The Jennings Musical Industries Queen's Award Wah-Wah pedal: late 1967 and early 1968

For an overview of Jennings Musical Industries wah pedals, and a growing register of surviving examples, . The "Queen's Award" pedals, scarce these days, take their name from their fancy base plate, which hears at top the symbol of the award, conferred on JMI in April 1967 - .

These pedals were probably made for Jennings at the Vox/Eko factory at Recanati (a little south of Ancona) in the last third of 1967. The new EME factory at Macerata only got underway in 1968:

  • The E.M.E. factory at Monte Cassino ready for production, November 1968

EME was a joint venture between Jennings, Eko, and Thomas Organ, which had or at least claimed title to the Vox name in the USA. Reports from the "Coventry Evening Telegraph", 27th October, 1966; and "Billboard" magazine, 2nd November, 1968.

The Queen's Award pedals were evidently produced side-by-side with a small but distinctive batch of Clyde McCoy "script" or "signature" wahs nominally produced for Thomas Organ. These last however were not exported to the States, but sold locally in Italy.

The two sets of wahs are identical - potted (sealed up) circuit boards, English Arrow wafer switches, the same wiring schema - the only difference being the base plate.

One never finds McCoy script wahs with potted circuit boards in the U.S.A.

Queen's Award symbol (the award made in April 1967) on the base plate, produced in Italy for Jennings. Serial number (provided in England) - 07857. Note the red paint on the inductor to mark it has been inspected/tested.

Wah nominally made for Thomas Organ but sold locally in Italy. Serial number 5992. No red inspection mark on the inductor. This pedal came from Rome.

Four McCoy script wahs have come to light in Italy so far, three with serial numbers in the 5000s - 5628, 5631, 5992 - the fourth unknown. The numbers evidently belong to the main Thomas Organ numbering sequence, which (very) provisionally seems to be:

Beginning of run to c. 2500: Clyde McCoy "picture" wahs - a picture of McCoy on the base plate.

c. 2500 - 23100: Clyde McCoy "script" wahs - base plate as above.

Short run (transitional): same circuit, base plate plain but for an applied detail from one of the Thomas Organ adverts.

The pedals with potted boards, produced for sale in Italy and export to England, therefore appear to be early in the sequence of McCoy script wahs.

Presumably the potting was thought necessary to prevent companies in Italy and England copying the circuit. One has to assume that it would not have been easy to import wahs (with unpotted boards) from the States.

Standard Clyde McCoy "script" wah made in Italy and exported to the USA - unpotted board. Some have tropical fish capacitors, others green Arco.

At least one McCoy script wah in the USA has a circuit diagram in its base, probably drawn in Italy - the writing is European not American. Others are said to have, or at least to have had, the same, though for the moment the photo below is the only firm evidence.

Schematic, drawn in Italy, for the McCoy script wah

Numbers are given in continental form - angled heads to "1", crossed "7", and so on.

The circuit is given also in the PRELIMINARY SCHEMATIC published by Thomas Organ in April 1967, but expressed in a different form, and with different transistors - 2N3900A rather than the 2N5232A of the drawing above.

Descriptions of parts and component numbers were provided on a separate sheet, also dated April 1967. Service schematics of course would not keep the circuit from prying eyes any more than a screwdriver would.

A good deal of sorting out remains to be done. The assertions made about early Thomas Organ wah pedals over the years - some still current - need proper testing out.