Say Wah? Five Essential Signature Wah Pedals
For all the audio wizardry made possible by effect pedals, nothing quite rivals the expression allowed by a great wah pedal.
Originally intended to mimic the sound of a muted trumpet, it didn't take long for guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa to make that sweet, sweeping "wah-wah" sound an integral part of the rock and roll lexicon. Whether conjuring a voodoo child or a bad horsie, the human element of the active manipulation of the pedal and its voice-like qualities are what give the wah a special place on the pedalboards — in and in the hearts — of countless musicians.
This week, we look at five essential pedals tailored especially for players who really took the wah and made it an integral part of their signature sound.
As always, this list was compiled by a group of Guitar World staffers, including technical editor Paul Riario.
Outside of the realm of fretboard dramatics, few guitarists have used the wah quite so effectively as a tone control than Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell. The wah makes a subtle appearance on countless AIC classics, including "Them Bones" and "Down in a Hole," helping one of grunge's greatest players to home in on that tonal "sweet spot" for his ripping leads.
With a darker tonal spectrum than your stock Cry Baby, the JC95 gives you maximum control of your range by way of an adjustable Fine Tune knob. Thanks to Cantrell's predilection for cutting mids, you won't get bogged down with muddy bottom-end tones or shrill highs, instead getting a clear, throaty effect ideal for the careful tone-master and the stomp-happy guitarist.
What does it sound like?
Our own Paul Riario tries out the Jerry Cantrell Wah:
MSRP: $264.99 | Learn more about this pedal.