One of the most important things about the electric guitar is that it provides every musician with an abundance of possibilities. Say what you will, but this is one of the most – if not THE most expressive instruments of all time. So this article will be all about the best wah pedals 2020!
Of course, the electric guitar on its own does nothing, but when paired with a good rig, you’ll be able to do anything that your heart desired. Some prefer simpler options, but it still gives you a lot of options in artistic expression. Adding in a pedal, two, or more will give you even more options that help you shape your tone in any way that your heart desires.
But while we’re at expression qualities of our favorite instrument and all of the effects and gadgets that come with it, nothing really beats a good wah-wah pedal.
Being a filter effect with and a variable EQ boost with a peak resonant frequency control, you get some very expressive voice-like qualities with it. Since its invention in the 1960s, it has become one of the essential effects for both rhythm and lead sections, not only in rock music but in plenty of other genres as well. With all this said, we’re going to be looking into the best wah pedals 2020 that you can find on the market these days.
Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Morley 20/20 Power Fuzz Wah
When it comes to Wah pedals, Morley is a company that managed to exceed everyone’s expectations with their impeccable products. Here, we’re looking into their amazing 20/20 Power Fuzz Wah pedal. Now, as you might have already realized, this is more than just a simple wah pedal since it comes with an integrated fuzz effect.
There are two controls for fuzz intensity and level, adding a very unique tone to its already very expressive voice-like characteristics. You can switch the fuzz effect on or off at any time with a separate footswitch on its right side. Additionally, there’s also a footswitch switch on the left side that lets you turn on the “vintage” fuzz mode. Of course, you can also control the main sensitivity of the wah effect itself.
Aside from being one extremely versatile and very expressive wah pedal, there’s another great feature that comes with the 20/20 pedal. This one comes with an electro-optical design, meaning that it has a switchless operation.
This makes it a perfect choice for those who don’t like the toe-clicking action of most wahs these days. Just step on it, and it will start doing its magic. What’s more, you can use its fuzz effect independently, without turning on the wah. Overall, a well-deserved spot on any best wah pedals 2020 list.
In some way, T-Rex pedals are really underrated, and that’s why we’re really glad to feature them on our best wah pedals 2020 rundown. In their very potent arsenal of products, we’re bringing out their Shafter wah pedal. Once again, we have a pedal that brings more features into the mix, making it one very versatile unit.
Overall, it’s a fairly simple one to use, which is what we really like about T-Rex’s Shafter. The pedal comes with the classic toe-clicking operation and a very sturdy build. Now, right in the middle of its control panel, right in front of the rocking part, we have a 3-way switch that lets you choose between three distinct wah effect types.
There’s also a so-called Hot Spot switch that allows a different type of a sweep response. For additional tone-shaping, this pedal even has a simple clean boost control, as well as a slope parameter knob that changes the wah’s overall response to your control. What’s more, the Shafter is designed to have an almost noiseless operation, making your overall output very clean compared to most of the wah’s on the market these days.
Xotic Effects XW-1
While their name doesn’t pop up that often when talking about guitar pedals, Xotic Effects rose to fame with their impeccable XW-1 wah pedal.
Featuring great build quality and true bypass, it’s a very reliable one and a safe choice for guitar players of all genres. The most interesting part is that XW-1 retains a very simple overall design and functionality, making it really easy to use. Just switch it on and you’re in for a treat.
However, we also have some additional controls that allow you to shape its output in a few ways. We have bias, wah-q, bass, and treble controls located on the pedal’s right side.
And as if this wasn’t enough, the pedal has internal dip switches that help you tweak its resonance and maximum frequency range. It’s needless to say that its tone is just surprisingly expressive, making it one of the best choices for experienced and professional guitar players. All of this makes the Xotic one of the best wah pedals 2020.
Dunlop GCB95 Classic Cry Baby
But no matter how deep we go into today’s market of wah pedals, we always come back to the good old Classic Cry Baby. The circuitry on this one replicates the tone of the original wah pedal that was somewhat of an accidental invention back in the 1960s.
And you’ve definitely heard the GCB95 model somewhere since both amateurs and professionals have used it over the years. And, the most interesting part here is that this is still one of the most affordable pedals that you can find these days.
The Cry Baby is placed within the well-known easily recognizable metal casing with a very durable rocking part and potentiometer. And the pedal has no additional controls aside from it. Just step on it to switch it on and you’re ready to do your expressive lead or rhythm part.
Having a very balanced tone and response, the GCB95 has found its way into many different genres, and to our list of best wah pedals 2020. In case you’re looking for a simple wah pedal and just don’t know where to start, this is the one that you’ll want to get into.
