The 5 Best Guitar Wah Pedals $70 to $170

Dunlop Crybaby Wah Pedal

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5 Guitar Wah Pedals Compared

A Wah pedal is a wah pedal right? Or is it? You can find a ton of variance in features on these pedals, and even more mods you can make yourself once you get most wahs – and there are different types, sounds and functional mechanisms that make them all work.

So there is a bit to look at, but if you want a wah here are a few to choose from that we feel are a pretty good swipe of the field and the 5 best options – from $70 all the way up to $170.

Here they are:

Original Crybaby EHX Crying Tone Vox V847A Budda BudWah MXR MC404
Dunlop Crybaby Wah Pedal EHX Crying Tone Wah vox-v847-a-wah-pedal Budda Budwah Guitar Wah Pedal MXR Wah MC404 Pedal
Get it: $69.95 Get it: $87.00 Get it: $89.95 Get it: $169.00 Get it: $169.95
Features: Just Wah, but a classic. There are many others for different tastes (and prices) Check out more Crybabys here. Features: No pots, no moving parts. Accelerometer based, nothing to wear out, no pots. Features: Just Wah, provides the classic sounds. Features: Just Wah, but well researched to address many well known “wah issues” Features: Dual Inductors (you choose), has boost. Has internal adjustment for gain and “Q”.
Word on the street: Its the original. If you want the original sound, this is it! Word on the street: Sounds great,works great, very responsive. May not fit on your pedal board. Read our review on the Crying Tone here. Word on the street: Another Classic sound – Clapton, Hendrix, etc. Very even throughout the sweep. Word on the street: Even the highs (forward) sound great, not harsh. Very sweet and smooth through the whole sweep. Word on the street: Amazing, hot sound. Well worth the extra money for the flexibility.
True Bypass: No True Bypass: Yes True Bypass: No True Bypass: Yes True Bypass: Yes
Solid Metal Construction Solid Metal Construction Solid Metal Construction Solid Metal Construction Solid Metal Construction

The Crybaby and the Vox stand out because they’re the masters of that wah sound – the sound we’re used to from Hendrix, Clapton and others. They pretty much have to be on your “maybe” list for this fact alone – if that’s the sound that inspired you to go shopping for a wah pedal, and that’s the exact sound you want – you might want to just go with one of those.

Other manufacturers have been listening to the opinions of users of the Crybaby and the Vox – and there are some areas for improvement – even in these time tested and proven pedals.

For some, the Cryababy can get a little weak in the middle of the sweep – where your tone is just becoming muffled and losing some of that midrange. Some say the Vox has areas in the sweep where the tone changes a bit too dramatically. Others just want new features.

That’s where the other pedals step in. The Budda Budwah folks spend a ton of time and money investigating all of the issues that guitarists had with the original (and even some newer) wah pedals. The sweep is smooth, and there is no harshness, even at full forward. They’ve included a true bypass. While there aren’t a ton of “new” features – they’ve addressed a bunch of common “issues” with wah pedals, so you’re going to have a more pleasant – although standard – wah experience.

MXR has added features. They also brought true bypass to the table, but added dual inductors that you can toggle between, and “Q” and gain adjustments – albeit internal. It’s also got a wider voicing.

EHX decided to make the thing last forever – so they went with accelerometer technology to provide a wah with no moving parts.

In all – these are five wahs that won’t leave you disappointing – the decision maker for you will likely be in the features.


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Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

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