List price: $209 (!)
$119 sale price on http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Morley-Steve-Vai-Bad-Horsie-2-Contour-Wah-Pedal?sku=150751&src=HC004
£149.95 on http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/Catalogue/ViewProduct.aspx?productId=44
Got mine for £110, brand new, from ebay.Pros
+ Switchless activation – step on it and go!
+ Solid construction.
+ “Contour” mode allows user to shape personal wah sound.
+ Lovely tone when engaged.
+ Electro-optical design – no more pots to wear out!
+ “Clear-tone” buffer circuit ensures pure guitar tone and maintains the signal level when bypassed or engaged.
+ led lighting means you can clearly see when it’s on.
+ Comfortable under foot.
+ Grippy so your foot won’t slip off.Cons
- Due to the nature of engaging the wah pedal, you can’t keep it locked in one place for use as a tone filter.
- As with many signature gear – expensive!!
- There’s a slight hump in the travel of the wah sweep.Review
The Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah Wah pedal is a Steve Vai signature pedal, and being as it has some famous guitar dude’s name on it (ironically it doesn’t actually have his name on the actual pedal) it means that this thing is expensive! But damn, for me it’s worth every penny!
First off, this is a very “modern” sounding wah, so if you’re out looking for a “classic” wah sound, this aint the pedal you’re looking for, however if you are looking for a modern sounding wah, then this is surely a good contender! To turn the wah on all you have to do is put your foot on it, it’s spring operated so as soon as there’s any movement it’ll turn on, this is great as it means you can start “wah’ing” straight away instead of having to fumble about turning it on a second before you need to use it, this also means that you can avoid the problem of turning it on in the treble range, which makes it highly noticeable that you’ve turned the wah on. A downside to the Switchless operation however is that, due to the springs, you can not keep the wah in one position for use as a tone filter unless you keep your foot on it, the wah automatically pushes back on your foot. The way in which the wah turns off means that you can just lift your foot off and it’ll turn off, again avoiding the “treble” problem. There’s a slight pause when you take your foot off from the wah turning from on to off, however there is a dial inside the pedal which you can turn to alter the delay. The Switchless design at first, caught me out a lot having been used to a switch wah, however, after a while it becomes a dream!
The actual “wah” sound itself sounds, to me, amazing, it has that aggressive yet at the same time beautiful wah sound, it adds a nice colour to your tone too. However, the sweep of the wah isn’t quite even as the pedal travels; most of the “wah” sound occurs in the first 2/3rds of the travel, which means the last third of the travel of the pedal has very little effect on the “wah” sound. However, this is something that I got used to over time, but it could catch a few people out at first.
Ergonomically this pedal is sound. It’s very comfortable to use, and the top of it is very grippy, which is an added bonus. The pivot point is just about right for the size of the pedal. It is also a very solid pedal, which always helps!
I find the contour mode, in all honesty, quite redundant; however, this could just be down to my personal taste, as I’ve heard other reviews where people love this feature. Indeed it is a good feature, but personally I find the “normal” mode to be mucho kick asso so I don’t really use the contour mode at all.
Another point I must mention is that when engaged, this pedal adds a slight bit of gain to your signal, whilst some may frown on this; I don’t find it to be a problem at all.Summary
Personally, I love this pedal!! Morley has a reputation for making great wah pedals, and this pedal is a testament to this. Be warned though, this is not a classic sounding wah, it is very modern! Also beware of some of the reviews of this pedal on harmony-central, it seems a lot of them are by 14/15 year old kids who saw the name “steve vai”, bought it, and stuck it in their effects loop - “where effects pedals belong” – and then go on harmony central slating the pedal. – Morons!! Rule of thumb is a wah pedal goes before distortion, so don’t stick it in your effects loop!
Overall, I’ll give this pedal a 9.5/10. It gets the half a mark docked off for the price, and also for the few minor glitches that could cause a problem for some.
If you want to hear the pedal in action click here
to hear me using it. "Spontanious Combustion" is the song to hear it on. The track is the most recent representation I have of me using it. Our very own PRSplaya is responsible for everything on this track except the lead, which was played by me.