There are products on the market that force you to consider twice, how much real-estate you have left on your pedalboard. There are effects pedals that could even fit in your pocket, but there are those that can occupy huge places. If you do not prioritize some sort of unit, it would be nonsensical to sacrifice so much space for it. And that is why size matters, especially when we are talking about wahs, volumes or any other tapered pedals. They tend to have bulky size and length that might eventually become a problem for you. That is why the reviewers accentuate this factor in their articles (including me). If you do not use the pedalboard at all, I do not see how the size of the stompboxes might become a problem. Either way, it is always good to consider everything from the very beginning and purchase the devices after analyzing all the factors. Today I am going to talk about Morley – the brand that has been renowned for its ginormous footprint. And I am not even exaggerating. Though they are big in size, their capabilities make it all worth it. Our star of the show is M2 Passive Volume, which one of the best affordable models out there. Let’s find out why!
As I outlined in the beginning of this article, some pedals are inconvenient in the sense that they require dedication and commitment from the player. When talking about volume, especially, you should not make any decisions unless you know what you are doing. What I mean is that these pedals tend to be peculiar and not everybody is ready to sacrifice pedalboard space for them. For me, they are worth every inch. This is particularly true when talking about the devices such as M2 Passive Volume. This baby is built with cold rolled steel that makes its chassis indestructible. This way you can free yourself from worrying about the pedal breaking apart during important moments and scenarios. The pattern of great quality continues as we dive beneath the surface and explore the circuitry. Inside, you will find that this device utilizes slide pot in order to control the volume. The brand has taken a different turn from typical rotary pots and features a newer design that promises to last longer. The taper is attached to the surface with a string that enables all the movement and sonic changes. It goes without saying that Morley M2 Passive Volume is passive and does not utilize any power in order to create sonic results (hence the name). It is the kind of a pedal that you plug in and keep going. The other characteristic of this one and passive units in general is that it is always on. For this reason, it is extremely significant how it affects your tone when you are not using it (we will see detailed description below). It can be incorporated in the effects loop as well, which is a definite asset. In general, M2 Passive Volume is the pedal the quality and value of which stems from its simplicity. And I am sure we can all agree that this thing is easy as hell.
Things get even simpler when we move on to the control section. Since Morley M2 Passive Volume is quite a standard volume pedal, it performs and acts the same way as its rivals. What I mean is that it uses taper in order to make adjustments in the level of your signal. You do not have to fuss around with knobs and switches. You just step on the treadle and start rocking it up and down. You will immediately start hearing the differences in volume and notice the impact of the pedal on the overall performance. It is worth noting that the taper is smooth and soft, but it can be a bit too stiff in the upward position in the beginning. In this sense, it might be a bit difficult to control. However, as you wear it down, you will notice that the rocker will move more freely and thus become softer on the touch. All in all, the control section of Morley M2 Passive Volume does not have any serious flaws to complain about and the ones it has are easily solvable. Do not even dare to bash about the lack of controls, since that is how these things work. We just have to go with it, that’s it!
The real action comes into the picture when we start discussing the sound of Morley M2 Passive Volume. As I mentioned above, it is on all the time so the signal flaws through it no matter what. Lucky for us, this baby does not suck in higher frequencies and neither does it affect the color of your tone. You will not notice any artificial layers submerging your sound into a tangled mess. It is just the opposite – it creates swells and amplifies your sound and basically lifts it up from the darkness. It delivers the performance that you would expect from the brand – nothing more or less than that. And that is perfect. M2 Passive Volume is quite sensitive so be careful with your touches and movement. It will not change the position on its own, but it is easy to get carried away and ruin the whole piece. If you are a careful player, you will not even have this problem. I guess we all have to learn to measure our action, am I right?
In conclusion, Morley M2 Passive Volume is a simple, yet powerful device for those who want a straight-forward volume pedal. If you are looking for diversity and unique features, you should look elsewhere. If the fact that it is a one trick pony does not scare you, you will enjoy the whole experience a lot. Just know what you want for your music and what you actually need and you will be fine. After all, not a single pedal will work if it is not suited for your playing. Good luck!
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