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Morley VAI-1 Bad Horsie Wah Pedal

 
The original Bad Horsie Wah


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Not for everyone, but a good Wah all the same. featured

Ease Of Use My Bad Horsie was completely stock. It's pretty straightforward to use, install a battery or plug in an adapter, connect to your signal chain, step on it and rock out.


Sound Obviously Steve Vai is the most notable user of this pedal, and it definitely sounds like Vai if you've got the chops to play like him as well.

The wah is not a tone sucker like so many other wah pedals, it is quite transparent when it's not in use. It sounds great as you'd expect. However, for me, I found its emphasis on the higher range of sound a little off putting. I prefer my wah's to have more of a low end sweep and less of a scream.

The ability to simply step on to engage the pedal, and release to disengage is fantastic to play with, and a joy when playing live. How many times I've thought I stomped on my dunlop wah to shut it off and find it's still on, only now engaged to a piercing screech range of the pedal. No issues with the Bad Horsie, though at the cost of not having the ability to set a position and leave it on. I never do that anyway, but it might be a deal breaker for some.

The Bad Horsie sounds fantastic with distortion, and totally cuts through sound-wise no matter how mushy your overdrive sound. Clean, I found it to be just so so. I don't think it was really designed with clean sounds in mind.


Reliability This is a very heavy duty pedal, all metal and weighs a lot for a wah pedal. It seems to be pretty solid all around. I've had no issues with it other than the rubber on the pedal bubbling up and coming off. A little epoxy nailed it down, and it will never come off now.


Customer Support Never dealt with Morley support.


Liked about it Love the form factor, size and weight. The ability to step on and play is fantastic, no switches. It does sound good, just not really to may ideal taste.


Didn't like The high end emphasis kind of killed it for me, but I'll definitely pick up a Bad Horsie 2 one of these days to try it out with the adjustable sweep and range. The rubber on the pedal coming off was annoying.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By blackspy
Mar 29, 2010
 
Last updated: March 31, 2010
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Worth every cent. featured

Ease Of Use I used to play original cry babies since ive started to play guitar (1987). 6 months after Morley released the model they reached Brazil. i bought mine. My first impression was not good. because the "foot feeling" is different from other Wah PEdals. but after i got used with it, i discovery a most agressive wah i ever played. the name Bad horsie is not in vain. is hard to tame , but once you learn it, its a killing weapon. principally with the overdriven sounds. Theres a internal set up to off delay time. i shorted mine and love the results.


Sound tested with A Behringer Vamp pro, then with a 5150 head, and they sound great in every test.


Reliability the first models had weak springs. mine broken after some months. but the tech assistance changed it to a newer model than never had more troubles.


Customer Support the tech assist was fast and not expensive.


Liked about it agressive tone.
the optical "on/off" system



Didn't like size and weight. consumes a lot of space in my pedalboard.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By Claudio Passaman
Dec 14, 2009
 
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Simply an Amazing Wah. featured

Ease Of Use Probably the easiest wah ever. Plug it, step on it and it will turn on. Lift your foot, and the expressionm pedal will go to it's original position and it will turn off. How cool can that be? I have had many other wah pedals and it is definitely the most friendly one.


Sound I use it with my Ibanez RG guitars.
Although the range isn't too deep, yo can use the wah at the extreme positions and it will still sound nice... Unlike other wah pedals that the extreme zones are very ugly-sounding.
The bypass mode doesn't kill tone at all.
Although it gives great results with both clean and distorted sound, I especially like it for distorted soloing.


Reliability It is hard as a rock. I totally trust this pedal.


Liked about it Switchless system.
Nice range.
Very Solid.


Didn't like I like it a lot and honestly it is difficult to say something I didn't like...
Maybe it could be a bit smaller.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Lechugaz
Nov 17, 2009
 
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Do I sound like I know wha't im talking about?

Ease Of Use You put a battery in, plug your amp in to your guitar via the wah, step on it and your off. It doesn't get easier than that!


Sound Steve Vai is a notable user of this pedal. If you buy this pedal you will sound and be able to play like him.

The wah is not a tone sucker like so many other wah pedals and it simply works by standing on in which enables a more transparent sound. It sounds great as you'd expect. I found its emphasis on the higher range of sound when in a distorted sound cool however with clean sound it is pretty average.

The ability to simply step on to engage the pedal, and release to disengage is fantastic to play with, and a joy when playing live. How many times I've thought I stomped on my dunlop wah to shut it off and find it's still on, only now engaged to a piercing screech range of the pedal. No issues with the Bad Horsie, though at the cost of not having the ability to set a position and leave it on. I never do that anyway, but it might be a deal breaker for some.

The Bad Horsie sounds fantastic with distortion, and totally cuts through sound-wise no matter how mushy your overdrive sound. Clean, I found it to be just so so. I don't think it was really designed with clean sounds in mind.


