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Best wah pedal 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best wah pedal of 2018
Come with me. I want to find something that’s designed well (both for aesthetic purposes and efficiency). Here, I will review 3 of the best wah pedal of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this wah pedal win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
Why did this wah pedal come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this wah pedal take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
wah pedal Buyer’s Guide
A Quick Aside
Just to clarify, the article did focus exclusively on physically manipulated wah pedals as opposed to auto-wahs. While the two effects sound similar, they’re both different enough to warrant articles of their own.
Also, this article isn’t going to cover volume pedals. However, for those of you interested in that effect refer once again to the “What Should I Look For In A Wah” section as a lot of the advice there will be helpful to you when purchasing a volume pedal.
Optical vs. Mechanical
So when a wah pedal uses the term “optical controlled”, it means that the effect is controlled without the aid of a mechanical process such as potentiometers and switches.
Optical control in a wah is generally marketed as being “no wear and tear” devices, meaning that you don’t have to worry about the effect ever suffering from the kinds of issues that would plague something like a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah.
Now this is just our opinion, but you shouldn’t be too quick to believe that just because a piece of gear uses new tech it’s going to be a higher quality piece of equipment. Case in point: 201Gibson electric guitars.
While better tech in any object has the potential to result in a better experience for the user, it also has the potential to make it harder for the user to repair said object.
We know we sound a bit cynical, but we really don’t have a problem with optical controlled wahs. Personally, we prefer having the option to easily change out a mechanical part as opposed to sending a piece of equipment to a manufacturer for repair. However, an optically controlled wah could definitely be a better option for the musician who may not have the tools or knowledge to service their own equipment.
How Did We Choose The Winners
And like every article in this series, it’s important to clarify what “best” means in the context of this piece. These articles are meant to give everyone a chance to find gear that will work well for them, so there are going to be budget minded models as well as more expensive ones.
Just try to remember, the best choice for you isn’t always going to be the best option for your fellow musicians.
Ibanez WDToneLok Weeping Demon Wah Pedal
Do you need a wah that you can tweak to your personal preferences? If so, the Ibanez WDToneLok Weeping Demon Wah Pedal might be right up your alley. The pedal includes a design which not only allows you to change the tension of the footboard but the response of both the low and high-ends frequencies of the pedal as well.
BBE WAH Class A Vintage 1967
A great mid-range wah pedal, the BBE WAH Class A Vintage 196has some pretty impressive features for its price point. The pedal not only boasts true-bypass switching and an easy access 9v battery compartment, it also has the “Harmony” control which allows players to customize its sweepable range.
The other classic option is the VOX V847A which is a reissue of the classic 60s V84Some guitarists prefer the Crybaby and some prefer the VOX to get a classic wah tone. Just like the Crybaby, this pedal is incredibly simple without any flexibility or features you will see in the pedals later on.
Most Popular Wah Pedals
There are a number of famous brand names associated with music instruments like guitars, and the music industry, and the Wah Pedal is no different. You will find them being manufactured by some of the best names in music, and here are a few to look out for.
Xotic Effects Wah Effect Pedal
When budget is not an influencing factor when it comes to selection, then our Premium Choice is where you should be looking.
With its Bias and Wah Q-control, this white dipped effects wah pedal is one of the best, providing you with three various effects all contained in a neat sturdy casing. Its unique controls offer you unlimited sounds and its only limitation is your imagination.
When you’re looking for quality and a plethora of controls and features, then this is the Wah pedal for you. The Treble and Bass controls and adjustable pedal torsion will have you enamored in no time. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the LED indicator lights the way and provides you with a visual signal. Flexibility and adjustability meld into one, with this amazing tool, that just can’t be ignored.
Vox V84Classic Wah Wah Pedal
Now, if budget dominates your every thought when selecting the top Wah pedal, then this one is for you. With this fantastic Wah pedal, a limited budget certainly doesn’t have to stand in the way of your obtaining one of the crowns in pedals on the market.
You simply can’t let this Classic and fantastic Wah pedal, based on the original specifications of the Wah pedal developed in the 1960’s by VOX, pass you by. It sports an all-black tough outer casing and is in for the long haul. True to form, this Wah pedal will give you the classic muted-trumpet tones and all that you expect from a manufacturer like Vox.
With all the convenience for travelling or playing at gigs, the fitted AC power connector will ensure that you are always powered up and your budget isn’t blow on batteries.
Spoil yourself with this super budget-friendly option, and join the ranks of the legendary greats as you get into the swing of things and mellow out to the groovy sounds of yesteryear, that this tool produces.
