When it comes to audio equipment, there are many different directions you can choose. For example, you can be a guitar player and stock up on guitar strings
, guitar amplifiers
, electric bass guitars
, acoustic guitars, picks, and so on. If you want to be a DJ, you'll want CD players, turntables, vinyls, and a teeth whitening kit (as you will smile a lot while playing music to your crowd)! If you want to be a singer, you'll need microphones, speakers, recording equipment, and maybe a good tonic for your voice.
If you prefer the guitar and want to follow in the footsteps of legendary guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Slash, Carlos Santana, and others, at some point you might need a wah pedal too. This accessory broadens your musical spectrum, allowing you to experiment with different types of sound effects that will add personality to you compositions.
Let's explain why these items are called "wah" pedals. When the pedal is on and pressed slightly, it alters the input from the guitar, creating a muffled sound. Think of when you're standing outside a nightclub and can hear the music inside, but it is somehow enclosed and masked. When you start pressing the pedal, this sound will gradually "open up." The electronics inside the pedal raise the frequency of the signal, creating a high-pitched sound. When the pedal is pressed at the fullest, the sound is at its highest. When this process is accelerated, it makes a "wah wah" sound, starting from low notes and progressing to higher notes.
Let's learn more about wah pedals and what they bring to the table. It is important to know a few tips and tricks before buying, so continue reading.
Contrary to popular belief, audio equipment is much less expensive today in comparison with a few decades ago. You'll be happy to find out that the price of a good wah pedal can start from just 20 bucks, and it can go up to $100-$120 for a high-end model. Obviously, there might be more expensive pedals out there, but they have more functions than just producing the wah sound, so we will not include them here.
You will also find a lot of cheap wah pedals on the market, but we suggest you stay away from them. These products usually get damaged after a few weeks of use, and they are not as cleverly engineered as the pedals from reputable brands. If you are interested in top-notch sounds, spend a few extra bucks to get a quality item. The functions of a wah pedal, as well as the manufacturing company, can influence the price of such sound accessories, so if you want a really sophisticated one, be prepared to come up with a larger budget.
Now let's get down to business and find out what to look for when choosing a wah pedal. Qualities you'll want to look at include:
- Sound Type - Some pedals are specially designed to reproduce vintage sounds that were popular in the 60s. Other pedals are more present-oriented and still make a great sound
- Controls - Pressing the pedal adjusts the frequency range of the wah sound, but there are more levers you can use to shape the sound produced by a wah pedal. Some of these tools include knobs for adjusting the tone, depth, and level of the sound
- Warranty - Some manufacturers offer a warranty period of one or two years for their products
- Power Options - Most wah pedals are battery-powered, but many also include a power jack where you can plug in a compatible AC adapter. In some cases, you might have to buy the adapter separately, but still, it is a good thing to know that your pedal won't run out of juice
If you are a beginner, we suggest getting a standard pedal that doesn’t come with too many bells and whistles. Although you are just rocking your foot on the pedal to alter the sound (a simple task), when you combine that with the infinite amounts of sounds your guitar can produce, you will have tons to learn and many hours of fun. Stick with the basics until you get more experienced.
Construction and Design
Most high-quality wah pedals from professional manufacturers are designed to withstand the heavy usage of a professional guitar player. They are usually made from metal, but can also incorporate durable plastic components. Wah pedals are also rather compact, and some come with a carrying bag.
The controls of the pedal are usually mounted sideways or on top, away from your foot. You can adjust them to alter the sound and experiment with it. This is the fun part, because you'll get acoustic feedback instantly, and you can adjust the sounds to match your preferences. When the pedal is on, you might see a LED light coming to life, letting you know that the pedal is active.
Wah pedals also incorporate a bypass function. This means that although the pedal is connected to your guitar, it doesn’t alter the sound; it simply lets it "pass." This function is activated as standard, and when you press the pedal, the electronics inside start to do their job and alter the sound. If you don’t want the sound to be altered, you don’t have to unplug the pedal. Just lift your foot from it.
Performance and Ease of Use
Some wah pedals can also work with keyboards and synthesizers, or other audio equipment that produce a sound signal. This gives you yet another stream of endless customization and experimentation sessions, and this is the most exciting part of being in the music industry! If you are wondering how long the batteries can last, some of them can go for around 100 uninterrupted hours, which is pretty impressive. Still, it's not a bad idea to also get an AC adapter, just in case.
Picking a good wah pedal is a matter of taste, preference, and needs. You can get one that releases a vintage sound, or get a regular pedal that comes with control knobs. Let's go ahead and see a few products to learn even more about wah pedals!
