1980s Dunlop Original Cry Baby GCB-95

Model Description:

The classic Cry Baby wah‑wah effect has been an iconic pedalboard standard since the 1960s and was made famous by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour. The wah‑wah pedal was invented in November 1966 and patented in 1970 by Lester Kushner and Brad Plunkett at American company Warwick Electronics who owned music company Thomas Organ and had distribution rights to use the VOX name in North America. The original VOX‑branded design called the Clyde McCoy Wah‑Wah Pedal hit the market in 1967 and became an instant hit. The same design was also marketed by Thomas Organ as the Cry Baby, King VOX Wah and VOX V846. Thomas Organ failed to register the Cry Baby trademark at the time, so, in practice, any manufacturer could use it at the time. The Cry Baby name was also used by Italian company Jen Elettronica for its own wah pedals, as well as those they made for VOX. Ultimately, American musical equipment company Dunlop Manufacturing Inc. acquired the rights to the brand as well as the original tooling and started producing the Dunlop GCB‑95 Original Cry Baby in 1982, basically using the original VOX design under license. Dunlop quickly introduced standardised manufacturing processes to improve consistency and reliability. As with many vintage pedals, the characteristic sound is often associated with a single electronic component. In this instance the lore surrounds the Fasel inductor used on the simple circuit board. Quite how much of a contribution the type of inductor makes is debateable, although it gives vintage collectors and marketers something to talk about. As with the earlier Jen Cry Baby Super, the Dunlop GCB‑95 Cry Baby has a handy external DC power supply input, as battery replacement means unscrewing the baseplate. Dunlop still makes the Cry Baby in a bewildering array of variants to meet the diverse needs of 21st Century guitarists. The original Dunlop GCB‑95 Cry Baby models from the 1980s are relatively plentiful on the used market and remain a remarkably affordable option for those wanting to dip their toes into vintage effect pedals.

Pedal Description:

The first Dunlop Cry Baby pedals from 1982 were the GCB‑95, also known as the Original Cry Baby, which was the lowest priced model from the outset. When many people talk about the vintage Cry Baby and its characteristic tones, this is the classic version that they are generally talking about. Accurately dating these pedals is a minefield. This one has the first version ‘Rev.C’ PCB. The earliest pedals didn’t have a DC input jack and the updated ‘Rev.E’ PCB was introduced in 1990 using jack sockets mounted directly on the circuit boards, so it definitely dates to somewhere in the mid‑1980s. I can’t tell any date code from the potentiometer and I’m not about to dismantle it further just to see if it has any relevant date information. This particular example is in superb all‑original condition for its age with just some minor paint scuffs on the baseplate and some light wear to the rubber footpad on the treadle. The monolithic dull black crackle‑finished Original Cry Baby is built like a proverbial rock and is surprisingly heavy. Sound wise, it gives you just what you would expect from THE classic wah‑wah of all time, no more, no less. As you might expect from the best of the breed, it is oh‑so easy to conjure up some fantastic vowel‑like sounds as well as nailing evocative funky ‘waka, waka’ grooves. Comparing the Dunlop with an earlier Jen Cry Baby, there really is no contest, this one does the business. The footswitch works perfectly and the pot is clear of any scratchiness. Unlike some modern wah‑wah pedals – including plenty of variants from the Dunlop stable – there are no pretentions to alternative settings, so what you see is what you get. When the fundamental effect sounds this good, do you really need any more? Thank you Mr. Jim Dunlop.


  • Made by Dunlop in Benicia, California, U.S.A. in the mid‑1980s
  • Black Fasel inductor on early ‘Rev.C’ PCB
  • 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
  • No box or instruction manual

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