- 20th Anniversary manifestation of the ingenious Automagic wah design
- Pressure-sensitive button on treadle activates wah—step on to engage / step off to disengage
- Alternate, plunger-style bypass footswitch allows “continuous on” for cocked-wah effects
- Two separate, selectable wah sounds – 1967 Vox style & 1970 Thomas Organ style
- Selectable buffered or non-buffered output
- Selectable true-bypass or “parallel input” bypass operation.
- Low-tolerance carbon-comp resistors, metal-film capacitors & pro-audio grade JFET’s throughout circuit
- Custom, hand-wound inductor coil (made in Germany)
- Effect status LED (on/off)
- Housed in standard-sized wah chassis to conserve pedalboard space
- Industrial-grade powder coating on chassis
At the turn of the 21st century, German engineer Hardy Kurandt turned the effect pedal industry on its head with the introduction of his ingenious Automagic wah pedal.
While undeniably one of the most recognizable sounds of all time, the wah pedal itself had not seen any significant design improvements since its inception in the 1960’s.
While many companies focused on returning wah pedals to their original, vintage tonality, few actually addressed the inherent shortcomings of the pedal’s ergonomic function itself.
Most prevalent among these was the inability of the user to turn the effect on or off without adjusting the position (and hence the EQ) of the treadle.
Seeing an opportunity for improvement, Kurandt developed a pressure-sensitive activator for the wah, allowing the user to engage the effect by simply placing pressure on the foot treadle.
This was indeed a game changer. While other companies offered spring-tensioned activation, the Automagic actuator provided effortless, silent activation of the wah effect without changing the tone.
The “Automagic” wah was originally incorporated into stock Crybaby chassis, and then later into a custom-designed stainless-steel enclosure with additional features, known as the Silver Machine.
20 years on, the Automagic activator still stands as one of the most ingenious and useful improvements to the wah pedal ever imagined.
To celebrate two decades of this clever contraption, MSD has released the Automagic Classic 20th Anniversary wah.
Housed in a re-purposed Dunlop Crybaby chassis, the Automagic 20th Anniversary offers all the features of the original version as well as many improvements that add to its versatility and usability.
In addition to MSD’s patented pressure-button activator, the Automagic 20 also offers an alternate, plunger-style bypass switch that allows for “continuous on” operation. This mode allows the user to “park” the wah in the half-cocked position made famous by Michael Schenker.
The Automagic 20 offers two distinct wah voices, selectable by a top mounted mini-switch located safely beneath the treadle. The first mode replicates the sound of the vintage 1967 Vox wah, while the second emulates the tone of the 1970 Thomas Organ wah.
Further options include the ability to select buffered or non-buffered output, allowing the Automagic-20 to stack well with any other pedal type.
In addition, the Automagic’s bypass switching type can also be selected to further alter the pedal’s tone. The first option is standard true bypass while the second option, called “parallel input” keeps the input section of the pedal in-circuit to more accurately emulate the circuit loading of a vintage wah pedal.
The Automagic-20 is constructed to the highest standards that you would expect from a German manufacturer. Low-tolerance carbon-comp resistors and metal-film capacitors are used throughout the circuit, while the switching JFET’s are the same as those used in the legendary V676a microphone amplifier.
Likewise, the all-important inductor coil is hand-made in Germany to MSD’s specifications, accurately replicating the parts used in the original wah circuits that the Automagic-20 is designed to emulate.
Effect operation status is easily determined by a strategically top-mounted, bright-blue LED while the entire chassis has been refinished in an industrial-grade powder coating that is as visually appealing as it is robust.
MSD’s Automagic wah has taken an essential effect design and added well-conceived and masterfully implemented improvements that continue to stand the test of time – and of tone.