WHICH WAH?

The majority of email I receive deals with the question of “Which wah do I need?” The following information is a quick synopsis of my models that I’ve put together in hopes of explaining the differences in my models enough for you to be able to pick the right one for your needs.


RMC1 - Very dark wah, suitable for: bass guitar, single coil pickups or other lower strength pickups, detuned guitars. The RMC1 can sometimes get muddy, or lose definition, with high-output pickups. For new models with the under-the-rocker toggle switch, you can simply flip the toggle backwards for different, and adjustable, lower end resonance which is more humbucker/high-output pickup friendly.

RMC2FL - Allows the user access to some tuning controls for tune-on-the-fly usage. The primary sound is very similar to the RMC1, although it is a bit brighter than the RMC1 at the maximum clockwise (RMC1) sweep range. While the RMC2 may share a sweep range with another RMC model, it has its own sound and does NOT reproduce the sound of any other RMC models. The RMC2 works with most any pickup and any amp configuration.

RMC3FL - This model can reproduce the sounds of all the other RMC models, EXCEPT the RMC10, and has front-loaded controls on the front slope of the new case. The RMC3 works with most any pickup and any amp configuration.

PICTURE WAH (RMC4) - This is THE model if you want a classic wah sound with lots of soul. The PW works with most any pickup and any amp configuration.

WIZARD WAH (RMC5) - Slightly darker than a "normal" wah. The top end gets only a LITTLE brighter than the actual guitar sound. The WW has a very smooth overall sound - the low has close to the same signal strength as the mid and the top. The WW should not be thought of as a vintage-sounding wah. The WW works with most any pickup and any amp configuration.

WHEELS OF FIRE (RMC6FL) - Delivers a sonic replication of one of the old British Macari wahs and should not be thought of as an Italian sounding wah. Two entirely different animals. The WOF has an adjustable low end since not everybody likes the boomy bottom end of a real Macari. The top end is a LITTLE brighter than the WW but not as bright as the PW. The WOF works with most any pickup and any amp configuration.

JOE WALSH SIGNATURE WAH - Very similar in sound and characteristics to the RMC4 except with faster movement through the wah's sweep range. The faster sweep yields a slightly different low and mid-range than the RMC4.

RMC8-Guitar Eqwahlyzer - Similar in sound and characteristics to the RMC4 with the addition of 5 bands of +/- 15db equalization. The RMC8 works with most any pickup and any amp configuration.

RMC9-Bass Eqwahlyzer - A dedicated bass wah with the wah envelope extending down to 100Hz with the addition of 5 bands of +/- 15db equalization.

RMC10 - Pure Italian sound like you used a time machine to visit JEN ELETTRONICA in old Pescara. This is the cleanest and most transparent sounding RMC model.

 

I recently received a letter from STEVE MILLER BAND guitarist Jacob Petersen regarding his recent purchase of an RMC4 and RMC10:

February 28, 2015

Hi Geoffrey,

I got the wah yesterday.

First thoughts:

YES…. YOU were right! RMC10 hands down! It has something extra special that all the other wahs just don’t share. It’s the more extreme and pronounced wah and can if played right, almost simulated an envelope filter. It IS thinner in the mids, but it suits this wah in a perfect way. Like I mentioned on the phone with you last week, the RMC10 has a very open, silky and sexy top-end, that with reverb especially shines with chords/rhythm guitar, in a way the i.e. picture wah simply can’t. The Picture wah is not as smooth and open and the actual waaaahh is not as pronounced from its lows to its top end. The RMC10 has that “vibe” of those Italian wahs for sure and I think it’s a must for anyone wanting those seventies tones, and late sixties too. If you care about rhythm, then for SURE, get the RMC10… hands down!

Here’s where the Picture wah comes in and why I am keeping that one too.

The Picture wah is awesome! Compared to the RMC10, I find it to have chewier and fuller mids. The bass strings on my guitars comes out noticeably fuller and gives you a sense of more punch and attack, since those mids now sit further out in the mix. It does give an overall tone that is not as smooth and crisp as the RMC10 though, but still never gets harsh and still have a very musical flow across its entire sweep.

The Picture wah seems to never reach full on treble frequencies. To me it sounds more like upper, upper mids when the pedal is pressed fully forward. This gives the Picture wah a perhaps more of a Rock N’ Roll tone, as it’s instantly fat and punchy and plays well with overdrive pedals as i.e. a TS9 style drive or OCD. The tone of the Picture wah will easily fit right in if you’re trying to cut through the mix in a rock band in a live situation, and especially in a power rock trio where guitar solos are more featured!

The Picture Wah is simply a more mid focused wah that never gets a real high treble response. It’s fat and punchy, but still extremely smooth. With its toggle in backwards position, the bass and low mids get a tiny cut/scoop that makes the sweep appear a tiny bit faster and smoother. With the toggle switch, you can smoothen out those mids a little bit and it then resembles the RMC10 a tiny little bit. I found it better suited for rhythm this way!

Conclusion:

Since the Picture Wah is indeed more mid focused, it does come out to be a bit more vocal, BUT the RMC10 is CLEARLY the more pronounced wah and can almost resemble an envelope filter pedal if used correctly. The elegant, clean and smoother way the RMC 10 goes from its lows to its highs, the Picture Wah simply can not match. The RMC10 is ridiculously responsive and it’s a guaranty that everybody will know that YOU are indeed rocking’ a wah when using the RMC10! If you want to ride those mids though and prefer a fatter midrange sweep/range and don’t care as much about rhythm or having a fuller and flatter frequency response, then the Picture Wah could be it. The Picture Wah IS fatter, but it’s also not as pronounced and as expressive across all frequencies. For a straight up rock gig or if you use the wah simply more as an eq to play with those mids for solos (Santana comes to mind), I may choose the Picture wah, but I think that in most situations, the RMC10 would still fit the bill and give your band mates and listeners a stronger feel of that you are for sure using a WAAAHH pedal. As a pure WAAAAHHUUWAAAAHH effect, the RMC10 sits noticeably clearer in the mix and it IS king in this field! Once you throw straight up ROCK into the mix, the fat and vocal mids of the Picture Wah could prove more effective though. If I had to choose just one though, it’d be the RMC10!

Thanks again Geoffrey. I’ll keep both ;)

Jacob

Jacob W. Petersen
Musician, Guitarist

 

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