5 Pedals That Changed Guitar Forever

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Thomas Organ Cry Baby Wah pedal

Similar to the lineage of the fuzz pedal, wah-wah effects were being experimented with in the ’50s by guitarists such as Chet Atkins and Peter Van Wood. The first commercially available wah pedal, the Cry Baby wah, was made by the Thomas Organ Company in 1966. Essentially a resonant bandpass filter, the wah pedal was soon known far and wide for its expressive, “crying” tone. Since then, the wah pedal has been a staple of everything from clean funk rhythms and R&B lines to molten metal guitar solos. It’s not often that a guitar effect sounds appropriate for practically any genre, yet various versions of the classic wah have found their way onto pedalboards of guitarists of all types.

The first compact BOSS pedals

Countless guitarists had their introduction to effects pedals through BOSS. These compact and rugged pedals made their introduction in 1976 — the first series of BOSS stompboxes included the OD-1 overdrive, the PH-1 phaser, the SP-1 equalizer, the GE-6 graphic EQ, the CS-1 compressor pedal, and the TW-1 auto-wah. Other notable firsts for BOSS were the DD-2 Digital Delay, the first mass-produced digital delay pedal, and the MT-2 Metal Zone distortion, which allowed bedroom guitarists to get the sound of a raging stack out of the smallest combo amp. BOSS pedals remain some of the most-used effects in the world, because in addition to sounding good, they’re compact, affordable, and incredibly durable. Many world-famous guitarists with their own signature equipment and boutique gear still have a BOSS pedal or two on their pedalboard.

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