From worship services and home-recording where volume is an issue to fly-in shows where a full rig is impossible, amp modeling has many applications. While a lot of amp/cab simulators offer virtual buffets of options, Walrus Audio’s ACS1 keeps it simple with three amp models, six toggle-switched cabinet “impulse responses” (IRs), Gain, Volume, and Room (reverb) controls, and a three-band tone stack.
The Fullerton (Fender Deluxe Reverb), London (Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker), and Dartford (1960s Vox AC30) are accompanied by stereo 1/4″ in/out, MIDI in and through, USB jack for uploading additional IRs, headphone jack, and nine-volt power jack. Bypass and Boost footswitches toggle through three customizable pre-sets (128 customizable pre-sets are available with MIDI) when hit simultaneously.
For testing, we connected the ACS1’s outputs to a powered PA speaker, two studio reference monitors, and headphones. All three amp models offered accurate simulations and were touch-sensitive and loaded with natural overtones and personality. Plus, the controls reacted like they would on the actual amps. None offer distortion or high-gain overdrive – happily, the ACS1 proved pedal-friendly; comps, ODs, and high-gain distortion all excelled in front of it.
With spot-on simulations of three classics and a simple control layout, the quality-over-quantity Walrus might be a perfect solution to most guitarists’ modeling needs.
This article originally appeared in VG’s November 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.