Classic Wah Review

manufacturer: Morley date: 10/26/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Morley: Classic Wah
The Classic Wah contains the famous Morley Wah sound found in pedals of the 70's and 80's. Like all Morley pedals, the Classic Wah is controlled via Morley's renowned Electro-Optical circuitry.
 Sound: 4.5
 Overall Impression: 5.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Ease of Use: 5.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (1) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
Classic Wah Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 15, 2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 3.8
Classic Wah Reviewed by: bmikev, on october 26, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 25

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: Turn it on and Wah Wah Wah all the way home. Err, that's what should happen. I had to open mine up and adjust it before it worked. However thanks to the good people at Morley for putting a pdf on there web page with instructions on how to open it up and adjust the internal optics. I eventually had to mod with different capacitors to increase the bass response so the thing was usable. Not the sorta thing most people would be able to do therefor this pedal which should be super easy to use gets a low score on ease of use. // 3

Sound: I run an Ibanez AX120 with DiMarzio Evolution humbuckers. My pedal chain goes guitar > UP100 Phase Shifter > Boss Metal Zone > DOD 7band EQ > Zoom 1010 > solid state acoustic bass head with a 4x10 cab (yes it is a weird setup but sounds amazing). I have tried the Wah pedal both pre-distortion and post and in both cases the Wah is extremely trebly (even for a Morley), even after adjusting the internal optics which did help it was still to much high end. Also the bass response was equal to a volume pedal turned down to almost silent, I had to replace capacitors with different values to fix this as a Wah pedal is no good if your sound vanishes in the heal down position. Completely unacceptable! // 1

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank! The only redeeming thing about the pedal is its Durability. // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing professionally since 1992 and in that time I have played many styles of music from rock to blues to jazz, folk to funk... My main band right now is a thrash/power metal group. I am not impressed with this Wah pedal in any way. According to Morley's webpage it is supposed to reproduce the sound of the 70's and 80's Morley Wah pedals... All I can say about that is EPIC FAIL. I used to own a 1983 Morley and was hoping it would bring back that sound to my gear, man was I let down. I am still trying to modify the circuit to make it sound the way the old school ones sounded and that is the only reason I keep the thing.. Right now the most use it gets is a paper weight to hold down my sheet music. I would like to add in closing that every other Morley Wah I have owned was amazing, there is a chance this pedal is defective, but I think it is just built on the cheep so Morley would have a product on the market to compete with other cheep pedals. Next time I am just going to fork out the cash for a Vintage Morley or I will get the Steve Vai model anything but the CLW. // 3

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear