Published On: Mon, Jan 18th, 2010

Mad Professor Snow White Auto Wah

Trodden upon by Fast Eddie Clarke, Marc Ford and Matt Schofield, Finlands Mad Professor pedals are becoming one of Europes hippest names in guitar effects. Review by Huw Price

Like the Sweet Honey Overdrive this effect is based on a BJF design that was originally a rack-mounted remote-controlled wah. This version is tuned the same, but it’s been redesigned with envelope controls, so in theory the wah effect is determined by the dynamics of your playing rather than your foot. Auto wahs might not suit really dedicated wah enthusiasts, but for those who have never progressed beyond rocking back and forth in time with the track, they’re ideal.  
The controls warrant explanation. Envelope filters have to be triggered by input volume levels, and the Sensitivity control sets the signal level that opens the envelope. Bias sets the resonance frequency of the filter, and – confusingly, perhaps – Resonance controls the bell or Q… the range of frequencies above and below the peak frequency of the filter. Lastly, Decay sets the speed that the envelope filter closes back down.
The secret is careful setting of the Sensitivity control. For fast wah effects most of the action takes place in the first quarter of the pot’s travel, and it’s something of a hair trigger. You’ll probably need to adjust every time you change guitars to compensate for various pickup strengths, but you can fine-tune the response using your guitar volume. For sweeter wahs, try running the Resonance and Bias controls fairly low and crank them up for an edgier contemporary vibe. The continually variable Bias control allows you to zone in the frequency response to work best with a backing track, and you can turn Sensitivity and Decay up to produce softer sweeps with a low resonance setting. It’s also fun using heel-damping to produce Sexy Thing-style synth tones.

Verdict

Build Quality Playability Sound Value Vibe Score
16 17 16 13 18 80

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