Although fans of traditional wah pedals might be out of their comfort zone with the Wahzoo, the wide variety of sounds and superior build quality make the Voodoo Lab Wahzoo a serious pedal for serious wah users.
Although most musicians know Voodoo Lab as the creators of the Pedal Power 2, the most robust pedalboard power supply available, they also make very high quality, yet affordable effects pedals with a vintage vibe. Some of their pedals, such as the Sparkle Drive, have become modern classics. Others, such as the Wahzoo, are just starting to build up a following. The Wahzoo is Voodoo Lab’s entry into the competitive custom wah-wah market. With a unique design and focus, the Wahzoo isn’t your daddy’s wah.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Wahzoo is the pedal casing itself. It’s not designed like a traditional wah with the on/off switch in the full up position. While it’s likely to throw a few people off, I personally think it’s a good move on Voodoo Lab’s part. I’ve accidentally turned off a wah by being a bit too vigorous, so it’s nice to have a clear bypass switch. The feel of the treadle is smooth yet solid. Like all Voodoo Lab products, it seems to be built to last.
The Wahzoo contains three very different but useful modes. I tested them with a Gibson Les Paul Traditional and a Fender Reissue ’52 Telecaster into a Carr Viceroy. The first mode is Vintage and attempts to emulate a classic Clyde McCoy wah. This is my favorite setting, since I’m a fan of the early wah sound. I was greatly impressed with how Voodoo Lab nailed that early Thomas Organ wah sound.
The next mode, autowah, is one that I would use less often, but that’s not to say it’s not useful. The envelope is switchable using the treadle position. I’m not a huge fan of any autowah, but the Voodoo Lab implementation is very well done and responds nicely to picking dynamics.
The Stepwah is the most unique and intriguing sound. It reminds me of a Zvex Seek Wah or a keyboard arpeggiator. You use the treadle to cycle through various rhythmic patterns, and you can use the dedicated tap tempo out to sync the pattern with your music. Up to four programmable sequences are available. It sounds more complicated than it really is. In practice, I found the Stepwah very musical and easy to incorporate into a number of tuns.
Although fans of traditional wah pedals might be out of their comfort zone with the Wahzoo, the wide variety of sounds and superior build quality make the Voodoo Lab Wahzoo a serious pedal for serious wah users. It’s not cheap, but when you consider it’s three pedals in one, it’s quite a bargain.