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Kay Musical Instruments was founded by Henry “Kay” Kuhrmeyer on July 1, 1931. Although Henry quickly shifted production focus to all types of stringed instruments (including basses, violas and guitars), they didn’t enter the guitar pedal market until the late 1960s with a series of knobless, treadle-based delightfully odd plastic pedals. Each of these four units (the Fuzz Tone F1, Tremolo T1, Wah Wah W1 and Bass Boost B1) were housed in knobless, treadle-based enclosures allowing one parameter of each effect to be adjusted by foot. The Kay Fuzz Tone was most likely released in late 1968/early 1969. Initially designed as a low-cost-version of the Shin-ei/Univox Superfuzz, this fuzz is one of the Edge’s go-to pedals. Fifty-four years later, JHS is releasing our spin on the Kay Fuzz Tone: the Mary-K. We’ve even added knobs and an expression pedal output for those who want to use it as it was originally intended.
Rather than using a treadle chassis, we allow Mary-K users the option to control the Frequency knob with an expression pedal. We recommend the Nektar NX-P and Roland EV-5 expression pedals, but many other expression pedals should also work. Be advised: some expression pedals may introduce a hum/noise into the signal chain in high electromagnetic interference environments. Therefore, we recommend using plastic chassis expression pedals with short cables to avoid unwanted noise in a high EMI environment.