1980 Jen Cry Baby Super

Model Description:

The iconic Cry Baby wah-wah effect was a familiar sight on many artists’ pedalboards in the 1970s and 1980s. The original Cry Baby was made by American company Thomas Organ in the 1960s, then Italian company Jen got in on the act and finally, it is now best known as a Jim Dunlop product. The brand confusion results from the fact that neither Thomas Organ nor Jen trademarked the name, so any manufacturer could use it at the time. Jen manufactured the Cry Baby under their own name throughout the 1970s. As with many vintage pedals, some commentators point to a single component that they believe is responsible for the characteristic sound of a specific effect. The Jen-era Cry Baby is no different, with the mythology focusing on the Fasel inductor used on the simple circuit board. How unique this part actually makes the pedal sound, though, isn’t entirely clear or objectively evidenced. The ‘Super’ suffix simply indicates that it has an external power supply input… and it also helped Jen to add a handy ® to the pedal’s name.

Pedal Description:

The potentiometer in this particular Cry Baby Super dates to early 1980, indicating it is probably one of the last of its ilk before Dunlop took over the brand. The pedal is in great original condition, with only a few superficial marks to the characteristic matt black crackle paintwork. The base, so often easily scuffed, is in near-perfect condition, as is the distinctive white plastic seal between the unit and the base, complete with original rubber feet held on with slotted screws. The rubber bumpers on the underside of the treadle are missing (easily replaceable) but everything else appears to be original, including the white Fasel inductor (NB. other colours include red, yellow and green, folks). Perhaps most importantly, the pot doesn’t have any signs of ‘scratchiness’ to affect the sound. Just as it should be, the Cry Baby’s evocative tonal sweep is pure 1970s rock and funk (think Isaac Hayes and the ‘Theme From Shaft’). The pedal’s classic wah sound has been oft-imitated, though rarely bettered. This is a fantastic example of vintage cool at its most elementary. Pre-Dunlop Cry Babies are the most collectable, most interesting, and remarkably still remain modestly priced. Say wah!


  • Made by Jen Elettronica in Pescara, Italy c.1980
  • Standard footswitch under the treadle turns the effect on and off
  • Standard ¼” input and output mono jack sockets
  • 9V DC power supply input or 9V battery
  • No LED status indicator
  • White Fasel inductor
  • No box or instructions

Detail Gallery:

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