What's so bad about Morley ABY boxes?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JimmyM, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    So I'm wanting to set up a switch for my electric and upright and make it not dull the sound of my awesome new to me REDDI and my old but always awesome vintage Ampegs. Not on an unlimited budget, but I want it to be good and I want everything to be as invisible as possible within a certain reasonable dollar figure.

    I have a Morley ABY, but I hear folks say they suck tone. I don't know...I always thought those ABY boxes were nothing more than switches that route your raw signal one way or another, and had nothing in the path that could negatively affect tone any more than a cable. But I've never opened it up to see what's inside, and though I never really noticed anything out of whack, I've never really sat down and critically listened with it yet, either. Waiting to hear some opinions before I go trying to find it again...hope I find it...lost the first one I had.

    So what's up with this? Is there something in the Morley that really sucks tone or is it more Hollywood bullcrap designed to sell $5000 switchers to hard working wannabe tone snobs like me?
  2. It's a passive box, right? A or B should not suck any tone, it's the same as a switch in your guitar. A+B might though, as passively mixing two signals can load down one or both.

    If you're just using it to switch between BG and DB, I say go for it.
    johnny_bolt likes this.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Agreed, using it as an A/B should be fine, but using it as a Y will cause loading (the dreaded "tone suck") as well as the possibility of feedback.
    johnny_bolt likes this.
  4. nozkcb

    nozkcb Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    I also experienced hi end cut off with the Morley pedal. There is something in the circuitry that messes with your tone. If you want a clean and high quality, you may need to dig deeper and go for a Lehle.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Not planning to use both upright and electric at the same time ;) so good, I can cheap out on one thing and not get the shaft! Thanks guys!
  6. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    The Radial big shot EFX is completely passive, does not suck tone and should be able to achieve what you want. Neat pedal and inexpensive on Amazon.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Thx Laurent...I'm kind of feeling that one. The tuner out would be nice, but I'll admit I wish it was mutable. Still going to try the Morley first since I have it, though.
  8. I have the Radial BigShot I/O Instrument Selector that is a nice robust little switcher box. I've only used it on one gig, so I cannot really comment on the tone, but it is true bypass and I didn't notice anything drastic. Seeing as it's passive, it doesn't require any power. It would be nice if it had a little light letting you know which input is selected though.
  9. The I/O does have a tuner out and a mute switch too.
  10. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    I have had a Morley ABY for YEARS. Even when i use it, and only usually in the "Y' aspect, i never noticed a problem. And it sounds like your application with it will be just fine.
    johnny_bolt likes this.
  11. I just bought a Morley ABY. Used it for the first time last night. I couldn't hear any tonal difference on stage. People still got up and danced, so I'm guessing it didn't have a noticeable negative impact on the house sound either. Makes a couple transitions easier for me, so I'm liking it. :D
  12. AlvarHanso


    Jun 20, 2011
    I use it for bass in one channel and guitar in the other. Obviously can't play both at the same time, so no tone suck issues in that scenario. I did originally use it as a Y for dual effects chains, and it didn't work as well. Will get a Boss LS-2 when I go to try that again, but for now, am extremely happy using it as an AB pedal.
  13. Epidrake

    Epidrake Guest

    May 24, 2011
    I heard the same thing so I bought the Whirlwind switcher. Totally passive and true bypass.
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    The Boss LS-2 is a huge tone sucker. I had one for quite awhile, didn't notice any tone suck, but after using it for months I went one gig without it and was amazed at how much better it sounded without it.

    Given that Jimmy is a tone-fiend ala the REDDI, I would recommend the Big Shot...... By a long shot. ;)