Posted by
Dec 2, 2021

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We wrote just last week about the Walrus Audio Iron Horse, in the context of our article about RAT Pedals and their clones and evolutions. Today the company announced V3 of this LM308-based high-gain distortion pedal, featuring an intriguing new knob replacing the 3-way clipping toggle found in the previous version.

The new Iron Horse is everything V2 was – a warm, classic sounding pedal offering the thick and rowdy distortion bordering on fuzz typical of RAT pedals – but with a broader palette thanks to the new clipping knob, which blends the character of Silicon and LED diodes.

When turned to the left, the Silicon diodes will confer the signal more compression, while settings past noon will sound more dynamic, thanks to the prevalence of the LED diode.

Compared to V2, this configuration allows a lot more tone possibilities and nuanced voices. Furthermore, since the clipping knob action changes the internal gain and clipping style, the other controls will be affected by its position, and behave slightly differntly at different settings.

You can hear the ratty sounds produced by the Walrus Audio Iron Horse V3 in the videos below.

The Iron Horse is our take on a classic distortion circuit that’s thick, punchy, riffy, and rowdy. With the help of the Si/LED (Silicon/LED) knob and wide range of the distortion knob, this true bypass, high-gain behemoth can be finely tuned for clear overdriven sounds or let the reigns loose for a full-on distorted onslaught.

Top mount jacks with soft switch bypassing and art by David Hüttner complete the package for a pedal board-ready distortion machine.

The Iron Horse V3 updates are as follows:
Top-mounted jacks
Soft relay true bypass on/off
Fixed volume drop-off when the distortion knob is at minimum
Re-imagined the hard clipping toggle as a blend style potentiometer, that allows you to blend between symmetrical silicon and diode clipping for a new variety of tones.
Owners of the previous versions of the Iron Horse will be familiar with the three distortion modes operated by a toggle switch to change between different clipping modes. The switch has now been replaced with a blending knob opening up a wealth of ways to alter your tone.

When the knob is set to the left, the distorted signal will be using Silicon clipping diodes adding in a high amount of compression. Rotating the knob to the right will bring in LED clipping and a smaller amount of compression. Putting the knob at noon will blend between the two using different ratios of the Silicone and LED clipping diodes for more complex clipping sounds.

Note: Since the Si/LED knob is changing the internal gain and clipping style, the other controls will behave slightly differently as well. You will need to use the volume knob to adjust the overall output up or down depending on where you have the knob set.

Let the reins loose.
Classic distortion that’s thick, punchy, riffy, and rowdy. This true bypass, high-gain behemoth can be finely tuned for clear overdriven sounds or let the reigns loose for a full-on distorted onslaught.

One blend-able clipping knob for a wide variety of LM308 tones.
Si/LED Blending
Silicon or LED blending allows you to experiment with a vast amount of clipping options. Set the knob to the left for a higher amount of compression, right for smaller amounts and at noon for a blend between the two for more complex sounds.