Universal Audio launches its first-ever effects pedals, with “sonically authentic emulations” of classic reverb, delay and modulation circuits

Universal Audio has unveiled its first line of pedals
(Image credit: Universal Audio)

After last week's teaser campaign – which we guessed correctly! – Universal Audio has unveiled its first-ever line of effects pedals, the UAFX range.

The new line features “sonically authentic emulations” of classic reverb, delay and modulation circuits, with analog design and dual-processor architecture that delivers three distinct vintage sounds per pedal.

The pedals boast intuitive Preset/Live modes, analog dry-through, stereo/dual mono operation, true or buffered bypass with silent switching and additional downloadable effects from the UAD algorithm team.

First up is the Golden Reverberator, which packs three vintage ‘verbs – Spring 65, Plate 140 and Hall 224 – into its enclosure, and boasts controls for decay, pre-delay, mix, bass, treble and mod.

The Starlight Echo Station, meanwhile, offers Tape EP-III, Analog DMM and Precision delay effects that capture the “iconic hardware of the past 60 years.” There’s also additional settings for tape wear, modulation and preamp color for endless tonal options.

Finally, UA touts the Astra Modulation Machine as a "complete sonic workstation, offering spacey studio flanger tones of the 1970s to gritty bucket-brigade chorus and luscious opto tube tremolo."

The Astra’s three emulations are Chorus Brigade, Flanger DBLR and Trem 65, with secondary modes for Vibrato, Doubling and more.

The UAFX pedals will be available in Spring 2021 with an estimated, and not-insubstantial, street price of $399 each. That said, there looks to be a whole lot of tone and functionality packed into these stompboxes, and given UA's reputation, you can color us intrigued. 

For more information, head to Universal Audio.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.