Product Type: Zoom guitars and bass guitars
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Crybaby W/W,Boss CS-3
Zoom 505II Guitar Effects Pedal
Member Name: blackbob
Zoom 505II Guitar Effects Pedal
Date: 23/02/04, updated on 23/02/04 (4613 review reads)
Advantages: Quality and durabilty, Value for money, Great sound
Disadvantages: Not many
An appeal and an appology
Now I know I will be slated,and perhaps rightly so,for this review because although I'm reviewing guitar effects pedals I'm not doing the one that is on the product list.
Now in life we need rules to make things run smoothly and Dooyoo is no exception but I've scanned and searched for a better product review to fit these popular effects pedal into but couldn't find one.
I accept all the criticism I may incur and hope this review will interesting enough to people who genuinely are into guitars i.e the potential buyers.
Therefore you can see that although it is an infringement of the rules it remains,I think,within the spirit of the rules.
Funny enough,my old man was a copper for most of my life,though he's retired now and the question of where the letter and the spirit of the law clash,compliment or contradict each other and the grey areas that lie in between them has always been an old favourite debating topic but I believe in the spirit more than the letter.
Now the sound of a guitar plugged straight into an amp while pleasant enough will never achieve the range of sounds that the modern guitarist needs.
As revolutionary a player as he was,Jimi Hendrix also took the whole sphere of the effects box to completely new heights.
Now,I've no idea who first produced an effects box or even when but I know that the wah-wah pedal so famously associated with Hendrix was not his invention.Surf music bands were using it back in the mid 60s.Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were both experimenting with fuzz boxes and Pete Townsend with feedback all before Hendrix arrived on these shores.He was completely unknown before he came to Britian,where he
launched his career and could he would never have found fame like that had he stayed in America because of their bizarre attitude towards coloured folk.
Rock and roll music may have evolved from the blues but white American kids liked white American bands like Bill Haley & the Comets and Buddy Holly or later white British bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to play rock & roll,of course,as per usual the irony of imported white boys rehashing black american music to make it saleable to white American kids was completely lost on them.
In this enviroment even the celestial and sublime talent of Hendrix fell on stoney ground until he came to Britian where fortunetly B.B King,Elmore James,Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters,who's records were brought home by sailors and through the docks were quickly latched on to by British kids who understood where the real music was at.
Collaborating with Jim Marshall and Roger Mayer,a leading light in the effects world Hendrix used many different types to great effect on his first two albums,in particular.
He immortalised the wah-wah with the legendary song 'Voodoo Chile(Slight Return),apparently just an on-the-spot jam on the song 'Voodoo Chile' that was recorded right there and then.Although the intro is famous for the Vox Crybaby Wah-Wah this was in actual fact a highly modified 'hot wired'version of the pedal.
There are thousands of effects these days and it really depends on your wants and needs.First of all,do you want seperate boxes or one overall computerised effects board.Do you just jam in your bedroom or a garage or are you a professional musician playing regular gigs.
I jam in my bedroom and garages and until recently was playing twice weekly
in a pub with a band.My equipment is very basic,not really up to professional standards and I was putting my 15W amp through a PA system.It did the job,just.
I personally don't really like big effects boards,I like as natural a sound from my guitar as possible.I use amp-driven gain with a wah-wah and compression pedal,set up in line between guitar and amp instead of using the effects loop.
I find that I can still get a pretty natural strat sound without muddying it too much or having that strangely processed,synthasised sound that you get with massive effects boards.
The two effects I use are what I intend to review and as they are both popular options this will hopefully make for a relevant review - even if it is not quite as the title suggests.
Jim Dunlop Crybaby
The first pedal I ever bought was a crybaby wah-wah pedal and at the time I was not even sure if that was the right pedal as I bought it by mail order from a guitar mag.
It was and after that eventually gave up I bought a cheap RAK replacement but it was exactly that,cheap.
