“Clyde McCoy was duly paid $500 to endorse a pedal he probably never used”: The wah pedal changed the sound of electric guitar – but was originally intended for the trumpet

Wah Pedal
(Image credit: Future)

In late October 1965, Vox designer Dick Denney visited the Thomas Organ Company, who distributed Vox in the US, to advise on the design of a new line of US manufactured solid-state amplifiers. One of these amps was the 100-watt Vox Super Beatle, which featured a resonant boost.

In a company summary of their work with Denny, it was proposed that a top-panel selector switch could be used to toggle between “the normal maximum treble boost action and the selected resonant boost characteristic”. 

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Huw Price

Huw started out in recording studios, working as a sound engineer and producer for David Bowie, Primal Scream, Ian Dury, Fad Gadget, My Bloody Valentine, Cardinal Black and many others. His book, Recording Guitar & Bass, was published in 2002 and a freelance career in journalism soon followed. He has written reviews, interviews, workshop and technical articles for Guitarist, Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar Buyer and Music Tech. He has also contributed to several books, including The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman. Huw builds and maintains guitars and amplifiers for clients, and specializes in vintage restoration. He provides consultancy services for equipment manufacturers and can, occasionally, be lured back into the studio.