“For many wah enthusiasts, Clyde McCoy wahs are considered the ‘Holy Grail’, and Xotic has replicated its tonal recipe”: Xotic XW-2 Wah – Red Limited review

Xotic is only making 1,000 of these, which is a shame, because it is maybe the most beautiful wah pedal you will ever see. But how does it sound?

Xotic XW-2 Wah – Red Limited
(Image: © Xotic Effects)

Guitar World Verdict

The XW-2 is Xotic’s no-nonsense wah with a throaty and articulate vocal-like sweep, and a must-have for wah connoisseurs that love McCoy-voiced wahs with a smaller footprint and bright metallic finish.


  • +

    Articulate and expressive wah tones.

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    Easy plug-in and play with no external knobs.

  • +

    Compact wah housing that’s 20 percent smaller.

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    Quality audio-grade components.

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    Bright LED power indicator.

  • +

    Eye-catching red metallic finish.


  • -

    Expensive for a wah.

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    Some players may prefer a normal-size foot treadle.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

In a recent interview, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett openly addressed the flak he’s often received for his blatant overuse of a wah pedal by softly capitulating, “I can’t get away from it. I love the wah…” And instead of throwing more shade toward his lead-footed wah tendencies, I'm just gonna flat out agree with him. 

With that, there are many wah pedals I’ve unabashedly swept through with impunity like Mr. Hammett, and as a bit of a wah connoisseur (I own well over 30 wahs), I can unequivocally say that all wahs are not the same.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.