Best Wah Pedal for Guitar | Reviews to Make You Wah [2019]

Since their inception in the late 1960s, wah pedals have had an enormous impact on modern music. The device has taken center stage on some of the rock music’s most renowned tracks such as Jimi Hendrix’s classic “Voodoo Child” riff. However, wah pedals can be used to enrich much more than just rock music.

They are versatile. So, if you’re looking for that larger-than-life sound, a quality wah pedal is a must have in your arsenal. Let’s explore some of the best wah pedals on the market, so you can see what’s ideal for your needs.

Our Top Pick

If we were to pick one pedal from all those reviewed below, we would put our money on Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah Pedal. This is the best wah pedal you can find on the market today. With this device, you get some of the best wah features in a single package. It is also reasonably priced for the features it has to offer.

Best Wah Pedal Reviews 

Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah Pedal – Best Overall

True to its name, the Ibanez WD7 is the weeping demon of wah pedals. It features both range switch and range fine-tuning controls. That means you can switch between high and low frequency exceptionally fast.

 

Key Features

  • Powered by one 9-volt battery or external AC adapter
  • 35 mA maximum current consumption
  • Spring tension and pedal friction adjustments
  • Controls: level, footswitch, auto-off delay, mode lever, range switch, Q, LO, range fine tuning.

 

What I like about this product

The WD7 features a mechanical lever. With this lever, you can easily switch from the traditional switching to the auto-on switching mode, and vice versa. The tone-lock function allows you to set the Q, LO, and level control knobs before pushing them into the device to prevent accidental adjustment.

Besides the primary tone controls, this wah pedal is also equipped with an additional range control, which helps to make it compatible with seven-string, bass, and down-tuned instruments. Another remarkable attribute about this pedal is that it is effortless and quick to insert a battery into the device.

The battery compartment has no screws. With a simple push of a button, the robust function switch pops open, revealing the battery slot. Also worthy of note is that the automatic switch option also features a footboard return spring.

The spring enables you to set your preferred pressure level on both manual and auto controls. In this way, you can enhance the sound effects your Ibanez WD7 wah pedal produces.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The major issue with this pedal is that it doesn’t come with a true bypass effect, but that’s not a deal breaker. It remains a high-quality wah pedal with a pocket-friendly price.

 

 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • The solid metal case is durable and reliable
  • Variety of functions and customizable options

 

Cons

  • Bigger and heavier compared to competitors
  • No true bypass effect

 

Despite its somewhat bulky size and lack of true bypass, the Ibanez WD7 is one of the best wah pedals available on the market today. It is an incredibly versatile pedal, combining some of the hottest wah features you can get in just a single unit. The price is friendly as well.

 

Overall Rating: 4.8/5.0

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Xotic Wah Pedal – Best Flexible Wah Pedal

The Xotic Wah pedal is one of the most versatile wah pedals currently available on the market. It features controls for bias, resonance, Q, and frequency range, allowing you to set any shade of wah you want. In its default setting, the Xotic Wah is a spectacular-sounding pedal, but its extra controls will enable you to find your signature sound.

 

Key Features

  • Adjustable Q
  • One 9-volt battery
  • Bias, treble, bass, and Q controls
  • Adjustable pedal tension
  • LED indicators show when the effect is engaged
  • Internal dip switches for frequency range and resonance

 

What I like about this product

The Xotic Wah is a well-built, multifunctional pedal that delivers high-quality sound. Its closed circuit is based on the renowned Clyde McCoy wah pedals manufactured in Italy in the 1960s. It features full bass control and a true bypass system.

With these features, you can create virtually unlimited combinations of tones. In fact, Xotic Wah is one of the most adjustable pedals you can find on the market, thanks to its versatility and flexibility. Weighing about 2.4 pounds, it’s also quite light and so very portable.

 

What I don’t like about this product

While this is one of the best wah pedals you can find, it may not be a good option if you are tight on finances. It is one of the most expensive wah pedals on the market.

 

Pros

  • A wide variety of controls and adjustability
  • Comfortable to use thanks to the medium size

 

Cons

  • Quite expensive compared to competitors

 

The Xotic Wah pedal is an excellent option for anyone looking for a versatile pedal. It is well-built and reliable. It features multiple functions and delivers unique sound. With this pedal, you can create and customize an endless number of tones. However, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket to purchase it.

