Universal Audio’s latest UAFX pedals trim the size and the price, but still seek to recreate more “timeless” historic effects – including a delay favored by Eddie Van Halen, Brian May and Joe Walsh

Universal Audio UAFX pedals
(Image credit: Universal Audio)

Universal Audio’s hardware revolution is continuing to grow at pace, with the software specialist now unveiling four of its cheapest effects pedals to date.

Back in 2021, the legendary audio company set its sights on entering the floor-based pedal market, initially focusing its stompbox efforts on various reverb pedals, delay pedals and modulation pedals.

Later came an assortment of highly rated Guitar Amp Emulator pedals, but now UA has returned to its effects roots with reverb, delay and compression units that introduce an all-new, streamlined form factor.

Making up the drop is the 1176 Studio Compressor, Orion Tape Echo, Evermore Studio Reverb and Heavenly Plate Reverb, with each once again tipping its hat to a piece of classic gear.

The Orion Tape Echo, for example, is UA’s take on a Maestro Echoplex EP-III – one of the most iconic guitar effects of all time that was a favorite of Eddie Van Halen, Joe Walsh, Brian May and many others.

Universal Audio UAFX Orion Tape Echo

(Image credit: Universal Audio)

Like the rest of the pedals on this list, the Orion has five control knobs, one footswitch and a central toggle switch, which are tasked with harnessing the delay tones of Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love and Queen’s Brighton Rock.

Mint, Worn and Old tape types are accessed via the switch, and can further be tweaked by way of Delay, Mix, Feedback, Rec Level and Wonk parameters. Notably, Wonk is all about introducing some modulation into those repeats, as well as some “vibey tape splice sounds”.

The rest of the new drop isn’t quite as exciting as the Echoplex emulator, but there are still some notable effects names being thrown around.

Universal Audio UAFX Heavenly Plate Reverb

(Image credit: Universal Audio)

Two reverbs are on tap – the Heavenly Plate and Evermore Studio – which are inspired by plate reverbs sourced from The Plant Studio and late ‘70s digital verbs, respectively.

Taking things one at a time, the Heavenly Plate unit (which is born out of the brand’s Golden Reverberator) takes its tones from the classic Sausalito recording studio, which has hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, The Eagles and Metallica.

Three of the plate reverbs from this studio have been placed into the pedal, which also has knobs for Decay, Mix, Predelay, EQ and Mod parameters.

Universal Audio UAFX Evermore Studio Reverb

(Image credit: Universal Audio)

UA’s Evermore, meanwhile, is concerned with digital studio hardware, offering “bit-for-bit” emulations of Room, Small Hall and Large Hall programs. A three-band decay control works alongside Mod and Mix knobs, the former of which is responsible for “lush, grainy early-digital textures”.

Capping off the list is the 1176 Studio Compressor, which is said to be an emulation of the 1176LN Limiting Amplifier – UA’s own version of Bill Putnam Sr.’s original 1176 rack unit that featured on records from Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and more.

Universal Audio UAFX 1176 Studio Compressor

(Image credit: Universal Audio)

Standard Input, Output, Attack, Release and Ratio parameters are joined by a three-way switch that moves between Single, Dual and Sustain modes, each of which are said to focus on “decades of classic guitar effects”.

As mentioned above, these are UA’s most affordable pedals to date: each unit is $219, except for the compressor, which is $199.

Visit Universal Audio to find out more.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.