Wah Wah Wahhhh!

Finding the right wah pedal might not seem like a difficult thing, but those of us who have tried know that wah pedals are a weirdly personal choice.  What I look for in a wah pedal may not be the same as what you do, whether we're talking about the sweep of the filter or additional features such as power requirements or whether or not the pedal is true bypass.  That said, I'm hoping that I can help out my fellow guitarists by talking about some of my favourite models of wah pedals that have spent time on my pedalboards over the years. 

    This post will not go over a huge variety of pedals, only personal favourites.  I hope to help those of you looking to buy a wah pedal for the first time, as well as those of you who are never totally happy with the wah pedals you have found and are always on the prowl for a change.

Dunlop Cry Baby

Let's start with a standard.  For anybody who has never bought a wah pedal before, or for anyone who for some reason has not yet tried a cry baby, this is the staple.  Dunlop now makes a wide range of cry baby pedals including artist models like Dimebag Darrell's camouflage version, but the GCB95 is the classic.  This was the first wah pedal I ever owned, and has served as the basis of comparison for all others to come.  These pedals are not only some of the most affordable, but I have also found them to be really reliable and durable.  Made from diecast metal, these pedals have been used by all the greats.  

Dunlop Cry Baby Mini

I know what you're thinking, it doesn't seem very prudent to write an entirely different section on what is essentially a miniature version of the exact same pedal I just talked about before, right?  Well, the mini cry baby deserves its own separate mention for a few reasons.  First of all, the considerably smaller footprint immediately makes this pedal more practical for those of us who are used to devoting a huge amount of pedal board real estate to a wah pedal.  This pedal is about the size of a standard BOSS pedal, which is what drew my attention right away.  Furthermore, this pedal is true bypass, for those of us who care about features like that.  Finally, if you're already familiar with the cry baby and are not a fan of its filter sweep range, the cry baby mini has a switch on the inside that allows you to choose between three sweep options.  You can set it at the standard GCB95 setting, or you can choose either the "vintage" or "low" settings.  Mine is set to the low, and I've left it there for a very long time.

Fulltone Clyde

The Fulltone Clyde is like a more consistent version of a vintage Vox wah.  The people over at Fulltone spent a whole lot of time recreating the sweep and sound of a vintage Vox wah pedal and came up with the Clyde Standard.  This pedal is a true bypass circuit, and it also includes a "buffer" pot that can be engaged or disengaged at the flip of a switch.  This "buffer" pot provides up to 20db of clean boost, and is meant to be used on high gain amps or with fuzz pedals.  Without this type of boost, the effect of many wah pedals can be reduced in a setting where there is a high level of gain or drive, and this circuit is meant to eliminate that problem.  This pedal is one that I've hung on to for years, and I definitely recommend it to anybody looking for a wah pedal with a wide sweep.  

Voodoo Labs Wahzoo

This pedal is a bit on the crazier end of the spectrum!  I have held on to this wah pedal for a very long time because it is extremely well built and it has one of the best wah sounds I've ever heard.  The pedal has got a pretty big footprint, and one strange feature is that unlike most wahs; to engage the pedal you must hit the bypass switch on the bottom right on the pedal, not by pressing the treadle all the way to the toe down position.  At first this can be a strange adjustment, but personally there's a lot that I like about this feature.  This pedal is marketed as one of the most versatile wah pedals on the market, and it really is.  The wahzoo also functions as an autowah, and manipulating the foot treadle can switch the autowah's function from a normal to reverse envelope filter.  This effect is so cool and not often used by other guitarists.  Finally, the wahzoo can also be used as a sequence filter.  The specific sequences can be programmed by the user and saved into the pedal, and the rate at which the pedal moves through the sequence is adjustable with the foot treadle as well.  I honestly cannot say enough about how cool the Wahzoo is, and I've not seen many other guitarists using this pedal or any of the impressive features it has which has always sort of blown my mind.

That's it for my list of my favourite sounding wah pedals!  I really hope that you found some useful information here that can help you on your own journey to becoming a better guitarist!  Thank you as always for checking out my blog on gear.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published