3 YEARS IN THE MAKING... 30 YEARS OF HISTORY
Back in the 1980s, Bay area resident Matt Bacchi was creating custom equipment for local and touring musicians. Some of those names were and still are household names, what many would call guitar heros. Well every hero needs superpowers and awesome goodies and Matt Bacchi provided them. Among the custom gear he made, one piece in particular would become highly sought after for many years. This was the EMB Audio Remote Wah. Long before other rackmounted wahs, long before the term “boutique pedal” was around, and long before you could run into a local shop to buy a “hot-rodded” wah pedal, Matt was there.
The EMB Audio Remote Wah was a rackmounted wah unlike any other, custom or mass produced. In time, major companies which produced wah pedals began to release variations of their own pedals, which were and are still based on 1960s designs. One also released their own rack mounted wah, but still based in traditional design. The EMB Audio Remote Wah was anything but traditional. By taking his unique and custom design, Matt was able to introduce a unique product that also solved a major headache which touring professionals often had: reduce long lengths of cable and keep the audio signal clean and pure. With the wah circuit in the rack enclosure, the user could run any length of cable from the rack to a control pedal (modified volume/wah pedal chassis) onstage which would control the voltage to the rack unit, thereby controlling the wah’s audio circuit. It was genius, simple, and sounded amazing!
The original Remote Wah was custom built but had three main controls: Low, High, and Depth. Low determined the Low frequency starting point (Pedal heel position) and High determined the High frequency ending point (Pedal toe position). The Depth control changed how prevalent the actual wah effect was. From soft and sweet to extremely vocal and highly exaggerated. It purred, it roared, it growled like no other wah could. While several guitar heros of the 1990s were using the EMB Audio Remote Wah, it remained a custom built, one at a time situation until Matt finally bowed out of the music business in the mid/late 1990s. It would roughly be another fifteen years before Matt would even entertain the thought of getting back into the music industry.
Now, you must recall during the early to mid 1990s, most information was shared word of mouth or via magazines. One might read an article and if you were lucky, you could find a mailing address and compose a letter for more information on a product. Hopefully a phone number would be listed and you could quickly resolve any questions over the phone. Unfortunately, since EMB Audio was out of business and Matt had moved out of the country, obtaining any information (let alone purchasing) on the EMB Audio Remote Wah was rather difficult. My hard work paid off and I eventually tracked down two original EMB Audio Remote Wahs.
Fast forward to June 2011 and I found myself staring at a phone number. I had been searching for Matt for many years, since at least the late 1990s. I had spoken with several friends and former associates of his, but could never quite pinpoint his current location. After many phone calls, letters, emails, reaching out to any possible lead I could... I had located him. Finally. As I began entering the number into my phone, I wondered what would happen? I had heard from a friend that Matt was still out of the music industry. Would a stranger, calling him out of the blue, completely seal the door shut on all EMB Audio wahs forever? I knew I wanted to speak with him about possibly repairing one of my EMB Audio Remote Wahs and I figured that could be my foot in the door to see how he felt about anything else.
To my relief, Matt was a delight to speak with! I was surprised to learn that after doing his own research online for anything related to EMB Audio, Matt actually knew who I was. The timing was utterly incredible as I was phoning him just before he had planned on opening a brand new shop under his current business, AMPLI-FIER, in France! After all those years of being out of the industry, he felt it was time to return. We spoke about repairing my Remote Wah and eventually the talk turned towards possibly creating NEW Remote Wahs.
2012 saw the release of five Reissue EMB Audio Remote Wahs. These were all handmade by Matt using components he STILL had in his possession. Only five could be built because several components which are crucial to the original design are virtually impossible to obtain today. This fact led us to redesign the Wah with components that are easily obtained today. One of those that received a Reissue Remote Wah was Lewis Monks, whom I had already known for many years. We are now proud to have Lewis onboard to handcraft our custom chassis for the EMB Pedal Wah!
2014 saw the release of the EMB Pedal Wah which 100% designed from the original Remote Wah as used by the guitar heros of the 1990s. We may have taken a different road to reach our destination, but believe me... WE HAVE ARRIVED!
- 100% handcrafted design based on the EMB Audio Remote Wah
- Completely analog signal path with studio quality headroom
- True bypass
- No traditional wah pot, switch, gear, or optics to wear out
- Illuminated foot plate
- Handcrafted “Big Foot” pedal chassis
- Adjustable START and FINISH controls
- Adjustable DEPTH control
- Adjustable WEIGHT control (NEW)
- W-Port (reserved for future effect integration/expression)
- Four pedal sweep tapers
- Selectable effect ON/OFF at HEEL and/or TOE position
- Extremely wide and customizable range: 50 Hz to 4,500 kHz
- 4 output levels
- Predrilled holes for easy pedalboard mounting
- Requires 6AA cells or 500ma 9V center negative power supply
- Chassis available in: Dark Grey, Light Grey, Green, Blue, White
- LED lighting effect available in: Amber, Red, Green, Blue
- (2013-07-29) EMB Wah LP neck pickup by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-13) EMB Pedal Wah by Ampli-Fier by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-14) EMB Pedal Wah FUNK1 Setting by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-18) EMB Pedal Wah BASS Mode by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-20) EMB Pedal Wah by Ampli-Fier "bluesy clean" by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-20) EMB Pedal Wah by Ampli-Fier "Linear Strat" by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-24) EMB Pedal Wah by Ampli-Fier Linear Taper 1 by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-25) Wah Gtr Mode by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-26) Guess The Wah! by EMB Audio
- (2014-03-27) EMB Pedal Wah Les Paul Recto Low Gain by EMB Audio