10 Best Wah Pedals in 2019 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Although the wah pedal isn’t a guitar effect that’s as widely used as say a distortion or overdrive pedal, it is an effect pedal that guitarist are beginning to experiment with. And why not experiment with them? There are more wah pedals available than ever, so the musician can choose between one that delivers the distinctive classic wah sound or can choose one with a more unique signature.

The wide variety of these pedals may give the musician some options, but it can also make it extremely difficult for them to choose the one that’s right for them. To ease that burden, we’ve selected ten of the models that we feel are the best wah pedals, as well as a guide for using one in a way that fits your particular playing style and sound.

Best Wah Pedals Reviews & Buying Guide


#10 Behringer Hellbabe HB01

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Although this wah pedal isn’t the best one in the world and is made using plastic instead of metal, it’s still decently built and is a good budget model. In fact, the price of this pedal is probably one of its strongest points as it’s much cheaper than even the next comparable pedal. Of course, it’s not lacking in any other features, which helped it to make the list. This unit has a range of control for an adjustable heel-down frequency that makes it suitable even for use with bass guitars. It also offers the user optical control, so there’s a wear-free operation of its internal mechanics. It does occasionally make an audible clicking sound when depressed, but other than that it’s a decent pedal.

Pros:

  • Is an inexpensive budget model
  • Has Q-controls
  • Is customizable
  • Build quality is decent

Cons:

  • Pedal effects are limited
  • Sometimes makes a clicking sound

#9 VOX V845 Classic

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This guitar effects pedal is based on the design specifications of the original VOX pedals that were introduced in the 1960s. However, although it’s based on the classic design, which helps it to achieve that classic wah sound, it’s built with modern components that make this a durable, long lasting pedal. Although its sound is sometimes flat and it lacks True Bypass capabilities, it does sound better than some higher priced pedals. It’s also made with a lightweight die-cast aluminum housing that makes it extremely portable, but also provides its internal mechanisms with protections from the rigors of touring.

Pros:

  • Is an inexpensive budget model
  • Has a classic vibe to its sound
  • Is extremely well made
  • Feels durable

Cons:

  • Lacks True Bypass capabilities
  • Not the best sounding wah

#8 Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby

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Constructed out of die-cast metal and featuring a 100k ohm Hot Potz potentiometer, this product is not only designed to be durable and to take a beating, but it’s also designed to provide that quick wah sound that guitarist expects from a quality pedal. It’s a model that’s designed like a higher-priced pedal, but it only has a mid-range price. This pedal also has an amazing versatility, and by rocking up or down on this pedal, the guitarist can adjust the treble and the bass of their sound. Powered by either a 9-volt battery or by an AC adapter, which is sold separately, this unit is ready to provide the sound the guitarist needs and do it precisely when they need it done.

Pros:

  • Produces a very nice sound
  • It’s a well-constructed pedal

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with an AC adapter

#7 Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2

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This contour wah pedal may not be the cheapest pedal available, but it does provide a nice sound. It has a switchless design that can be activated by simply stepping on it to engage or stepping off to bypass. It also has two selectable modes, plus an input buffer that normalizes the sound quality and keeps the volume nice and level. This pedal also has two knobs which can alter the level and the frequency of the pedal according to the guitarist’s tastes. Although this unit can be powered by either 9-volt batteries or by an AC adapter, it doesn’t come with the adapter, and the user has to buy that separately.

Pros:

  • Has a very durable build quality
  • Has a high-quality input buffer

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with an AC adapter

#6 Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah

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This high-quality pedal is designed to really take a beating and is constructed using high-quality components. This means that it’s not only durable but delivers the sound that guitarists expect out of their wah pedal. This unit features an adjustable boost and allows the user to adjust Q-control. It also has a hard-wired on/off switch and offers six guitar wah ranges. Although it doesn’t come with an AC adapter, one can be bought separately, or it can be powered with a single 9-volt battery. All things considered, this is a high-quality pedal that should provide some lucky musicians with the wah effect they need.

Pros:

  • Has a switchable boost
  • Offers 6-different ranges
  • Has a selectable range and Q-control

Cons:

  • AC adapter has to be purchased separately

#5 Dunlop CBM95 Cry Baby Mini

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This pedal is not only half the price of traditional wah pedals, but it’s also less expensive than many mid-range models. It doesn’t take up a whole lot of space and is lighter than a traditional pedal, so it instantly saves space on a pedal board and is easier to transport to and from gigs. This product has three adjustable voicing levels—vintage, modern and low-frequency boost. And although it claims that it has a full-sweep like full-sized pedals, its sweep is a little bit shorter. It also doesn’t come with an AC adapter because that has to be bought by the musician separately.

Pros:

  • Smaller than a traditional Cry Baby
  • Three adjustable voicings
  • Saves pedal-board space
  • Has a decent mid price range

Cons:

  • Has a shorter sweep than a full-size pedal
  • Doesn’t come with an AC adapter

#4 Dunlop KH95 Kirk Hammett Signature Cry Baby

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This pedal is designed using Kirk Hammet’s unique equalizer, tone and volume settings, so it’s no surprise that it has a higher gain level than some of the other pedals it can be compared with. It also has a thick high end and delivers a full dynamic range that has to be heard to be believed. Designed with Hammet’s input, this pedal has been tweaked and tuned to deliver a true metal wah sound that’s very reminiscent of 1980s heavy metal. Although it doesn’t come with an AC adapter, and installing a battery in it can be somewhat of a pain, this model delivers results one would expect from a high-end pedal.

