In 2017, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cry Baby® Wah, first released in 1967 by the Thomas Organ Company. For 35 of those years, the Cry Baby Wah has been a part of the Dunlop family of products. In 1982, we acquired all the original tooling and machinery used by the Thomas Organ Company and Jen Elettronica when they manufactured the very first Cry Baby pedals. We’ve been making wahs ever since—longer than any other company—and our diverse range of wah pedals is a testament to that fact. Whatever your playing style, there’s a Cry Baby Wah to help you express your musical vision.

Let’s take a look at the different pedals that make up the core of the Cry Baby line and see what they have to offer.

1982: GCB95 Cry Baby Standard Wah

We introduced the GCB95 Cry Baby® Wah, our first, in 1982. Music had changed a lot since 1967, and players had different tonal tastes. Our engineers designed the GCB95 accordingly, raising the frequency range and giving it a more pronounced wah effect. The result was a more up front and aggressive modern sound.

Once the GCB95’s sound was dialed in, the next task was to standardize production quality. As with many other pedals in its day, the original Cry Baby models varied quite a bit when it came to circuit components—builders didn’t always use the same parts from batch to batch. That made sound quality inconsistent from pedal to pedal.

Dunlop’s engineers created new quality standards by carefully scrutinizing every component, from potentiometers and switches to inductors to find the parts that created the best overall sound. Components have changed over the years, most often to improve performance, but our team always ensures that they adhere to the pedal’s sonic profile. Important changes to the GCB95 over the years have been to reduce RF interference and the replacement of our original custom inductor with the classic red Fasel Inductor in 2004 to take advantage of its lush, expressive character.

The takeaway? The GCB95 is a modern interpretation of the original Cry Baby sound, and it’s for players who want a straight-up, no frills wah pedal that cut through the mix and make itself known.

1994: Cry Baby 535Q Multi-Wah

The Cry Baby® 535Q Multi-Wah is the Swiss Army Knife of wah pedals. Released in 1994, a time when guitar players were becoming more involved in shaping and personalizing their sound than ever, the 535Q gave players unprecedented control over the most important wah parameters do they could make the Cry Baby sound their own.

The 535Q’s first innovation—the Range Selector control—allows you to select the pedal’s frequency range. Early versions of this pedal provided four frequencies, but two more were added later on. All six ranges are based on the unique tonal characteristics of the best sounding wah pedals we could get our hands on, with input from some of the best guitar players on the planet.

Next, our engineers added the the Variable Q control, which allows you to adjust the 535Q’s response from an extremely sharp quack to a subtle broad bandpass sound.

Finally, the 535Q has a switchable boost that can add up to +18dB with its Volume control. The boost was necessary because, at lower Q settings, there is a reduction in output volume. To compensate, we added a very low-noise Class A op-amp.

Since its release, the 535Q Multi-Wah has become our flagship Cry Baby pedal, and its roster of users has grown since its inception to include a diverse selection of the world’s top musicians, from Soundgarden and Tool to the Allman Brothers and Marcus Miller. If you like always having the option to tweak and adjust your sound, this is the Cry Baby Wah for you.

1999: Cry Baby 105Q Bass Wah

In 1999, we released the Cry Baby® 105Q Bass Wah, the first wah designed from the ground up specifically for bass players. Its sound is based on an iconic 1970s envelope filter used by many rock and funk bass players.

Unlike that pedal, though, the 105Q Bass Wah is optimized for bass frequencies. When you step on the rocker—which engages automatically with auto-return switch so you can step in and out of the effect with ease—the wah effect is applied only to the high and midrange frequencies of your signal. This leaves your low end intact so you can hold down the fundamental while taking solos or fills. With controls for Q response and boosting gain, you can dial in just how expressive and in your face your wah sound gets.

Bass players—when you step on the 105Q Wah, you’re going to sound big, deep, and groovy. But this pedal isn’t just for you—its broad, deep range has earned it a home on the boards of many guitar players who tune down or just want a thicker Cry Baby sound. If you’re a bottom-dweller, this is the Cry Baby Wah to have.

