The ARP-87 is a compact, feature-rich delay, packed with a large pallet of inspirational delay tones. Featuring four main algorithms, digital, analog, lo-fi, and slap back, the ARP-87 can cover some serious ground in the world of echoes. The Digit...
The ARP-87 is a compact, feature-rich delay, packed with a large pallet of inspirational delay tones. Featuring four main algorithms, digital, analog, lo-fi, and slap back, the ARP-87 can cover some serious ground in the world of echoes. The Digital algorithm boasts pristine, crystal clear repeats great for rhythmic riffs. The Analog setting works well to add warmth and dimension to chords and lines without getting in the way. The Lo-Fi algorithm, with its adjustable frequency range on the repeats, goes from warm, warped, and murky, to strait AM radio. Finally, the Slap setting makes it easy to dial in a great slap back echo perfect for smoking chicken pickin’ runs. With other features like our smart bypass switching, and momentary knob ramp, the ARP-87 provides endless creative opportunities that are waiting to be explored.
The X knob changes functions depending on which Algorithm you are using. It adjusts a specific parameter in each algorithm. In Digital, Analog, and Slap modes, the knob will control modulation depth. In Lo-fi mode, the knob will control Filter width.
Note that when changing delay types this loads a whole new algorithm and the tempo must be tapped in again.
I swapped my old Amptweaker Fat Metal Pro for this, as I was in need of a delay quite badly. Firstly the artwork caught my eye, and I couldn't get it out of my head and after playing it in the testing room I absolutely love it.
It has so much stuff thrown into it, so it's definitely a device to play with and explore. Has a few quirks (the infinite setting occasionally pops when I let my foot of the tap tempo so it isn't as forgiving with the spacey mad jams as I'd like) but this is definitely a pedal I'd recommend checking out!
I came back to this pedal after being mesmerised by the Fathom, Walrus' reverb pedal of a similar ilk. While I'm still blown away by the sound, I'm not as impressed with it as I am with the Fathom. Nothing to do with the sound really (although I will say that there's not really enough difference between the Digital and Analog modes to warrant them being separate modes); the digital is nice and pristine, and the LoFi mode is unique and incredible for everything from ambient nonsense to adding some character to more rhythmic stuff. That both switches have additional hold functions (one ramps up the repeats, and one ramps up the X knob) is also a great feature, one that is slightly eclipsed by TC's Mash function, but is still cool nonetheless. There are a few problems, though, that are worth mentioning. The biggest issue is that of the tap tempo switch, which is INCREDIBLY unruly. It seems you need five or six taps before it registers, and even then, sometimes I find it dials in a quarter note no matter which Subdivision I've got it set to. I don't know whether or not this is the case on every Arp, but I know I'm not the only one with an Arp like this. Getting used to those extra taps is the only answer I can see, and it's not an issue for me at the moment as I'm just recording stuff, but this sort of thing won't fly once I'm back to playing shows; we'll see when I get there whether or not it's enough for me to seek an alternative.
Other minor (but worth mentioning) gripes include: - The Slapback mode. I'm sorry, but it's pointless; add a few extra short subdivisions like 16th, and put the secret 5th delay on that last program position. - To that end, more subdivisions would be nice as well; if you're going to do away with a time knob (which I'm actually fine with), you should really substitute that with more control over what the tap results in! - I'm finding it hard to dial in a delay sound that's subtle but still noticeable, a-la David Gilmour (apart from in the secret mode, which as far as I can tell is an interesting delay-tremolo kind of thing that swells in the attack). I either get 'not enough to warrant turning on the pedal', or I get too much of the note of the attack to make it useful for anything other than rhythmic stuff. I have a Boonar that I use for this sound, so it's not a deal breaker for me, and I'm sure a combination of the tone and level controls will take you there, but this is a very bread-and-butter application for delay that should be easy to get right. - The simplicity of this pedal's design is one of its greatest assets, but an independent knob to control the modulation would be nice. Mostly because this would allow you to control the modulation in the LoFi setting, but also because it would allow the X knob to do some really interesting stuff with the other modes and make the pedal stand out a little more (I would LOVE a bit-crush style effect on the analog mode, for instance).
This has been a very negative review, but I should stress that I'm (mostly) happy with this pedal. It sounds great, it's at a fairly reasonable price point, and I'm a real sucker for Walrus' pedal artwork. But I do have gripes; the gripes don't bother me much, but they're worth putting out there.