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Best Wah Pedals 2024

The basic wah pedal is a versatile tone-shaping tool and, well, the most expressive of all expression-based effects, far from being just a pretext for solo histrionics. Which wah pedal is the finest for you, you ask? You can be excused for not giving it greater consideration in the past. The wah pedal, which was first designed for brass performers, eventually became popular among electric guitar players. It gained enormous popularity in the 1960s and is probably best known for Jimi Hendrix’s mind-bending music and outrageous on-stage antics. From then on, practically every notable player—including Gilmour, Morello, and Kirk Hammett—used a wah.

All of these musicians have been able to employ the wah pedal in unique ways despite the fact that it is a straightforward effect. The wah is far from a one-trick pony, as evidenced by the emotive filter sweeps on Rage Against the Machine and the cocked-wah sound on Money for Nothing. How will you personalise it? Fortunately, we’ve rocked a tonne of wahs and have seen a million of them, so we’re in a great position to suggest a variety of alternatives that don’t simply stop at the common Cry Baby. However, we’re not criticising the CB either. Hey, if Tom Morello approves, it must be decent.

Jim Dunlop Cry Baby 535Q Mini Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

JIM DUNLOP Cry Baby Mini 535Q Wah Guitar Effects...
  • The perfect balance of wah control and pedal board efficiency
  • Choose from four different frequency sweep ranges via the Range Selector
  • Adjustable, switchable boost allows you to step out in front of the mix

The Cry Baby has become the industry standard when it comes to the greatest wah pedal overall. The Dunlop Cry Baby Mini 535Q is the king of the wah pedals, giving everything you’d expect from its larger brother without taking up crucial pedalboard space. A red fasel inductor is included for more vintage voicing, as well as extras to allow you customise your wah sound.

The pedal has four frequency ranges, allowing you to go from bassier to trebly sweeps, as well as a Q knob to adjust the effect’s intensity. The boost switch engages up to a 16dB lift to give your leads some extra punch if you’re a dedicated soloist.

The 535Q is the answer if you like the voicing of the Dunlop Cry Baby but want more control sounding wah – plus it’s now available in a small shape, which is excellent for packed pedalboards. The 535Q gives you control over two of the most crucial factors – frequency centre and width – allowing you to adjust the unit’s Q and even providing a switchable boost for additional output.

What does this imply in terms of application? It implies you may fine-tune and modify the wah’s and filter’s voicing. If you haven’t found a wah that fits your sound perfectly but know you still want one, the 535Q is worth a shot. This is the Best Wah Pedal in 2023.

Morley Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah

Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah
  • Switchless design Simply step on to engage wah mode and step off to go to...
  • Two foot-selectable wah modes Bad Horsie and CONTOUR Wah
  • In contour mode two knobs allow you to alter the frequency and level of the...

Steve Vai’s distinctive wah is the most popular in the Morley range, so it’s no surprise that it’s become associated with wah voicing. The original Bad Horsie has been upgraded in this updated and improved version. Most significantly, there’s a second contour mode that lets you tweak the pedal’s frequency and tone – in other words, its voicing – to your liking.

When you step on the pedal and move it from the heel down position, it engages. This temporary movement is common with some of the higher-end Dunlops, but we’ve received complaints about how it works as well, so it’s probably better to try it for yourself. If you’re a tone purist, there’s also a footswitch that will turn off the wah completely.

Aside from the signature items of Guitar Gods, this pedal is fantastic. It has an amazing sound and a contour option that allows us to mould it to our taste. This wah pedal works a little differently than the majority of wahs on the market. It’s made utilising Morley’s Electro-Optical design, which controls the electronics with light (an LED shines on an LDR) rather than a mechanical gear and potentiometer.

Switchless operation is also available on the Bad Horsie 2. This means that when we step on the treadle, the wah is activated, and when we step off, the pedal is bypassed. It’s wonderful for dynamic wah-wah, but it’s difficult to get a static “cocked” wah out of it.

Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95 Classic Wah Pedal

Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95 Classic Wah Pedal w/2 FREE...
  • Save with this bundle. Package includes: Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95 Classic Wah...
  • 100k ohm Hot Potz potentiometer that allows for a quick, abrupt wah sound
  • Powered by the Dunlop ECB-03 AC Adapter and/or 9 volt battery Dunlop...

The GCB is an updated version of this popular vintage wah wah pedals. This pedal keeps the original red Fasel inductor’s lush and expressive nature while boosting the high-end for a more articulate and powerful guitar tone. There have been several variants of the Cry Baby throughout the years, as well as many versions of Dunlop’s cheapest wah, the GCB95, but the most recent is likely the greatest. For a sweeter sweep, it now has a red fasel inductor found in numerous vintage wahs, as well as a 100k ohm Hot Potz potentiometer for some of the smoothest wah-ing in the business.

