Review: Walrus Audio ARP-87

ARP-87ARP-87 – a pair of interacting galaxies, affecting each other by gravitative interaction and the exchange of gas and dust.
Let`s have a look, if the Walrus Audio ARP-87 boasts likewise characteristics like its eponym.

Construction

The Walrus Audio ARP-87 comes along in compact, matt black and white lacquered enclosure with a, for Walrus Audio pretty characteristic layout and therefore might fit on every pedalboard.
At the front side, there are a mono in/output jack as well as a 9V input. Alongside you can find an external tap input – perfect!

The rocket can be started via a true bypass switch (that also allows trails) and a tap tempo switch.
Regarding the pots, only the repeats control will remind of the usual suspects.

For the compact design, the ARP-87 dispenses with a time pot. But who needs a time pot when he has got tap tempo?
The ratio pot allows to adjust the subdivision of tap.
Level controls the mixing ratio of the direct tone and the delay signal. The level turned full clockwise; you will get nearly a 50/50 mix. Unfortunately, you won’t get a 100% wet signal.
Dampen is a low pass filter and via X you can add modulation to the delay signal.
The program knob allows to chose between the different delay algorithms like digital, analog, lo-fi and slap.

Sound

Regarding this delay pedal, the reference to outer space does definitively make sense. For the ARP-87 brings a beautiful width to the sound and is able to create a certain kind of weightlessness.
The digital delay setting offers even with a maxed dampen pot a rich and round sound that is also allow rhythmical interaction. Adding a decent modulation, you can create a soundscape that is able to carry the sound of the guitar in a marvelous way.

The analog mode creates a darker signal that can be intensified by reducing the dampen pot. In my honest opinion, it lacks some dirt here, but this kind of sound as well, gets pretty close to a well-tuned analog delay. To float away in the analog mode as well, just add a bit modulation.

Before I started the test, I was a bit skeptical concerning the lo-fi mode, for a sound with this designation sometimes becomes quite extraordinary. But I must confess, that during the test, this lo-fi sound became my preferred one. It provides the dirt, the analog mode lacks and because of the cut low end, the sound is a bit brighter. This sound suits the sound of the guitar in a wonderful way and encourages to make your way up to unknown (sound)spaces. Well done!

The slapback keeps the promise: short, percussive delays that make the heart of every rockabilly beat faster and support fast and clean riffs.

The ARP-87 also provide a “hidden mode” which can be activated if you keep the tap tempo button pressed and adjust the program pot at the same time. Now the pedal will create a tremolo while the slap mode is started. Hidden quite well but very convincing in its functionality.

One thing I find a pity is, that the tapped tempo gets lost while you change the delay program. For you will have to tap the tempo again, a change of the programs during a song is almost impossible.

Conclusion

What else can I say?
The LEDs are bright and lighten up in sync.
Keeping the tap control pressed, oscillation becomes possible. But for the lack of a time control the oscillation can not be pitched. But actually, the ARP-87 has not been designed for gimmicks like that.

There is always a certain width in the sound and although I missed the dirt in the analog mode a little bit, the soft repeats of the ARP-87 create an intergalactic vastness with a modulation that sets gravity aside and interacts absolutely marvelous with the sound of the guitar.
The lo-fi setting offers a certain kind of analog character and therefore becomes unique.

Price: €209,-/ $199,-

Category: compact boutique multi delay

Valuation: interacting gravity weightless delay rocket