A few years ago I bought a third one to replace the RAK and this is the subject one.
Shape and Construction
It is a Jim Dunlop 'Original Crybaby' Model GCB-95 wah-wah,although there are a few different models of wah-wah for different needs and they cost around £80-90 new.
It has a crackled black surface/texture and is about 9-10 inches long by about 4 inches at the top narrowing to about 3 inches at the bottom while sitting about 2.5 inches in height,made of strong steel,about 1.75mm thick for the main case and with an equally solid metal pedal that is hindged by strong rivets that altogether make it very robust and
The hinged pedal has a black rubber,lined mat attatched to it's surface to minimize the effects of your shoes as with this pedal you rock the pedal back and forward using the front of your foot to press forward and your heel to push back while you play,it pivots on the hinge about 2 inches from the bottom end,in front where your heel would be and the hinge sits just in front the arch in the base of your foot.
It has a solid metal on/off switch at the top end so when you don't need it you push forward but harder to activate the switch.
Picked out in relief on the rubber mat,at either side are - on the right hand side - instrument and on the left - amplifier corresponding to the two jack-plug sockets on either side of the main case.Obviously you plug the lead from the guitar into the instrument side and the lead to the amp in the amp side.
On my first Jim Dunlop,basically the same pedal I have now,you had four rubber feet that screwed into the base for the pedal to sit on and to absorb the force of your foot stoping it from sliding all over the floor.You had to unscrew these feet to remove the bottom plate so you could replace the P3? 9V battery that powered the pedal.
With the newer one there is a plastic plate in the middle of the bottom plate which you lift to expose the battery,however it still has the same rubber feet screwed into the base.
About 1/4 inch behind the amplifier-side jack plug there is a socket for a mains powered adaptor for use instead of the battery but you don't get one with the pedal,I've always used batteries as they last for months.
Like I said it is easy to use.When switched off it does nothing.Push the pedal to it's forward position and then press a little harder to switch it on and the first thing that you'll hear is probably feed
back and your guitar will sound much brighter,thinner and trebley,rock it back with your heel to it's furthest back position and your guitar will sound much fatter,bassier and thicker.
The effect is achieved because about 1/2 inch back from the on/off switch is a variable resistor mounted side-on at the base with a toothed cog,attached to the pedal is a toothed rack that is constantly meshed with the resistor's cog and turns the resistance up and down with the movement of the pedal and ultimately your foot.
Though a digital effect it is activated in an analogue fashion and it is this constant sweep between the thin sound and the bassy,thick sound that gives it the wah-wah sound.
If you're not into guitars and haven't heard 'Voodoo Chile(Slight Return)' so don't know what I mean then when you listen to your stereo,turn the tone knob from bass to treble quickly and repeatedly then you'll get the idea.
Feedback can be a problem,I have two amps and a Japanese Squier Strat which sounds muddy even on the bridge pick-up.I used to plug in my wah-wah,switch it on and down to the forward treble setting,leaving it there to act as a filter.This often caused a high-pitched squeaking form of feedback,especially when playing in the pub or while close to the amp with it cranked up.
The solution is basically to get a bigger amp so that you dion't have to overdrive it so much to play at your required volume.
If your using it with other floor-mounted seperate boxes,put this one first,nearest the guitar and all the others between it and the amp as this seems to work best,giving the clearest sound.
As with all guitar effects the more you add the muddier it will sound but even with a high powered distortion pedal the wah effect comes through crystal clear.
Apart from these mild grumbles the J
8; has a very crisp and natural 60s wah sound,and although Hendrix's was a Vox version,the Jim Dunlop is basically the same pedal even today,and a 'hot-wired' custom made version the JD will reward you with that classic 60s sound made famous by Hendrix,Cream and Zeppelin etc.
It will have you blasting 'Voodoo' in no time.
Simple,if you want a wah-wah this is the best I've ever come across,made by JD but exactly like the 60s Vox,it is the same basic model used by Page,Clapton and co.
