The Top 10 Wah-Wah Effects For Your Pedalboard – Tips, Guides And Reviews

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Have you gotten tired of your amp’s limited options in what it can offer to enhance your tones? If you are looking to expand upon your sound with stylish and dynamic enrichment, then a wah pedal might be the solution for you. Wah is one of the oldest and easily distinguishable must have pedal effects on the market, it has found a common use in every style of play ranging from classic rock to metal. We’ve put together a well-versed list aimed to suit your needs if you’re on the hunt for your first pedal, or you’d just like a worthy addition to your already formed setup.

The Top 10 Best Wah-Wah Effects:

Image
Wah-Wah Pedal
Summary
Rating
Xotic Effects XW-1 Wah pedal
Xotic Effects XW-1 Wah pedal
Articulate and very precise expression pedal is what essentially defines this model.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Behringer Hellbabe HB01 Wah Pedal
Behringer Hellbabe HB01 Wah Pedal
Behringer once more delivers a best value model with this wah pedal.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah
Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah
Designed in cooperation with Vai, this wah pedal is definitely something else.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Dunlop the Original Crybaby Pedal 300
Dunlop The Original Crybaby
One of the oldest and definitely the best wah pedals still around.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5
Fulltone Clyde Standard Wah 300
Fulltone Clyde Standard
Used by the best, it delivers a performance that matches its reputation.
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5
Vox V847A Wah 300
Vox V847A
Very dynamic pedal with a good amount of range and good performance
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5
MXR MC404 300
MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor
Great combination of performance and reliability put this pedal among the best.
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5
Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah Pedal 300
Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon
More advanced features than usually offered, and a pretty solid core performance
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5
Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah Pedal
Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah Pedal
A different take on wah pedals that is still very much capable.
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5
Hotone SP-10 Soul Press
Hotone SP-10 Soul Press
Multi-functional model that brings great quality and performance worthy of any stage.
4.7 Stars
Total of 4.7/5

Xotic Effects XW-1 Wah pedal

Xotic-Effects-XW-1-Wah-peda-300x300

Features:5 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Let’s kick things off with a truly special wah pedal. Xotic Wah Effect Pedal offers a very old school experienced coming from a brand spanking new pedal. This thing is built like a tank, and on top of that, looks good enough to be framed on a wall somewhere. Even though we are living in a very technologically advanced day and age, Exotic Wah from Xotic has chosen to stick with what has been proven to work.

One foot switch, one expression pedal and that is about as good as it gets in terms using this thing. What comes out of the amp is going to be a whole different story. There is range, warmth and overall organic feeling in the effect this wah produces. Even though it’s on par with some of the most legendary designs out there in terms of price, Xotic Wah is still among the most well rounded and popular wah pedals on the market.


Behringer Hellbabe HB01 Wah Pedal

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Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:5 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

In 90% of the cases, versatility is a word you will hardly find in the same sentence with affordable. However, this is Behringer we are talking about after all. They’ve invented the super affordable segment of the market for guitar effects pedals. HB01 is their take on a wah pedal, and sure enough, it works great. While Behringer regularly cuts down on quality materials and aesthetic design, the type of performance you get makes up for any shortcomings. Behringer HB01 is an extremely versatile pedal all things considered.

You can adjust anything from the feedback of the expression pedal, its heel-down frequency, and so much more. With that said, we definitely don’t recommend going hard on this way. It’s not the most solid piece of gear out there. However, if money is tight and you absolutely need a decent wah, this is the one you absolutely need to check out. Behringer has managed to hit the nail on the head once again.


Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah

Morley-VAI-2-Steve-Vai-Bad-Horsie-2-Contour-Wah-300x300

Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Steve Vai’s significance and authority is something you just don’t bring into question. Being a musician of his caliber, Vai set out to build a wah pedal which he could stand behind and use on stage. The end result comes in form of Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2. There are several defining features about this model which make it particularly interesting. We are talking all quality components combined with the fact that you can grab one of these at a more than reasonable price.

In terms of performance, Bad Horsie 2 is up there with the legends. Aside from being extremely accurate and precise, it also allows you to choose between Contour and Bad Horsie mode. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, but we definitely love the amount of range you have when dialing in a Contour mode solution. At the end of the day, it’s really not as surprise to see the Bad Horsie 2 get everything so well considering who designed it.


Dunlop The Original Crybaby

Dunlop the Original Crybaby Pedal 300

Features:4.6 Stars
Controls:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:5 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

Even though we already mentioned old school above, it doesn’t gut much more old school than Dunlop Original Crybaby. Why? Because Crybaby wah was the first pedal of this type to appear on the market. Dunlop secured the rights to produce it shortly after it was invented, and ever since they’ve been refreshing this legendary model from time to time. The one we’re talking about today is the vanilla version.

Dunlop’s Original Crybaby features a bulletproof enclosure, that is made of heavy duty die-cast metal alloys. You can go all out on it and the pedal will keep up with you. The other important part of this package is the pot. It’s the 100kOhm Hot Potz unit that doesn’t know what lag is. In short, there are no fancy bells and whistles, just the core soul of the original Crybaby wah refreshed with more modern components and materials. If you are chasing that vintage sound of the early ’60s and ’70s, Dunlop’s Original Crybaby wah is a must have.


