Walrus Audio announced two new pedals at NAMM 2016: the Julia Chorus/Vibrato and the Contraband Fuzz. The Julia allows you to blend between the Chorus and Vibrato and can conjure some really, really crazy noises. The Contraband’s single knob design is simple to use and this pedal can do anything from a sick and nasty fuzz to an extremely sick and nasty fuzz!
The Julia has a switch to toggle between chorus and tremolo, and sports knobs labelled Rate, Depth, Blend and Lag. Between them they allow you to get a wide variety of sounds. The Lag control in particular is something new, as it allows you to thin out the chorused sound by dialling in the ‘delay time’. Most chorus effects pedals achieve their effect by using a very short delay time, so to be able to manipulate this should alter the character and allow you to come up with some chorus tones unavailable with other pedals.
The Contraband has a simple control layout: it’s one knob labelled Output. There’s also a Thick/Thin toggle switch which will allow you to match the sound to either humbuckers or single coils. It’s a simple, clean look and the demos sound nice. For me, however, fuzz boxes are more about how well they react to your guitar’s volume control and so I would have to try one before I could comment on its quality.
The company hasn’t stated any official prices as yet, and they are not yet mentioned on their official website, although Walrus have indicated that the Contraband should be somewhere around the USD 100 mark and that the Julia will be closer to USD 200.