Fender Classics Fuzz Wah
Every pedalboard deserves a decent wah. It’s the ubiquitous sound to which countless washing machines have been ‘repaired’, crimes in the 70s were solved, and Jimi Hendrix chopped down mountains. If your pedalboard deserves a little funk, check out our pick of the best wah pedals.
Gig-FX Kilo Wah
Morley Power Wah Volume Pedal
The Power Wah Volume pedal from Morley incorporates a number of pro features like Morley’s custom HQinductor, wah level control, and electro-optical circuitry so there are no pots to wear out. TrueTone bypass ensures pure tone and maintains the signal in both Wah and Volume modes. The cold-rolled steel housing is built to withstand years of abuse. LED indicator keeps you aware of its status at all times. Two-year warranty.
The Morley Classic Wah Pedal gives you Classic Morley wah tone in a rugged, electro-optical effect pedal with roadworthy metal housing. Features LED indicator and easy-access battery compartment. Morley includes a 2-year warranty with the Classic Wah Pedal.
DIED ON ME
This pedal arrived on Thursday. I set it up with my pedal board and begun to play around with it. I wasn’t that impressed to begin with. I played it for maybe or hours. The next day I go to play… I plug in my guitar, turn on the distortion and octave pedals and start goin at it. Then I turn on my Wah (this pedal) and the sound just cuts out. I did the “Usual” and unplugged the pedal from the board and just ran it straight into the amp, still nothing… the In and Out functioned fine, but when I push ‘wah’ everything just dies. Very disappointing. Try a crybaby and spend the extra money.
Skip to view deals for Wah Wah pedals
The Wah Wah’s don’t spin too much on their axles either meaning they’re always where you left them. They’re a good size too – width and length is 95mm – so even the Big Foots out there will always find something to get a hold of.
Envelope Filter Pedals
So this is a slightly different kind of overview as we touch on a few slightly different types of pedals which produce though variations of the same Wah or ’quack’ sound – to a greater or lesser degree. I initially thought that a traditional pivot rocker Wah would be too much hassle and thus started off with the DigiTech Whammy Ricochet – which is actually largely a slightly different type of effect. If you have even the slightest affection for Jimi Hendrix, a proper Wah is essential, and it was not long before I had moved on to a Dunlop Mini Cry Baby which suits me just perfectly.
I have made mention several times that I have a large and long pedalchain – where real estate is of vital importance – meaning that the more compact the pedal is the better. So I was always on the look out for a ’Mini’ Wah pedal as such – notably – be aware that not all Wah pedals advertised as ’Mini’ are that at all. For my needs I want a Wah pedal which does not take up much more room than a regular pedal enclosure. I could have stretched to a Boss PW– which is about half a length again, but the Morley Mini Wah + Volume does not quite strike me as mini at all – all Morley pedals have a wider platform that the rocker sits on, and the rocker is about as long, if not longer than the Boss PW– so that one fails my own test of suitability.
There are various smaller pedals which do fit the bill, and there are of those (in addition to the Mini Cry Baby) that I have always had an eye on, and would like to trial, and contrast over the oncoming years – they include the AMT WHand Plutoneium Chi-Wah-Wah optical Wahs and the mechanically more conventional Mooer Wahter and Wilson Mini Q (each of which has smart features). The advantage of the optical Wahs is less moving parts and a cleaner soundstage, while conventional Wahs have potentiometers which do wear out and can produce ’scratchy’ unwanted noise at times. So that is essentially the ’manual selection’ – it should be also noted that the Mooer Wahter is signficanlty the smallest – and it accomplishes this by having two fold-out stirrups which extend the length of the pedal rocker. The Mooer Wahter and Plutoneium Chi-Wah-Wah also have smart ’immediate-on’ silent switches – while the others need you to depress a lathed button to activate.
If you’re not in the mood for stomping, then there are various Auto-Wah alternatives – essentially envelope filter pedals which will give you similar results with less effort. I had often wondered what the ’Q’ was that was quoted in so many references concerning Wah and filter pedals – the ’Q’ value is essentially ’a resonator’s / waveform’s bandwidth relative to its center frequency’. By manipulating the ’Q’ factor you can accentuate frequencies to get that much-loved squelchy quack-like sound.
I find I quite enjoy playing with rocker wahs, so I’m keen to experiment and try out a few more. The Emma DiscumBOBulator intrigues me, and I have long had an interest in the Mad Professor Snow White – so somewhere along the way I will add a few more of these to my effects library to see what sort of impact they have on my ToneQuest and core sound.
