Guitarists are notoriously picky when it comes to tone, often going to great lengths to achieve the perfect blend of soaring highs and rich mid tones that make the old six string so distinctive sounding. Serious players often develop a fanatical attachment to their chosen pieces of gear, from the guitar itself to the configuration of their amp and effects pedals. When it comes to tone though, one pedal rules them all: the famed wah wah effect.
The wah wah effect first emerged in the 60’s as a way for guitarists to mimic the popular sound of muted trumpets, and would go on to become a standard for many players. Today there are tons of top notch wah pedals on the market, and choosing the perfect one can seem like a daunting task. This mini guide will take you through the top ten offerings when it comes to wah pedals in order to help you make the most informed purchase possible in your search for better tone.
Dunlop’s Crybaby is the original wah pedal that set off a whole wave of guitarist’s who relied on it for its distinctive resonant filter effect. The Crybaby introduced the standard foot pedal based wah effect that involves the guitarist rocking their foot back and forth to change the expression of the sound in real time. Dunlop’s pedal is known for its rugged design which features heavy duty die cast construction that will hold up for years to come. The Crybaby can be powered with either a nine volt battery or AC adapter, and comes with a one year warranty in case you run into any difficulties.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The Electro Harmonix Wailer Wah is another fine pedal that could even give the Crybaby a run for its money. The Electro Harmonix is constructed of a durable yet lightweight plastic polymer material, and features a sleek all black design complete with the standard foot pedal. Power options include nine volt battery or DC adapter, while a true bypass is included so the player can easily toggle between on and off. The Wailer Wah produces throaty, vocal-like tones that will definitely leave an impression on wah enthusiasts.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The Vox V845 is a classic Wah Wah pedal with plenty to offer. All the standard features are present, including durable die cast aluminum construction, nine volt and AC adapter power options, and the usual foot pedal style design. This pedal offers guitarists the classic wah wah tone made famous by legends like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, though the lack of a true bypass switch will turn away some players. That being said, there’s still plenty to love about the Vox V845.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
Eschewing the standards that guitarists have come to expect from Wah Pedals, the Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon is definitely a game changer. The Weeping Demon features a distinctive metallic silver design with an oversized foot pedal that serves as a precursor to the pedal’s huge sound. This pedal gives guitarists the option of two different ways of engaging the wah effect (auto-wah and footswitch), while a number of tone dials allow the player to fine tune their sound. While it’s not the cheapest wah pedal around, Ibanez really packs the punch into the Weeping Demon, making the jump in price easily justified.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The Donner Wah Cry pedal is another solid outing in the category, featuring a black design with an included true bypass switch. One of the great things about the Wah Cry is its small footprint, which takes up a fraction of the space that most wah pedals take up without compromising the sound quality. Another added bonus is that his pedal includes dual functionality, doubling up as a volume pedal in addition to the wah effect. However, it should be noted that this pedal doesn’t run on nine volt batteries, and requires a DC power adapter. That being said it’s still a great deal, especially for guitarists looking to add a volume pedal into the mix as well as a solid wah.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
Xotic Effects offers up another solid outing with their Xotic Wah Pedal. This pedal includes a true bypass switch with LED indicator, as well as four different EQ knobs for fine tuning the output tone. This is a very versatile wah pedal that truly puts you in control of the sound, though it comes a bit more expensive than most of the other products on this guide. In addition to incredible tone, the Xotic Wah Pedal features an elegant design and a smaller footprint than most of its competitors.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
For the Hellbabe Ultimate Wah Pedal, Behringer has stuck with the classic design while adding some nice touches like tone knobs to adjust the output sound. Perhaps the most notable feature of the Hellbabe is its small price tag, which is perfect for guitarists on a tight budget. However, it should be noted that Behringer products have a reputation for being less durable than other models, so keep in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to guitar gear. That being said, this is still a great value for the price.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
Daphon’s DF2210 Wah Wah pedal is another classic outing, utilizing the standard rocking back and forth controls and a simple, all black design. While the DF2210 provides quality sound despite the low price, it compensates for this fact in other areas. For instance, the construction of this pedal isn’t as rugged as more expensive models, while the lack of a bypass indicator means you can only tell if the effect is on or off by listening. That being said, for the price this is still a quality offering and it’s sure to appeal to budget-minded guitarists.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
Boss is a brand favored by many guitarists, so it’s no surprise that their offering in the wah pedal category is a winner. An enticing feature of the PW-3 is its versatile sound, with rich mode offering a fuller low end tone, while vintage mode provides the resonant high frequencies that define the classic wah sound. In addition to top notch tone, this pedal comes with a rugged die-cast aluminum build, distinctive design and an LED indicator that lets you easily check if the effect is engaged. Like most pedals, the PW-3 can be powered by nine volt battery or AC adaptor.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The Hotone soul press is a wah pedal that exceeds expectations, bundling in volume and expression controls as an added bonus. This pedal features a distinctive red design with a compact footprint, LED indicators and true bypass. The Soul Press has been designed to mimic the Crybaby, delivering classic, foot controlled wah tones that pack a punch. Between the top notch sound quality and the lightweight design, this pedal has plenty to offer. Throw in the added effects modes and you’ve got yourself a bargain that will appeal to plenty of guitarists.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON