Why do you need the best wah pedal?
That’s pretty obvious. You see, a wah-wah isn’t just ‘another guitar FX pedal’. It’s ‘that’ pedal. The one that SCREAMS “Jimi Hendrix” & opens up a whole new envelop of funkish tones. Sounds that were later popularised by the likes of Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards since the late 70s.
And what with Nile being one of the most successful music producers to date, with his funkish wah-like tones being (a large part of) the reason behind his success, it’s hardly surprising that wah-wah pedals are so popular. Team that with all the other famous faces who’re said to incessantly use a wah – Kirk Hammett, Tom Morello & Eric Clapton etc. – & it’s easy to understand why the best wah pedals are highly sought after.
Question is though, what is the best wah-wah pedal? Is there even such thing? Read on & we’ll reveal everything we know about this iconic guitar FX pedal.
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The best wah wah pedals @ a glance…
10+ of the best wah pedals you can buy…
Name the best wah pedal – exactly, you can’t!
And that’s because, like most music gadgetry these days, a good quality wah wah pedal is hard to come by. In fact, there’s that many good pedals out there that it’s a struggle to make a choice. Some are compact, others are easier to use – & there’s some that just look ‘sensational’ as part of a pedalboard. So much so that we struggled to find a good wah wah pedal ourselves… there’s THAT many!
Exactly why we’ve done all the hard work for you; choosing the best wah pedal for you, couldn’t be easier. Simply read on & we’ll reveal our top picks…
1: Donner Vowel 2 in 1 wah & volume pedal
2: Vox V847 wah pedal
3: Jim Dunlop Jimi Hendrix wah pedal
4: Mooer Audio The Wahter pedal
5: Jim Dunlop The Original Crybaby pedal
6: Electro-Harmonix guitar wah pedal
7: Fender Tread-Light wah effect pedal
8: Dunlop JC95B Jerry Cantrell
9: Morley PFW2 wah fuzz
10: Hotone Wah effects pedal
Cheap Wah Pedals (around £100): the best wah pedal for beginners…
While wah pedals (typically) get better the more £$€ you spend, not everyone has a bulging back pocket & can justify spending 3 figures on a wah pedal.
Something that’s completely understandable, especially if you’re a beginner who’s having to kit out your pedalboard from scratch. Because let’s just say that not all budget wah pedals are good – there are some you should seriously avoid! In which case, if you’re after a wah, but don’t want to shell out an eye-watering amount of £$€, then you may be interested in this…
What we consider to be the best cheap wah pedal for sale today…
11: Behringer HB01 Hell Babe wah
Here’s one of the best portable wah pedals…
Not everyone’s a fan of standard-sized wah pedals.
So in the case you’re looking for a pedal to take on tour, or simply after a way to free up space on your pedalboard, a mini-sized wah may be just what you’re after. Plus, if your current wah is starting to show its age, then even a mini wah may come as a significant improvement. All of which beggars the question, what is the best small wah pedal you can buy?
Let’s just say that if it was us spending the £$€, then this would be the wah we’d opt for..
12: Jim Dunlop Cry Baby 535Q mini wah
Which wah pedal is best? Our editor’s choice…
Narrowing down the best wah pedals was hard enough, let alone singling it down to just 1. So instead, we’ve settled on 2. The first being the pedal that we’d pick if we were a serious player or pro guitarist. That being the…
Jim Dunlop Jimi Hendrix wah pedal = Best Wah Pedal Overall
And we say so for good reason. Yes, Jimi Hendrix was the legend who practically invented the wah pedal, & therefore not to crown his pedal the best would be a bit of an insult. However, there’s more to it than that – don’t be fooled into thinking we’re soft.
See, this pedal does an awful LOT to earn the title of the best wah. Let’s just say you’ll struggle to find a wah that feels this natural to play. The relationship between your foot and the pedal is really something else – a connection you don’t tend to get with cheap wah pedals!! The Dunlop gives you a great amount of control over your sound.
Plus, because the price is somewhat premium, it also reflects in the build. This pedal feels rock solid – like a proper piece of kit that’ll stand the test of time. And while of course, it may not be the most portable or be painted in a neon colour, it covers pretty much all the basics (& then some). And does so incredibly well.
However, if we were just starting out, then spending 3 figures on 1 pedal may seem a bit extortionate. Which is why if we were a beginner, or just looking for a quick solution, we’d opt straight for the…
Donner Vowel 2 in 1 Wah & Volume Pedal = Best Budget Wah Pedal
That’s because as far as value goes, you can’t really top the Donner. And while it may not be made in Japan or feel as solid as a Crybaby, it’s a pedal that ‘does the job’. Well, actually, it does 2, which makes it even better value for £$€.
Plus, for a cheap wah pedal, it actually feels quite good to play. There is a pretty good connection between you & the pedal. What’s more, for a pedal at this price range, you’d expect it to feel flimsy, but as far as we can tell, it’s pretty well put together. Put it this way, it feels like it’s not just going to fall apart in 5 minutes.
And that’s why we feel it deserves the title of one of the best wah pedals you can buy. Yes, it’s not Vox or Jim Dunlop, but… it surprised us. So much so that if we were building a pedalboard on a budget, the Vowel would almost certainly be the 1st pedal we’d invest in.
As far as value goes, it’s insane!
Enjoy this review of the best wah pedals & eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Reviews Of Guitar Pedals, as well as our Advice On Music Production Tech. We’ve also recently published a rundown of the Best Loop Stations + another on the Best Guitar Pedals EVER, which also may be an interesting read.
Or, if you’ve still got as burning question about the best wah pedals, keep reading to discover even more about why a wah is such an essential part of any guitarist’s setup…