John from the band A Certain Groove, called the other day asking if I could install a new potentiometer into his new Ebay purchase, a late 70’s DeArmond Weeper Wah pedal. I had never seen one before but had him bring it over to see if we could handle the repair. He had the new part and after inspecting the pedal it looked to be a fairly straightforward job.
Basically most wah pedals use a potentiometer that has a knurled gear on the end of the shaft that engages with a plastic toothed rack that is tied to the foot rocker. When you are rocking back and forth with your foot in the funkiest of grooves, that rack is turning the potentiometer to allow for that variable opening of the mid and high frequencies. Mix that in with some killer 16th note skankification and you are well on your way to Funk O’Delic Nirvana. Eventually though that pot wears out after so much constant usage and/or dirt and corrosion getting into it. Then you may start to hear a scratching sound when using the wah pedal, which is a major buzzkill. Not to worry, just time to replace that potentiometer. Just confirm the rating of the original pot, (usually 100k) and order one online from a trusted guitar parts supplier.
John’s groovy wah pedal came out great after installing the new pot. The DeArmond has a really sweet tone and does not reach that super hi frequency point that so many crybaby style wah pedals do on the most forward sweep of the rocker. Here is John in the shop after testing the unit out, and also a Youtube video demoing the pedal.
If you get the chance check out his band at the following website for a gig near you. www.acertaingroove.com