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Best wah Pedal to Create the Most Distinctive Wah Sounds 

 June 1, 2021

By  Zen Chung

If you are a guitarist and feel like your music is missing something, you may need a pedal. Using wah pedals when playing the guitar gives you the best wide range of natural sounds. The best wah pedal will help you modify that sound in the most natural way to get different effects.

Pedals have been used for a long time by famous guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. The best wah pedals will elevate your music to different levels by changing the tone of the guitar. Wah pedals are different and offer different Q for the filter, voicing, and range; they are also simple and relatively small; therefore, portability is not an issue.

If you wonder how a wah pedal works, it works by engaging a band bass filter with a resonant peak at its low pass roll-off frequency. The bese pedals allow you to move the frequency of the resonant peak up and down.

We shall now see the best wah pedals, which can help you boost the tone of your music, to help you understand and choose one wisely.

1. Cry Baby Standard Wah (GCB95)

Cry Baby Standard Wah (GCB95)
  • Heavy Die Cast Construction
  • Powered by the Dunlop ECB-03 AC Adapter (not included) and/or 9 volt battery
  • Dimensions: 10" x 4" x 2-1/2"
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs.
  • Color: Black

If you are looking for the best wah pedal, then you just found one! Cry baby wah pedal has been in the world of music since the late 1960s, and it offers versatility in its services. It has different effects on the tone of your instrument, and you can change that depending on what you desire, and this makes it one of the best wah pedals.

Toe down gives more treble, while heel down will give you more bass. However, the speed and amount of effect you get are dependent on your style of playing.

You can also add, sustain, and create feedback of the desired overtone with this pedal. This cry baby wah pedal is constructed with a heavy die-cast to serve you for the longest time possible without getting damaged or wearing out.

It features a 100k ohm hot potz potentiometer, which will provide you with a quick and abrupt wah sound. You can either power it with an optional Dunlop ECB-003 AC Adapter or use a 9-volt battery. Either way, you will get the desired overtone.

Pros

  • One year warranty.
  • Easy to use.
  • Powered by battery and AC adapter.

Cons

  • Very heavy.
  • Neither the 9v battery nor the AC adapter is included.

2. Jim Dunlop Cry Baby GCB-95 Classic Wah Pedal

Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95 Classic Wah Pedal w/2 FREE Patch Cables
  • Save with this bundle. Package includes: Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95 Classic Wah Pedal...
  • 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 Crybaby...
  • Heavy die cast construction for years of reliability Dunlop Crybaby Dunlop...
  • Dunlop Crybaby Dunlop Crybaby guitar pedal Crybaby foot pedal Crybaby wah effect...

This Dunlop cry baby wah pedal is a wah pedal that will serve you well as you can use it when playing any music genre, including jazz, rock, metal, and country music, among others. You will need a 9V- battery to operate with it; you can also use the Dunlop ECB-03 AC adapter.

Jim Dunlop's cry baby is among the best wah pedals and it should find space in your studio as it creates expensive effects and still keeps getting better. Its 100k ohm hot potz potentiometer allows it to create a quick and abrupt wah sound that will make you stick to your guitar all day.

Dunlop classic wah pedal is constructed with a heavy die-cast material to make it more durable. The heavyweight also makes it still while in use and therefore does not move back and forth as you play the guitar.

With this wah pedal, your guitar will sound better even without the wah effect; press the wah up and down to get the classic effect of this Dunlop cry baby wah pedal. Jim Dunlop wah pedal works well with a mono jack but will not work with a stereo jack.

Pros

  • This classic wah pedal is easy to use.
  • It is versatile.
  • Has two power supply options.
  • It is built with a heavy die-cast.

Cons

  • It does not come with a DC adapter, and you have to buy it separately if you need one.
  • It does not work quietly.
  • It breaks easily.

3. Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal

Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal
  • Brand: MOOG
  • Product Code: ACCEP003
  • Perfect weight and balance, along with superb craftsmanship
  • The EP-3 is a robust and reliable universal expression pedal designed to work...
  • It features a newly designed cam system with extremely smooth performance and...

Moog EP-3 Expression pedal is a universal, reliable, and robust pedal designed to work with any synthesizer, keyboard, or pedal with an expression or CV input. It features perfect weight and balance for a great performance.

Its newly designed cam system offers smooth performance and durability. The cam system ensures that this wah pedal is compatible with non-Moog products. It features a scalable output knob for specifying music range; this means you control your tones, and you can alternate between them.

The 1/4" output jack found on the front of the Moog pedal allows for the use of a 6.5' cable, which comes with this pedal, and you can also choose a different cable length that will suit your needs entirely depending on how far apart you set your instruments. You can modify this pedal by tightening or loosening the screw found on the side; this will create a smooth performance.

Pros

  • It stays in position during the performance.
  • It has a polarity switch to connect with various instruments.
  • Compatibility with keyboard, synthesizer, and other pedals.

Cons

  • The taller size makes the foot feel cluttered.

