NAMM 2023: Walrus Audio has confirmed the existence of its upcoming Fundamental effects pedal family, after images of the eight-strong collection leaked online.
The news will come as no surprise to those who are active in the internet’s gear discussion forums, given pictures of the brand’s all-new stompbox series began floating around Reddit and The Gear Page over the past few days.
These snaps seemingly showed unreleased Walrus Audio products that belonged to an as-yet-unannounced Fundamental collection, which comprised Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Phaser, Tremolo, Fuzz, Distortion and Drive pedals.
The no-frills, easy-to-use units look like they'll provide competition to the JHS Pedals 3 Series, with both collections promising to deliver the same thing: no-nonsense, high-quality pedals that will sonically excel in both casual and professional settings.
As for how the peals leaked in the first place, it’s a bit of a mystery. According to uncorroborated internet speculation, an individual ordered a pedalboard from a “large online retailer”, though instead of receiving an empty unit, they received one stocked with prototype Walrus Audio pedals.
Given the circumstances, Walrus Audio was forced into acknowledging the existence of the pedals, with brand president Colt Westbrook labeling it “a leak I’m happy to comment on”.
“I think what we’ve built is something a guitar player could get their hands on really early, but keep the spot on their board for a long time,” Westbrook went on. “Growing up playing guitar, there were several pedal lines that were part of my guitar journey.
“The original Danelectro pedals like Fab Tone, Cool-Cat Chorus, Ibanez Soundtank series, Ibanez 10 Series, or even the ubiquitous Boss lineup we all had access to. I spent an inappropriate amount of time in front of an amp playing a DD-3 after my paper route every day.
“I wanted Walrus to be part of the guitar journey earlier but incorporate the audio fidelity and build quality that we’ve spent the last 12 years developing for our core line and Mako series.
“I wanted us to build something that would make it super easy for newer pedal users to dial in great sounds, but for them to also be something a professional would be happy taking with them on tour.”
Owing to the rushed nature of the announcement, details surrounding each pedal are still pretty slim, though thanks to some official pictures the basic operation of the Fundamental stompboxes can be discerned.
Each unit features three control parameters – dictated via neat-looking sliders, as opposed to control knobs – as well as a three-way switch that accesses a trio of different modes.
For example, the Fundamental Tremolo offers Rate, Depth and Volume sliders, and a switch that flicks between three different wave shapes, while the Fundamental Chorus features Light, Medium and Heavy modes, which can be sculpted via Rate, Depth and Mix sliders.
The Fundamental collection is indicative of a wider trend among pedal makers to take things back to the basics and provide players with affordable, straightforward stompboxes without complicating things with additional bells and whistles.
Another example of this pattern can be found in recently announced Wampler’s Collective Series of $99 pedals, which addresses the same brief.
Now, Walrus Audio has made a point to stress that, given these pedals were announced ahead of schedule, no official price or release date has been set, meaning we can only speculate whether they will be in the same ballpark as the Wampler Collective and JHS 3 Series units. Having said that, given the overall design and objective, we don’t imagine they will be too far off.
For more information, keep your eyes peeled on Walrus Audio.