How the McWah came to be was actually a carefully studied and concerted effort: with a sole mission of staying “true” to characteristic original vibes that we’ve all come to expect from an original classic wah while re-creating the necessary bite, warmth, and feel that a good modern wah must have.
In the prototyping days (~2003) we acquired several different wahs from various manufactures: paying special attention to obtaining as many different wahs from as large of a spread of dates as possible. This was necessary in order to learn how they’ve evolved from the original 1967 (patented) design. We experimented with modern, vintage, and retro/reissue wahs in our quest to learn what we did and didn’t like about every wah we came across. As a result, this provided invaluable info concerning the various adaptations of the original design – which in our opinion was beautifully simple, and highly effective.
To our ears, the McWah closely tracks the sounds of early pedals (because it’s based on the original Clyde McCoy circuit). This was a fundamental part of it’s design requirements. We wanted THAT sound but also for it to have an easily usable “middle area” and feel. It had to be extremely vocal and massively dynamic.
If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance you’ve encountered the same problems we did. eg: you have a wah that sounds good (sometimes) BUT you can only move your foot (for what feels like) 1/2″ before it becomes too thin, or too useless.
Another design and implementation requirement was that it had to be roadworthy, and easy on battery consumption. We also needed to add a DC jack (the originals didn’t have one), power filtration, reverse-voltage protection, and we started housing it in a custom case which has an extra 3/16″ throw. Last, but not least – it needed a one of a kind custom tapered long lasting pot: so we engineered a potentiometer with CTS to take advantage of the newfound extra travel.
There’s no great feats of strength nor claims to cunning intellectual genius, or electronic wizardry on our part. We didn’t invent the wah, but we enjoy providing our take on the classic design and making it available to you.