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November 17, 2009


The effect known as the wah pedal has been used in songs like Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Cream’s White room, Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade, and many countless other iconic songs throughout rock history. Used as a way of putting more expression and “voice” into a guitar melody, this effect has been heard time and time again in many different forms. At Dunlop we’re proud to be the world’s leader in wah pedal technology with the Crybaby.


Today we’re going to take a closer look at the Crybaby 535Q. This is basically a standard Crybaby with fully flexible options, and is the closest thing you’ll get to the ultra-customizable Crybaby Rack Unit.


With the 535Q you have the ability to take control over your wah tone. You can select your frequency range for the “sweep” of your pedal and then further adjust the intensity with the “Q” control. Once you’ve got your sound, make sure it gets heard with a variable boost of up to 16db that can create endless sustain on any note.


The 535Q works like a standard Crybaby, but adds a whole slew of customizable functions. But before we get into those lets take a look at how a standard Crybaby works.


How it works

A wah pedal works by rocking your foot back and forth on a foot pedal, this creates a peak in the frequency response that can be “swept” up and down the frequency spectrum. You should hear a dramatic “wah sounding” emphasis when your frequency range hits the notes you are playing.


What all this means is that when you hit a note on the guitar and you adjust the wah pedal, it produces a vocal like “wah” as you go from heel to toe when you “sweep” the effect. By rocking your foot back and forth on the pedal, you can change the effect that the crybaby has on the tone of your instrument. Toe down will give you more treble; heel down will give you more bass. The speed and amount of the effect you use will depend on your style of playing. When placing the pedal in one position, you will hear a boost in that particular frequency. This boost can be used to add sustain and create feedback of a desired overtone.


The 535Q adds the ability to adjust the sweep range, peak intensity, and boost control. We’ll go over those features here…


Wah Range

The wah range selector knob allows you to select a tonal range that is best suited for your expression needs. By turning the knob clockwise, you get lower register ranges and counter-clockwise for the higher ranges. High ranges tend to sound more punchy and sharp as in Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile, while lower ranges have a more deeper growling feel like Jerry Cantrell’s Chewy.


Q Control

The Q adjustment controls the sharpness of the bandpass filter. High Q is a very selective and sharp, choose a high Q in combination with high gain for super shrill leads. The lower Q settings has a very broad bass and has more of a musical quality that doesn’t affect your tone as much as high Q settings.


Boost Control

By turning the volume control knob you can control the amount of gain in your signal. Turning the knob clockwise will increase your gain to up to 16db. Hit the red boost button to activate the boost. This is great for any lead work that you think might need a kick.


Pedal Order

Most players put their wah pedal before any time based or ambient effects such as reverb, delay/echo, chorus, flange, and vibrato. This adds the effect to their selected wah sounds. Distortion followed by wah sounds very different from wah followed by distortion. The former, distortion then wah, causes the wah wah to make a very overstated, duck-like quacking. The opposite way is much more subtle.



How to use it

You can get a broad range of custom sounds with your 535Q. Here are a dozen examples of the most unique and distinctive wah wah tones for you to try, but as always experiment for yourself until you find your own voice.


Artist List

Jeff Beck

Joe Satriani

Larry Carlton

Chad Kroeger – Nickelback

Jim Root – Stone Sour, Slipknot

John 5 – Rob Zombie

Troy Van Leeuwen – Queens Of The Stoneage

Steve Lukather

Robert Randolph


Warren di Martini – Ratt

Adrian Smith – Iron Maiden

Wes Scantlin – Puddle of Mud

Mike Shinoda – Linkin Park

Audley Freed – Nashville Session Ace

Vivian Campbell – Def Leppard

Neal Schon

John Frusciante – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Mike Einziger – Incubus

Jennifer Batten – Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson

Lee Altus – Exodus

Warren Haynes – Allman Brothers

Derek Trucks

Kenny Wayne Shepard

Marcus Miller

Fredrick Akesson – Arch Enemy

Synyster Gates – Avengened Sevenfold

Billy Martin – Good Charlotte

Michael Amott – Arch Enemy

Robin Finck – Guns N Roses

Dave Kushner – Velvet Revolver

Josh Rand – Stone Sour

Stephen Carpenter – Deftones

Matthew Tuck – Bullet For My Valentine

Vivian Campbell – Def Leppard

Joe Hahn – Lincoln park

Steve Vai – Solo Artist

Adam Jones – Tool

Marco (Maus) Biazzi – Lacuna Coil



Comments (36)

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Category: Cry Baby, Tech Tips

  • oguzhan demir

    crybaby 535q is life 😀 no word anymore xD

  • oguzhan demir


    Boil over
    Alive and kicking

    😀 acrostic crybaby xD

  • we need more setting for 535Q to get kirk hammet tone

  • Casillademariano

    can somebody tell me if the 535q wha has true bypass????

    • Yellowfattybean

      *The 535Q is almost true hardwire bypass. While the circuit is arranged for true hardwire bypass, there are very large resistors hanging off the input and output. These act to discharge any leakage from input and output capacitances, thus reducing the amount of ‘pop’ heard during switching. You must remove R41 and R42 in order to make the 535Q true hardwire bypass.

      • Guest

        I believe that the newest production models have omitted R41 and R42 by default. If in doubt, just check to see if these two are populated on the PCB. 