Gear returned in mint condition. If you’re looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.
I got the crybaby for Christmas, and it sounded great… for the first day that is. The next day, it broke! The button stopped clicking so i couldnt turn it on. I returned it to Guitar Center and they gave me a replacement, and the replacement was great too, but then about week after that I had the same problem with the pedal not clicking. Also, I wasn’t abusing the pedal. This is not a durable pedal at ALL, the only upside is that it sounds good.
Boss Dynamic Wah Guitar and Bass Wah Effects Pedal with Humanizer – Choose between a standard wah effect or use the Humanizer mode to incorporate vowel sounds that resemble a human voice. It features a dedicated bass input.
The wah wah pedal was introduced in the Now, almost half a century later, Electro-Harmonix has solved many of its inherent problems by creating a gorgeous wah with absolutely no moving parts and the sweetest tone.
Kona Wah Wah pedals
I think the Kona Wah Wah pedals came out sometime around 200They came fitted to certain Kona test bikes and demo bikes. All it took was one ride on them to realise they were a different league to other flats of the time.
Sure, the headline feature was the amazing-for-the-time thinness (approx 17mm) but there was more to the Wah Wah than just being slim.
The slight concave shape was spot on. The pins were perfect. Not too high, not too thick. They were a cross between the square outline of pedals from Funn or Atomlab and the spade-shaped or lozenge pedals from Easton and Shimano.
They were light enough. Durable enough. Big enough (almost 10cm x 10cm was massive for the era). They were rebuildable (bearings and pins). They were affordable (well, eventually). And the feel was simply spot on.
Even without the hallowed Five Ten sole and just wearing some skate shoes the Wah Wahs were a game changer for a lot of riders. Bike riding basically became fun again. A whole generation of riders learned how they should have cornering a bike for the previous decade. Kona Wah Wah pedals acted like a translator between you and your bike. They enabled better communication.
Just look around at the best performing flat pedals these days. You can see the ghost of the Wah Wah in all of them pretty much.
The wah pedal is, first and foremost, a band-pass filter that rolls off the treble and the bass and creates a resonance peak at the low-pass filter frequency point. The result is a boost that’s targeted at a very narrow frequency band. If you want to know what this ‘stuck wah’ sounds like, check out some of Mick Ronson’s early recordings with David Bowie.
Moving the pedal sweeps the resonance peak up and down the frequency range and makes your guitar go ‘wah’. It’s not unlike a parametric equaliser boost with a narrow ‘Q’ setting, but most equalisers of that era switched between multiple inductors and capacitors to target various frequency points. The clever thing about the wah circuit is the way it moves the low-pass frequency point using a fixed inductor and a single capacitor.
A potentiometer, transistor and fixed capacitor combine to trick the inductor into ‘thinking’ it’s connected to a variable capacitor. The pedal adjusts the amount of current flowing through the capacitor, which makes the value of the capacitor appear greater than it really is, so the position of the resonance peak is determined by the amount of current passing through the capacitor.
It helps if you can identify the various components and understand how they influence the wah response. After-market potentiometers can change the feel of the wah, and you can sweeten the characteristics of modern pedals by installing lower-gain transistors.
Resistors that have drifted in value can effect Q width, frequency response and signal level. Replacing out-of-spec resistors with ones that test well will restore the ‘vintage’ sound. Alternatively, you can use different values to ‘tune’ the wah to your taste.
Wah plus fuzz is regarded as being a classic combination, but the impedance mismatch when Fuzz Face and Tone Bender-type fuzzes are used results in a reduced wah effect and a squawking oscillation that sweeps with the wah pedal.
None of the various solutions are perfect. Much of the magic of vintage fuzz pedals comes from touch dynamics and their ability to clean up from the guitar volume control. Placing a buffered pedal between the wah and the fuzz, or installing a buffer stage inside the wah, may solve the squawking, but some of the fuzz’s best qualities will be lost.
Wah customising dates back to the beginning, when Hendrix retained Roger Mayer as his personal tweaker. Although most wahs are still based on the old Clyde circuit, modern pedal builders understand how to alter the voicing to create specific wah tones and responses.
These days, it’s not uncommon to find Q controls and frequency range switches on the side of the casing; so you can go for bassy or trebly wah tones and emphasise the ‘vocal’ quality by narrowing the Q. You can even switch between inductors.
MXR MC40CAE Dual Inductor Wah
Inarguably, one of the finest pedals out there is the MXR MC40CAE Wah. The main reason for this is that the latter was created by Custom Audio Elections and the design team of Cry Baby.