The GCB95’s powerful sweep makes it one of the best wahs for cutting through swaths of distortion, despite the lack of customizable sweep, boosts, or anything else. Without a doubt, the Cry Baby is the most well-known wah pedal in the world. Everyone from Hammett to Morello has used it, and each player has made the pedal their own.

It gets its name from the Thomas Organ/Vox Cry Baby, the first mass-market wah. Because Vox did not trademark the name, they were vulnerable to other manufacturers stealing not only the design, but also the brand. Although Hendrix and David Gilmour are claimed to have used the Dunlop, the visual evidence and the fact that Gilmour’s Vox has been publicly displayed suggest that they mostly used Vox units. This is the Best Wah Pedal For Guitar.

VOX V847A Wah Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

VOX V847A Wah Wah Guitar Effects Pedal,Black
  • Connectors: 1/4-inch INST jack (input), 1/4-inch AMP jack (output), DC...
  • Power Supply: One 9V DC battery 6F22(S-006P)
  • Power Consumption: 540uA at 9VDC

Vox was responsible for bringing the first wah pedal to market, the Clyde McCoy, which was originally designed for wind players rather than guitarists. The Vox was the first mass-market wah, emulating the sound of a trumpet mute used as a filter, while performers like Chet Atkins and Peter Van Wood had been homebrewing devices to get the same effect as early as the 1950s.

Hendrix, Zappa, Gilmour, and Page were among the early users, and while Dunlop outsold Vox in terms of marketing, we’ve always thought the Vox to be closer to the iconic wah sound that we imagined. The voicing and filtering have a subtle difference that makes it sound more melodious to our ears.

The specs of this chrome-finish pedal are based on the original Vox V847 from the 1960s, but with modern additions like AC power and a buffered input port. Without the additional parameter adjustments, this pedal is straightforward. It simply sounds amazing. It has a retro feel to it, but with increased dynamics and noise suppression. The construction quality is very excellent. The Vox V847A wa pedal will survive the test of time while sounding fantastic!

The chrome trim of the Vox V847 is instantly recognisable, and it, along with the Cry Baby, is a pedalboard mainstay all over the world, because to two factors: its low price and ease of use.

True, there are no extra functions, and battery access isn’t ideal, but its pleasant weight keeps it firmly in place, and the process is smoother than many of its rivals. With a reworked inductor that seeks to emulate the original, as used by Page and Hendrix, and a buffered input to keep your tone in check, the tone is also there.

Jim Dunlop JP95 John Petrucci Signature Cry Baby Wah Pedal

JIM DUNLOP John Petrucci JIM DUNLOP Cry Baby Wah...
  • Based on John Petrucci’s Cry Baby Rack Wah settings
  • Ultimate tonal control of wah effect
  • Features Volume, Q, and six EQ controls inside the pedal

The sterling wah wah pedal was created by a great metal musician who toiled for years to perfect the wah pedal for metal and tone. This pedal is one of the best because it incorporates all John Petrucci has learned over the years into a sleek, smoke-chrome-finished wah pedal that gives guitarists a dream tool that oozes perfection with every play.

Based on John Petrucci’s customised settings, this is a tool that provides the maximum tonal control of the wah effect, and according to John, it’s “great for sculpting single notes or manipulating snarling, hefty chords.” You can’t go wrong with this pedal, which was designed via the hard work of John Petrucci and engineers to deliver you one of the best Wah pedals on the market.

MXR MC404 Custom Audio Electronics

Jim Dunlop CAE Dual Inductor Wah Wah
  • Select between a yellow or red Fasel Inductor for two distinct tones
  • Features a custom designed CTS extended life low noise potentiometer
  • User selectable gain output stage with kick switch and LED indicator

The Cry Baby design team collaborated with Bob Bradshaw of Custom Audio Electronics to create the MXR MC404 CAE Wah. The twin inductors are the name of the game in this case. The wah’s nature and voice are influenced by the inductor, which the MC404 has two of: yellow and red.

The guitar sound changes dramatically when the yellow and red inductors are switched using the mode switch on the side of the pedal. It’s been described as “having two wahs in one” by others. The yellow inductor intensifies the high frequencies and gives it a stronger “quack,” which is ideal for funk at this price point.

It also appears to give the sweep a greater range. The red inductor, on the other hand, is muddier, richer, and warmer, emphasising lows and mids. A boost is activated by a switch on the other side, which some guitarists may like. The MC404’s LED lights are useful for indicating which settings are currently selected. Pushing these switches is a pleasurable sensation, since all that is required is a quick tap of the foot on either side of the pedal to activate or deactivate them.