best wah pedal for blues

Best Wah Pedal For Blues Rock? Our Top 8!

Blues rock is known to have rich texture even while using basic instruments. The guitar riffs are heavy and the beats are strong. The guitars are king with solos that inspire awe and admiration. The most famous guitar players have iconic status among the fans of this genre. And many of them use one of these best wah pedal for blues rock options for effects pedals.

Although the style originated way back in the 1960s, it is still quite popular today with its influence clearly heard in the works of several bands. One of the secret weapons of these masters is the use of these wah pedals. Legends such as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix love to use this for unique wah effects pedal.

Quick Wah Pedal Comparison Chart

Picture Dimensions Power Source True Bypass? Our Notes
Morley VAI 2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah 9.13 x 5.88 x 2.75" 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter Yes Our Top Choice!
Fulltone Clyde 10.7 x 5.3 x 3.4” Standard 9V DC Power Operation Yes
Jim Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby 10 x 4 x 2.5" 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter No
VOX V847A 12.5 x 3.5 x 5.2” 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter No
Behringer Hellbabe HB01 10 x 4.7 x 3.9“ 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter No Most Affordable
Dunlop CBM95 Crybaby Mini Wah 5.2 x 3 x 2.6” 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter Yes
Dunlop JC95 - Jerry Cantrell Signature 11 x 5 x 4” 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter No
Hotone Soul Press 2.9 x 1.7 x 1.7” 9V Battery or 9V Power Adapter Yes

What To Look For in A Wah Pedal

1. Cost

There are hundreds of wah-wah pedal models out there so do a quick online search to get a feel for the range of prices. You will see that some are quite cheap while others can really dig a hole in your pocket. What’s remarkable is that not all cheap options are of low quality. Sometimes they may even be preferable because of their unique characteristics. The most expensive ones may not always be a good effects pedals fit either. Therefore, wah pedals buyers should determine their own budget and just get a good match in that range.

2. Flexibility

Most of the best wah pedals have simple circuitry such that they can only do one thing out of the box. They can severely limit what you can do with effects. A few have controls that let you change the way they behave so that you can adjust the response depending on what you need in a best wah pedal.

3. Sound

It would be good to try wah pedals in the store to hear the difference for yourself. If this is not possible, then look up demo videos online and determine if the pedal has the right sound that you are looking for. There all vary slightly in their wah tonal characteristics.

We all know that guitar solos sound amazing with this – just listen to Kirk Hammett or Joe Satriani!

4. Durability

You want to invest in a wah pedal that you can use for a long time. After all, it takes a while to master an effect. You want to grow with it and be confident when playing in front of crowds. Guitar pedals that break quickly have no place in your collection.

Our Blues Wah Pedal Recommendations

Steve Vai is a Grammy Award winner who is considered as one of the best guitarists of all time. He has played with Frank Zappa, Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, and White Snake. Given this pedigree, any item named after him will be subjected to high expectations. Fortunately, the Morley VAI-2 pedal can take all of the scrutiny. It may not look much with a minimalist design featuring an all-black shell with red text but it sure packs a punch.

What makes it unique is its fusion of two wah pedals in one true bypass unit. You can select the mode you want depending on the situation – contour mode and regular. The Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 also engages from the time any pressure is applied on the pedal such that you don’t have to stomp on it to make it activate. Once you step off, it will go into bypass and produce the sound you want. The brand is known for its pedals, especially its volume boost and wah creations. You can trust in their experience and expertise in this segment.

Fulltone Clyde - Standard Wah Guitar Effect Pedal

This is widely known among musicians as a classic wah pedal used by the some of the greats in the 60s. It was named after a trumpet player, Clyde McCoy, who was able to create a muted wah-wah sound. Vox tried to recreate it in a guitar pedal with fantastic results. This version takes its cue from the vintage Vox for a faithful reproduction. Every detail was tweaked to get the right tone and sound. They used the same wire type, the same inductance, and so on. This makes it more expensive to manufacture but the end result in tone is worth every penny.

It is slightly different from the original Clyde wah pedal in that it has an internal resonance control circuit. This allows users to trim the bass and gain however they want. Adjust by hand on the fly to get your preferred settings. If you are the nostalgic type or you simply want to recreate the sounds of the icons with your own hands, then this is a great pedal option. You should be able to get close to their sound using the tools they used in their prime. Most owners of these Fulltone wah pedals commend the excellent sound quality and best pedal tone.

Jim Dunlop GCB95 - Cry Baby Standard Wah Pedal

Another easy to use wah pedal model that you should definitely consider is the famous GCB95 Cry Baby wah. This wah pedal by Dunlop is considered by many as the best wah pedal by the brand on the market. This has been the case for many years. In fact, Cry Baby has been so widely used that it became synonymous with the wah wah sound. The Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby was particularly designed with beginners in mind. The price is good for those who just want to try things out at a relatively cheaper cost. This is a small amount considering the quality that you are getting — real sound value for money.

That said, the Dunlop Cry Baby wah has a lot of competition for the crown in this wah pedal segment. It may have been considered as the best in the business in the past but it is hard to make that claim now. Upstarts have proven that they can be on par or even exceed this classic wah pedal. Perhaps it is not really difficult to surpass it given its lack of innovation for a long while. It is not as customizable as other options unless tweaked by a pro. It’s also one of the most durable pedal options out there. My only wish would be that it was true bypass.

