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Earthquaker Devices Erupter Perfect Fuzz Pedal

Sometimes you need the fuzz to flow  ...

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

Sweetwater currently has 71 new production fuzz pedals listed on their site, with no fewer than ten being fuzzes by Earthquaker Devices. While that may sound excessive to people who don’t obsess over fuzz tone, the fact that they’ve introduced an eleventh fuzz pedal to the mix means they’ve either found something new or they’re losing their minds! So how does the Earthquaker Erupter stand out from its fuzz siblings?

 

The Earthquaker Erupter is a brand-new fuzz circuit designed to create what Earthquaker Devices deems to be the perfect fuzz tone that can be placed anywhere in your signal chain. A single Bias knob is the only control on the pedal, which features true bypass and can be powered by a standard 9-volt DC power supply with a 2.1 mm negative center barrel or a 9v battery.

 

What You Need to Know

 

The Earthquaker Devices Erupter overcomes the signal-chain issues that plague most fuzz circuits by using a transformer-based pickup simulator to remove impedance issues -  even the most poorly buffered wah pedal can’t muck up your tone. I ran the fuzz at the beginning, middle, and even end of several signal chains and can confirm that the fuzz quality stayed consistent. The Erupter features all the "magic mojo" components fuzz seekers crave, like NOS globe-top transistors and Sprague and BC capacitors.

 

Unlike most fuzz pedals on the market, the output volume and fuzz level are set, with the Bias control being the only knob . While this may at first sound limiting, fuzz effects are well known for their reactivity with input volume and the Erupter is able to create dozens of shades of dirt, from light grit to wooly, saturated fuzz just by playing the Volume and Tone knobs on your guitar.  The output volume is a touch over unity, enough to hear the increase but not enough to slam a preamp, which sounded just about right in several different amps with which I demoed the pedal.

 

The Bias control adjusts the fuzz's bias (makes sense, right?) and is center-notched at noon, which Earthquaker Devices considers the “perfect” setting. It's very SI Fuzz Face-like, with punch, a healthy low end, and lots of sustain. Dialing the Bias control below noon drops the output slightly and the fuzz becomes more pinched and gated. Past noon, the volume steps up a bit and the gain structure becomes more focused and thick, leaning more into Tone Bender territory.

 

In all settings, the pedal displayed a large amount of responsiveness to playing dynamics of a single-coil pickup while not becoming overwhelmed when slammed with high-output humbuckers. Earthquaker Devices say they’ve spent over two years fine-tuning the components to reach the final sound of the Erupter, and in my opinion what they’ve created a universal vintage fuzz tone that sounds familiar but is uniquely its own thing.

 

Limitations

 

Fixed volume output means you won’t be able to aggressively slam a hot preamp with 20 dB of level without additional pedals, if that’s your thing.

 

Conclusion

 

Getting a classic, vintage fuzz tone in a “plays well anywhere” factor is definitely cool, especially for players who want their wah in front of their fuzz without ruining their tone...but that’s really just a bonus. The start of the show is how many different sounds the Erupter can achieve, without having a bad tone in it.

 

Resources

 

                                    

 

To Purchase

Sweetwater - All Earthquaker Devices Pedals 

Sweetwater - Earthquaker Erupter Perfect Fuzz Pedal

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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