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SOUNDCHECK

the gear in review

Ibanez Tone-Lok WD7 Weeping Demon wah pedal


BY ERIC KIRKLAND

PRIMAL SCREAM
IBANEZ TONE-LOK WD7 WEEPING DEMON WAH PEDAL
LIST PRICE: $166.65 MANUFACTURER: Ibanez Guitars, ibanez.com CONTROLS: Level, Q, Lo, Auto Switch delay time, Treble fine tune, Foot Switch/Auto Switch mode selector, Range switch, pedal friction and spring tension screws INPUT/OUTPUT: Mono in, mono out BYPASS: Buffered CIRCUITRY: Analog POWER: Nine-volt battery or adaptor

1967, the first mass-market wah-wah pedals didnt have optional settings or additional features. Their design consisted of little more than a rocker pedal that moved a potentiometer to sweep the frequencies of a resonant filter. A lot has changed during the pedals 40-year history. Today, electro-optical systems are often used instead of mechanical potentiometers, external tone and peak frequency controls are commonplace, and automatic switching has increased the wahs potential as the ultimate spontaneous expression effect. If these advancements sound exciting, then youre likely to be wowed by Ibanezs new feature-laden Tone-Lok WD7 Weeping Demon wah pedal. This modern superwah boasts numerous controls to shape the wahs tone and gives you a choice between standard pedal operation or spring-assisted pedal travel with automatic switching. Best of all, it sounds great, with a tone palette that ranges from traditional to terrifying.

HEN THEY DEBUTED in

THE SKELETAL ROCKER pedal and

FEATURES

ON DISC

Tension screws let you dial in the desired pedal friction and spring tension.

futuristic aluminum chassis give the Weeping Demon a fresh high-tech appearance. A large lever to the pedals left sets the operation style. Placing the lever in the rear position puts the pedal in Auto Switch mode. Here, the WD7 takes advantage of automatic switching and spring-assisted pedal movement: push the pedal forward and the wah effect is automatically engaged; take your foot off the pedal and the spring will return the pedal to its bass position, and after a short delay, the effect will automatically disengage. If you prefer standard pedal operation, flipping the lever to the forward position places it in Foot Switch mode. In this setting, the rocker floats freely, and the battery box cover, to the right of the pedal, does duty as an on/off switch. Ibanez has provided controls to let you adjust the pedals responsiveness. A rear-facing screw can be used to set the auto spring tension, and a top-mounted spring, accessible through the middle of the treadle, adjusts the amount of friction in the pedals travel. Tonal options are another of the Weeping Demons many features. A switch lets you choose between the Weeping Demons normal and lowfrequency ranges. Although most guitar players will
Multiple controls let you personalize the wahs tone.

that your foot will accidentally turn any of the knobs. Finally, two small knobs under the front of the treadle let you adjust the pedals high-frequency limits and set the length of time before the wah turns off when its in Auto Switch mode. Internally, the Weeping Demon uses all analog circuitry, but theres no potentiometer and no inductor. An advanced electro-optical system tracks the pedals movement, and a specially designed filter configuration creates the wahs effect. A standard nine-volt battery or an Ibanez adaptor will power the pedal.
WITH THE PEDAL set for the normal

PERFORMANCE

frequency range, I found that moderate Q and Lo control settings produced tones that were harmonically rich and typical of an inductor-based wah pedal. However, higher settings of these two controls yielded exaggerated wails and growls that were ideal for any guitarist looking to push the limits of a wah effect. The Weeping Demons sound mated best with humbuckers and high-gain tones, but certain settings with a Strat and a clean amp yielded modulated wah effects that almost mimicked a talk box. Bass players and guitarists that tune down or solo on the neck pickup will find that the low-range setting creates deep bellows like no other wah pedal. The WD7 doesnt quite have the sweet wah tone for which vintage pedals are prized, but as its name indicates, it does deliver evil howls.
IBANEZS WD7 WEEPING DEMON wah

THE BOTTOM LINE

find the normal range suits them, bass players and guitarists who tune down will be thankful for this lowerregister option. The three knobs above the range switch let you control the pedals output level, its resonant frequency (Q) and low-frequency cutoff (Lo). Unlike some other wahs that have a low-contour knob, this latter control does not affect or limit the wahs treble response. All three knobs are set on spring locks, so that you can push them down into the chassis after youve set them, thereby eliminating the chance

pedal is a high-tech tour de force that provides unequalled control over sound and function. The option of Foot Switch and Auto Switch modes is great, and the pedals dual ranges make it suitable for guitar, bass and detuned applications. If you want old-school tones, this is probably not your wah, but if youre looking for a wah that bawls malevolently, then the Weeping Demons will undoubtedly become your weapon of choice.
PRO
EXCELLENT BUILD QUALITY; FREE-FLOATING OR SPRING-LOADED AUTO-SWITCH PEDAL OPERATION; SUPERIOR CONTROL OVER TONE

CON
NOT TRUE BYPASS; CLEAN TONES COULD BE SWEETER

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7/25/07 5:51:13 PM