Posted by: kubiakl | July 16, 2011

MXR/CAE MC404 Wah

I’ve been meaning to write about the MC404 Wah, but honestly hadn’t played with it enough to really be able to speak on it.  But now I think I’ve got it dialed in and can tell you a little.

First things first – it’s well built from what I can see.  I’ve carried it back and forth from DG’s house, bouncing around in a backpack and squished with my other pedals, without any problems.  It feels rock solid but I guess time will tell about its reliability.

Second – the red Fasel doesn’t do much for me, but I haven’t spent as much time dialing in the sound for that one either.  With the yellow Fasel inductor I took the bottom cover off and tried all the sweep positions until I found one that sounded right.  The yellow inductor has the sound I want so I didn’t mess with the red much.

Third – I tried it before my London Fuzz and wasn’t too happy with the sound.  Putting it behind my overdrive/fuzz pedals helped to clarify the tone and give it an effective wah sweep.

And lastly – the boost function.  Since the boost only works when the effect is on I tend to skip it.  If you want your wah sound to leap out at a crowd it could come in handy though.  It’s a pretty decent boost with a fair amount of gain (the sweep of the knob is adjustable through an internal trimpot, like the inductors).

My signal path looks like this now:  Guitar -> Guyatone Micro OD -> London Fuzz -> Fulltone OCD -> MXR MC404 wah -> Amp (Fender Blues Jr. or Jet City JC2112RC).  Lately the Blues Jr. has been my go-to amp.  Retubing it really brought out some great tone.

With this setup the wah works very well with all the pedals.  Paired with the London Fuzz it can give you the Hendrix/Cream psychedelic wah sounds, and the Fulltone OCD can give you that bluesy wah.  The Guyatone surprised me with it – it “hollows out” the sound a little and made some good funk tones.

Today while jamming we did a (poorly played) version of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” and the fuzz + wah gave me that intro tone I wanted.

I’m happy with the MXR.  It’s got a good sound, is well built, is adjustable, and plays nicely with my other pedals.  If you’re looking for a wah pedal I’d recommend it.

Take that with a grain of salt, I guess.  It’s coming from a guy who hasn’t used a wah in years.  But I’d like to think I know what sounds good and the MXR fits the bill.

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Responses

  1. Still happy with the MXR 404 Wah? Still can’t decide if I buy the MXR or a RMC picture wah…

    • Hans, that’s a tough call. I’ve never tried the RMC Picture Wah but have heard many good things about it.
      For what it’s worth I still like my MXR MC404. It’s sounds great every time I step on it (which admittedly isn’t that often, I’m not a huge wah guy) and works well with my other pedals. I like that I can adjust it in so many ways – external switches for the two different inductors and the boost function, as well as internal trimpots to change the sweep of the wah.
      Good luck to you and if you think about it drop back by and let me know what you decided/how it worked for you!


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