The Big Bad Wah is the third pedal created in the Vox JS series.
Thanks to its unique dual design, the Big Bad Wah is every wah you could ever need. Dual inductors (one UK style; one USA style) allow you to select the overall input tone. Wah 1 is classic Vox, with that decidedly sweet UK tone. Switch over to Wah 2, and you have access to the Drive knob. Mimicking the Wah 1 gain at its lowest setting, the Drive knob delivers a 10 dB boost at the maximum settings for those aggressive, growling overtones. Wah 2 also provides the Voice switch, offering either traditional wah voicing or a dark, resonant tone reminiscent of a vintage talk-box.
Designed to Joe Satriani’s custom specs is the pedal pot itself, delivering a smooth, musical tone throughout the entire sweep of the pedal.
“The Big Bad wah is a dual wah pedal that enables footswitchable access to two completely different wahs in one pedal. Over the years, Joe has used a number of wah pedals, from vintage “UK-style” VOX wahs to the modern, American-made wahs that have found their way onto many of Joe’s greatest tracks. When we started designing a wah pedal with Joe, we thought: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could make a wah that could do it all? British sounds, American sounds, vintage sounds, modern sounds, normal sounds, crazy sounds, and so on.” The result is the Big Bad Wah—the biggest, baddest wah we’ve ever made.” Vox.
Here’s how it works. Wah 1 is a fixed wah. This wah sound is based on the classic Vox wah sound only hot-rodded to Joe’s specs. You’ll notice the incredibly smooth sweep of this wah from low to high. We spent a lot of time on that with Joe, so we hope you enjoy it! Wah 2 is where you can have a lot of fun customizing your ideal wah tone with the Drive and Voice controls. Those controls only apply to Wah 2. So you can create your own sound with Wah 2 then switch back and forth between Wah 1 and Wah 2 with the aptly named Wah 1/2 foot switch. The Big Bad Wah is truly two wahs in one!
The inductor is a gumdrop-shaped component that is the “heart” of a wah pedal’s character. Throughout the history of the wah, particularly the most sought-after vintage VOX wahs, the inductors have changed. Modern, US-made wahs often use different inductors than were used in the first Vox wahs. This is why different wahs sound different from each other, and why people collect different types of wahs. The Big Bad Wah has TWO inductors—a UK-style inductor, designed like our classic Vox inductors, and a US-style inductor, designed to perform like modern, American inductors. With the Big Bad Wah, you can choose your favorite inductor by pressing the Inductor button.
The Big Bad Wah features a custom pot designed specifically for this wah to Joe Satriani’s specifications. The pot is the component that controls the “sweep” of the wah pedal’s sound, from low to high. The custom pot in the Big Bad Wah is custom designed to be incredibly smooth and musical all the way along its “throw” or range.
The Drive control on the Big Bad Wah allows you to add a boost of up to 10dB to Wah2. This allows you to set your Wah 2 sound hotter than Wah 1 so that you can use Wah 2 as a boost for solos.
The Voice switch operates on Wah 2 only. In its “up” position, it produces a traditional “bright” wah sound. In its “down” position, it produces a dark, vowely tone, reminiscent of a talk box.