When it comes to electric guitars, owning the best wah volume pedal can take your music from decent to fantastic. Wah pedals give your music a whole new sound and can expand your abilities. While everyone will have their preference on what a great wah pedal is like, a few top the charts every time.
Who Makes the Best Wah Pedal?
1. Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby
The Dunlop Cry Baby is one of the original wah pedals and has been used by rock legends for years. It’s sturdy and reliable so that it will last for many years. It weighs just under 4 pounds (3.7 to be exact) and is powered by Dunlop’s ECB-03 AC adapter. The adapter is not typically included, but the pedal can also be powered with a 9-volt battery for a more portable option.
- Uses either a battery or an adapter for power
- Study and reliable construction
- Has a 1-year warranty included
- It does not come with either a battery or an adapter for power
2. Xotic Effects Wah Effect Pedal
The Xotic wah pedal is so highly customizable that it has a virtually unlimited amount of sounds. You can adjust the sounds with the included controls and know that you’ll always get fantastic quality. Additionally, it has adjustable torsion. This pedal has so much possibility that it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite.
- Extremely customizable and flexible
- Easy bass and treble control
- Adjustable torsion
- Footswitch pops quite loudly sometimes
3. Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Mini
This wah pedal is similar to the Dunlop Cry Baby mentioned above, but offers much more control. You can easily customize and fine tune the sound. Its mini size makes it easy to fit on a soundboard without taking up too much space, but still provides excellent sound.
- More control than the full-sized Cry Baby
- Customizable and easy to fine-tune sound with
- The smaller size makes it easy to carry around or add to a soundboard
- The footprint is small, so many guitarists prefer the full-sized version
4. Boss PW-3
If you want an analog pedal that provides excellent classic sound, this is a fantastic option. It comes with two modes to use either a classic sound or a more vibrant sound. Although you’ll probably have a favorite, you can easily switch between the two if you want to use both. In addition, it has a modern buffer and is one of the best reverb pedals around as well.
- Two modes: classic and filtering
- Has a sturdy and modern design
- Provides amazing sound quality
- Doesn’t have a vintage sound to it
5. Electro-Harmonix Wailer
The Wailer by Electro-Harmonix was designed in response to Dunlop’s Cry Baby. It’s a much lighter version and has a few modern aspects added. For example, making the switch between bass and treble is smooth and almost synthetic sounding. It still uses a mechanical system that could take some getting used to, but overall, it’s a great buy.
- A much more affordable version of the Cry Baby
- Smooth transitions
- Mechanical operation system
6. Vox V847-A
This is one of the true original wah pedals. Everything down to the sound matches some of the first sold models and cannot be beaten. It’s powered by an AC adapter and is easy to use no matter where you are. It has a blocky yet sturdy build to it that still matches the original.
- Sturdier design that still matches the original
- AC adapter that doesn’t require batteries
- Original and classic sound
- There’s no easy battery access spot
7. Fender FWP-1
This wah pedal is black and silver with a non-slip surface and made of cast metal. It has flexible power options (battery or AC adapter) and is exceptionally durable. In addition to its high-quality design, it provides great, classic sound with two options: classic or buffered. Although it has a basic design, the two-tone color scheme makes it classy and stylish.
- Non-slip surface
- Long-lasting thanks to a cast metal design
- Fantastic sound and output quality
- AC adapter and battery option sold separately
8. Electro-Harmonix Cock Fight
This pedal comes with several different options. Not only does it have a classic wah effect, but there is also an expression, a fuzz, and a voicing switch. The included voicing switch makes it quick and easy to switch between the classic Cry Baby sound to a talk box tone. There’s also volume, frequency, and tone control.
- Comes with many different options
- Very versatile
- Has a more wild, colorful design
- It’s expensive
9. Morley Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah
When you use this wah pedal, you won’t have to worry about a footswitch. Instead, you place your foot on the pedal and start making sounds to use it. Unfortunately, unless you’re remarkably sure-footed, you won’t be able to get a decent cocked wah tone out of this pedal, and it may be more buffered. Adjusting the frequency and tone is easy, though, and this pedal is still an excellent choice for many guitarists.
- Switchless panel for more instant sound
- Easy to adjust and customize
- Very low maintenance
- It’s not possible to get a decent cocked wah tone
10. Mooer the Wahter Mini
This mini wah creates a sound that almost perfectly imitates the Cry Baby. At a much lower price and a much smaller size, however, it appeals to many guitarists. This mini wah pedal is a perfect option for those who don’t have any extra space on their soundboard. However, if you have large feet or are a bit clumsy, you may find it challenging to use.
- Imitates the classic Cry Baby wah sound
- Very small size
- A very affordable option
- Can be too small for some guitarists to operate
11. Fulltone USA Clyde Standard
This pedal is known as one of the best imitation pedals of the original Vox Clyde McCoy. With a hand-made halo inductor and added resonance control, this wah pedal is extraordinary. The most recent models even include a buffer control to make it fuxx-friendly. In addition, the pedal itself is durable and will last you a long time.
- Durable and long-lasting build
- Easy to adjust and customize
- Widely regarded as one of the best wah pedals out there
- The on/off switch is somewhat very easy to click
12. Dunlop CAE
The Dunlop CAE was born in a partnership with the Cry Baby design team and Custom Audio Electronics. This all-inclusive wah wah pedal has two Fasel inductors for easily changing the sweep resonance and an MXR MC401 Boost Line Driver. Switching between them can be done instantaneously, thanks to kick switches on the side.
- An incredible pedal with the Cry Baby’s features in mind
- Both red and yellow Fasel inductors
- Easy and smooth adjustments
- Tricky to dial in with so many ports and switches
What Makes a Good Wah Pedal?
There are a few factors to consider when buying a wah wah pedal. While any pedal might work, a few things can help you determine a good wah pedal from a bad one.
Some wah pedals deliver an excellent sound quality, while others leave room for improvement. Many times, however, high-quality sound cannot be guaranteed by a higher price. Therefore, it’s important to read reviews and research the sound quality of any wah pedal before you make a purchase.
Purchasing a wah wah pedal that’s too complicated to use doesn’t do you any good. Whether you’re a beginner or not, finding a pedal that’s easy to use is essential. If you don’t know how your pedal works, you’re less likely to use it.
It is possible to find some great wah pedals for a low price. If you feel like the price is too low, however, then it probably is. At some point, the price starts to affect the quality, and between the two, quality is more important.
The right wah pedal can be so versatile for your music. If you’re unsure of where to start, go with any one of these that made our list and you’ll be on the right track. No matter how you want to use your wah pedal, you won’t regret including it on your pedalboard!