Saturday, September 26, 2009

Morley Signature Wahs: Kiko Loureiro and George Lynch Dragon 2

Manufacturer: Morley Pedals
Official Site:
Price: £125.00
Model: Loureiro: KIKO; Lynch: GLW2
Dimensions: Loureiro & Lynch: 19.3"(L) X 5.88"(W) X 2.75" (H)

Morley Pedals, now famous for its wah-wah pedals, got its first major boost in the 1970s when the company's original Power Wah was discovered (and embraced) by funk guitarists. Most seemed to like the pedal's extra-wide sweep range and oversized treadle (which gave the guitarist an enhanced level of controllability). Sometime later, the likes of Mark Tremonti, Adam Darski and Steve Vai brought even more attention to the virtues of Morley with the release of their signature pedals. Even the late Cliff Burton cast an additional spotlight on the company through his use of two original, chrome-cased Morley pedals: the Tel-Ray Morley Power Wah Boost and the Tel-Ray Morley Power Wah Fuzz. Now, Kiko Loureiro and George Lynch have been added to the list of big-name Morley users...and they have the custom-designed wahs to prove it. These signature, multifunction pedals feature Morley's electro-optical circuitry as well as a True-Tone buffered bypass (which allows for a powerful signal regardless of the pedal being off or on).


Kiko's pedal has multiple functionality and acts as a distortion box, volume pedal and wah. Both the wah and distortion have dedicated switches and the distortion can be either mixed with the wah or used on its own. With its three controls - tone, drive and level - the distortion sounds warm, almost tube-like, and is ideal for dirtying up a clean channel or dealing with a crunchy amp. The wah seems tuned to create a deep tone no matter the register. Finally, when the wah and distortion are bypassed, it's always on as a volume pedal. The only major downside of Kiko's pedal is the amount of effort required to return the pedal to full-volume after using the wah.


Switchless and spring-loaded, the treadle on Lynch's pedal immediately returns to the up/off position when your foot is removed. There are two modes, including Wah and Wow. There is a vintage flavour, a distinct smoothness and an overall clear tone with the Wow mode. Low-mid accent is exaggerated in this mode, meaning it can easily tackle heavy distortion. The Wah Lock is activated with another switch and it gives a sound like that of leaving a wah in the half-cocked position (in other words, Wah Lock enables the inductor to filter a tone to any chosen frequency). Sadly, the eye-catching dragon decal on Lynch's textured pedal is not immune to peeling.


Kiko's pedal, while taking care of distortion, wah and volume, produces a wah that's well-balanced and capable of complementing the full range of a guitar. Lynch's pedal is switchless and gives the option of either a lockable wah filter effect or a vintage wah tone.

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