4. Cry Baby 535Q Mini Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

Cry Baby 535Q Mini Wah Guitar Effects Pedal (CBM535Q)
  • The perfect balance of wash control and pedal board Efficiency
  • Four different frequency sweep ranges to set your own tonal character
  • Adjustable, switchable boost allows you to step out in front of the mix
  • Q control shapes wash response from narrow to wide
  • Equipped with the legendary red Fusel Inductor

If you want the effect of a cry baby, but you want to have control over your tone, the 535Q will do you good. This mini wah guitar is perfect for crowded pedalboards because of its small size.

This cry baby mini wah pedal gives you the control of frequency center and width, allowing you to modify the Q of the unit. It as well offers a switchable boost for extra output.

You have all the control you will need, and this means you can fine-tune and customize the voicing of the pedal and its filter. The settings give a wide range of wh to fit your needs.

Pros

  • Cry baby mini is easy to use.
  • It occupies minimal space on your pedalboard.
  • It is also versatile.

Cons

  • LED light does not show users when the pedal is on or off.

5. Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah Pedal

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 bypass
  • 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 wah
  • Clear Tone buffer circuit ensures pure guitar tone and maintains signal level in...
  • Easy access battery compartment LED indication and two year warranty

Vai Bad Horsie 2 contour wah is a switchless design which means that if you want to engage the wah mode, you simply step on it. To engage full bypass, step off; this will save you from many worries like accidentally hitting the switch while playing. Its handy spring also returns the Morley steve vai bad wah into position.

This wah pedal also allows adjusting its off time between 0-2 seconds with its trim pot. The steve vai bad horsie wah pedal features dual wah modes which control the tone and level.

If you turn the knob clockwise, it will increase the treble frequencies, which you can use to mimic a vintage wah tone. On the other hand, if you turn the knob anticlockwise, it will mellow the wah out for a more subtle wah sound.

The level control will allow for up to 15 db of clean boost in contour mode, which will help you level out in the mix and boosts your signal for the solos. Morley steve vai bad it is featured with a LED light which indicates when it is on and off. The battery compartment is easy to access; therefore, you can change your batteries easily.

Pros

  • It produces distinct and clear wah sounds.
  • It is switchless for easy operation.
  • Dual wah nodes.

Cons

  • It does not include battery or the AC adapter.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Wah Pedal

Getting the best wah pedals is not such a hassle. When you want to get the best effects on your guitar's tone, you will need a wah pedal that will work well with your guitar and produce the smoothest effects imaginable. Some features are a must-have while others are a bonus, all depending on what you want. Therefore, we shall look into the factors you need to consider before you order that wah pedal. Do not just buy blindly. First be sure that it is what you want, and has features that make it fall in the list of the best wah pedals.

a). Budget

How much are you willing to spend on a wah pedal? This should be the first question you ask yourself. Are you looking for a good quality wah that will cost you a lot of money, or do you want a low-priced wah to start you off as you plan to get a better one? If you intend to get the best wah pedal, you may need to spend a little more because of its features and effects. While spending a little may not give you the best, it will give you a pedal that will still get you effects and produce a wah sound which you will enjoy. Therefore, as you plan to buy a pedal, check your pocket and ensure that it is within your range.

b). Durability

Once you know how much you will set aside for the wah pedal, check durability. You don't want to buy a wah pedal that you will be using for fear of breaking it. Consider buying a wah-wah pedal with a good solid construction that guarantees its quality. A guitar pedal is a tool you will be using with your foot; this means you will need one that can withstand all your steps during a performance. If you buy a weak wah pedal, it will not last to give you the same effects on your tones for a long time. Instead, you will be going to the store again shortly. Therefore, if you want to cut your trips to the store and get the best wah pedal, you may consider putting much concentration on its durability.

c). Sound

Sound quality is as important as the quality of your wah-wah pedal. If you consider buying a pedal for studio or home use, average quality will still do the trick. However, if you want to buy a pedal for professional use or music production, you will need nothing less but a wah pedal with great wah sound effects. It should have the ability to add tunes when your guitar does not have the smart controlled harmony.

d). Size

You may consider the space available before purchasing your wah pedal. If you have enough space, then the size of the pedal will not be a limiting issue; however, if you have limited space, you will consider getting a smaller wah-wah pedal so that it fits. Most wah pedals are bigger, but you can get a mini like the Dunlop cry baby mini is one of the best wah pedals, and it is small, so it only requires a small space. It is worth giving a try if you have less space.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Wah Pedals

1. What does a wah pedal do?

A wah pedal changes the tone of our guitar's signal. When you push the pedal downwards, the tone will change from bass to treble. The treadle movement will allow you to change the frequency of the resonant peak, which alters the sound. Pedals are also useful in setting the treadle in a static position, leading to the cocked tonal frequency.

2. What budget is required for wah pedals?

The best wah pedals with special features come at a little extra price than basic and lack many features. However, depending on what features you want, you can get pedals at very low and affordable prices, like tens of dollars, and some can also be very costly and can go up to hundreds of dollars. Therefore, only you can determine how much you are willing to spend on a pedal, depending on your budget.

3. Where is the peak on a wah pedal?

For foot-controlled sweep mechanisms like the classic wah pedal, the resonant peak is found at the upper cut-off frequency, resulting in a wah sound when the pedal is closed, and when the pedal is open, an "aah" sound is achieved.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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