Ibanez Auto Filter (AF201)

Ibanez Auto Filter (AF-201)

Here is a blast from the past – an Ibanez Auto Filter (AF201). You can think of the Auto Filter as something like an automatic Wah effect which, rather than the player having to change the tone with a foot rocker, automatically changes the tone in response to the attack of the note. Usually, quieter notes will not trigger the effect but louder ones will. However this is controllable via a sensitivity slider. You can also change the type of sweep and other filter settings:

  • Sensitivity (slider) – Determines the strength of note triggers the effect.
  • Peak (slider) – Boosts the middle frequency for more dramatic filtering.
  • Filter (LP/BP/HP) – Selects the type of filter (i.e. low pass, band pass or high pass).
  • Filter direction (Up/Down) – Selects the direction of the filter sweep.
  • Range (High/Low) – Selects the frequency range of the filter.

I can’t remember exactly when I bought this unit but it must have been in the early 1980s so it’s been around for a long time. Battered it may be but it’s still got that finky Wah effect in spades. Testimony to its rugged construction.

Here’s a example of the Auto Filter in action. The pedal has been set up with fairly low sensitivity and high peak settings. I’ve selected a high pass filter, upwards filter sweep and a high range. A Kramer Pacer Deluxe is being used set on the single coil neck pickup run through the Bluesy Sadness preset on the POD XT Pro.

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