by Mark King
|BIG PEDALBOARD TODAY, WHERE'S EARTHQUAKER?|
My first Earthquaker Devices pedal purchase was the Pyramids flanger. I was looking for a classic flanging effect like my old Electric Mistress from the 70's. What I got was a great improvement on this classic effect.
PYRAMIDS FLANGER AT A GLANCE (460 ma current consumption)
|WITH BIG BUTTON HEADS FOR BAREFOOT PERFORMANCE|
The Pyramids Flanger is full stereo processing from input to output. You can use it mono-in to stereo out or just mono-in to mono-out. A tap tempo button makes it simple to get the swirling effects aligned with your music. You can adjust it for intense flanging effects, subtle stereo chorus or anywhere in between. There are five preset locations where you can store favorite combinations of the front panel knobs. An expression pedal input jack is provided. This is a relatively high current digital pedal that comes with it's own external switching power supply.
AVALANCHE RUN AT A GLANCE (410 ma current consumption)
|AVALANCHE RUN WITH BIG BUTTONS FOR BAREFOOT PERFORMANCE|
The Avalanche Run is a combination of delay and reverb. It has stereo inputs and stereo outputs. There are separate controls for the reverb and delay. A tap tempo button makes it quick and easy to get the Avalanche Run in sync with your music. An expression pedal input is available for the curious types. This is another high current digital pedal which comes with its own switching power supply.
First I want to mention the sound characteristics. These two pedals are very different from each other in the effects they produce but they both have uncommonly good signal-to-noise-ratio. Both of these pedals are at the top of the game soundwise, each is unique and provides glorius full-range sound.
Many flangers and delay pedals have a lot of background noise when they're engaged, not these Earthquaker pedals though. In my experience these have some of the lowest background noise of any pedal I've ever used. I've used them in stereo in the effects loops of a pair of Marshall tube amps and the sound was inspirational, wide, massive and low in noise.
These two pedals come in the same sized enclosure which features the jacks across the top/rear of the pedal. The expression control input jack is on the side. With the inputs and outputs across the rear it makes it easier to cable-up for stereo operation using short straight cords.
Switching these effects on and off is controlled by a relay inside each pedal. Most effect pedals use a simple 3 or 4 pole mechanical switch for this function. The on-off button on these Earthquaker Devices pedals switches the relay inside to turn the effect ON or OFF. This lets the pedal offer unique on-off options.
If the pedal is off you can hold the footswitch button down and you'll get the effect for however long you hold it, the moment you pick your foot up, the effect goes back to bypass. It's a fast way of injecting your music with a dose of what you want. You can momentarily tap the on-off button to turn the pedal on and off in a conventional manner as well.
|PYRAMIDS AND AVALANCHE RUN AT THE END OF MY BIG STUDIO PEDALBOARD|
I've been using the Avalanche Run version 2 for over a year and the Pyramids flanger for a little bit longer. After hours of experimenting I came upon the setup that works best for me. I run the Avalanche Run outputs in stereo to the Pyramid flanger stereo inputs. The Pyramids flanger feeds my stereo guitar amplifier inputs. These two Earthquaker pedals live at the output end of my big pedal board.
I've learned to count on the Avalanche Run to deliver a beautiful cascading bunch of rhythmic echos, perfect for the ambient soundtrack themes I like to compose and record.
With both the Avalanche Run and the Pyramids flanger engaged the sound is pure magic. I adjust the tempo on the Pyramids to a slow movement, I like the drifting dimension it can produce. Together this pair of pedals create a sonic universe that can entertain me for hours at a time.
In a world of $400-$750 boutique pedal builders Earthquaker Devices is to be commended for designing and delivering pedals which provide outstanding unique sounds for relatively bargain prices. While I don't consider the $299 street price of each of these to exactly be cheap these two pedals deliver world class sound for very reasonable prices. The Earthquaker pedals are made by humans in Ohio, they're not mass produced cheapies from China (although the switching power supplies are from foreign sources).
The features and quality construction place these Earthquaker Devices pedals in direct competition with much higher priced boutique effects. The beautiful sounds these pedals produce puts them in a world of their own.
When I first heard it I was very surprised how good the Pyramids flanger sounded. In the world of flanger pedals I would say the Pyramids is hi fi. It can get raunchy and weird too if that is your thing. After using flanger effects for 50 years I never knew they could be so versatile.
I currently own over a dozen flangers (not including multi effects racks, Kemper or Code amps). The Pyramids instantly endeared itself to me as a beautiful chorus sound. It can do all sorts of odd flanging effects if you want to spend time with it. I keep my Pyramids flanger in the "live" mode and tweak it on the fly to match the song I'm working on.
I received the Avalanche Run as a birthday present from a friend. I connected it in stereo to the inputs of the Pyramid flanger and the setup has been that way almost ever since. I've experimented with both of these on their own in 100's of different configurations. Together these two pedals make the perfect stereo output for my studio pedalboard. I love having them at the end of the chain, when they're bypassed they're good pedal citizens by not creating hum, buzz or noise. I don't use these two effects all the time but they do regularly provide wonderful sonic colors to help inspire me to paint music.
|PYRAMIDS AND AVALANCHE RUN DRIVEN IN STEREO BY JOYO VISION|
I added the large plastic buttons to both of my EarthQuaker Devices pedals to make them easier to switch when I'm playing barefoot.
I really like these two pedals. I bought the Pyramids and received the Avalanche Run as a gift (not affiliated with E.D. in any way). I use these pedals everyday, they are two of my GO-TO effects. If one of them broke I'd replace it at once.
I liked these two pedals so much I purchased an Earthquaker Devices "Afterneath" but that is for review on another day :-)
Good music to you!
BTW This review is copyright January, 2021 by Mark King, it's not ok to copy or quote without permission. Thanks for reading.