Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a good amount of experience with Walrus Audio pedals. If I had to sum up their gear with just one phrase, “highly versatile” quickly comes to mind. More than just simple effects, they work more like complimentary tools that can alter your tone in unexpected ways. Take the Janus Fuzz/Tremolo for example and its unique yet intuitive dual-joystick controls or the insane amount of sonic possibilities you can get out of their Descent Reverb. Add in the consistent hand-built quality of their build and the awesome decals and you have a pedal line that has plenty to offer players who are serious about their effects. So, when I finally had the chance to mess around with the Mayflower Overdrive, I was excited to hear it in action.
The Features Of The Mayflower Overdrive
Like the previous Walrus Audio effects I've messed around with, the Mayflower Overdrive is a high-quality pedal that feels like it can take a consistent beating and keep on going for years. It has a good amount of weight to it and the knobs themselves feature a satisfying amount of push-back as you roll them back and forth. Even the paint job is rock solid. While that might not be an issue as far as player experience is concerned, you'll be surprised how many pedals look like the company skimped the printing process for their gear. As for power, the Mayflower requires a 9-Volt adapter.
The Tone Of The Mayflower Overdrive
There’s nothing that can kill the natural color and tone of your guitar than a whole mess of pedals and a bad amp setup. I spent a lot of time and cash building the perfect combination of guitar and pickups so I really try to keep my signal chain as clean as possible. So, when I read the description that the Mayflower was a both a transparent and mid-boost overdrive, it sounded like a good fit.
From the get-go, it was obvious that Walrus Audio wasn’t exaggerating when they said the Mayflower was all about crystal clear transparency. At lower gain levels, my guitar’s clean sound was in full force with a satisfying amount of drive layered on top of it. It felt slightly brighter than before with nice open texture to it. Pushing it further, the Mayflower provides a gorgeous overdriven tone with a satisfyingly smooth breakup that was prominent yet remained natural. Putting the gain and level knobs near their maximum setting and I was in borderline distortion territory, with a meaty amount of grit. Even at those high settings, the note to note definition remained intact while the overall tone remained smooth – unlike OD other pedals that can quickly become a muddled mess of distorted sounds at maximum levels.
Another great surprise was the bass and treble knobs. Messing around with various placement settings, it was easy to tell that these two knobs have a significant impact on the overdriven tone the pedal produces. Need a little bass boost, or maybe something a little brighter to cut through the mix? Not a problem. And not only does this give the Mayflower a very versatile range of possible sounds, it allows the pedal to pair very nicely with other effects, especially higher gain ODs and distortions.
Final Thoughts ...
With its highly transparent tone, smooth yet organic breakup and a highly versatile set of sounds, the Walrus Audio Mayflower is a great pedal that delivered a lot more than I initially expected. Whether you're looking for an overdrive that offers crystal clear transparency and smooth gain or one that can be the perfect compliment to your existing OD or distortion, take the Mayflower for a spin. You won't be disappointed.
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