 

Overall Rating: 4.7/5.0

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Fulltone Clyde Standard Wah Pedal

Fulltone was established in 1991 by Michael Fuller, an inspirational composer, and guitarist. The company’s pedals are designed to produce warm, vibrant, and clean sounds. Most of them come with true bypass, and the Fulltone Clyde Standard Wah Pedal is no exception.

 

Key Features

  • 10-inch depth
  • Analog technology
  • 0.25-inch output jack
  • One 9-volt battery
  • Internally adjustable frequency range
  • True bypass

 

What I like about this product

The Clyde Standard is a solidly built wah pedal. However, it is bulkier than its competitors. It is available in Hammertone Black, Powder-coated White, and Hammertone Gray so you can choose a color that suits your personality.

It features a treadle that has a rubber slip-resistant surface. The treadle rocks back and forth quite effortlessly, promoting better control of the effect. You can adjust the tension of the treadle using the propriety “nylock” nut on the device’s side.

The pedal’s built-in internal resonance control system allows you to control your bass level fully. This feature comes in handy if you want to create several different tones. The device produces clean tones.

It also comes with an adjustable gain, which is very useful when you need to create several different tones within a short period. It’s also a valuable asset when it comes to creating a dynamic feeling of fast-changing tones.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The only thing that could hinder you from enjoying the benefits of this pedal is its price – it is quite costly and may be beyond your budget.

 

 

Pros

  • Durable, thanks to high-quality components
  • Try bypass effect

 

Cons

  • Very pricey

 

The Fulltone Clyde Standard wah pedal is a remarkable device with the capability to create outstanding tones. However, it is quite pricey and may be out of reach of some people.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Morley VAI-2 Wah Pedal – Best Modern Wah Pedal

Whether you’re looking for a unique design, a unique tone, user-friendliness, or a budget-friendly device, the Morley VAI-2 Wah Pedal won’t disappoint. It’s ideal for modern guitarists who like their sound with a traditional touch.

 

Key Features

  • Guitar or bass effect
  • One 9-volt battery
  • Two foot-selectors
  • LED indication
  • Switchless design
  • Easy-access battery compartment
  • Electro-optical design – No pots to wear out
  • Wah tone and Q set to Steve Vai’s exact specifications
  • Contour Mode – allow altering of wah frequency and level with two knobs
  • Two-year Morley warranty

 

What I like about this product

One of the remarkable things about the VAI-2 is its switchless operation. The device doesn’t have on/off switch. You simply step on it, and it starts working.

This wah pedal features a clear tone buffer circuit that delivers a pure guitar tone while upholding signal level in wah and bypass mode. This is a beautifully constructed pedal with a sleek and somewhat futuristic look.

It’s a reliable and robust device, thanks to its metal construction and runs on 9-volt battery or external power supply via a standard adapter. The VAI-2 comes with two control knobs and one button switch.

With the switch, you can choose between the contour wah mode and the classic Vai sound or the bad horsie regime. In the contour mode, the two knobs allow you to regulate the frequency of wah effect and its overall level.

When it comes to performance, the VAI-2 is quite aggressive, making it a fantastic choice for rockers. It produces a somewhat modern sound and allows you to explore various sonic areas and greatly experiment with your instrument.

 

What I don’t like about this product

This pedal is not without some downsides, however. It may take you a while getting used to playing with this device as it utilizes an optical system. At times, you’ll need to move it a little different than other pedals to get the wah effect sound.

 

Pros

  • Simple to operate
  • Two excellent-sounding modes
  • No traditional toe-down foot-switching
  • Rugged, heavy-duty steel construction

 

Cons

  • It may take a while to get used to playing with the pedal

 

Overall, the Morley VAI-2 Wah pedal is a unique and beautifully crafted device. Besides allowing you to copy the sound of the most famous guitar icons, it also allows you to create your personal tone using top-notch components and circuitry. It’s a great buy if you want something that will keep you hooked to your guitar.

 

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah – Best for Professionals

Dunlop has been consistent in offering reliable pedals for guitarists, and the 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah is no exception. If you’re looking for the best wah-wah pedal for professionals, the 535Q Cry Baby would be a great choice for you. While novices can also use it, it has some advanced features that are only useful if you have considerable experience as a guitarist.

 

Key Features

  • One 9-volt battery
  • Try bypass
  • Adjustable “Q” dial
  • Adjustable frequency range sweep
  • Switchable, adjustable boost

 

What I like about this product

The Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah is a versatile pedal. If you usually play a variety of styles, such as rock, blues, and reggae, you should try this pedal. The switches, knobs, and settings that come with the 535Q allow you to set the pedal up to play a vast range of styles.

