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Official website for EarthQuaker Devices. We build guitar effects by hand in the quaint landlocked city of Akron, Ohio.

An All-In-One Solution to Your Pedalboard Problems

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An All-In-One Solution to Your Pedalboard Problems

Uri Garcia

As musicians, we are attempting to express our creativity through a series of organized sounds and controlled variables. However, we do not want unintended noise entering our audio signal, or less sound altogether.

When you use effects pedals and extra cabling to connect those pedals, you lose some of your original signal. Sometimes it isn’t too noticeable, but other times it can be terrible. When you don’t compare it to plugging directly into your amp, it just becomes the norm. It could result in limited top-end chime when you play clean guitar, or just a less dynamic output overall. Regardless of how it manifests, be assured that you do not want it in your life.

Example Pedalboard Layout

Example Pedalboard Layout

What if I told you that you could remove your entire chain of effects pedals whenever you want, without rewiring your pedal board or plugging directly into your amplifier?

That is what an effects loop does. It removes your pedals from your signal path when you don’t want them there. Obviously, there are those of you that read this and laugh, because you already know this information. This technology is not new, and its use in the music industry has been prevalent for a long time. But, after reading people’s questions about Swiss Things®, I have realized that there are a lot of really great folks out there that don’t know what an effects loop does, or how it works. Hell, there are a lot of great players in music land that don’t know what any of this stuff is or how it could benefit them.

All of the gear snobs who want Swiss Things to have 20 outputs and control their sex bot via MIDI will be disappointed because this is a little basic. Swiss Things is what it is. It isn’t anything that it isn’t. It is NOT gigantic or complicated. It is a compact and extremely transparent audio solution for people who want to SOUND GREAT, with some features quite different from anything else that is available. All this provided to you by a company that really cares what they make and how they make it.

The basic idea of Swiss Things is an “all-in-one” solution to many issues that musicians experience.

Tone loss, volume loss, being disorganized, and having to rely on huge loops that you wish offered more, are just some of the problems that are associated with pedalboards. Think of Swiss Things as the “brain” of your pedalboard’s nervous system. Everything goes through it and branches off from it. It can control the whole board. You could very easily wire up a pedalboard where the only thing you step on during your performance, is Swiss Things. Doesn’t that sound nice? Only stepping on one pedal to activate many.

The boost onboard is very clean, and very easy to use. 20db of clean boost is no joke. Playing a solo or lead part on guitar and realize that you can’t hear yourself? Use the clean boost. It is a simple way to get more of what you want, without sacrificing anything or adding more variables to wrangle. My favorite aspect is having the benefit of a clean boost without using more space on my pedalboard, and not losing a spot on my power supply! Anyone who has a big board or who constantly has to decide which pedal can’t make the cut when rewiring, knows what I'm talking about.

You may have tried an A/B/Y pedal before, and unless you did your research, it most likely added some unwanted noise to your signal. The “B” output of Swiss Things features transformer isolation which means that you won’t hear humming or buzzing when you have two amps plugged into the outputs. There is also a phase switch so you can make sure your sound waves coming from both amplifiers are in sync. This ensures you won’t be surprised by certain frequencies disappearing while playing live or recording.

Block Diagram

Block Diagram

What is a buffer?

This is a simple electrical system designed to protect your signal from being affected by impedance changes. Loop 2 being buffered in Swiss Things means that you can place devices that usually leave your signal prone to tone loss in this loop, eliminating the possibility that your overall sound will be affected. Additionally, there is yet another buffer before the outputs to ensure your tone will get to your amp intact, even when using long cable runs.

The ability to use ANY expression pedal as a volume pedal is another big reason why Swiss Things is different from anything else that I have used. Expression pedals are often smaller and/or less expensive than volume pedals. You can also use your old volume pedal - just make sure you are using a TRS to dual TS cable if your volume pedal has inputs and outputs. Otherwise, a TRS to TRS cable is needed for Swiss Things when using an expression pedal. Feel free to email us if you have any questions:

What is Flexi-Switch® Technology?

This is a quite useful proprietary technology brought to you exclusively by EarthQuaker Devices that allows you to activate your pedal in two different ways using one switch. Latching operation is what you probably have on most of your pedals. They turn on and off with a stomp. Momentary operation is when you step on the switch and hold it for as long as you wish. The effect is activated for the length of time that you hold the switch down. When you release, the effect pedal or pedals in the loop are bypassed. Basically, it expands your creativity and is very fun. Every switch on Swiss Things is a Flexi-Switch®, so you can implement both types of operation with your amps, effects loops, and the clean boost. I am not aware of any other utility pedal in existence that offers this flexibility.

All of these logical attributes and a compact, easy-to-use design has guaranteed Swiss Things a permanent spot on my pedalboard. Everything I need is right here, and it takes up only a little more space on my pedalboard than my old Black Eye clean boost. This is a rugged utility device built for the long haul, and EQD stands behind it with a solid limited lifetime warranty and the best customer service in the biz. Most importantly, it sounds great. Or maybe I should say, it doesn’t sound like anything...