Gear Review: Walrus Audio Mako Series M1 and D1 Pedals

Just over a year ago, Walrus Audio introduced their most ambitious and full-featured pedals with the Mako series.  Immediately these pedals were received very enthusiastically by the musical community as they offered incredible features and pristine sound. Not content to rest on their laurels, Walrus Audio has made some key tweaks to the circuits based on user feedback to make them even more impressive and indispensable.

Last month they introduced the Eras distortion and Slötvå Multi-texture Reverb and today the re-imagined Makos D1 high-fidelity stereo delay and M1 high-fidelity modulation machine. The D1 comes with five studio-grade, custom-tuned programs such as digital, modulated, vintage, dual, and reverse. Each mode has modulation, tone, age, and tap/clock subdivision and the attack knob adds dynamic control over each program so you can dial in the responsiveness that works best for your playing.

The D1 also boasts stereo in and out, adjustable stereo width and nine onboard presets. The new D1 updates have added stereo width control which allows two widening types—Panning and Haas Stereo Effect, added USB functionality for firmware updates via (yay!!!), the Reverse program has been retooled for a stronger effect, and retooled the Vintage program to emulate a tape delay. It’s a beautiful, very versatile delay whether you use it in hi-fi mode or vintage delay and everything in between.  Power requirements are 9VDC (300mA minimum).

The M1 is Walrus Audio’s magnificent modulation device.  This is a completely new release and very welcome as it offers chorus, phaser, tremolo, vibrato, rotary, and filter all in one compact and easy-to-use enclosure.  The sounds are rich, deep, extremely hi-fidelity, and easy to use. The addition of tap tempo control via the right switch doubles as a “skip” mode in momentary function which resembles the skipping on a vinyl record. There’s even a lo-fi knob should you want to truly replicate some vintage vibes and bypass the gorgeous fidelity of this device.

The chorus is a vibrant and lush tri-chorus that will instantly remind you of the ’80s. The X knob controls lag set to the maximum allowed amount of detuning. The phaser is similar to the Walrus Audio Lillian and the X knob determines the amount of phase-shifted signal that is fed back into the input. The tremolo features harmonic, optical/bias, and sequenced pulsing tremolo. The X knob manipulates the phase of the left and right volume modulation for a wide stereo panning effect.  Vibrato has three algorithms: traditional, old record player style, and flutter pitch. The X knob in standard and vinyl control the left/right phase and in tape/flutter, it controls the depth. Rotary of course emulates a classic Leslie rotating speaker sound and the X knob controls the cab simulation. Filter has three different modes: lowpass, highpass, and bandpass and the X knob controls the resonance.

The M1 also has nine onboard presets and the ability to store 128 via MIDI.  The D1 is available now and the M1 ships on Feb. 28th.  They are both priced at $349 street through your favorite dealer or HERE.

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