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New Morley Wah, Old Morley Wah

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JanusZarate, Apr 2, 2006.


  1. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    How does the new Morley Power Wah (PWO) compare to something like the vintage Power Wah Boost (PWB)?

    I'm considering investing in the new Power Wah if it is similar to the old one in sound and features (minus the boost, of course).

    Also, How does the Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Wah compare to the vintage PWB? Is it possible to dial in something that comes fairly close to the PWB?

    The reason why I'm asking these questions is because I wanted to get something that could:

    A) actually fit on a medium-sized pedalboard
    B) be easier to find
    C) be affordable
    D) Allow me to get a Cliff Burton-like sound (not perfect, just close)
     
  2. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I inquired with Corey at Morley about this quite some time ago and he told me the closest thing to the PBW is the PDW-II Pro Series II Wah/Distortion.

    If you're looking to get the Cliff sound, I can attest that I've done it quite well with the Pro Series II Bass Wah that's discontinued, and got fairly close with the Tremonti Power Wah.
     
  3. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Nothing like the original though.

    We are auditioning guitarists. Gone through about six. You should see the looks I get on "For Whom the Bell Tolls". I have a multi-box 6 channel bypass in the works, and one channel will be labeled "Burton". :D
     
  4. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    The PWD-II is awful on bass. I own/tried it after hearing that it was the modern equivalent of the PWB but its very weak and has a very short sweep.

    A vintage wah is the way to go. Although I heard good things about the new ones most people seem to say the old ones are the best way to go.
     
  5. Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I just got me one of these vintage PWOs and I have done a bit of research that might interest you guys.

    The older Morley stuff was manufactured by Tel Ray. The Tel Ray wahs are nothing like anything in the current catalogue, in terms of electronics. The Tel Ray PWO and PWB are built around two transistors and the incandescent bulb and LDR combination. The current crop of wahs still use optical circuitry, but it's very much different to the Tel Ray approach. Plus, they use op amp filters running at low voltages. Therefore, to say:
    ...is pure subjectivity. It might sound like it, but there's virtually no similarity electronically to the original PWB. (Incidentally, the schematics for just about every Morley / Tel Ray product are available from the Morley website.)

    The new "vintage" range is also not a return to the Tel Ray designs of the past. They all employ the mojo "vintage" inductor type of circuitry making it more like a rip-off of a Vox or a Cry Baby. Therefore, the only thing that works (and sounds) like a Tel Ray PWO is, a Tel Ray PWO.

    I'm considering posting an account of my recent search for a wah that culminated in the purchase of the Tel Ray PWO. Don't know when I'll get time to do that though. Suffice to say at this stage, my personal opinion is that there's no current product that is as good as the PWO for bass.
     
  6. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals

    That's why I am so glad I found mine.
     
  7. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    It's interesting that this thread was revived... niftydog, I found out about everything you've mentioned shortly after this thread was started back in April. I also happen to own both a vintage Morley PWO and a current reissue. Personally, I really like how the reissue sounds - it's fairly close to the original, but it has its own charm, too.

    I am a definite fan of vintage pedals, but I'm also fond of sounding a little different. The reissue looks nothing like the vintage on the inside (I've done some work on both of their PCBs), but that's all right - I like how the reissue sounds, and that's all that counts for me.

    Regardless, I do love the look of the old one - it's hard to top something so shiny and huge, with such a broad pedal sweep!
     
  8. How do you think the sweep range compares in the new PWO?

    I just found the Tel Ray one goes from way-down-mega-low-sub-sonic-bowel-disturbing type sound right through to rip-ears-off-head-piercing-scare-the-dog type sound in one sweep. In fact, it was this feature that I looked for but couldn't find in any modern pedal! They all have a very limited sweep range.
     
  9. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Heh... my PWO still needs some electrical work... I've got to solve the volume drop issue before I can hear it in its full glory.

    The reissue has a boost knob now (but no boost button), so it's actually more like the PWB in that sense. Its sweep range is limited compared to the vintage, but still far broader than any Vox or Crybaby, and it gives me all the control I need. The broad sweep on the vintage is a awkward for me, but nice nevertheless.

    There are some things you can't do with the reissue, of course - super-precise wah motions in particular. Subtlety is an absolute requirement to get the reissue to behave like the vintage in terms of sound.

    Both of them have that familiar screeching super-clear high and sub-sonic muffly low; the new one's sound just seems tweaked slightly in a different direction. Probably has to do with the use of an inductor, as you mentioned earlier. The sound on the new one is adjustable too, just like on the old one; tweak an LDR or tweak the inductor tightness, and the sound will change.

    I'm all about simplicity, so not needing another empty AC outlet is a plus for me :D
     
  10. Cool, that's interesting info, thanks Mystic. Yeah, I worried about the mains power too, but my pedal board is still in development so I still have the opportunity to do something about it.
     
  11. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    The old Morley sweep starts around 25 hz. They go to 4 k, which is too high IMO. However, that is adjustable.

    (use both a PWB and VOL- researched this extensively)
     
  12. Thanks Ted! The beauty is not just that you can adjust it, but that there's so much physical pedal travel that you just pick your range and stick with it, you don't have to go near the top end if you don't want to, and you're unlikely to accidentally go there either! Initially I thought such a long travel was gonna be a problem, but it's actually turned out to be an advantage.
     
  13. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    The travel was part of the appeal to me also. With my PWB, I can be very specific about the effect if I wish. It also makes it easy to find an appealing spot on the sweep, and leave the pedal there.
     

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