Fulltone Clyde Standard

Fulltone Clyde Standard Wah 300

Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.6 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

We’re going to dig deep into the roots of the “wah” effect once again, henceforth rises the Fulltone Clyde Standard. Based on Clyde McCoy’s well-known original wah pedal – which was a favorite of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and many more. This pedal borrows outstanding features from previous releases, and takes upon improving Vox-based inductors, which serve as an integral part of any wah pedal. This wonderful piece of work reproduces breathtaking classics in a heartbeat, coming with a much wider than usual sweep range it presents much welcomed versatility when you hammer down the footswitch.

If you don’t like the default volume tone you can easily tune it with a knob featured on the interior side. This pedal offers more than your regular wah, it’s pretty tough and it poses no threats when it comes to durability, it highlights the manufacturer’s attention to detail and quality, well worth its price and comes deservedly as a recommended pick.


Vox V847A

Vox V847A Wah 300

Features:4.5 Stars
Controls:4.7 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

It just so happens that Vox was also heavily involved in the early development of wah pedals. This definitely explains why they’ve been in hot pursuit of that pole position in this segment of the market. Vox V847A is among their most popular and most trusted models. It’s a beautiful looking wah that comes in a sturdy, professional grade enclosure. the pot is a very responsive unit that will give any other elite wah a run for its money.

In terms of tone, you are looking at a dynamic range that is available instantaneously. Again, this is among the most basic models, which doesn’t mean you get a cut down on performance. On the contrary this pedal is void of any necessary feature and offers pure wah experience to those who appreciate simplicity. One of the best traits of the V847A is its price. This is considered to be a beginner model, and thus comes at a reasonably affordable price.


MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor

MXR MC404 300

Features:4.6 Stars
Controls:4.5 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

Considering the fact that MXR is owned by Dunlop, and that the latter has been producing top tier wahs for decades, it’s no surprise that MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor wah represents something truly special. We are talking about a sturdy, reliable wah pedal which comes with several modes of operation. You can choose a standard vintage setting which will give you the type of wah tone you can hear on many legendary rock hits.

On the other hand, you can also choose a rather warm and ‘wide’ wah that is more contemporary. This fusion of new and old, iconic and innovative, is among the biggest reasons why the MC404 represents one of the best wah pedals on the market at the moment. With all that said, the pedal itself is built like a tank, using only the type of components and materials capable of withstanding the mayhem of frequent stage use. That alone makes it more than worth the investment.


Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon

Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah Pedal 300

Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.5 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

Since Ibanez entered the wah game somewhat late, they’ve decided to take a route that was vastly different from what most of the competition was using. Ibanez WD7 is a rather impressive design, which incorporates a number of interesting features. Aside from the standard expression pedal you also have range switch that enables you to choose whether you want to work in the higher end or lower end of the frequency range.

On top of that, it comes with several tone shaping controls which you can use to dial up the perfect wah tone you’ve been looking for. It might not be as glamorous as some of the models we’ve mentioned so far, but it’s really hard to beat the WD7 when it comes to practical use. Ibanez WD7 Weeping Dragon is all about performance over anything else. That is why so many guitar players prefer it over the more traditional wah pedals out there.


Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah Pedal

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Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.5 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

In some ways, adding the AW-3 by Boss is pure cheating. This pedal is more of a harmonizer which does a great job at imitating a decent analog wah. When some sees the AW-3, the last thing they are going to expect is for it to be a standard stompbox and a stompbox centered around the expression pedal. With that in mind, you can plug an expression pedal into this wah and use it in a more standard way.

If that is not possible, Boss AW-3 allows you to setup all of the parameters of your wah in advance, and then just stomp on it when you need it. In terms of tone, there is a lot of clarity and definition, all while the pedal doesn’t really sound that artificial. On the contrary, you are getting a rather organic sounding wah in an extremely compact package. In terms of price, Boss AW-3 is right there in the sweet spot. It’s affordable enough for budget.


Hotone SP-10 Soul Press

Hotone-SP-10-Soul-Press-300x300

Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:4.3 Stars
Performance:4.7 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars
Average:4.7 Stars

Soul Press SP-10 is a very interesting type of wah pedal. Instead of going for a more modern design and purpose, Hotone limited the SP-10 to a tone which closely resembles the original Crybaby wah. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s a knockoff, but more like an homage. Looking at its chassis, we quickly noticed a somewhat robust bust still easy to use. That weight and size come from Hotone refusing to give into modern trends.

Many have tried to replicate the Crybaby wah, but not many have succeeded. This SP-10 is one of those few who did. SP-10 is something we could easily recommend to a beginner. It’s a relatively affordable unit with a lot of potential that just waits to be tapped into. If you are on a hunt for your first wah pedal, we strongly suggest that you look into this Hotone. This is especially true for those who are operating on an extremely tight budget.


The Wah Effect

The origin of the wah effect dates back from the early 1920’s, when music players experimented with muted trumpets which resulted in the creation of an expressive “crying baby” tone. The earliest guitar effect pedals came much later on, in 1966 – The Clyde McCoy, the Cry Baby and the Vox. Among the first adopters of the earliest wah pedals were Eric Clapton (who was a part of Cream at the time) and Jimi Hendrix, both released official recordings in 1967 while using their wah pedals, which aided in their rise to fame.

Conclusion

If you’ve set your mind on grabbing a wah pedal, you’ll definitely find one or more matching your taste covered on our list, as we’ve carefully formed the best selection in terms of price and quality.