The biggest selling point of this wah pedal is its usage of the dual inductors. Specifically, such components condition the voicing and character of the wah. As a result, the pedal can generate a vast range of tonal variety.
Xotic Effects Xotic Wah
Xotic Effects is a special wah pedal. It can provide the “old school” vibe that you miss for ages. Despite its new interface and appearance, the Xotic Effect can still generate warm and smooth results without adding artificial flavor to your signals.
For the record, it is not true that Xotic Effects has a poor design. Even if you use this all day and all night, the Xotic won’t just give up on you.
In fact, it is a good choice if you are always doing some gigs and performances.This wah pedal is just a reliable partner.
Unlike conventional wah pedals that suffer from alterations and gain injections, the Xotic Effects remain to be consistent with its performance.
Once you can pair this wah pedal on your guitar, all you have to think is the sweet music that you want to produce. Moreover, since its offer minimal footprint, this item will never be a nuisance on your pedalboard.
Vox V847A Wah Pedal
One of the pioneers of wah pedals is the company Vox. Therefore, we don’t wonder anymore why their Vox Vox V847A sounds so good to the ears.
In fact, this particular brand is also aiming the pinnacle of wah pedals, which is pretty dominated by Dunlop currently. Despite that, you can guarantee that this pedal can still offer you a satisfying performance.
Among the Vox wah pedals, the V847A is their primary opus. Aesthetically speaking, you can get involve with this pedal at first sight. Its casing has a sleek touch and emanates a professional appeal.
Ibanez WDWeeping Demon Wah
Ibanez is the latest brand to enter the world of wah pedals. But it doesn’t mean that their products are subpar from the rest.
In fact, this company has a broad understanding of how sounds work, as they are a top producer of excellent electric guitars.
For now, we can say that the Ibanez took a different route for their wah pedals. Specifically, they added unique features for their wah pedals, which are not present even to the leading brands.
For example, the Weeping Demon Wah is using the “electro-optical” feature to improve its overall responsiveness.
Meanwhile, this sleek wah pedal is also tweakable. It is fully loaded with various control features and sound adjustment settings for the pleasure of its users.
Of course, it would not be as good as the other wah pedals if it has no variety or distinction to its sound. Overall, you can say that the Ibanez WDWeeping Demon is the dark horse of the game.
What is the Function of a Wah Pedal
At downright definition, a wah pedal works as a filter for emphasizing frequencies. This means that in a particular band of frequencies, others would be cut off while some are maintained.
In short, it is following the same principle of tone controls on any electric guitar or pedal.
The word “wah” is the sound that this effects pedal produces. This particular device can alter the signal of your guitar by drastically changing the frequency response. Of course, the original “wah-wah” sound came from trombone and trumpets.
When you move the rubber mute to the bell inside and out, the “wah” comes off.
Most “funky” songs are using the effects of the wah pedal. However, if you are good at experimenting, you can use this accessory in a myriad of applications as well.
Different musical genres can certainly benefit from this stomp box, one way or another.
For example, you can use your wah pedal as an EQ. Specifically, you can configure the pedal itself so that it can create sharp and bright tone. Such sound modification is deal if you want to stand out in the mix.
Meanwhile, you can also configure it in a way that sound would become smooth and relaxing. If you want to improve the harmony of your rhythm, you will need such kind of feature.
Mechanical Wah vs. Optical Wah
If a particular wah is optical controlled, its just means that it uses mechanical processes to produce the effect. Components like the switches and the potentiometers are involved in these schemes.
Most marketing pitches for optical wahs describe the latter as immune to wear and tear. Therefore, they are a good choice if you want to free yourself from persistent issues that plague this device perennially.
Although this statement is true, you should not hold it as absolute.
Devices that are using better technology are quite more advantageous than the old ones. But on the flipside, fixing them would become troublesome as their parts have intricate designs.
We may sound skeptical upon stating that. But trust us. We don’t have any problems with optical wahs. We are just reporting the possible predicaments that you can encounter when you get such type of wah pedal.
Meanwhile, mechanical wahs have inferior specs compared to its counterpart. However, when D-Day comes, you can just find spare parts quickly. Therefore, it poses less problem if ever there is a requirement for maintenance.
In short, choosing between will just be a matter of your personal preferences. If you don’t have technical skills in dealing with wah pedals, you better go with the optically operated model.