        • guest

          I’ve got R42 on a newer one, can’t find R41.  I’ve tone suck, so I was gonna try to pull them out.

          • guest

            Did you pull the r42 out? I can’t find an r41 on mine either. 

          • Robert

            R41 is hiddden under the ribbon cable leading from the main board to the wah’s potentiometer board. as in C1.

    • Sam McRae

      Yes it has “true hardwire bypass”. It utilizes a DPDT switch to accomplish this.

  • what!?

    Lincoln Park??????

    like seriously?

    • Anonymous

       linkin park sucks ass so they would rather not embaress the crybaby name by ading them in

    • linkin park sucks dick

      lincoln park my ass

      • Stating the Obvious

        Yes, they are quite awful.

  • Cathode42

    can somebody tell me if the older 535 (the non-Q model ) crybaby wah has true bypass?

  • Philip

    I would also like to know if I have an older model of the 535. I have a 4 way selector, red and green LED lights, and gain knob located on the bottom of the pedal

    • Tiger

      Sounds like an BB-535. I have one from the mid 90’s.

  • Francisco_silverio

    Jimmy page! he uses it in Dazed and Confused, how can u miss it?

    • Franciscoisadumbass

      do us all a favor and take your hand and slap in on your face.  Page never used a 535Q, or any crybaby for that matter. He used thomas organ model vox’s.

  • joerock

    i would like a printable list of these artists wah settings…for the dunlop-535Q-(Joe Satriani) (Chad Kroeger – Nickelback) (John 5 – Rob Zombie
    (Mike Shinoda – Linkin Park) (Vivian Campbell – Def Leppard) (John Frusciante – Red Hot Chili Peppers) (Warren Haynes – Allman Brothers) (Synyster Gates – Avengened Sevenfold) (Robin Finck – Guns N Roses) (Dave Kushner – Velvet Revolver
    (Joe Hahn – Lincoln park) (Steve Vai – Solo Artist) (Marco (Maus) Biazzi – Lacuna Coil) or post it on this wah pedal page

    • Zim Zaboom

      just click on the pic (there are 2 files) and save image as. Add salt, then print

  • Gammcl

    Is it possible to fit an LED to the 535Q?

  • Kit Storenzzo

    hi i´m new at this but I´d appreciate any kind of help, recently I acquired the 535q and previously I had a digitech rp2000 fx proccesor, the issue here is that when I connect them Wah-fx-guitar, the wah is overstated and practically works as a volume regulator, can any tell what i´m doing wrong, my amp is an fender 65r

    • Galileo

      Well, the real issue is when you rectify the negative side of the signal with a decomposed modulator, the positive ions react and because its is a digital sound, the human ear cannot hear what is really coming out of the speaker. Mathematically it should work but our ears just can’t process the sound. I hope that clears it up for you.

  • Luke juszczak

    I have a 535Q and a while ago I noticed that at certain points (toe down specifically) it cut out the signal entirely. Upon further investigation it turned out to be the point where the actual switch makes contact with the actual pedal (imagine the point to be where the foot switch is right before you click it off, resting on the pot or whatever it’s called). I didn’t have cash to fix this problem so I switched to using the GCB-95 I have, which completely gave out not too long after the 535Q. So I’ve been using the Morley Bad Horsie Wah 2 and it’s been working just fine, but… I really want that sound and variety of the 535Q, I don’t know the appropriate foots witch that it uses, nor do I know how to solder. Can anyone help me out on any info on this? and can approximate an estimate for replacement and installation fees?

  • rotorblade

    what’s the difference with the 535(no Q)?

  • The r41 resistor is up by the foot switch and the r42 is by the output jack. OMG, why do they put these in there? I have an old pedal (10 years) and it’s now getting a little scratchy on rare occasion on high gain crunch with my Marshall and damn I wish I knew about these resitors before. Go ahead chop them out. You don’t need them and the sound is much better. Thanks, yellowfatty bean!! Rock On!! I’m getting a new one and do this to it!

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  • joseph with scissors

    it left out bumblefoots setting in the diagrams above, and also the setting to maggot brain!

  • Manuel Pincheira

    Has anyone used with an electric bass?
    What would be the recommended settings?

  • JD

    How many milliampere needs the baby?

  • Ryan Huffman

    I bought a crybaby 535Q years ago. I have had it fixed at least four times. It never lasted more than a couple gigs without breaking again. I love the tone and everything of the pedal though. I just recently found it again. I can run through it just fine, but when I activate it’s like muting my amp. Either no sound or very little sound comes out. If you strain to hear it when a little sound us coming out, the actual effect is still working. Has anyone had thus problem? Ideas on how to fix it for good?

  • Brad Ivie

    Are these two resistors found in the Q95 model?? I’m trying to find a “true bypass” mod for it with no luck. Havent heard about the R41 and R42 until now, I wonder if they are in the Q95 maybe if taken out it would have a true bypass? Or do I have to sell the Q95 and purchase a 535Q to get full bypass from the effect? For the Q95 NEVER really shuts off, I didn’t notice it on my Marshall Valvestate, but on the Orange all tube amp head you can definitely hear that the effect is in there even with it in the all the way up off position. Anyone got a cure? Or do I get a different one?? HELP! Thanks.

  • Zim Zaboom

    Buckethead should also be on that list