NAMM 2024: Pedalboard experts Walrus Audio have teamed up with tube amp specialist Jim Hagerman of Hagerman Amplification on a new three-knob fuzz pedal that’s got an ace in the hole in the form of an actual real, live vacuum tube in the circuit.
Not only is it in the circuit, but as is the vogue when designing tube-equipped dirt pedals, said tube – a 12AU7 preamp tube, to be specific – takes pride of place on an enclosure that is typically stylishly designed, with a second footswitch to engage the Silt pedal’s signature harmonic mode.
That’s right, this is a dual-footswitch fuzz, with a tube, not something we see everyday, and as you might imagine this covers quite a wide range of dirtied up electric guitar sounds.
The Silt has controls for Volume, Tone, and Gain, all quite self-explanatory, but where things get really interesting is with the Contour switch, which selects between three frequency response modes for the pedal’s pre-tube EQ stage: high-pass, flat and low-pass. Which will come in handy when switching guitars with different pickups.
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And of course this harmonic mode, which is described as a pre-drive frequency doubler. Upon hitting the drive section of the pedal, the magic starts to happen – or as Walrus describes them, “crispy, octave-like sounds, lending a unique edge to your lead tones”.
Sounds intriguing, and should complement the rich fuzz sound of the regular mode nicely with all the sort of unadvertised harmonic content that makes playing through tubes – and fuzz boxes – so much fun.
You can run the Silt Harmonic Fuzz at a standard 9V DC from a pedalboard power supply, but up the voltage to 12 and you will have more gain to play with. It will draw about 300mA of current.
And this being an era when pedalboard aesthetics are officially a thing, you’ve got two finishes to choose from, with Walrus Audio offering the pedal in red with a skeleton design from Adam Forster, or in black. Other details to note are the jacks are positioned on the top of the pedal.
The Silt Harmonic Fuzz has been a year in the making and will retail for $299. For more details, head over to Walrus Audio.