The new Walrus Audio Badwater combines an all-in-one bass preamplifier and D.I. in one device: With an optical compressor, overdrive with three different voicings and 4-band EQ. Could this be the perfect bass rig solution?
Walrus Audio Badwater
Walrus Audio’s Badwater pedal is their first dedicated bass effect and it packs in some great benefits for the gigging bass player. Combining a dedicated bass preamp, DI box and effects into one pedalboard-friendly unit.
In the Badwater pedal, your signal first passes through an optical compressor. As the first link in the signal chain, it is always active, but its intensity can be adjusted via the sustain control. At low settings, there is only a minimal effect. If you turn the knob further, you get more sustain and a more compressed attack.
The signal then passes through into the drive section. This consists of a drive controller, a blend control and a voice switch with three positions. The latter affects the proportion of low and high frequencies processed by the circuit. The Drive section also offers its own dedicated level control.
Preamp & D.I.
The EQ section of the Badwater offers great sonic flexibility, which should do justice to almost every genre. In addition to Boost/Cut for the basses and highs (low, high), the 4-band EQ has two centre controls, whose engagement frequency and boost/cut can be individually adjusted. So essentially a semiparametric EQ. The low-mid frequency (LMF) controller can be continuously set from 500 Hz to 2.4 kHz. The High-Mid Frequency (HMF) controller offers a selectable range from 3.5 kHz to 7.5 kHz.
Both a jack and an XLR connection are available at outputs. Before you ask: The Badwater pedal cannot be operated with phantom power (XLR). The phantom power is blocked, so it does not harm the device, but according to the manufacturer, it should not be switched on while the device is in operation.
It certainly looks like a neat solution for bass players, though it has a lot of competition. I use an old Sansamp Bass Driver myself, as I have never needed those extra effects. However, if you need the compression and extra overdrive, then this could be a very neat solution for your bass rig.