Dunlop Cry Baby DCR-2SR Rack Module Review

The wah effect is, without any doubts, one of the most important parts of one player’s effects chain. Giving musicians their own unique voice in a way, the quality of the wah effect has become mostly subjective, as each individual player has their own preferences.

At the same time, the ones that give most expressiveness and depth tend to be more valued among the guitar players. But what if you had even more control over the effect itself?

After all, there’s not a lot of knobs and switches that can fit on the average wah pedal, and even some more intricate pieces, like the Morley Bad Horsie 2, have only a handful of modeling options.

However, a company like Dunlop, that became very well respected for their Cry Baby wah pedals, has its own rack-mounted wah unit that can be managed by a separate foot controller, which by design resembles the standard Cry Baby format.

The rack-mounted wah we will be reviewing here is the Dunlop Cry Baby DCR-2SR, used by many professional rock guitar players, including Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, John Petrucci, Slash, and many others.

Dunlop Cry Baby DCR-2SR


Features

As mentioned, this is a rack-mounted unit, designed to give more options to shaping your wah tone than any other standard wah pedal could provide. The unit, which is in a 19-inch rack format, provides a variety of controls.

The first two controls are the range and “Q”. With the range control, you can pick from six different frequency ranges ñ 1.2 kHz, 1.4 kHz, 1.6 kHz, 1.8 kHz, 2.0 kHz, and 2.2 kHz. Right next to it stands the “Q” knob, which is used to control the breadth of the effect, or how “wide” it is.

With the “Q”, you can set it to be really sharp or to make it wider and more subtle, kind of more evenly distributed over the pedal’s sweep.

While sometimes wah pedals might cut or boost the volume in an unwanted way, the DCR-2SR has a separate boost control which allows you to balance things out or additionally boost or cut the volume of the effect when it’s engaged. This particular feature can boost your volume for up to 10 dB.

Right next to these two controls, we can find the 6-band EQ that additionally lets us shape our wah tone. The frequencies on it are 100Hz, 200Hz, 400Hz, 800Hz, 1.6kHz, and 3.2kHz, and each knob adds or cuts 15 dB to the frequency. This EQ is engaged with a separate button.

While we’re at it, the wah effect itself is also engaged with a separate button. The foot controller, which is included with this unit, has the standard toe-click feature like any other Dunlop wah pedals, but the effect won’t kick in if it’s not turned on on the unit itself.

It also comes with an additional loop that lets you run a volume pedal through it, ultimately giving more control over your tone.


Design

The design of such a rack mounted unit is probably not of the greatest importance to a guitar player. Although we would argue that some of the printed labels on it could be a bit bigger. While there might not be a lot of tweaking during the live shows, this would definitely be a very welcomed design feature.

At the same time, led lights are pretty useful and easily noticeable so you can see whether certain features are on or off. With just a little bit of practice, you’ll be accustomed to it and you’ll know where each control is located and what it does without reading any of the labels on it.

As for the floor part, the foot controller, it’s designed according to Dunlop’s classic wah and volume pedals, using the same casing with a few just slightly different features. The action and the feel of the pedal is the same as any other of their famous products.


Performance

Now, this piece of gear is actually quite versatile. It could easily be the most versatile wah effect out there. The 6-band EQ gives an abundance of tone option, especially combined with with the “range” and “Q” knobs.

With all of these controls, you’re able to have full control over the depth of your wah, the “width” (or how sharp it goes between the two voices), the volume, and the overall tone.

Whatever kind of wah you seek ñ the DCR-2SR has it. Want that subtle clean pop rhythm wahs? Want the classic 1970s one? Trying to replicate Zakk Wylde’s deep crazy wah for high gain leads?

It’s all possible through this Dunlop’s piece of gear. And whether it’s the clean or distorted sound that you want to add your wah to, it will work with anything and won’t make those higher gain tones sounding all muddy and chaotic.


Conclusion

Just to get one thing straight here – this is a professional grade wah. Yes, it costs three or four times more than an average wah most of the guitar players are using, but there’s a good reason for it.

It is a sophisticated professional rack mounted effect that gives you more options than you can get from most of the other wahs out there.

The only downside – it will just take a lot of your precious time since you’ll end up plying around with all of its features in search of those perfect wah tones.

At the same time, you need to bear in mind that DCR-2SR is to be considered if you’re using other rack effects. Otherwise, you’ll just have a bad time finding room for this unit anywhere on stage or in your home studio, making it very impractical.

Nobody is stopping you from getting one, but it won’t make much sense if you’re not a professional musician or are at least striving to become one.

TC Electronic G-Major 2 Rack Mount Guitar Effects Processor Review

TC Electronic G-Major 2 Rack Mount Guitar Effects Processor review
 

If you are familiar with James Hetfield’s personality, you probably know that he is a very practical kind of guy. If anyone has been through the thick of it in terms of guitar gear and accessories, it’s him. When a guitarist of his caliber decides to ditch a good portion of his guitar pedals for a rack mounted effects processor, the only right thing to do is look into that piece of gear. TC Electronic G-Major 2 is the name, and it is quite an amazing piece of tech. Today we are going to take a closer look at this beast, and try to find out just how it ended up in Metallica’s inventory.

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Tc Electronic G-Major 2 Rack Mount Guitar Effects Processor With 8 Simultaneous

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TC Electronic G-Major 2 Review

The way most rack-mounted effects processors work is by providing the guitarists with the majority of effects without the bulkiness of individual pedals. Instead, you use a dedicated board that features a number of footswitches. For the most part, it is a cleaner configuration that is easier to use when you are in the heat of the moment. However, TC Electronic G-Major 2 has a few more tricks up its sleeve, which make it quite impressive even compared to its immediate competition.

Features

Just as its name states, this is a rack mounted processor, meaning that you will need a rack if you want to use it as the manufacturer has intended. One of the things that people often worry about with this type of processors is the control panel. The one found on TC Electronic G-Major 2 is extremely clean and easy to figure out. Every knob and button are fairly intuitive, while a very detailed display takes care of the navigation. We are about to get into the effects available, but before we do so, we need to discuss one important thing. TC Electronic went one step ahead with their G-Major 2. Aside from allowing the user to select and control effects from the processor, they have also built in a switch into that allows you to control some of your amp’s functions using the very same board. This way, the only thing you need to focus on during a performance is the clean switchboard in front of you.

With G-Major 2, TC Electronic basically took all of their successful modulation as well as temporal effects and crammed them all in a single rack processor unit. There are six main modules with a whole lot of effects in each of their sub-divisions. You are generally looking at several types of delay, uni-vibe, tri-chorus, intelligent pitch shifting and more. Here is where we need to insert the always necessary disclaimer. TC Electronic G-Major 2 is not similar to modern, pedal style FX processors. This one doesn’t feature any distortion or amp emulations. The only thing TC Electronic has focused on were various modulation effects, delays and similar. In other words, this is a niche processor and that is a good thing. This way you know that a company has invested every ounce of effort in making those available effects as good as they can possibly be.

tc-electronic-g-major-2-13535

But wait, there’s more. TC Electronic G-Major 2 allows you to choose how your signal is routed through the unit. You can select different effects, pair them as you see fit and completely cut out the ones you don’t want. Look at the back side of the G-Major 2 and the I/O is bound to blow your mind. They have included jacks for relay switching, a MIDI In, MIDI Out, and MIDI Through and more. Lastly, there is the software suit you can use to edit presets and shape up effects using your computer. This is nothing new for TC Electronic and is actually one of their main selling points. Most of TC Electronic pedals come with this type of versatile software side.

Performance

Once everything is set up and ready for use, it is time to figure out whether the G-Major 2 is just another shortcut a guitar player can take or a professional piece of equipment which actually brings solutions to certain problems. Right off the bat, we are going to say its the latter. The performance of the G-Major 2 is impressive. All of the effects sound extremely organic and natural. This is the type of attributes you can’t really use too often. No matter what kind of setup you are running, the response of the G-Major 2 is lightning fast. Its user-friendly design makes it pretty easy to set it up and start using it within minutes.

Is it worth spending this type of money on a rack mounted effects processor? Absolutely. It might be awkward at first, but given a few days, you will fall in love with this thing. Seeing how decent the effects sound, how fast it is to respond to user input and how clean the switchboard is when in use, you will wonder why you haven’t switched to this before.

Conclusion

Many guitar players will question the need for having something like this if you are not a member of a top tier band like Metallica. The truth is that TC Electronic G-Major 2 is not for everyone. It all depends on how heavily you use effects and how much importance you put into them. Here’s the kicker, TC Electronic G-Major 2 costs a lot less than equivalent quality effects pedals combined.

Right from the start, this unit saves you money. On top of that, if you are not a hardcore purist, the quality of its effects will be more than satisfactory. The only thing to remember when you are dealing with this type of equipment is that it needs some additional gear in order to work. We are talking control boards, pre-amps and similar. Even so, there are a lot of guitar players out there who would definitely benefit from a setup such as this one. Especially if they like to have clean work environment during their performance.

Watch this video review / demo of the TC Electronic G-Major 2.