Price paid: $ 118.95
Purchased from: Secondhand Music Shop
Ease of Use: This is a wah pedal. It's not complicated. There's an on switch, a level knob and a pedal. Aside from that, this is an optic pedal so there's no pot to wear out, unlike the Crybaby type. Ease of use is total, as you'd expect from any wah - plug it in and get on with it. The battery access is well designed and easily reached, so if some fool let the batteries run down you could change mid-gig without any real problems. Power supply is also seperately available, but this isn't really worth doing - the batteries do the job fine as things are.
The only slight problem is the proximity of the controls to the pedal. These are set fairly close in, and if like me you've got large boots on you can easily kick the settings off. However, a bit of practice sorts this out, and I found it easier to use than others I've tried. In fact, I tend to be very lazy and simply keep the level on full: if I want to use wah, it's going to be loud and noisy wah, thank you. // 8
Sound: Setup I've used for this is usually a 100w Marshall Valvestate combo, with a custom Carvin dual humbucker guitar and an Epiphone Les Paul Special. Changing the wah setting basically has the effect of lowering the volume of the effect, so it's a bit more subdued. I can't honestly see why anyone would want to subdue a wah pedal though.
On a clean setting, there's a pleasant effect around the midpoint of the pedal's swing that sounds as though the notes are bubbling up through something. At the two extremes the sound's not much use though - either too soft or way too harsh. However, I don't think that's really what this pedal's for, so up goes the gain control.
Overdriven, this pedal starts really showing why you wanted it in the first place. Bends and pull offs scream out instead of sounding weedy; easing back on the pedal at the start of a note and then slamming into it gives a full-throated roar on big chords. Best of all, it actually boosts the signal slightly, allowing more expression on really fast runs by stomping it forwards. Infinitely more useful with the Overdrive than with clean. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Morley adverts usually tell you to buy one and "stomp on it". This pedal looks like they bombproofed it. Heavy steel body with an excellent rubberised footgrip, heavy duty bolts on the pivot and well made lead points on either side. This feels like you could drop a house on it and then take it to a gig, and it has been severely tested - I've had it about 6 years now, and having stamped heavily and repeatedly on it, it now looks exactly as it did when I bought it. Add an easy battery replace and the fact that there's almost nothing to go wrong inside it, and it's a great all round piece of kit. It's never gone wrong in any way that a new battery didn't fix. // 10
Overall Impression: A standalone wah pedal isn't for everyone. I like it because it's impossible to play stuff like Hendrix and G'N'R without one, and I don't feel that the multi-FX equivalents give quite the same range - they're designed to be a multitude of things, and this tends to mean they can't quite match up to a specifically designed wah. I prefer this to the Crybaby I tried simply because the Morley is solid as a rock. Kick it, thump it, throw it off buildings, whatever. As a reliable, easy to use wah for serious gigging, this is ideal as long as you don't stub your toe badly on it. If you need such a thing, a Morley would be a good investment; if you don't why are you still reading this? // 8