emulate.
The WR-3's heavy-duty purple box is more
than gigworthy and has standard input and
output with TWA's S3 Shortest Send Switching for superior true-bypass. Controls include
Thresh for filter sensitivity (i.e., the degree of
funky filtering) and Gain for either unity or a
bit of a boost, plus three mini knobs to tweak
the filter a little more; Decay adjusts speed,
Range tweaks frequency band, and Blend covers
wet/dry mix. There's also an internal Guitar/
Bass DIP switch accessible via a small flathead
screwdriver to set the internal tones for each.
Plugged in, the WR-3 lives up to its name with
all manner of rockin' wah tones. Dialing every
knob to 12 o'clock is fine for most envelope-filter
operations, eliciting the fat, silky tones that'll
make any Grateful Dead jam come to life (Jerry
was partial to the Mu-Tron III, of course). It
works great clean, but can be used with a little
overdrive for leads. Or go full-on distortion
to emulate the wah sounds of Thin Lizzy's
Brian Robertson. You won't want to use it all
the time, but in the right spot, the Wah Rocker
will seriously funkify your tone. - Pete Prown
Price: $189 (list)
BMF Effects' GeSpot Fuzz
f the sheer number of fuzz pedals available today is any indication, the "noisy"
little boxes are perhaps the most popular
effects. One outfit that offers a good selection amid the plethora is California-based
The GeSpot is a germanium fuzz (what
did you think the "Ge" stood for?) based on
the classic Fuzz Face but with modern appointments. Made in the U.S., it's compact,
true-bypass, and has controls for Volume
and Fuzz along with an internal trim pot.
An external Bias knob controls voltage going
to the circuit's Q2.
In the signal chain, it delivers a kind
of malleable ripped-speaker terror that
can be used in a variety of musical situations. Its character is tight and gritty, with
serious bottom-end. There are earthiersounding fuzz pedals out there, but what
the GeSpot does is cut through a band mix
with no volume loss. It can be tweaked to
taste, but its stock settings are more than
adequate to handle anything from Jimi's
"Spanish Castle Magic" to classic
Clapton to '90s grunge.
The guitar's Volume control is the key
to accessing the GeSpot's nuances - use
it to conjure smooth volume boost or
high-volume noise rock. The pedal's Bias
is your friend in helping pull back or
increase volume, sustain, and intensity.
In live situations, the boosted low-end
could clash with bass frequencies, but
the pedal also has a sharp top-end that
slices through - more "Satisfaction" than
"Cliffs Of Dover."
BMF's GeSpot Fuzz would make
a fine addition to many an effects
arsenal, providing awesome clarity,
punch, and mellif luous destruction.
- Oscar Jordan
Price: $179 (list)