John Frusciante’s Ibanez WH-10 V1 Wah Pedal

This is John’s main Wah pedal, and the one that he has been using consistently with the Peppers, ever since joining the band. He explained that he prefers this pedal over something like a Dunlop CryBaby because Ibanez has a wider frequency range.

I have an Ibanez wah-wah pedal because it has a wider range than the others. I use a Fuzzface and a Boss distortion pedal, and an MXR phase shifter, and that’s about it.

Guitar (UK), February 1991

As far as the origin story, John was given this pedal by Ibanez, alongside two guitars, all of which he used for a brief time when he first joined the band in 1988. He ended up smashing the guitars and keeping the wah.

When I first joined the Chili Peppers Ibanez was really friendly and gave me the wah pedal along with two or three guitars. I played the guitars for a while but the band—by which I mean Anthony and Flea—was totally against it, and so when I switched to playing Fender Stratocasters I smashed the Ibanez guitars on stage just to make them happy—but I definitely kept the wah pedal!

How John Frusciante Got His Red Hot Wah Tones

Over the years, John tried experimenting with Dunlop Crybaby Wahs, but it seems that nothing really managed to replace the WH10.

Only the Vintage Models

It’s worth noting that John uses the vintage models, which are made of plastic (the newer version is metal) and are easily breakable. In the interview above John mentions that he broke a few and was left with just one at the point when he left the band after Stadium Arcadium.

Ibanez WH-10 is my standard wah since BloodSugarSexMagik. I don’t think there’s a better wah. When we were making Stadium Arcadium, there was so much wah I figured I’d use a variety of pedals and there wasn’t one that came close to the Ibanez. There are a couple of Crybabys that are cool, but for me, they weren’t as good, because I use a lot of feedback. I want something that when I put it in one position, one note is going to feedback, and when I put it in another position, another note is going to feedback. You just have more variation with the Ibanez because there’s a wider frequency range.

Vintage Guitar (USA), April 2009


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Zachary Friday
Zachary Friday
4 years ago

John also used a Dimebag Darrell Dunlop Crybaby wah during Stadium Arcadium, because it adds on distortion when engaged. This can be heard on tracks like Dani California.

Zachary Friday
Zachary Friday
4 years ago
Reply to  Zachary Friday

Actually it has a volume boost rather than added distortion, along with an added eq kind of thing, which in turn can totally add distortion.