Up for sale, a 1976 Shin-ei Companion 8Tr Fuzz Wah pedal in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Produced in Japan throughout the late ‘60s and ‘70s, this rare multi-functional pedal was sold under a number of names including Univox, Jax, Shaftesbury, Apollo, and Honey, and its ripping, thick fuzz can be heard on countless records by artists including The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Who, and The Black Keys.
The Fuzz section of the pedal is an octave fuzz, featuring two Germanium diodes and square wave clipping, resulting in a churning buzzsaw effect. Simple controls include Fuzz Adjust (fuzz amount) and Fuzz Volume (balance) knobs, with a two position Fuzz Pitch Select switch. The Pitch Select switch engages a 1kHz filter that scoops the midrange, resulting in an articulate-yet-fat, bassier tone that is more harmonically rich and not quite as in-your-face blisteringly hot as the default tone. The wah has a smooth taper, and engaging the two circuits in tandem results in an exceptionally dynamic pedal that has been recreated by scores of pedal makers over the years.
The circuit is 100% original and untouched, including the pair of Cosmos PR-8 pots and the octet of C536 silicon transistors, and the pedal is powered by a 9V battery. The Fuzz can be engaged independently, with an on/off footswitch on the forward edge of the enclosure, while the Wah has its own dedicated on/off beneath the toe. The treadle actuates smoothly, with minimal resistance, and the noise floor is quite low for a vintage, all-original Shin-ei Companion.
Cosmetic wear on the rugged enclosure is limited to just a scant few tiny marks and chips on the unit as a whole. The graphics are pristine, and the original pair of knobs are present. On the inside of the baseplate, the original circuit diagram is in stunning condition, and the SM-NO 51.7 date stamp translates to the 51st year of the Showa era (1976). The bottom of the pedal even retains the battery info sticker.