NAMM 2021: The best new effects pedals from EarthQuaker Devices, Walrus Audio, Pigtronix + more
22.01.2021

NAMM 2021: The best new effects pedals from EarthQuaker Devices, Walrus Audio, Pigtronix + more

Words by Will Brewster

A closer look at all the coolest new pedals to hit the market in 2021.

NAMM week might be wrapping up soon, but don’t stress – there’s still a lot of new gear to be excited about! Today, we’re turning our critical eyes to the influx of new effects pedals announced over the past few days, bringing you our thoughts on what you should be adding to your board in 2021.

Summary

  • New effects pedals from EarthQuaker Devices, Walrus Audio and Zoom look to be heavy-hitters in 2021.
  • Cult favourites Aclam have also announced a new stompbox to replicate the raunchy tones of Pete Townshend.
  • Other new effects come from the likes of Tech 21, Pigtronix and Way Huge.

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EarthQuaker Devices Astral Destiny

Akron, OH stompbox scientists EarthQuaker Devices have debuted their first release of 2021 in the form of the Astal Destiny; an octave/reverb pedal with a tonne of modulation options under the hood. The unit features eight reverb algorithms that range from cavernous trails through to shimmerverb, upwards and downwards pitch bending, sparkling fifths and more, with eight presets also being on offer.

Users can control the effect section of Astral Destiny by tweaking controls for Length, Depth, Rate, Tone and Mix, while a Stretch footswitch can be used to double the length of the effect and control the pitch of the signal. It seems like an essential addition to any ambient setup, and we can’t wait to get our mitts on it.

Walrus Audio R1 Reverb

Following the launch of the powerful Mako D1 Delay at NAMM last year, Walrus Audio have debuted the R1 Reverb, offering six reverb algorithms and room for nine presets. Powered by an Analog Devices Sharc processor, the pedal features all your conventional spring, plate and hall sounds in addition to modern algorithms like BFR – standing for Big Fucking Reverb – Refract and Air to make for a hugely versatile, lush unit to suit any kind of playing style.

The R1 offers players with a control to apply a volume swell effect to the pedal automatically, while the Tune/X control knob can be used to adjust the low and high frequencies of the wet single via a three-way toggle. It’s also kitted out with MIDI capabilities and stereo ins and outs, and it sounds absolutely beautiful – hear it in action below.

Aclam Windmiller Preamp

Named for the obscene revolving strum action employed by The Who guitar hero Pete Townshend, the Windmiller Preamp is the latest vintage-voiced effect from Aclam – the very same Aclam behind the excellent Dr. Robert Vox UL730 replica pedal. While Townshend’s guitar tone came courtesy of a Grampian 636 reverb unit used in unison with his amps, the Windmiller Preamp squeezes its essence into a compact pedal that nearly nails that iconic lead tone heard over so many rock classics.

Featuring controls for Gain, High Cut and Low Cut and an LED to indicate when the effect is being overloaded, the Windmiller Preamp serves as a sensational pedal for boosting other overdrive units, or even just to feed into a valve amp for some nice natural saturation. Hear it in action below, and keep your eyes peeled for more news on when the pedal’s KickStarter campaign launches.

Tech 21 SansAmp Classic

Released way, way back in 1989, the original Tech 21 SansAmp was heralded as a breakthrough in amp modelling at the time, with its FET-based analogue circuit letting guitarists tap into a myriad of classic amplifier tones without unplugging from their own rig. Even though amp modelling has progressed beyond belief over the past five years since the SansAmp was discontinued, the OG SansAmp still boasts its fair share of fans, and when Tech 21 announced that they’d be reissuing the SansAmp Classic yesterday, they all made a mighty fuss – and for good reason.

As to be expected, the new Tech 21 SansAmp Classic doesn’t stray far from the blueprint of the original. There’s a simple layout of four controls for Presence Drive, Amplifier Drive, Output and High, while eight dip switches let you flick between classic Clean Amp, Vintage Tube, Close Mic’d and Speaker Edge tones.

Of course, there’s no screens and no digital doodads to be seen, and that’s exactly what we want from SansAmp – stay tuned for more news on its availability, and in the meantime, reacquaint yourself with its classic tones below.

 Way Huge Atreides Analog Weirding Module

Inspired by the Electro-Harmonix Mini Synthesiser released forty years ago, the Atreiedes Analog Weirding Module is the quirky new offering from Way Huge. Weirdly enough, there’s no knobs to be seen here – just an array of eight sliders to control Volume, Sensitivity, Range, Bright, Fuzz, Rate and Sub-Oscillators to tap into some nasty, spacey synth tones for your guitar. Preorders for the pedal are open now, and you can hear Josh of JHS Pedals put it through its paces below.

Zoom G6 Multi-Effects Unit

Initially a Japan-exclusive release, Zoom have revealed that their feature-packed G6 Multi-Effects Pedal will receive a worldwide launch in 2021. Users can access an impressive 70 impulse responses, 135 effects and 68 rhythm patterns, with sounds ranging from classic amp and effects models through to intricately mic’d cabs and beyond.

Controlled by a 4.3″ touchscreen with drag-and-drop signal chain, the G6 boasts room for 240 user patches and features the nifty addition of an infinite looper with up to two hours of record time when using an SD card. Other features include a USB port for easy recording, plus wireless control via an optional Bluetooth adapter and more.

Pigtronix Space Rip, Constellator & Moon Pool

A holy trinity from Pigtronix! The Space Rip, Constellator and Moon Pool look to offer guitarists with a bunch of tools to help colour their tone, with each pedal featuring an analogue circuit and mini chassis.

First up, the Space Rip provides pulse-width modulation alongside a saw and square wave to tap into cool analogue synth tones, with a Sub and Octave control letting you dial in different frequencies to really thicken up your tone.

The Constellator, on the other hand, provides a quaint little dash of BBD delay, with controls for Time, Mix, Modulation, Repeats and a Feel switch to flick between chorus and vibrato.

Finally, there’s the Moon Pool, which bridges the gap between tremolo and phaser to provide players with a heaped spoon of spacey tones. There’s controls for Phase and Trem Speed, Depth and Sensitivity, as well as three mini switches for Dynamics and a Phase for each effect.

 

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