VOX V847A - Wah Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

This is another recreation of a 60s original pedal. It has the iconic VOX logo at the top and fantastic sound inside. It has won a legion of fans over the years with many saying that this is the default pedal if you want to play the blues. It is hard to reach a consensus on that claim but it cannot be denied that the V847A is an excellent option that does not break the bank. It’s an easy buy for guitarists thinking of getting their first or tenth wah pedal. Go ahead and get it if you like it.

Just be aware that this is not the most versatile pedal out there.  Its strength lies in is classic wah tone which a person can either love or loathe. It can be modified but only with the help of an expert in pedal circuitry. You may also check out other Vox wah pedals to see which one you like best. For example, the V845 wah is another classic that deserves a best mention. It has an all-black body in contrast with the V847’s gray and black combo. It has a solid build, awesome tone and sound, and low price.

Jimi Hendrix was known to use Vox for this effect as well.

Behringer Hellbabe HB01 - Ultimate Wah Pedal

You don’t need to shell out a fortune just to get a good pedal. The aforementioned VOX is under $100 but performs quite well. If you need something even cheaper, then take a look at the Hellbabe HB01 pedal from Behringer. This budget option can be bought for fairly cheap which is only a small fraction of many famous pedals out there. Yet this is not a low quality wah pedal by any means. If you read the various reviews, then you will realize that owners actually love this little pedal.

What’s mind-blowing is that the HB01 provides users with a set of controls for easy customization. There is no need to open it up and tinker with the circuitry. You can just utilize the built-in controls for on the fly adjustments. Whatever you want it to sound like, you have the power to make it happen. This makes the Hellbabe wah a great companion throughout your guitar journey. You can grow with it and discover more potential in the device as you learn more about the instrument. Make this pedal work like you want it to and channel your sound and tone creativity and play your best.

Dunlop CBM95 - Crybaby Mini Wah Pedal

When space is a scarce, you need to shave off every millimeter on your pedals. This mini pedal is diminutive in size for easier placement and better portability. However, it is no lightweight when it comes to performance. It provides the same tone that Dunlop pedals are known for but at half the original size. If you do gigs in small venues with tiny stages or if you use busy pedal boards, then this model is a suitable match. It is easy to squeeze into tight spaces without compromising the sound. The Cry Baby mini wah will still deliver like it should.

It is actually capable of delivering three tones inside this tiny pedal package. You pick the one that works best for the song you’re playing. These include low, vintage, and GCB95 baby mini pedal. This is a nice feature that should prove useful in a wide range of situations. It even contains Italian-made inductors that are similar to those in vintage pedals. The shell has a sturdy build so it should hold up well to extended use. Stomp on it all you want because it won’t make any complaints. The music will still sound amazing after many years.

Dunlop JC95 - Jerry Cantrell Wah Pedal

Alice in Chains is one of the bands that defined grunge music from the late 80s to the 90s and beyond. Its founder, Jerry Cantrell, is widely respected for his work as a songwriter and lead guitarist. This pedal bears his name as part of Dunlop‘s signature series. The wah tone is often described as dark and moody as a reflection of the artist’s preferences. If you like his sound and would like to emulate it, then this one is the device to buy since it was made to his specifications. Listen to demos to hear the tone difference between this wah model and all the other of the best wahs out there.

Users can also have their input in determining the sound since this model has a side control knob that allows people to set the high end and choose the amount of reduction in this range of frequencies. Experimentation will reveal the right blend for you. The looks of these best wah pedals may also win you over with the antique brass finish and the retro style logo sporting Cantrell’s signature sound. It’s a nice deviation from the usual plain black plastics that are so common today. It may be powered by an AC adapter or a 9V battery power supply.

Hotone Soul Press 3-in-1 Mini Volume/Wah/Expression

Why buy several pedals when you can achieve multiple effects with just one? The Soul Press 3 from Hotone was designed with the frequent traveler in mind. It has a compact body and a trio of effects to save on space and weight. If you are wondering how it sounds like, the company claims that their aim was to recreate the classic cry baby wah pedal. The features are impressive as it even includes adjustable tone control range. Users will surely enjoy using this one given everything that they can do without breaking their backs.

It is wallet-friendly as well. The price of these wah pedals is very reasonable which is solid for this type of wah pedal. Some pedals that cost more don’t even have this many features. In terms of looks, this one stands out with its red chassis and black top. Hotone’s other wah models the Vow Press and the Bass Press have similar stylings but are colored purple and black, respectively. Despite its size, it managed to find space for a 9V battery compartment. It’s easy to open the screws using a coin when you need to replace it.

Wah Effect Pedal Conclusion

The best wah pedal for blues depends a lot on the user’s personal inclinations. Fortunately, there is enough variety to cater for every type of electric guitar player and all kinds of moods to add to their effect pedal board. Listen to different artists to find a style that you enjoy and hunt down the gear that they use. If you’re lucky, you might even see a pedal that they co-designed. You could also get a classic wah tone to achieve the sound of an era. Just make sure that you compare their effect prices, sounds, flexibility, and durability to come up with the best choice.

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