Morley unveils the AFX-1 – a new analog multi-effects with old-school roots

Morley AFX-1
(Image credit: Morley)

Morley has announced a new all-analog multi-effects pedal, the AFX-1, which is making a pitch for players that want grab-and-go tonal flexibility without the menu diving and complex components of digital equivalents.

The AFX-1 pulls together four Morley effects in a retro (and seemingly bombproof) steel enclosure. Indeed that aesthetic hints at the classic origins of the circuits inside, some of which reportedly date back to the brand’s original chrome pedals from the ’70s.

Morley is famed for its switchless, optical wah pedals such as the iconic Bad Horsie and the effect is central to the new multi-effects design – something made clear by the the trademark oversized, glow-in-the-dark footpad.

As with the likes of the Bad Horsie, it’s a switchless design, meaning that the wah engages as soon as you move the pedal, removing the need for an awkward toe-down press before you can use it.

Elsewhere, you’ll find the Diamond Distortion effect, featuring a stackable channel structure that allows players to kick in a Hi Gain circuit for additional dirt. There’s also a pile of tone-shaping controls onboard, including three-band EQ and both pre- and post-gain dials.

The Crystal Chorus – based on Morley’s classic die-cast series Stereo Chorus Vibrato – keeps things super-simple with a straightforward rate and depth control setup. Finally, the Emerald Echo (which uses NOS Panasonic BBD chips) offers 300ms of delay, with Echo, Repeat and Mix controls.

Each of the effects’ footswitches has its own colorful LED indicator (though weirdly the Emerald Echo is not green, but we’ll let that slide). Connection-wise, the AFX-1 is again simple but highly functional, offering a stereo out and an FX loop. 

Check out the video above to hear it being put through its paces. The Morley AFX-1 is available to order now – expect to pay around $499 from most retailers. 

For more information, head over to Morley (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.