2000: Cry Baby 95Q Wah

The turn of the millennium saw the release of the Cry Baby® 95Q Wah—it combines the circuitry of the GCB95 Cry Baby Standard Wah with the features and functionality of the 105Q Bass Wah.

If you dig the more aggressive frequency range of the GCB95 but want more control over the effect’s intensity and the ability to boost your signal, this is the wah for you. Use the Q control to dial in the wah response to your taste and use the Boost control to dial in your desired amount of gain, up to +15dB. Kick the red switch on the side to activate the boost, and step on the rocker to engage the effect—like the 105Q, the 95Q Wah uses convenient auto-return switching.

2003: GCB95F Cry Baby Classic Wah

In 2003, we released the Cry Baby® Classic Wah, which interprets classic wah sound through the circuitry of the GCB95, with some key adjustments to give it that vintage tonal flavor.

First, Dunlop’s engineers lowered the pedal’s frequency center and softened the response of the effect to give the Cry Baby Classic Wah the darker, more subtle sound associated with early wahs.

Next, they added the famous red Fasel Inductor—also later added to the GCB95, as previously mentioned—to give it that lush, vocal sound. Finally, for tonal purists, the Cry Baby Classic Wah features true bypass switching.

2014: CM95 Clyde McCoy Cry Baby Wah

The very first wah wah pedal available to the guitar playing public was called the Clyde McCoy Wah. Those models are known for their distinctly throaty sound and expressive sweep, which was provided by the Halo Inductor. Unfortunately, original pedals are rare and expensive. For years, if you wanted that sound, you had to have some time and money to spend.

That changed in 2014 when we released the Clyde McCoy Cry Baby® Wah. It makes that throaty voice and expressive sweep available to all players—not just the collectors—while offering gigging players the performance and convenience they need both on the road and in the studio.

The first thing we had to do was address Halo Inductors’ nasty habit of generating unwanted microphonic noise. Using those vintage examples as a blueprint, our engineers identified the unstable cup core as the culprit and designed a new Halo inductor from scratch. With a stabilized cup core, the HI-01 Halo Inductor sounds as close to the originals as you can get, only more controlled and more musical.

The originals usually, if not always, had to have the felt removed, the switch lowered, and the rotation of the pot adjusted to get a wider sweep range. The CM95 has this taken care of right out of the box. Next, we made sure to include true bypass switching for tonal purists and an AC jack for pedalboard convenience.

These efforts made the Clyde McCoy Cry Baby Wah the definitive recreation of the Clyde McCoy circuit and sound, and now it’s available to all players to suit their modern needs.

2015: CBM95 Cry Baby Mini Wah

In 2015, we released our first of our Cry Baby® Wahs—the CBM95. At half the size of a standard Cry Baby Wah, this pedal is perfect for players with downsized travel boards or players who have wanted to try a Cry Baby Wah but were reluctant to do so because of the footprint.

And even if space isn’t an issue on your board, this pedal sounds great in its own right thanks to its tonal versatility. Equipped with the red Fasel inductor, the CBM95 comes with our three most popular frequency ranges, which you can select by removing the bottom plate and using the internal 3-position switch. The High setting (H) gives you the same sound as the GCB95, while the Mid setting (M) gives you more of a classic or vintage sounding range, and the Low setting (L) gives you a darker sound. The CBM95 will get you close to the voice of your favorite standard-sized Cry Baby Wah and save pedalboard space at the same time.

The CBM95 retains the physical sweep range of its larger brethren so that you have just as much control over the range of the effect, and this pedal’s high quality construction mean that it can take a beating on the road. We designed the CBM95 for serious, rigorous performance—it’s not just a cute little afterthought. Since its release, the Cry Baby Mini Wah has been joined by the Cry Baby® 105Q Mini Bass Wah and the Jimi Hendrix™ Cry Baby® Mini Wah.

After 50 years, the Cry Baby line offers players more ways to express themselves than ever. There’s no better place to start than these seven Cry Baby Wahs.