Say wah? The GCB95 Dunlop Original Crybaby is as iconic as they come. It was among the first guitar pedals, a real game changer that remains popular to this day. Despite the passing and time and the existence of several upgraded crybaby effects, the Dunlop Original Crybaby remains among the best wah-wah pedals money can buy.
The wah-wah concept emerged in the ‘60s as an attempt to mimic a trumpet mute effect. By using frequency filters with resonant peaks around the cutoff point and moving this cutoff parameter with a rocking pedal, you achieve a similar sound. This was a groundbreaking sound, and early adopters like Jimi Hendrix used it to redraw the map of guitar music.
I bet you’re wondering how well it holds up in 2019. So, let’s have a look.
Dunlop Original Crybaby Sound
If you’re wondering more precisely what the Dunlop Original Crybaby sounds like, you can just look back at classic songs like Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo child. It has the same overall design as it did in 1967, and it sounds the same. The only notable change is a better bypass and a cleaner general tone. It’s smoother than the various special editions that feature more aggressive filters.
David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd fame, uses the Dunlop Original Crybaby a lot. Examples include the legendary solo on Comfortably Numb, the riffs on Another Brick in the Wall, and the seagull effects on Echoes. This same wah is what shaped Eric Clapton’s riffs and licks, both in Cream and as a solo artist.
When you push your toe down, the resonant filter sweeps up and goes “wah.” Push your heel down, and it muffles the sound. Wiggling it back and forth breathes life into the most basic chord progressions and licks. And let’s not forget those classic cop show “wicka-wacka” riffs, courtesy of the Dunlop Original Crybaby.
The Dunlop GCB95 wah has a warm vintage tone that’s ideal for funk, jazz, and classic rock. Combine it with a classic distortion pedal like a Big Muff, and you get that wild Hendrix-style sound. Distorting further into hard rock and metal territory, the Crybaby will give you those wailing lead sounds of Zakk Wylde and Kirk Hammett.
A Dunlop Original Crybaby will sound good with virtually any electric guitar. Traditionally, Stratocasters were the favored guitars, so single coils help you nail that retro sound. However, humbuckers sound amazing too, especially with a good overdrive.
Dunlop Original Crybaby Features
The Dunlop Original Crybaby adheres to the initial Thomas Organ design from 1966. It has a tank-like metal chassis with a strong rubber grip pedal surface. Four rubber pads keep it in place and protect your floor. There are no complex settings, and you turn the effect on and off by pushing your toe down all the way. With no flimsy parts, you can expect the Dunlop Original Crybaby to last for ages.
A silent bypass circuit is vital for an effect you’ll turn on and off, and the Dunlop GCB95 doesn’t disappoint. All the circuitry is high-quality and produces a clean, powerful sound.
- Size; 10 x 2.5 x 4 inches
- Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Impedance: 800 kΩ in, 10 kΩ out
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 89dBV heel down, 98dBV toe down
- HP filter range: 1.5k Hz – 2.5 kHz
- LP filter range: 350 Hz – 450 Hz
- Max gain: 19.5 dB
- Power requirement: 9-volt battery or power supply (not included)
Even by today’s standards, these specs are impressive. Read more details in the crybaby manual here.
Is a Dunlop Original Crybaby Worth Buying?
In one word: yes.
The undying classic Dunlop Original Crybaby deserves its popularity. That classic wah sound reinvented the electric guitar and shaped several genres of music. That being said, it’s more than a nostalgia-inducer, as its sound fits in modern contexts as well. When a pedal remains a widespread favorite for over 50 years, there’s a good reason.
In fewer words, the Dunlop Original Crybaby is a well-rounded wah pedal with a rich history at a good price. It’s easy to use, and it sounds how you expect a wah pedal to sound. It’s the origin and the golden standard to this day.
Thank you for reading, I hope this helped you decide. See my section on guitar pedal reviews for more.