[review] Exar MW-03 Multi Wah (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

Exar Electronics

Exar Electronics is based in Poland and has been around since 1983. Besides their own range of pedals, they also build the pedals for some other brands. Their team of about 10 people builds a wide range of overdrive, distortion and modulation pedals.

MW-3 Multi-Wah

The Exar Electronics pedal all feature the same die-cast zinc-aluminium housing, the amount of controls and the color varies between them. The MW-3 I tested has a 9v input and output but they are mini-jacks. The new version, MW-4, has a standard 2.1mm 9v input. The Multi-Wah has 4 controls. The amount of control makes this a 3-in-one pedal as you can get an envelope-filter triggered by playing dynamics, an auto-wah or a traditional wah if you use the Exar pump-pedal. The rate-control sets the frequency of the LFO-generator, depth is self-explanatory, sens adjust the sensitivity of the filter and manual the frequency of the filter. The Exar Electronics pedal have their own true bypass system called the Silent True Bypass. This system eliminates the clicking and popping noises you get with standard true bypass.

The pedal in use

One downside to having a lot of control on the effect is that it can take some time to tweak before finding the sweet spot. Unlike some other auto-wah pedals, you can really fine-tune the MW-3 to act like a standard, foot-controlled wah. The sensitivity control is very powerful and allows you to really get the feel of the pedal right. Playing around with the manual control, you can tailor the tone of the wah. Using a wah with clean sounds, you want a different sound then with gain. A lot of wah-pedals struggle with this. Having a control to tweak the frequency is just great, you can quickly change settings and have a smoother sound for clean and a more biting sound for gain tones allowing you to cut through better. I usually struggle with auto-wahs because they work on your picking dynamics. I do use a lot of picking dynamics but I still want a “big” wah sound. The MW-3 however did not disappoint me as I was able to dial it in just right so that I was still getting a nice full wah sound when picking lightly.

The MW-3 Multi-Wah is an excellent wah-pedal. You get a lot of control but this will allow you to get it to sound just right. It is definitely a lot more versatile than a standard wah-pedal so if you are a wah enthusiast, you have to do yourself a favor and try this one out, you might just have to get one!

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