Building Guitar Effect Pedals Entirely By Hand Since 2004: Now a 40-person operation run by Akron, OH husband and wife team, Jamie Stillman and Julie Robbins, EarthQuaker Devices is a true boutique company, building guitar effect pedals entirely by hand since 2004. Stillman was a graphic designer by day and a veteran guitarist and drummer in bands (punk to psychedelic rock), who also worked as a tour manager. He was repairing a broken overdrive pedal and thought it would be easier to create a new one. He began making pedals for friends and later sold them on eBay and via online music forums. When Stillman was tour managing The Black Keys, the band’s Dan Auerbach used some of his pedals and posted a video demonstrating them. That led to 20 quick orders, which inspired Stillman to create more pedals and go into business. By 2008, EarthQuaker Devices was a full-time endeavor.
Trademark Products: The company’s flagship device is The Hoof Fuzz, a germanium/silicon hybrid fuzz, which is capable of creating everything from dirty and organic overdrive to monstrous fuzz madness, with clarity and distinctiveness that provides a tight and controlled signal. Another classic is The Afterneath, an otherworldly reverb machine that uses a swarm of short delays to create wild and cavernous reverbs and scattered, short rhythmic delays with bizarre characteristics. The Rainbow Machine takes modern DSP and uses it to create real-time pitch shifting, using digital oscillators.
The Newest Pedals: Among the company’s new devices are the Night Wire and Spires. The Night Wire is a feature rich harmonic tremolo, with a signal split into high pass and low pass filters, then modulated with an LFO split 180 degrees. The Night Wire takes the traditional harmonic tremolo a few steps further by allowing the center point of both filters to be adjusted for different tones. The Spires was born from Stillman’s need to have his big Rosac Nu Fuzz and now discontinued Dream Crusher on his pedalboard without taking up all the space. Other upcoming devices include Spatial Delivery, Gray Channel, Bows, Bellows and Avalanche Run.
Contact EarthQuaker Devices, 330-252-9220
For more information, visit earthquakerdevices.com