Whether you are in the music business or not, Vox definitely rings a bell for most people. It's one of the most popular and appreciated companies in the world when it comes to sound equipment and accessories. You can get Bluetooth speakers from Vox, as well as microphones, speakers, amplifiers, wah pedals, and even high-quality headphones which are ideal for DJs.
The Vox V847A Wah Pedal is available in two buying options. You can go for a classic wah pedal, or opt for one with a more modern design and an AC adapter included. We are reviewing the second model today, and we are happy to mention that it includes a nine-volt battery. But you can always use the supplied adapter to make sure you don't run out of power during your gig.
This pedal has a INST jack for input and an AMP output jack, both 1/4 inch in diameter. The package also includes a vinyl carrying bag, which is useful in all situations. This model is a re-creation of the original wah pedal made by Vox in the 1960s, but with an included AC jack and modern components. You will be able to enjoy an authentic, unaltered vintage tone without waiting for scientists to invent a time machine so you can get back to the 60s!
Moog is an important name in the music industry, specializing in keyboards, synthesizers, and sound effect machines. It is one of the most prestigious and acclaimed brands around, supplying musical equipment and accessories to DJs, composers and music producers all over the world. Apart from sound equipment, you can also get high-quality surveillance cameras from this brand.
The EP3 Expression Pedal from Moog is a universal expression pedal with a robust and improved design. It incorporates a knob that lets you select the preferred musical range or frequency, as well as a 1/4 inch output jack. In the package, you will find a 6.5-foot cable, but you can also use a different cable that suits your needs better.
This model from Moog has been specially designed using durable materials to keep up with the busy schedule of a professional musician. Whether you are touring or practicing at home, the EP3 Expression Pedal will spice up your musical compositions, delivering a customizable, powerful, and warm sound.
Morley makes audio equipment and sound effect machines and sells them at reasonable prices, giving aspiring DJs and composers the chance to experiment without spending a fortune on musical accessories. This brand creates a wide variety of wah pedals that allow you to control multiple functions at once. Apart from pedals, Morley also makes mixers, sound combiners, and guitar effect machines.
We were pleasantly surprised by the Morley Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah Pedal. It has a beautiful, elegant, and simplistic design that gives you the opportunity to play with two different wah sounds – Bad Horsie and Contour wah. This model also has two knobs that modify the level and frequency of the wah sound, giving you endless customization options.
This wah pedal runs on a nine-volt battery, but you can also get a compatible adapter and never run out of juice when practicing. It includes a LED indicator that tells you when the pedal is active. To give you more peace of mind, the manufacturer also provides a two-year warranty policy for this model. If you are really serious about your musical career and want a reliable product, give this wah pedal a chance and you won't be sorry!
Jim Dunlop makes multiple types of guitar accessories and sound equipment, including sound effect machines, guitar picks, pick holders, wah pedals, microphones, and potentiometers. It even sells a wide range of eye-catching t-shirts and gloves. This company has been in the business of making professional audio equipment for years, and we are glad to include a product from Jim Dunlop in our reviews.
The Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal is an ideal guitar accessory for both beginner and experienced players. This model has a compact and lightweight design, while featuring a heavy-duty die cast construction. This makes it ideal for busy guitarists who attend gigs on a regular basis and need a reliable product to spice up their concerts.
The beauty of this wah pedal is that it ensures instant feedback once you press the pedal, so there are no perceptible sound delays. You can use the included nine-volt battery to power up this item, or you can spend a couple of extra bucks and get a compatible power adapter. The core of this pedal is the 100k ohm potentiometer, which is capable of delivering crisp, clear sounds all the time. The manufacturer also backs this product up with a one-year warranty period, so you have lots of good reasons to go for this wah pedal!
Behringer doesn’t need any introduction, as it is a top manufacturer of audio equipment and sound machines. Some of the most famous DJs and producers use Behringer tools, because these products deliver top-notch sounds and offer numerous customization options. Behringer is a German brand and its range of products includes CD players, mixers, sound effect machines, wah pedals, keyboards, synthesizers, and more.
The Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive Pedal is an affordable wah pedal that delivers a vintage sound, thanks to the original distortion diodes built into its design. You'll have three knobs to control the drive, tone, and level of the sound, offering you limitless personalization options for the "wah" sound.
This model also includes a LED indicator that lets you know when the pedal is active. It can be powered by a nine-volt battery, and you can also get a compatible Behringer adapter, if you want to make sure you never run out of electricity. The main advantages of this wah pedal are its exceptional price, authentic vintage sounds, and the simple fact that it's a product made in Germany, which aces everything related to electronics!
A wah pedal might seem to be a small accessory, but it is actually a very powerful tool that can give depth, brightness, and resonance to your music. Whether you are an experienced musician or a beginner, this type of musical equipment can provide you with tons of fun and customization options. Remember to always go for the best wah pedals out there and take your compositions to the next level!