The wah pedal features a built-in boost. That means it makes your signal louder when it is engaged. Tapping the red switch on the right side with your foot engages or disengages the boost. You can also set the level of boost you want using the small volume knob on the left.

It is also equipped with a Q control knob, which allows you to adjust the width of the wah range as you desire. On the right side of the 535Q wah pedal is a six-position selector. With this selector, you can define where the center of the wah range will be within your preferred Q.

If you want to hear the full extent of the pedal’s range, for example, you’ll need to set the frequency range selector to position one with the Q control knob closed. Likewise, to hear the other end, the frequency range selector should be set to six with the Q knob completely open.

Another remarkable attribute of the Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah pedal is its heavy-duty construction. You can expect it to serve you effectively for a good number of years.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Some users have complained that it can take a significant amount of time trying to figure out which tone will work for you.

 

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Provides complete control over the tone
  • Can work with virtually all tones

 

Cons

  • Might be complex for beginners

 

All in all, the Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah pedal is an excellent option for anyone looking for a pedal that can do it all at an affordable price. However, it may not be the right choice for beginners.

 

Overall Rating: 4.4/5.0

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MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor Wah – Best for Live Performances

Here’s another outstanding wah pedal from Jim Dunlop. What sets the MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor Wah Pedal apart from its competitors is that it has two distinct Fasel inductors. Each inductor delivers a unique, awe-inspiring tone.

You can control everything with your foot, making it a very flexible wah pedal for live performances.

 

Key Features

  • One 9-volt battery
  • Dual Fasel inductors with two unique sounds
  • Side-mounted kick-switch for switch between inductors
  • True hardwire bypass
  • Internal Q and gain adjustment pots
  • Built-in MXR MC-401 Boost
  • Long-life CTS potentiometer

 

What I like about this product

The first Fasel inductor produces a somewhat deep, warm, and plush wah effect. The other inductor delivers quite a classic wah tone that upholds a pleasant top-notch signal with exceptional responsiveness. On the side of the pedal, there’s a switch that allows you to choose your preferred inductor.

There’s also a LED light that indicates the active mode. Moreover, on the side of the pedal, there’s a little boost knob that can go up to 18 decibels. These features are complemented by true bypass.

The MXR MC404 CAE allows you to create customized effects that suit your taste. You also have the option of copying wonderful sounds played out by renowned guitarists.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The major setback of this wah pedal is that it can give you a hard time attaching to the pedal board.

 

Pros

  • Versatile
  • User-friendly
  • Noise-free
  • Highly adaptable

 

Cons

  • Can be challenging to attach to the pedal board

 

The MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor Wah is among the most unique wah pedals you can get. It boasts top-grade components and offers fantastic versatility. It is an outstanding buy if you want a wah pedal that is ideal for live performances.

 

Overall Rating: 4.4/5.0 

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Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah – Best Compact Wah Pedal

If you are looking for a compact, affordable wah pedal, you might want to see what Boss AW-3 has to offer. The AW-3 is one of the smallest wah pedals you can find on the market. Nonetheless, it is a quite solid device.

 

Key Features

  • Two-instrument input
  • One 9-volt battery
  • Bass input
  • Expressional pedal jack
  • Humanizer to simulate vocal sounds
  • Manual, sensitivity, decay, and mode controls with tempo set function

 

What I like about this product

What sets the AW-3 apart from its competitors is its humanizer function. This feature allows you to replicate human vowels, giving the wah effect a more natural touch. In addition, the device features a built-in pedal that allows for bass input expression.

When the bass input expression function is used together with the tone decay feature, you can create some awesome tones. This wah pedal also has manual sensitivity and mode controls. Each of the controls has a function that allows you to set the tempo you want.

The device runs on one 9-volt battery. It is available in a variety of colors, so you can choose what suits your personality.

 

What I don’t like about this product

However, it’s not without some setbacks. Some users have pointed out that it can be quite tricky to use, and the knobs can take you some time to adjust.

 

 

Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Ability to create and simulate vocals
  • Sounds like human
  • Manageable automatic settings

 

Cons

  • Can be quite hard to set up and use
  • Adjusting the knobs is somewhat time-consuming

 

The Boss AW-3 is an excellent option for those looking for a small and portable, but high-quality wah pedal. It is very compact and can be used by both professionals and casual players. It’s also affordably priced, and so within reach of most budgets. We only wish it was a bit easier to set up and use.

