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.
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.
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.
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.
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.