What more endorsement do you need?
I've still to hear a computerised one that you get,lashed as an after-thought to the side of all effects boards that can touch it's original wah sound.It's that simple,you want a wah-wah,you can afford the 80-odd quid,then buy one.
This is the other pedal I tend to use,in conjunction with and placed after the JD.
It is a Boss CS-3 Compression/Sustainer pedal.Another American company like JD,Boss are an established and well respected maker of pedals.Their products are reliable,well made,up to professional standards and quality while being clean and pleasant looking pieces of equipment.
The main body is 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches with a thick rubber base to absorb those stomping moments when you switch the thing on or off.1/3 of the way down from the top it is raised by about 1/2 inch were the pedal itself is hinged,hinged at one end and supported by a stong spring with in the main body,with a large black plastic headed screw going through the end of the foot pedal and into an elongated slot in the main body to allow it to be pushed down and lift again against the spring
.Unscrew the lagre plastic screw out almost completely and the foot pedal is free to hinge right up allowing access to the micro-switch and battery,9V like the JD and also with the adaptor option aswell,with the socket on the front.
As with the JD there are two jack-plug sockets either side going from right to left,input and output.On the top face in front of the hinge and foot pedal are four control knobs.Labelled,in front of the knobs in silver they read from left to right,Level - Tone - Attack - Sustain.Below each knob is min/max also in silver.
In front of the labels,at the very top is a red LED labelled check to let you know if it is on or off.The whole control area is satin black while the main body and foot pedal are a vibrant electric blue.The bottom half of the foot pedal has a black rubber section with Boss embossed on it.Above the rubber section it reads Compression Sutainer CS-3 in white with arrows and input,output on their respective sides,once again in white.
It is metal making for another solid,robust pedal able to take many a size 9 boot and with its rubber-coated base it won't slide across any varnished stage floors.
The CS-3 basically,unfortunetly I don't know what exactly it does to the sound,technically speaking but it gives the sound of your guitar a sharper,crisper,tighter sound not like distortion but a more compact sound i.e compression,and will make your notes last long past the point when they'd naturally decay - sustainer.
The level acts like a volume switch while the tone softens or sharpens the sound in the same way as a tone on a hi-fi.Attack fades the compression effect in and out and the sustain the sustain.The over all effect makes it your guitar sound sharper with a harder edge while making the single note
s sing out until the point of controlled feedback.
This pedal cost me around £60 new.Whether you want or need compression is personal choice,it is the comp. effect more than the sustain that I want it for but they both go together and the sustain which is already good on my guitar sounds alot better for this pedal.
Solid,robust,attractive and with the usual Boss build quality this is good value for money and a very effective pedal.
I know there are guitar players on DooYoo and they are bound to have technical experience and I hope they find this review interesting,and I'd like to ask a question for someone to answer.Is there a decent 'noise gate,noise suppressor' pedal out there that can cut back on the wild,unpredictable feedback I occaisonally get with these two pedals together,I used to have a DOD noise gate but it either never worked or cut my notes off dead,so is there a better solution?Thanks.
When I started playing live with the last band I used my 15W Park amp(Park - son of Marshall,so true) connected into the PA but at high volumes it was pretty uncontrolable then I bought a Laney 100W amp and the lower volume required sorted all that out nicely.With the right set up both these effects are more than capable for live gigs.
I have standard single coil pick-ups on my Strat which can sound thin and reedy at the best of times and the compression this pedal gives fills out the sound,giving the edge I require without the need for a humbucker.With a humbucker pick-up the sound would be further improved,I have a Jim 'Bacon' Strat copy just now that I've been setting up and intoning for a mate,though he's in no hurry for it back as it's origin is a bit dubious!!This has a bridge humbu
cker which I think has finally swayed me to the point of installing one in my Strat,which will make for another review - I think I'll try the suggestions link first though.