Multi Effects Units
As a beginner you’re probably anxious to try out all of the different effects above and then some. A very costly endeavour to undertake, and where to start!? If you’re taking your first tentative steps into the world of guitar effects then a much more money efficient option is a multi-fx unit. These will generally contain the majority of the effects listed above, enabling you to sample each one and find out which you like the best. As a bonus, multi-fx units will often contain other useful features such as a built-in metronome and tuner. You can absolutely use one of these units in place of an amp while you learn the ropes, all you need is a pair of headphones.
Each unit features 100 effects and amp models, of which can be used simultaneously. They have a built-in drum machine (metronome) featuring almost 70 different patterns for you to practice along with at your own speed. An accurate tuner ensures you are always playing at perfect pitch. Another awesome feature is the built-in looper, which allows you to record up to 30 seconds of high quality audio. A headphone jack allows for quiet practice. Unbelievably at this price, both units also include a well-lit LCD screen for easy navigation of the menu system. An auxilliary input on the back allows you to connect a music source, to allow you to jam to your favorite songs.
Both units can be powered with 4xAA batteries. Alternatively they can be powered with a standard 9V PSU (such as this one), or USB mini cable (such as this one).
Check out this excellent overview and demo video from our friends over at GuitarWorld magazine.
Computer Based Effects
Chorus is a classic effect that creates an illusion of more guitars playing at the same time. It can open up a wide expanse of previously unexplored sonic territory in your music. As an effect, chorus can cover from beefing up your guitars tone to drastically changing the voice of your guitar. The most popular example of chorus effect is the opening riff of Kurt Cobain’s Come as As You Are from Nirvana.
The most classic way to alter your guitar sound is by using a distortion pedal. A distortion pedal is now almost a practical requirement for every guitarist who can play anything from pop to metal. Most of the guitar brands have a distortion pedal to their name owing its popularity among the masses. These effects are in use by guitarists since the 1960’s with the Pro Co Rat (RAT) and Tube Screamer, from Ibanez being the most sought after when it comes to classic distortion.
A looper pedal is actually a tool that helps guitarists to record a signal from their guitar and play it over and over again to create their own backing tracks on the fly. For modern guitarists it makes practising more fun by adding a new dimension and reducing their dependence on other musicians. The loopers are not new to the music scene but had taken a back seat for some time and have now returned to their past glory in recent times.
The volume pedal is the simplest pedals of all. It is basically an external volume knob that you work with your foot. They are used to provide swelling and captivating sound effects when combined with other effect pedals in the rig. A volume pedal needs to be transparent, ie, they do not introduce any of their character to the sound, should have no tone loss, better be passive, have superior build quality, have tuner output and should be adjustable. Boss FV series pedals and Ernie Ball VP are the most popular volume pedals in the market now.
The function of a delay pedal is to play back the notes that you have played. Though it looks very simple, a great and versatile delay can make every soundscape you wish to explore. The effect is used in almost every genre due to which the pedal market is flooded with delay pedals from every conceivable brand making musical instruments however, the MXR carbon copy and Boss DD models lead the pack. Also, there is a raging debate among the music community about the analog and digital delays.
A compressor pedal adds character and distinction to your sound while elevating it and rounds out your acoustic or electric guitar tones in a very subtle manner. Though it does not add a great effect to your music, you will surely miss it when it is not around. It adds an element of control to your playing level – it will bring the quieter parts up and the louder parts down. For a guitar, it can give a more consistent volume output level and increase the sustain by raising the level of decaying notes.
Wah Wah pedals
The Wah pedals are the secret weapons used by guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Kirk Hammet to bring the extra flavour in their solos. The pedal is popular because it has found a common use in every style of play ranging from classic rock to metal. A dedicated wah pedal will provide you with the most possible variations of sound possible giving you the most enjoyment. The Dunlop orginal cry baby wah is the most widely used and popular pedal that was used to create some of the most timeless sounds in rock music.
Multi effects pedals
Often touted as the do-it-all effect, the effect can cover all tonal bases for recordings and live performances. It is an efficient way for guitar players to keep their pedal set up under control by having an entire effects pedal board in one self-contained unit. The quality of multi effects pedals has increased tremendously over the years since they were first introduced, as a result of which its usage has improved to the point that even critics are finding less and less things to complain about.
There are many more pedals such as boost pedals, fuzz pedals, Octavia pedal, tremolo pedal, flanger pedal, univibe pedal, phase shifter pedal but they are not as widely used as those listed above.
