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Morley Mini Volume Pedal

All metal construction, optical activation, and musical taper makes the Morley volume pedal a great deal for it's low price.

Price: $31 to $81 at 15 stores
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Morley's Mini Volume is a good value for the money featured

Ease Of Use With no switching and optical activation, all you have to do is step on it for volume control. It's very simple to use. The 9 volt battery compartment is very easy to access as well, and the plug in for a power adapter is to the side and away from any essential controls. Well sized and thoughtful layout; as usual from Morley. Though the pedal itself is a little well sized for a pedal board - the sweep of the pedal is a bit short and took some getting used to in the first bit of use.

Sound I tested the Morley Mini Volume extensively with many guitars and amp setups and also with 2 keyboard/organs.

First the guitar/amps: An Orange Tiny Terror and Crate V18 in stereo. While the pedal itself is not a stereo output pedal, I rigged it up with stereo connectors to see how it would perform tonally with a very bright and very dark amp and a korean PRS. Surprisingly the Morley volume did drop a little tone in this configuration. Most likely, i'd assume from the amount of cables needed. It became a little dark in the upper midrange and seemed to drop a little treble off. It affected the very bright Orange the most, making it sound darker. Using the Morley volume pedal to control gain (versus the guitars volume knob) yielded very interesting results. Since the Morley is an optical pedal versus the guitars potentiometer it doesn't have the same "starve" effect. This made the whole gain affair smoother (hence darker). Some quick EQ work fixed this and was back to square one again.

With a Mesa Mark III, full stack: Normall the Mesa is bright on the high end and dark in the lows, the Morley complimented this very well. I detected alot of smoothness in this, again the optical circuitry can be noticed a little bit, but not as much on the lower gain amp like the Orange. The Morley did seem to cut some out of the 1500-2000hz range which bumping the EQ seemed to fix. Volume swelling with the pedal is delightful, and adding delays and reverb brings out the full potential in the pedal. Well worth its low asking price and savings over "competitor X" shall we say. Adding on more effects, which tended to darken or lighten the mix anyway made me forget about the loss of those EQ frequencies.

With Fender Blues Jr, and Blues Deluxe. Since these are very brightly voiced and hard to overdrive clean amps it was easier to tell what frequencies were lost or gained. Again, while the bypass on this pedal is perfect, and the same "gain starving" thing applied where I found it more ear pleasing to control gain via the guitar's volume knob, the swell effect and certain effects that can only be achieved via volume pedal was great. Tonally, it is a bit dark again, but still not too bad, some extra presence and treble seemed to brighted up what was lost with any guitar tested (especially the Les Paul and ES355).

With keyboards: Roland VK7 and Nord Electro 3. I honestly think this is where the Morley Mini volume shines at its best. The Roland VK7 is an older and already darkly voiced organ. While it is close to emmulating the growl and breakup of early Hammonds, it's not perfect; but does so with the authority of having some broke in Leslies (or at least mine does). With the Morley Mini Volume (versus a expression pedal) I was able to keep the very psychadelic sounds of my VK7 and the breakup was AWESOME versus the expression pedal's internal sound being thinner sounding sometimes with certain tone-bar settings. With more volume there was no cut thanks to the optical circuitry and it felt very smooth and natural.

On the Nord Electro 3 (which has TRUE MECHANICAL TONEWHEELS) and some circuitry you can also reeeally hear the clunk of the tonewheels shine through. I was heartily impressed!!! The Nord, which is so true to form its normally more bright than a real vintage Rhodes or Mellotron; the Morley Mini Volume was able to tame it just enough to bring it into "perfect zone". It darkened it just enough to leave the tonewheel clunk and all the gorgeous Rhodes tones, but still allow me to swell and grind out with the B3!! Very awesome.

Overall, I was not totally satisfied with the guitar tones I got out of the Morley Mini Volume. I had to constantly adjust my perfect EQ's on my road rigs and a couple of studio rigs, but the keyboard tones for the VK7 and Nord Electro 3 were AWESOME. Very satisfied on that end. For the low price of this pedal, it may be worth it if you wanna invest in it to see what it can do for you!

Reliability This sucker is rock solid. It's all metal construction and all the jacks and input seems to be very well made. While i've heard that the very old "lamp" designed Morley pedals needed to have the optics replaced, but these new ones are supposed to be very bulletproof. I'd say it's very road worthy.

Customer Support Morley seems to have a great team from all I've heard, dealt with and what we've worked with at Jemsite.

Liked about it 1) Small footprint for pedalboard
2) Optical circuitry; just step on it and go!
3) Very smooth musical sweep

Didn't like 1) Tonally dark
2) Didn't respond as the same tonally to volume changes as the guitars knob (I'm guessing it's due to the optical circuitry)

Overall satisfaction:

By SonicProvocateur
Jul 28, 2010
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