What is it?
Danelectro DJ-24 French Fries Autowah. Mini series design in a standard plastic mini box.
As the designs in the mini series go, this is one of the ones you probably want. At heart, it is basically a EHX Doctor Q, with a tweak for smoother sounding envelope. Where the original Dr.Q may have some issues to high frequency swish, this one stays fairly quiet on those excess frequencies.
So yeah. One dual opamp and a transistor. How can it get simpler than this? Switch is there to tweak the range of frequencies that get to the driving part of the opamp making it pretty much verbatim to the old EHX design. The envelope trigger seems to be the same too. Even the values are on spot with the two schematics found online – except for one resistor.
If you’re interested, schematics for both, EHX Dr.Q and this can be found online. When compared, the only difference is 390K resistor that is 470K in Dr.Q. So one could pretty easily make Dr.Q better by swapping one resistor. Maybe even come up with appealing name and sell the mod service for a lot of money. Bigger companies ripping each other off makes me smile.
One thing to consider. This is about the half a size of Dr.Q’s nano version. Sound is better, and the price is also about a half as used unit. Yeah. It is plastic, but you could also rehouse this in 1590B enclosure, take the trimmer outside etc. You’d still have better autowah than Dr.Q for about the same price.
How does it sound?
Good. If i was to give out stars, this little thing would definitely get 4.5 on scale from zero to five. It may not be the greatest autowah out there (and it’s not), but it is responsive and clean. Swapping one resistor value does make a difference. While it smooths out the swish, it does bring the overall output level a little lower. Is it noticeable? Some people on the internet seem to think so. For me, i hadn’t noticed it until i read about it. I’m glad i got one of these.