Guitar effects pedals being as popular as the guitars themselves have attracted lot of brands to make effects. Boss, Fender, Dunlop, Electro-Harmonix, Ibanez, Wampler, MXR, TC Electronic, DigiTech, Xotic Effects, Line6, Morley are some noteworthy brands in the effects pedal market.
Ibanez TSTube Screamer
The TSTube Screamer overdrive pedal from Ibanez is the most popular and most copied overdrive pedals. This is a reissue of the original Ibanez TSTube Screamer distortion pedal that is one of the most imitated classis pedals ever made. It has been used by many famous guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan to create their signatures sound. It has three controls, tone, drive and level controls and is used in genres as diverse as country, blues and metal. The warm overdrive sound and tonal integrity along with portability led to the rapid rise in popularity of this pedal and made it one of the best distortion pedals ever.
Pro Co RATDistortion Pedal
The Pro Co RATis a distortion pedal produced by Pro Co Sound. It is a variant of the iconic RAT model which was built in 197The Pro Co RATis built using the same circuit that made the original Rat distortion pedal popular, though it is now being built in China without compromising on the quality. The Pro Co RAT distortion pedal became very popular in the 1980’s mostly because several artists started using it to great effects. It has knobs for distortion, volume and filter. It is perfect for hard rock, metal, punk, jazz or smooth blues solo. It is the most versatile and best guitar distortion pedal with a legacy of around 30 years.
TC Electronic Ditto Looper Pedal
The Ditto looper pedal from TC Electronic is an outstanding and popular looper that owes its popularity to being a simple and affordable pedal. It has a distinction of being the only looper designed by guitarists for guitarists. It offers minutes of loop time with unlimited edits. This is a true bypass mono pedal with just one control knob for volume adjustments. The Ditto’s superior sound quality can be attributed to its 24-bit uncompressed high quality audio. This exquisite guitar loop pedal also features a undo/redo functionality and analog dry-though design. Overall the Ditto is concise and basic yet highly effective and that makes it the best of the best loop pedal for guitars.
Xotic Effects SP compressor pedal
Xotic is a small California based company that manufactures guitars, bass and effects. The Xotic SP compressor is a boutique pedal that is counted among the best compressor pedals. It is built expending the same OTA (Operational transconductance amplifier) technology that is used by the Ross compressor, considered as the best ever compressor. It has a compact design and superb tone quality featuring a wide variety of compressor tones from subtle to modern to vintage and more. It has two knobs to control volume, upto +15db of boost and blend for that perfect balance between dry and compressor signal. There is a three way switch to toggle between, low, mid and high signal. It is a simple to use, great sounding and versatile boutique pedal that is a best buy for the price.
Zoom G3X Multi effects pedal
Zoom G3X is ranked as one of the best guitar multi effects pedal because besides being a multi effect pedal it is also an amplifier simulator, tuner, fully functional looper, USB audio interface and a built-in expression pedal. It provides 11great sounding guitar effects and amp / speaker models with three stompbox-styles each with its own dedicated foot switch. The G3X has three LCD screens each with its own footswitch and control knob, form a large graphical interface that makes it easy to edit effects. With the G3X, you can use up to effects and amp models simultaneously, arranged in any order.
Preset is an important feature present in most modern guitar pedals. A preset allows configuring overall sound setup. A few of them come with some good presets so you do not need to bother about creating your own. Also, you can tweak the existing presets or create an entirely new one and store them.
It’s best to start with the most obvious pedal, one you’ve probably heard of already. Distortion! The term “distortion pedal” is actually used quite a bit as an umbrella term to refer to different types of pedals.
Distortion is can be quit a heavy, obvious effect which provides a good amount of sustain & crunch to your sound. Because it heavily distorts the sound, it can sometimes hide the actual tone of the guitar.
However you can still hear the original tone of your guitar and amp in there somewhere. It just makes everything sound much more aggressive.
An overdrive pedal still distorts your sound, and gives it an extra punch, but it’s great at keeping more of the sound of your amplifier & guitar intact. So it sounds a little bit more natural.
It drives or “pushes” your amplifier more subtly than a distortion pedal so it doesn’t sound too heavy or overpowering. Yet it still gives you that beefy, thicker sound.
It’s often used in classic rock and blues but is a versatile pedal which is on the pedal board of millions of guitarists around the world.
Fuzz is the most extreme of the distortion effects and kind of sounds like it’s pushing your amplifier to breaking point. It provides a bass heavy and noisy guitar tone and means that it’s very hard to hear any of your original guitar tone.
However it’s still a very diverse pedal depending on how you use it. It can be used to create very heavy attacking sounds, or add more of a discrete buzz which isn’t too overpowering.
