1
J
MORLEY
Westside Distribution
www.westsidedistribution.com
T
his pedal has been long awaited by both bassists and fans
of the sadly deceased original Metallica bassist Cliff Burton,
whose technique and tone have rarely been surpassed. One
of Cliff's signature, and at the time hugely unorthodox,
techniques was using an overdriven wah bass sound, which
he used to deliver eerie motifs throughout the first three
classic Metallica albums. Thankfully, rather than just go for an
easy retro copy, Morley has used the original 70s Morley wah that
Cliff used as the basis of the new pedal's sound, as well as adding a
couple of contemporary build and sonic features.
The first thing that strik.es you is that the pedal is a solid
beast: there's plenty of weight to it, thanks to a chassis made of
roadworthy cold-rolled steel. Power comes from either an easily
accessed PV battery or a dedicated Morley power supply
(not supplied). The mains might be a good investment,
as I could see this pedal being a major drain on
batteries - especially when both fuzz and wah
are in use.
Starting with the main feature of the wah,
it's engaged by eliciting on the chunky right
footswitch: even if you've never used a wah
pedal before, it's a very intuitive set-up, and
there's a wonderful organic feel to working
the pedal and reacting to the different tones.
It's perfect for adding colour to funk, and soul
lines: add an envelope filter in front of this and
you'll soon have a serious case of bass face.
With a full low to high frequency range, there's
a good chance you'll get more out of this than by using
a standard guitar wah - although the Morley sales pitch
also boasts that the pedal is perfect for guitar, keyboard and vocal
usage. I wouldn't doubt that, but I'm here on a strictly bass-only
mission.
..
In one of the main updates, the pedal offers two types of fuzz,
modern and vintage, which are accessed by a small switch on
the left of the pedal. This is a nice touch, as you can choose from
the classic, woolly Big Muff-style fuzz as favoured by Cliff, or
opt for a slightly harsher modern distortion. Both sound great,
sacrificing none of the weight of the bottom end and offering a
suitably diverse range of sounds - although on a personal level the
modern setting seems to have an extra bite and clarity to it. Like
the wah, there is a level knob which helpfully lets you control the
level of distortion and, coupled with the intensity control which
controls the fuzz saturation, it's quite easy to balance the level jump
between your clean and effected sounds.
Most of the fun occurs when both effects are being used
simultaneously, and with the fuzz exaggerating the wah
frequencies, it throws up some pretty wild tones. There's quite a
long bit of transit in the foot pedal, so depending on where the
"FULL CREDIT TO MORLEY:
THIS PEDAL IS PUT TOGETHER WITH
THEIR USUAL ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND
IT IS CERTAINLY NO CHEAP CASH-IN"
witli Morlev's Iona awaited Cliff Burton signature wall t o pedal
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BASS GUITAR MAGAZINE
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