Review: Walrus Audio ARP-87 Multi-Function Delay
A versatile, multi-voiced box of galactic delay textures from a boutique brand known for pushing the boundaries.
Regular readers may already be familiar with the work of Walrus Audio through our encounters with pedals such as the Slö and Fathom reverbs and the Monument Tremolo which have delighted and inspired in equal measure due to their huge potential for creative tone fettling and extremely high-quality sound.
Vying for our attention in an already crowded marketplace, The ARP-87 is a hybrid digital/analogue delay pedal with four (actually five, there’s a hidden one!) delay algorithms and the kind of functionality and control that encourages the player to dig a little deeper.
Control-wise, the ARP-87 offers you immediate tactile mastery of your sound with the usual delay pedal suspects of level, repeats and a dampen knob with which to skim off the highs.
Also present is a ratio control allowing you to explore rhythmic subdivisions and, as with many Walrus Audio pedals, the famous X knob which plays a different role depending on which algorithm you employ (either modulation depth or filter width in this case). Finally, there is the program knob. Running clockwise we have digital, analogue, lo-fi and slapback delay voicings to choose from.
The ARP-87’s twin footswitches also feature multi-functionality. The bypass switch allows for a momentary burst of delay when you press and hold it, while the tap tempo switch will, given the same treatment, coat your tone with maximum feedback. Delicious.
Plugging in a Tele and working our way around the program settings evidences, once again, the high sonic standards we have learned to expect from Walrus Audio. The digital delay is slick and shiny with the modulation adding as much of a head-spin as you’re likely to need without getting too synthetic.
The Analogue voice is warm and inviting, and you can get seriously immersed in its grainy repeats. Following that breadcrumb trail, if grit and glitch is your thing then the lo-fi setting will definitely get you there. The X knob proves very useful when zeroing in on the filter voicing you need.
Intriguingly, the slapback voice is very good indeed (especially for vocals) and in conjunction with some X-rated modulation can get substantially weird. You can also engage a fifth easter-egg sound with the stompbox ‘Konami code’ of turning the program knob to full left lock, holding the tap tempo switch down, and then turning the program knob fully to the right unleashing a tremolo delay effect in slap mode. Very pleasing.
In addition to the sophisticated tone palette on offer from the ARP-87, the ratio knob makes using dotted and triplet rhythms intuitive and creative. The tap tempo function works very well but do bear in mind that you’ll need to re-tap if you change programs. The option to use an external tap button is a nice touch, too.
Like its siblings in the Walrus Audio range, the ARP-87 offers an extraordinary amount of versatility with a rock-solid foundation of quality. From classic background washes and tap-delay movement to cosmic explorations and modulated mind-expansion it’s difficult to find an aspect of delay pedal usage where the ARP-87 doesn’t excel.
- PRICE £189
- DESCRIPTION Multi-voiced delay pedal. Made in the USA
- CONTROLS Level, dampen, repeats, ratio, X, program knobs. Tap and bypass footswitches with momentary functionality
- FEATURES Digital, analogue, lo-fi and slapback voices with a hidden tremolo delay. External tap switch jack socket
- DIMENSIONS 64mm x 52mm x 120mm
- CONTACT Face Distribution face.be walrusaudio.com
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