The different pedals are differentiated by the amount of the distortion / saturation they provide. Overdrive has the least, fuzz has the most, and distortion is somewhere in the middle.
Delay is another effect which does what it says on the tin. It delays your signal by a varying amount and then plays it back. This creates a doubling effect. The pedal will let you define how long the delay is.
Digital pedals can usually delay for longer, but some people think that these digital pedals don’t sound as good as analogue alternatives. Delay pedals are great for creating experimental effects and sounds, but can be subtle too.
The chours effect sounds like hundreds of different guitarists playing what you are, but very slightly out of time. The effect also creates a mild wobble type noise.
Overall the sound sound rich, full and thick because of the chorus effect.
It can be used effectively both as a subtle effect or a more obvious experimental effect.
Flanger is very similar to chorus, however it can provide a little bit more of an obvious effect.
It’s got more of a wooshing sound which goes up in pitch and then down again. People often say it sounds like a plane flying past.
Unlike the chorus effect it doesn’t sound like there are hundreds of guitarists copying your sound, but still can thicken your tone up.
Again the phaser pedal is similar to the flanger and chorus effects. It creates a sweeping sound by creating peaks and troughs in your guitar tone. You can alter the height of these peaks and troughs by manipulating the controls on the pedal.
The phaser also adds a similar, but not as obvious, effect to the guitar tone as the chorus. So it sounds like there are a few guitarists playing the same as you.
Tremolo sounds like your volume is being turned up and down very quickly after you play a note. However the sounds gets blended together nicely so it doesn’t sound too obvious or out of place. Essentially it proves a nice wobble sound.
The controls on the pedal control how big this volume change is, and how quickly it occurs. It’s not too far away from the phaser, flanger and chorus pedals, but still sounds unique when compared to them.
The Clyde models are the most sought after by collectors with early models having his picture on the bottom and later models only a signature. They were manufactured in Italy and sold by Thomas Organ in the U.S. The sound caught on with great success and songs of the late sixties and seventies are permeated with wah-wah.
I want to mention that the tone of your individual wah may be adjusted to your personal taste by simply pulling back the rubber retaining loop, which applies pressure to the shaft, and rotating the pot to change where the shaft engages the pot. This will change the tone range emphasized by the pot — i.e. more or less treble or bass.
I want to mention that Geoffrey went through all these vintage pedals, save the E-H Crying Tone Pedal, to make sure they were in top operational condition. My CryBaby was the only one he modified. The American Vox V84and King Vox Wah sound good but lack the range and richness of tone of the others, probably due to the inductor and caps. They both sounded better than the new Vox V847.
The E-H Crying Tone Pedal is really interesting. A knob on the right side of the chassis selects it to be a wah or volume pedal. The first of two knobs on the left side of the chassis select regular or reverse wah; i.e., pressing the pedal down can make it emphasize bass rather than the normal treble. The second knob selects one of four tone ranges to be affected. This is a good sounding pedal, but is a little to tricky for me. I want just one great sounding wah-wah pedal.
The Vox CryBaby made in Italy sounded almost identical to my Vox V84Italy but with slightly less treble. They both use the canister inductor, but the caps are different.
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DEL CASHER has done a lot of impressive things with his guitar over the last 50 years. He has performed with Gene Autry, Lawrence Welk, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. He’s appeared, strumming, in movies with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lewis. He’s been a featured player on dozens of film and TV soundtracks.
But there is one accomplishment that Mr. Casher, now 73, wishes more people knew about: his role in the invention of the wah-wah pedal.
In his Beverly Hills home, Del Casher holds an original wah-wah pedal, which is used to give electronic guitars some aspects of the human voice.
Here’s a full list of control options
The RISE and FALL modes create a type of uni-directional phase effect, where you hear the sound going up over and over again or down over and over again, instead of the traditional sweeping pattern.
Here are a few settings from the PH-3’s manual
You can set the tempo via the tap functionality or use an expression pedal for real-time control of the unit’s speed.
The Current MXR Phase 90
Today’s version of the pedal is still fairly basic, with only a speed knob and the engage button.
Here’s a quick look from the owner’s manual
I can’t help but find it a bit comical that they include a list of sample settings where the last one is labeled YOUR SETTING with a blank white circle. So yes, it’s simple, but the analog circuits give off a warmth and richness to the tone which has been used on a number of recordings over the years.
Power Consumption ~120 mA
However, I’d conclude that the price is justified when you consider its capabilities.