Reliability I have had mine for over 4 years now and had no problems at this stage. The centre lug does get a bit noisy.


Liked about it 1. Its black and I like black pedals and the sturdy metal frame
2. It sounds as hot as your sister looks
3. I would take this on stage prior to any other wah due to it's simple operation.


Didn't like 1. The noisy pivot lug - sucks when trying to record
2. Circus folk
3. Circus folk who take my Morley Wah


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By Wolfram
Apr 22, 2011
 
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Undestroyable Workhorse

Ease Of Use Since the pedal works by stepping on it, it is the most easy and intuitive wah pedal that I know. The tone is quite different to a classic VOX wah or Cry Baby, which requires some practice to use it properly (see below).


Sound Tonewise, the Morley wah sound is more aggressive and very 'in-your-face'. The heights are very dominant which might turn off some guitarists. On the other hand, this makes the VAI-1 a perfect wah effect for lead lines that cut through every band mix. Above, the Morley's funk sounds are stunning. For playing a subtle backing guitar there might be more appropriate pedals, but I guess there is no wah pedal that truly covers all tones. So all in all, the Morley will fit to almost every musical style.


Reliability I am using it for 8 years now and it still works perfectly.


Customer Support -


Liked about it ease uf use
built quality
aggressive tone


Didn't like high weight
Vai-ish look
no 'classic' tones


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By Hind
Nov 26, 2010
 
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Bad Horsie 1 - The original

Ease Of Use Put in a battery, plug it in and stand on it.

I love the fact the switchless technology; it just turns on as you stand on it and operate the pedal and goes back to bypass (after a short delay) when you take your foot off or roll back to the "closed" position.There are none of those horrifying moments when you think it is on and it isn't, or vice versa. The LED "on" light is a nice reassurance, but I don't often actually see it from where I am looking!

The expression pedal is spring loaded, which means that you don't have to push back with your heel. I love this, it makes operation so much easier on the leg, and I find it enables me to get a finer degree of control over the effect. The drawback is that you can't use it in one position, ala Randy Rhodes, but trust me; it is a small price to pay.



Sound I have had this for a few years and have played it with a load of different gear.

The bypass mode is quiet, and does not change your tone (unlike some other famous Wah pedals). When you step it activates immediatley and you get a nice clear wah tone that does not add too much extra colour to your sound. Bascially if you have ever used a more vintage voiced wah wah and wished you could get more of your own tone through then this pedal is for you.

The tonal range is probably not as wide a dunlop cry baby, but then again there are no "no-go" zones on the morley. In short you can get a nice tone at any position without it becoming too shrill, or to muddy.

I think that this pedal is versatile, in that you get a usable sound whether you are clean or distorted. Whether it will make you sound like "x" is a different point, and will depend on your set up as it is so transparent. But for a really great sounding wah, with none of the drawbacks of the other popular models, you can't go wrong with this.

I don't use wah a lot, but the best endorsement I can give this is that I have put my cry baby in the loft!


Reliability It is extrmeley solid, and to be honest it has never given me any problems, although I think it is slightly hungry when it comes to batteries, as they never seem to last as long as I think they should.


Customer Support Never needed to contact them


Liked about it Switchless operation
Transparent tone compared to vintage pedals
Useable across the whole tonal range of the pedal


Didn't like Seems to use batteries quicker than I expect
Battery compartment is a little bit fiddley and has bare metal edges.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By nickcoumbe
Nov 15, 2009
 
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What a wah is supposed to be!

Ease Of Use This is the easiest to use wah pedal I've ever owned. You just step on the pedal and move it slightly forward to engage the effect, take your foot off the pedal and it springs back... disengages the effect. It just works and it works very well.


Sound I've used Morley wahs since the days of the NSW pedal (the switchless predecessor to the bad horsie). I love the sound of this wah. If you going for a fairly clean funky strat wah then a crybaby may be more your style, but for medium to high gain work with humbucker loaded guitars I prefer the Morley sound. It doesn't mud up the tone like the crybabies I've tried in that application, and it also does clean to low gain sounds well too... very versatile.


Reliability I've had a few Morley wahs over the years (2 NSWs, a Bad Horsie and a Bad Horsie 2). I've never had any issue at all with anything in the bad horsie series (since they went to the spring under the pedal). In the old days they used a metal band on the NSWs that would eventually snap (although they'd hook you up when that happened), but the bad horsie stuff is super reliable. I've played hundreds of gigs with these wahs... never an issue.


Customer Support The only time I had to contact customer support was for an old NSW wah that had the metal band snap. Morley hooked me up with quick turn-around and I was good to go. That was several years ago... never had a need to use customer support in the last decade because they're products are well built.


Liked about it 1) Sound
2) Ease of use
3) Reliability


Didn't like 1) Can't set the wah in a specific location and take your foot off like you can with a traditional wah
2) The footprint is a bit larger so it hogs extra space on the pedalboard


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By djrjems
Jul 07, 2012
 
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