Being first is typically a big deal. It means you were brave (or dumb) enough to try something that others thought either wasn’t worth doing or was too dangerous. Typically, it’s the dangerous thing. Which is why you don’t see , First Person to Make and Eat Ramen with Ketchup and Mayonnaise in the Guinness Book of World Records. You will, however, find activities such as ‘First Person to Swim the English Channel’, ‘First Country to Put A Man On The Moon’ or ‘First Person to Complete a Descent of a 110-Metre Wet Vertical Shaft.'(Captain Matthew Webb, United States, Édouard-Alfred Martel in that order if you were curious). This month, Walrus Audio is recognizing Reinhold Messner, the first man to ascend Mt. Everest without the use of supplementary oxygen, by naming their new overdrive after him: The Messner Stage-One Overdrive.
I don’t usually get too hung up on the look of a pedal, but this one is too fun to pass up not to mention. The pedal itself is done up in black and white. On the front of the pedal is a disheveled character with octopus like hair springing from his head and his beard. The characterization says old, wise and grizzled. He’s wearing a pair of goggle-like sun glasses, the kind you’d imagine a mountain climber might, but these are the one’s from the late 70’s. The entire look tells you right away what’s inside the pedal. Honest, gruff, transparent tones with enough stamina and smarts to take you wherever you need to go. So what’s actually inside? The folks at Walrus tell us this:
The Messner is a low gain-transparent overdrive boasting a wide range of overdrive possibilities. It is designed to preserve the natural voice of your guitar by not coloring your tone, but giving the user the ability to dial in and out the exact amount of tone they desire. A toggle switch allows the user to bypass the clipping diodes from the circuit in the open position and employ them in the closed position, allowing a wide range of breakup from subtle to dramatic. Flip it to the open position and dial in a lower drive setting to add subtle aggression to your tone. Run it in the closed position and turn the gain knob up for more compressed and punchy tones. The color control works in all modes, giving you the ability to dial in brighter tones as you turn it up and darker tones when turned down.
I’m excited to hear feedback on this pedal, so please let us know if you have one on pre-order. I’d love to talk with anyone that gets this on their board so we can come back and go a little more in-depth to how it works, feels and sounds. Of course, Walrus has the demo already covered!
AND: Please don’t forget that we are giving away a Boilermaker Boost from Outlaw Effects with a 15′ Rattlesnake Cable as a bonus. It’s going on until October 7th. Go here to learn more about how you can win!