 

Overall Rating: 4.3/5.0

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Behringer Hellbabe HB01 Ultimate Wah – Best Budget Wah Pedal

The Behringer Hellbabe HB01 is a reasonably priced, multifunctional wah pedal. It can be a valuable asset regardless of the type of style or tone you use. It’s a great option if you’re working with a tight budget.

 

Key Features

  • One 9-volt type 6LR61 battery
  • Ideal for bass or electric guitar
  • Up to 15-decibel gain boost
  • Spring-back pedal function
  • Optical control – No pots or switches to wear out

 

What I like about this product

The Hellbabe HB01 is equipped with full optical control, saving you the stress of using mechanical pots. It also features a spring-back pedal. With this pedal, you can easily regulate the resistance pressure.

It comes with range control, allowing you to set your own frequency range. It also has fine tine control, which delivers exceptionally clean tones. The device runs on a 9-volt battery, but you can also power it through external power supply using a BEHRINGER PSU-SB DC adapter.

Also worthy of note is that the pedal features dual-LED indicators for both boost and effects.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The major downside of this device is that it sometimes produces some buzzing sounds, which can be annoying for some players.

 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Variety of functions
  • High-quality construction and components

 

Cons

  • Some buzzing sound can sometimes be heard in the background
  • Clicking tone when adjusting the volume

 

All in all, the Behringer Hellbabe HB01 is a very affordable wah pedal that upholds quality and usefulness. It is an excellent option for a beginner who doesn’t have a big budget for a top-quality device.

 

Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0

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Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Wah Pedal 

There is a wide selection of wah pedals on the market, and not all of them will suit your needs. There are several things to consider to ensure you purchase the best wah wah pedal for your needs. Let’s explore some of the fundamental factors:

 

  • Reliability – This is one of the most critical factors to consider. You want a reliable pedal with a tough potentiometer that doesn’t break or get rusted easily. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy using your pedal. Keep in mind that you’ll often be putting weight on the pedal, so it’s advisable to choose a sturdy and well-placed potentiometer.

 

  • Analog or digital – While most wah guitar pedals are analog, digital pedals are increasingly becoming available on today’s market. Before you make a choice, evaluate your needs and the logistics associated with each type of pedal.

 

  • Pedal range – The range of the pedal is another crucial factor. There is a vast range of sound in a wah pedal, from extreme bass to extreme treble. You don’t want to go for too bassy as your pedal may sound muddy. Likewise, too trebly can make your equipment sound tinny or harsh. Find a wah pedal that offers the right sweet spot for the sound you want.

 

  • Mechanical or optical – Wah pedals use different methods to deliver virtually the same effect. Mechanical pedals use potentiometers and gears to respond to your pressing on the pedal resulting in a change in the sound. When you step on the pedal, the motion transmutes the signal, which is transmitted to the amplifier and a wah effect is produced as a result.

 

Optical pedals, on the other hand, use lasers to detect the movement and produce the signal. While mechanical and optical pedals accomplish the same purpose, they differ significantly in terms of reliability. Optical devices don’t have components that are always stomped, so they generally last longer.

Potentiometers can also get dirty or rust. Lasers don’t have these problems. You should realize, however, that some mechanical wah pedals are more reliable than their optical counterparts. Hence, it’s advisable to consider the build quality, circuitry, and attention to details when you have to choose between a mechanical and optical pedal.

 

  • Simple vs. flexible pedal – A simple pedal is ideal for beginners who are looking to learn the basics of wah pedals. These pedals typically offer few functions to play with, while still delivering a quality wah effect. Proficient players who don’t want to change their sound too much may also find a simple pedal useful.

 

Flexible wah pedals, on the other hand, allow you to change most of the settings. These pedals are equipped with a wide variety of features. For example, you can adjust the volume and the frequency range as you desire. They also come with equalizer settings.

Flexible pedals are a valuable asset for experienced players, as they have the opportunity to achieve the exact sound they want. Unfortunately, these pedals usually are more expensive than their simple counterparts. They are also very delicate, especially in the hands of novices, thanks to their many features.

 

Final Thoughts

Wah guitar pedals are an excellent way to enhance your guitar playing experience and create rich and varied tones for your performances. There’s a wide selection of wah pedals currently available on the market. We hope this review will help you find the best wah pedal for your style of music.

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