Dunlop JH1D Jimi Hendrix Signature
Of course, Dunlop perfected their wah pedal craft and brought an abundance of different expressive products in this category over the years. Going back to the 1960s, Jimi Hendrix has just broken onto the scene when wah pedals became a thing. Needless to say, he’s one of the legends who popularized this expressive effect, so it’s no surprise that Dunlop made a wah pedal in his tribute, the JH1D, that’s honoring his legacy.
Back in the old days, Hendrix used a wah pedal made by the Italian company JEN according to Thomas Organ Company’s original design. This was the pedal that we heard on his major hits that are still being played to this day. Dunlop took this same tone and did their own version of the pedal.
In case you’re a fan of Hendrix and the 19960s psychedelic rock kind of tones, then this is what you’ll want to look into. Believe it or not, the JH1D model manages to reproduce even the nuances of Hendrix’s tone, all with a very reasonable price tag. One of the best wah pedals 2020 for sure.
Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2
Knowing how great their pedals are, it’s no surprise to see yet another Morley wah on this list. Although somewhat similar in its design to their previous one that we mentioned, the Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 is a different deal. As you might have assumed, this one is done as a collaboration between the maestro himself, Steve Vai, and Morley.
The VAI-2 model comes as a continuation of his first Bad Horsie, bringing some of the same features, all while taking it to a whole new level. Of course, the pedal has its useful electro-optical switchless operation, which makes it super-easy to use.
But in addition to this, we have a separate switch on it that engages the contour mode. The tone in this mode is additionally shaped by two controls for volume level and contour.
This means that you can add even more different wah tones and shape your wah color for different songs or song sections. It’s needless to say that this pedal also retains amazing build qualities that we’re also seeing with Morley’s other products.
But in case you’re looking for a cheaper and simpler solution when it comes to best wah pedals 2020, there are some devices on the market that are worth checking out. Joyo is one of the most popular budget brands, but not only just because they sell cheap stuff. Looking at their WAH-II multimode wah pedal, it’s obvious that they know how to make quality stuff.
Now, this is a multi-functional pedal, with the main focus on the wah effect. Other than that, it can be implemented as a volume pedal. When used in the volume mode, you can set the minimum level for the pedal’s open position.
As for the wah effect, it’s controlled through quality and range controls, giving you some options to obtain different kinds of tones. Overall, it’s an extremely cheap one, yet it provides you both with quality of operation and great wah tones. As usual, Joyo delivers a great deal for the price.
Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah
While most the guitar players prefer regular wah pedals, dynamic or automatic wahs are useful as well.
With a piece like Boss’ AW-3, you’ll be able to create an abundance of different tones and have it automatically change open and closed wah positions depending on your playing dynamics. What’s more, you can even inverse open and closed positions.
The pedal’s diversity is also shown with its Humanizer mode that is controlled through two switched, each replicating a vowel as if it was spoken by a human.
On top of all this, AW-3 can be implemented as a regular wah when paired with an expression pedal. It’s more than just a simple wah, but rather a real workstation for those who seek to add voice-like qualities to their guitar tone.
While we mostly remember the company for their amazing tube-driven amps, Vox also makes great pedals, and some of the best wah pedals 2020. What’s more, back in the old days, they were one of the first to manufacture commercially successful wah pedals.
The V845 model is made after Vox’s original circuitry from the 1960s. Along with its overall simple design and features, it’s one of the most popular models among the lovers of vintage-oriented pedals.
And the biggest strength of V845 is, in fact, its simplicity. All you need to do is just step on it, switch it on with standard toe-clicking action, and you’ll get those sweet and expressive wah tones that this pedal is well-known for.
Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby
Dunlop’s Cry Baby series includes a lot of different wah pedals. Another one that we would like to take a closer look at is the 535Q model that’s been gaining a lot of attention over the years. In many ways similar to the classic GCB95 Cry Baby, this model gives you more control over your sonic output.
This is allowed with a simple switch that lets you choose how the center frequency will be positioned on the pedal. Additionally, you can also set the width of the frequency sweep. And it doesn’t stop there. The pedal also comes with a simple boost which can add up to 16 dB to your original signal.
Essentially, the 535Q wah is an improved version of the classic Cry Baby, the GCB95 model. In case you love the well-known standard voicing of that pedal, yet you prefer to have more tone-shaping options at your disposal, the 535Q model will be the right choice for you.
Best Wah Pedals 2020 – Conslusion
We hope you had as much fun reading this article as we had while researching and writing it! But most of all, we hope that you’ve found your best wah pedals 2020. Now all you need is a killer electric guitar. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are going through and have a good one, folks!