The KMA Machines Wurm, which I have in limited WurHM edition (below), is already one of the very best HM-2 style distortion pedals you can buy. It doubles up the tone-shaping ability of the original with 4-Band EQ, which for the Wurm - is further serviced by individual internal trimmers - which place a proper 4-Band Parametric EQ at your disposal.
The Wurm also has an internal 3-way voicing switch which gives you authentic HM-2 Twin Peaks distortion, Enrico’s enhanced take on that, and a Mix of both together. I particularly love the Orange and Black artwork versus the regular white edition - and I love how the Wurm’s eyes light up with 5 LED’s - just conceptually superb all-round, and perfect for that mid-size BB-format enclosure.
For the Guardian of the Wurm, Enrico has externalised those originally internal controls - so that you can access the full frequency bandwidth from the surface of the new pedal. So the individual Frequency centres now sit immediately below their respective active frequency band boost and cut controls. And at the same time the essentially 3-way Voicing Mode Switch has been externalised too as a toggle-switch on the right hand side of the pedal.
Further additions include a new Asymmetric / Silicon Clipping toggle-switch, a Gate control, and a Clean Blend control. The Gate is activated separately via the 'Tame' footswitch and can be dynamically triggered by various means. It is based on Blackmer VCA technology, that has a simple threshold control - where further internal trimmers let you more finely tune the degree of gating.
There are in fact several new internal controls now compared to the Wurm - which are really for fine-tuning the recent feature additions - which also include a TRS FX Loop (TRS Y-Splitter Cable needed) and External Trigger jack - so you can side-chain the pedal to be actively triggered by accompanying inputs. There are new Distortion Level and Clean Volume trimmers now, alongside dip-switches for Gate Response, Trigger Source, and Input Filter - consult the manual for how best to deploy those.
For a long time the Klirrton Grindstein has kind of held the throne for the big box HM-2 types, while I feel that the new Guardian of the Wurm really is its equal, and shares the honours now. They are two quite different approaches to how to get the most out of the HM-2 format - while both are incredibly full-featured and deliver spectacular results.
The only down-side here really is in the increased size of footprint vs the Wurm - but considering everything the Guardian of the Wurm has onboard - including those cool tone-shaping sliders - it more than justifies its extended proportions. I really love the new graphics here too- while I'm just a touch sad that the Wurm part no longer has its 5 LED Eyes! The lit-up slider-tabs though really make up for that - probably too much to have both - but then again this is a pedal of excesses as it rightly should be.
Early demos sound suitably stellar - where I'm really looking forward to get my hands on one to run it through its paces and compare it to all my existing pack of HM-2's. It's pretty cool that Germany now makes two of the very best full-featured HM-2 types out there!
The Guardian of the Wurm is currently available direct from the KMA Machines Webstore for €299 - and is due to hit dealers within the next few weeks.
Will any of you be following my lead and getting one too?
I will be doing a further proper in-depth review versus all the usual suspects as soon as I get my own unit.
Congratulations once more to Enrico and his team for another stellar release!
Did I say I was really looking forward to getting mine!?!