Pros:

  • Has a nice design
  • Is a very durable pedal
  • Has a higher gain than comparable pedals
  • Has a nice wah sound

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with an AC adapter
  • The battery is hard to install

#3 Dunlop Dimebag Signature Crybaby Wah

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With a camo paint job and a CFH logo, this cool looking wah pedal looks like it’s ready for some serious action. It was originally designed in collaboration with Dimebag Darrell, and it has an extended sweet to produce a sound with higher ends. It’s constructed using high-quality components and has skateboard skid tape on it instead of rubber. Although it doesn’t come with an AC adapter, it easily uses a 9-volt battery, or the guitarist can buy their own adapter. Other features found on this unit include a 6-range selector, volume boot LED indicators and an extended sweep range knob.

Pros:

  • Has power and boost lights
  • Has two output jacks
  • Has an extended sweep range knob
  • Produces a unique wah sound

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with an AC adapter

#2 MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor

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This pedal was designed by Bob Bradshaw and is made from some of the finest components available. It also has a design that allows it to hold up quite well to frequent use. This unit has a true hardwired bypass, internal pots for Q-gain adjustments and a high-quality CTS potentiometer. This unit doesn’t come with an AC adapter and may cost more than some comparable pedals, but it is a quality product. Some of the features which can be found on this unit include side-mounted boost kick switches, bright operation status LEDs and a built-in MC401 line driver. It is also equipped with high-end and low resonance voices.

Pros:

  • Produces a great sound
  • Extremely well-built pedal
  • Has an extended life potentiometer
  • Has true hardwired bypass

Cons:

  • AC adapter has to be bought separately
  • Cost more than other pedals

#1 Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon

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This wah pedal has a high-quality design and is well constructed using quality components. It has a footboard spring that can be adjusted for either more resistance for a stiffer feel or less resistance for a looser feel. The mode of this unit can be turned on or off with the footswitch or with its auto switch. This pedal has a Q-control knob and a knob for the level. Although it doesn’t come with an AC adapter, the user can buy their own for use with this model or can use a 9-volt battery. Taking everything into consideration, this is one of the best wah pedals currently available and is definitely worth a look.

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile wah pedal
  • Is reasonably priced
  • Produces a high-quality effect
  • Adjustable footboard resistance

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with an AC adapter

More products also worth checking out:

Wah Pedal Tips & Tricks

The wah pedal has been an effect that dates back to the 1960s, and it’s one that’s easily recognizable by both musicians and non-musicians alike. Which makes it somewhat curious that these pedals aren’t usually the first pedals that aspiring guitarists add to their pedal-board. Which is a shame, because this effect can really transform a guitarist’s sound when used appropriately of course.

Some musicians may not be enthusiastic about this pedal because they may not understand some of the basic tips for getting the pedal to do what they want it to do. With that in mind, we’ve included some basic wah pedal tricks which can get guitarists started with using this pedal. Let’s get this party started and jump right into it, shall we?

The Classic Screech

Anyone who loves the screech that Jimmy Page used on the Led Zepplin song “Whole Lotta Love” is going to love using the wah pedal to achieve this effect. Although we believe that Jimmy Page actually used a treble boost to achieve that sound, the same effect can be achieved by turning the pedal on and then putting it in the toe down position and leaving it there. 

Using the Wah for Phrasing

Some musicians have famously used the wah pedal as a phrasing tool by letting it sweep across a block of different notes. It’s a technique that’s effectively used by Alice in Chains and can really add a little bit of punch to a guitar section and make them almost sound like a human voice. 

The Filter Sweep

A wah pedal can also be used in place of a filter effect pedal to create a filter sweep that has somewhat of a downtown funk to it. This effect is achieved by raising or lowering the pedal across a four-bar phrase. It’s a great way to build tension towards the end of a musical section. 

A Filtered Tone

Instead of using the wah pedal for a filter sweep, it can be used to create another filter effect trick by leaving the pedal on the point in the score where the tone really comes alive. This is shown to be effective in during such songs as Fade to Black where Kirk Hammett used it for the intro solo. 

Throw it in Reverse

The last trick worth mentioning is a reverse wah effect. Instead of using the wah to sweep from low to high-frequency notes, it’s used to go the opposite way. This technique may be difficult for some guitarists to achieve, but it does produce a remarkable effect. 

Put After The Distortion Pedal

Most guitarists use the wah pedal as the first effect before the distortion pedal. However, it doesn’t have to be used this way. It can be swapped out with the distortion pedal to create a sound that Carlos Santana and Queen fans should be quite familiar with hearing. 

Additional Wah Pedal Tips

Before we go, we’d like to introduce a few extra wah pedal tips so that you can get the most out of your pedal. Below are some of these tips to consider:

  • Familiarize yourself with your wah pedal
  • Feel free to experiment with this pedal
  • Rock forward on the pedal as you bend notes upward
  • Trying rocking on the wah pedal to the rhythm of the song
  • Avoid using the pedal in a repetitive manner
  • Remember, using this pedal too much can be as bad as not using it all
  • Above everything else, be sure to have fun!
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