Walrus Audio Deep Six: This is an OTA comp pedal with extra features, in the same vein as the Wampler or Keeley.
It has a dramatic built-in EQ shape: the low end gets a huge boost, and the levels slope downward from there, with the highs getting rolled off pretty noticeably, so it can sound rather dark and murky if you have the Blend knob set fully clockwise. Blend mixes the compressed signal with your uncompressed original signal, which is a great feature for retaining some of your natural tone and dynamics when using stronger compression settings. Interestingly, turning the Blend counterclockwise even a little bit makes a huge difference in recovering your mid and high frequencies.
The Attack knob covers a usefully wide range of times. The Sustain knob, as with most other OTA pedals, boosts your input signal over a fixed threshold. Lower Sustain settings get both lighter compression and less colored tone, while higher settings get heavier squash and more obvious coloration. The Sustain knob covers a very wide range, up to an insane amount of squeeze if you want. So you will find the most natural, unobtrusive action at the minimum end of the knob turn, say under 9:00. Of course the higher the sustain, the more any background noise in your chain will be amplified.
The effect itself doesn't have any more inherent noise than its competition, however I found that it was very sensitive to picking up noise from other pedals along the ground path via the patch cords. Also it is finicky about power supplies, and will not work with any daisy-chain supply like a OneSpot or Powerall. I have several different 9V DC supplies that I use for testing, both isolated and daisy chained, and the Deep Six was actually damaged by connection to the daisy chain ones.
The good news is that when I contacted Walrus about this, they responded quickly and professionally. They repaired the pedal with no hassle, even though I had bought it used. So I give them top marks for customer service!
The construction quality and cosmetics look very good. The housing is about the size of a Boss. It runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC, which is doubled internally for higher headroom. There is no LED to indicate the amount of compression. The footswitch is "true bypass".
Its nearest competitor is the Wampler, which uses the same basic circuit, with similar features, in the same size and price. The Walrus has more of a bass boost, and heavier compression available; the Wampler has top-mounted jacks, a tone knob, and has no trouble running on daisy-chain power supplies.
Price in USD: new $199, used $135-$150.
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