Handmade Wha

Here comes a fine example of Soviet craftsmanship. This is a DIY wha-wha pedal, made in USSR. The enclosure was a sewing machine's pedal, perfectly made for converting into guitar effect.

The effect works perfectly fine and sounds good, but there are several weirdnesses about it.

First, there's no switch. This was actually the reason I've got this pedal for "upgrades" - to install a switch.

Second, it is wired backwards - related to all the VOXes and Dunlops. You get treble sound when the pedal is up and visa versa.

Here you see two jacks on the side - input and output.

The enclosure is very thick cast metal. Virtually bullet - proof, just like all Soviet sewing machines that could probably be transformed into machine guns with a flick of a switch at the production line.

The potentiometer is the original sewing machine's AC pot. The work is very clean, all the signal wires are shielded. The board is not especially etched for the wha, looks like it's a part of something - trere are traces of a different (unused) scheme.

The capacitors' ratings (160V - 250V) seem a bit too much for a 9V circuit but that was accepted in USSR electronic industry, most probably because of the military production standards.

The board is populated very tight. All the components are Soviet production. These are not recycled components but new ones. The person who made the FX was probably working at an electronic factory and used their supplies for the project. He was definitely a professional.

The date on the inductor reads IV-74 which is April 1974. It indicates the Wha was made after 1974. The 0.12uF/160V capacitor bears "0785" code which might be july 1985, but it's almost sure not the date because Soviet dating usually used Roman numbering for months.

Alon Hilel, the leading Jerusalem bassist
Bedtime Story Band

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