Honestly I haven’t had that much excitement for a reverb or delay pedal since the Strymon Blue Sky and the Nuenaber Stereo Wet. Everything else while good has just been a replication of those two pedals with a few slight differences in eq, mix and depth range. So when Earthquaker released their Avalanche Run I wasn’t in any huge hurry to try it out because I was convinced that Strymon and Nuenaber had the market cornered for Delay and Reverb so why drop the coin on something different. Then my local shop got one in so I decided to give it a try in the shop. Spoiler alert. I now own one.
Backing up though I want to discuss some of the cool features that the pedal has and why I have played 3 weeks in a row and only used this for delay and reverb. I know crazy! But true!
At Woodsy’s Music in Kent, my go to local store I grabbed one of these off the shelf and plugged into one of the new Fender Bassbreaker series amps. Another great product but for another day. The pedals quality is what you would come to expect from Earthquaker. A gorgeous transparent blue sparkle finish with detailed white screen printed artwork, complete with black and white knobs and click-less foot switches.
Upon plugging in and setting all of the knobs to 12 o’clock I was surprised at how usable the pedal was. Many of Earthquaker Devices’ pedals are unique and take a while to implement into your board. Not this guy. The tone of the reverb and delay trails was neither harsh or too bass heavy. The reverb had a light shimmer to it but was not fatiguing to the ear like many of the other shimmer effects on the market. As I cranked up the mix and depth knobs to around 3pm I found what I believe to be the best sounding ambient swell tone of all time. All of this with the delay settings at 12 o’clock and the delay mix at around 9-10 o’clock.
My next question was, can this be used as a stand-alone delay and/or reverb pedal? It absolutely can! By turning the mix completely down on the delay you can use the pedal as a reverb only unit. By turning the mix completely down on the reverb you can use the pedal as a stand-alone digital delay pedal.
The delay side of things is fantastic as well. The repeats are warm but maintain enough high end to cut through the mix. The knobs have a ton of range and almost every setting we dialed in was usable. While the “standard” setting was my favorite, both the “swell” and “reverse” settings were surprisingly usable as well.
The only complaint I have is that the labels for the sub-divisions knob are somewhat confusing to the musically untrained and will likely require a visit to the users manual or Earthquaker’s website to look up what each setting means. Oh wait I will just include them here. Problem solved.
- 1/1- Quarter Note
- 3/4- Dotted 8th
- 2/3- Quarter Note Triplet
- 1/2- 8th Note
- 1/3- 8th Note Triplet
- 1/4- 16th Note
With stereo in and out as well as an expression out the pedal offers a ton of flexibility. As mentioned above I have been using this as my only delay and reverb pedal the past couple of weeks and it has worked incredibly well. I do have a bit of light reverb on my amp but I just adjust the mix and tap in the tempo for each song. By far the most usable and versatile combo pedal I have ever used. Well worth the pricetag.