The biggest selling point would have to be the analog circuit that’s digitally controlled, which makes room for all the control, unique tones, and tap tempo inclusion.
This is also one of the few phaser pedals where I could really hear the analog circuits making a big difference. It just sounds better, more warm and sleek than the others on this list.
The Eight Waveforms
You get a predictable blend control for adjusting the overall wet/dry mix of whatever effect you’re using, a stage selector (2, or stages), and a gain knob.
There’s also a mode switch simply marked “and 2.” Without being able to consult a manual, the difference between these two modes seems to be one of effect depth or thickness, where mode two is just a much heavier phaser, almost like an added wet/dry mix knob or an additional stage. In the first mode, most of the controls have a more subtle impact and don’t change the signal drastically from one extreme to the other.
The depth control knob is a bit deceptively named, since it controls the pedal’s wet/dry mix.
Hiking the rate knob, particularly in the 4-stage mode, is reminiscent of the Phase 90, in as much as it provides a lot more warmth and definition.
Using the two-stage mode with the two knobs at 1o’clock definitely embellishes the “nuanced” aspect of this pedal as it can, at times, be difficult to discern whether you’re hearing the phaser effect at all.
Vintage mode is the most nuanced, which reminds me of the analog sounds of the Phase 90 and the Keeley 2Bumping up the mix and feedback knobs creates a deeper and more intense effect. The feedback knob in particular is more sensitive than what you typically see on other phaser pedals.
TonePrint mode allows you to control the pedal from the TonePrint app or engage the settings that you have stored to the pedal (more on that below).
Smooth was my personal favorite. In this third mode, the depth you get from each peak almost has a flanger-like quality, which can be heard even with the knob at a lower depth setting. This is gives the Helix a unique phaser tone, before you even get to the Tone Print shaping features.
Bands and guitar players that use these phaser pedals
At some point the phaser went from being an Eddie Van Halen classic sound, to a favorite of guys like Einziger and Marcos Curiel. There’s nothing “vintage” about those dudes.
Today, the effect is most often used as a way to decorate short guitar fills and melody lines.
So he no longer travels with a full complement of pedals like you see in the diagram, favoring instead to have everything patched in.
I don’t know where to begin
I don’t know where to start. If you own a Wah pedal then you remember back in your noob days when you didn’t really have much to go on other than what the songs you hear sound like.
That in mind, I messed with a friends Wah and decided maybe I wasn’t very good with it or it wasn’t a pedal for me. Then I went to one of the Guitar Centers here in Austin and tried a couple more. Still was very very very unsure how people like Joe Bonnamassa and Jimi Hendrix got perfect sounding Wah. Eventually I found myself at my favorite guitar center in town, talking to my favorite guitar center employee and decided what the hell.. Might as well as about wah pedal.
Without even thinking about it for a full second he said 535Q. I said “what?” thinking he was talking code, as we walked to the display case. He pointed at this one and said “thats the one.” I looked in and decided to test it out. I also had him pull out the Joe Bonnamassa Wah and tried them side by side. I didn’t have to get past this one before my mind was made up but I tried Joe’s anyway. This thing was AMAZING! I immediately paid and went home to add it into my sounds. I dialed it in to what I like (boost switch off, Range nob maxed clockwise, volume all the way down, wah range hour from maxed out) and left it that way ever since, aside from having fun here and there. I lay down some rhythm into my loop pedal then turn this on and it changes the tone a bit while blowing people away. It also gives my guitar a little volume boost when I activate it so it’s PERFECT for switching to lead. That’s 100% customizable though.
How to Choose a Guitar Pedal
Simply put, there are thousands of guitar pedals on the market and each has different abilities that make that particular pedal unique amongst its competitors. Some types of pedals even have features that overlap with other types. For example, you can increase your overall gain through a distortion or an overdrive pedal, but as a general rule, distortion pedals tend to do a better job in this realm.
Wrapping It Up
The world of guitar pedals takes years to truly understand. There are so many great sound options that are available in your pedal board that you might be overwhelmed by it all. Of the pedals I tested and reviewed, the Dunlop Crybaby Wah really came out ahead because of its unique sound and customizability options, but the other pedals on the list have a lot of great versatility and function as well. The best thing about pedals is the fact that they can be used in conjunction, so take a look at some of the guitar pedals that I reviewed and give them a try.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your wah pedal wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of wah pedal
- №1 — Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal
- №2 — Valeton EP-1 Active Volume Pedal Combines Wah Mods Guitar Effects Pedal 2 Performance
- №3 — Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal