As the years have progressed, the number of wahs to hit the market has grown exponentially—as has the tweakability of what was once viewed as a butt-simple effect. Hell, it’s not uncommon these days to have a wah with more controls than a digital delay! But I digress. The GD50 Elite Wah ($254 retail/$182 street) does offer some tweakability via two internal trimpots that adjust the pedal’s high and low frequency response. Other features include optical operation (no pot to wear out), a 1.5mm steel enclosure, an on/off LED, a 9-volt power jack, and “FTB” (Failure-Free True Bypass).
Using a Fender Telecaster and PRS McCarty, I ran the Elite Wah in front of a Cornford Harlequin Mark 1, a Fender Twin Reverb, and a mid-’70s Marshall 50-watt head. The Elite Wah’s tones are expressive, with a pronounced, almost exaggerated, “wow.” And although the Elite Wah’s rocker pedal sports a preponderance of motion, it doesn’t travel to paint-peeling highs or guttural lows. As a matter of fact, the Elite’s overall tones are quite musical. But if you’re used to a smoother transition from low to high—such as you get with a CryBaby—you’re going to have to go inside the Elite Wah’s chassis and start monkeying with the two trimmers. After a little twiddling with a tiny screwdriver, I was able to obtain a more familiar top-to-bottom sweep from the pedal. The Elite Wah is a cool choice for those who desire a slightly different flavor of wah, but who also don’t want to stray too far from the classic effect.