Jim Dunlop

Cry Baby Wah

Jim Dunlop's Bling Wah by Robert Kantor guitars
Ruby Red Dunlop Wah Pedal pre productionJim Dunlop Bling Wah Wah Ad

Kantor Guitars creates Bling Wah Wah pedals for Jim Dunlop Manufacturing

First some brief history on the crystals themselves

The making of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS begins with a secret family formula that has been used for over one hundred years. This formula originated from the Swarovski family and generates the foundation for the finest quality of full lead crystals, making them known as the diamond of the crystal market. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS was founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski I. This member of the Swarovski family was fascinated with glass cutting at an early age and spent nine years developing a machine that would cut crystals with extreme precision; a vast improvement over traditional hand cutting.

Although the basics of making SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are known, the complete process will continue to remain a family secret to deter replication by other crystal competitors.

Kantor's Bling Wah design for Lenny Kravitz!
Kantor's Bling Wah design for Lenny Kravitz!

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are a man-made product of raw materials using natural minerals and pure quartz sand. The minerals and sand are combined and fired for an undisclosed period of time. Once removed from firing, they go through a very slow cooling process. The slow cooling process reduces flaws and imperfections in the final product. These specialty crystals have a lead content of 32% which enables them to be categorized as full lead crystal. Even though lead is a known toxin, the wearing of crystal jewelry containing lead does not pose any health risks. Although SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are often referred to as Swarovski silver, the crystals do not contain silver and are named as such for their silver brilliant appearance. Once a solid product, the crystals are cut using a cutting machine designed by Daniel Swarovski. This machine makes it possible to cut crystals so they have as many as one hundred mirrored facets in various directions allowing light to refract creating brilliant prisms and an array of colors. The directions in which the crystals are cut are determined by a computer, then processed with a technology that simulates the cut effects in three dimension. Special metallic coatings may be painted on the crystals to capture a full spectrum of rainbow colors. After a crystal has been completed, it is polished to create a superior finish.

The making of the Bling Wah Pedal Plates

Pre production photo of Dunlop Cry Baby Pedal
Pre production photo of Dunlop Cry Baby Pedal

The process of “Crystallizing” starts with the mapping out of the areas that are to be stoned. In this particular case the technicians at Kantor Guitars look at what areas might have to bear extra stress. We fund that the top edge of the plate near where the foot actually stomps on the pedal could be a concern. In order to prevent damage to the stones we used the much smaller 3mm stones around the edge of the footboard. Proper development and engineering prevent future problems with wear and tear as this item has to be able to bear heavy road use.

pre production photo of Dunlop Cry Baby Pedal front
pre production photo of Dunlop Cry Baby Pedal front

Then a special adhesive is applied to all of the surfaces that will be stoned. A specially designed applicator enables our craftsmen to literally apply one stone at a time to the pedal plates. This literal hand made process takes one craftsman about two days to complete. The method of making these pedals is almost a lost art as you cannot rely on a computer to do the task. The plate sets are then left to cure or dry for 12 hours and are then ready for inspection prior to going back into the factory for finishing assembly.

  • Each pedal plate set uses approximately 5,500 stones to cover the areas needed on the plates.
  • Each pedal is made completely by hand.

Also check out:

Billy Idol Guitarist Steve Stevens Shows Off the Very First Cry Baby Crystal