Q: What are EarthQuaker Devices?
Extra Special Effects Pedals.
Q: Where is your shop?
In downtown Akron, Ohio, USA in a automotive paint warehouse. We are not open to the public, if that’s what you are getting at. We do offer tours, however. Contact us if you’d like to schedule a tour. Tours typically last about 30-60 minutes.
Q: How do you make these devices?
By hand, one at a time.
Q: Is it difficult
Yes, sometimes it is.
Q: Is it awesome to work at EarthQuaker Devices LLC?
Actually, yes it is. We are a wonderful company to work for. We love our employees with our whole hearts. We even provide comprehensive benefits, despite supposedly having no good reason to do so. Medical, dental, vision, STD and LTD, life insurance, paid vacation, all the Bent Tree coffee you can drink, reverse osmosis water at 3 different temperatures, free parking, you name it. If you work for us, all of this is yours.
Q: Can I get a job at EarthQuaker Devices?
We are not hiring at this time, but we’re always accepting resumes and cover letters.
Q: Where do you get all your ideas?
Endless hours at a bread board
Weird shit our kids say
Q: Do you want my idea?
Q: How did you start doing all this?
Taking apart toasters at the age of 3.
Q: Can I have some free pedals?
I don’t know / probably not.
Q: Any new pedals coming out?
Yes, we have 3 years’ worth of new pedals in various stages of completion. But they are still a secret.
Q: Can you build me a custom pedal?
Yes, for $100,000. It will ship in 6 years.
Q: How should I arrange my pedals?
Conventional wisdom suggests that compressors are first in the chain, then you should place any gain pedals (fuzz / overdrive / boost) next in line, finishing with modulation and/or time based effects (reverb / delay / vibrato / phaser / etc.) at the end of the signal path. There are no hard and fast rules, however, so feel free to experiment with effects placement to create new and exciting sounds!
Q: How can I learn to build my own pedals?
Lots of practice. There are tons of DIY guitar pedal kits on the web. We recommend joining a few DIY pedal and synth forums. Become active in these online communities and build as many projects as possible. DIY kits for pedals and synthesizers are great, because they allow you to focus on building, and eliminate the time spent huntin’ down parts. There are also a number of free online learning resources for electronics. Check out All About Circuits.
Q: Do you guys offer shop tours?
Yes, we do! Tours are available on Tuesdays from 5:30 - 6pm and Thursdays from 4 - 4:30pm, and by special request on weekends. Tours typically last about 30-60 minutes. Contact us to schedule a tour.
Q: Can you upgrade my pedal to soft-touch?
No. Sorry! Due to space limitations within the enclosure, we are unable to upgrade 3PDT switches to soft-touch.
Q: What power supplies do you recommend? Why?
We recommend Class 2 transformer 9v DC power supplies with a 2.1mm center-negative barrel.
For multiple devices (or a whole pedalboard) we recommend the following:
We always recommend pedal-specific, transformer-isolated wall-wart power supplies or multiple isolated-output supplies. Pedals will make extra noise if there is ripple or unclean power. Switching-type power supplies, daisy chains and non-pedal specific power supplies do not filter dirty power as well and let through unwanted noise. If you do use a daisy chain, please pay close attention to the current draw listed in the manual and make sure the combined total draw of all your pedals does not exceed the output current of your supply.
Q: My Afterneath makes a high-pitched noise when I turn down the “Drag” control. Is this normal?
No cause for alarm! This is totally normal. The Drag control slows the clock down and reduces the fidelity of the Afterneath as it pulls the delay lines apart. There is always going to be some small amount of noise that increases as you reduce the Drag control. For the least amount of clock noise, set the Drag control all the way clockwise.
Q: I stepped on my Afterneath and it’s making a squealing noise! Is it broken?
Good news, everyone! Your Afterneath is not broken. The noise that you are hearing is most likely due to the interaction between the Length and Reflect controls. Self-oscillation can occur when the Length and Reflect controls are set to higher levels (clockwise), and will continue even if the pedal is switched to bypass. When this occurs, the Drag control should change the pitch of this sound.
Try starting with both controls turned all the way down (counter-clockwise), and slowly increase to get the desired sound.
If you’ve tried turning down the Length and Reflect controls and are still experiencing a problem, please contact us and someone will help you as quickly as possible.
Q: Do you make bass guitar pedals?
Yes! All of the pedals we make will work on the bass guitar. Some of our favorite bass overdrives/fuzzes are the Bellows, Acapulco Gold, Hoof, Cloven Hoof, and Talons. We find that these pedals maintain ample low-end without the use of a clean blend.
Q: Can I order a custom-color pedal?
No. Sorry! Our devices are sold exclusively through our dealer network.
Q: Oh man, it’d be awesome if [pedal] had [feature]! Can you mod my pedal to do that?
Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to accept custom modification requests. We appreciate the feedback, and will consider your suggestion for future revisions.
Q: The LED on my Depths is flickering, even when bypassed. What’s going on?
The Depths’ vibrato effect uses an internal LED and four light dependent resistors to create its swampy sound. The speed and brightness of the internal LED are controlled by the Rate and Intensity knobs. What you’re seeing is light from the internal LED ( which continues to shine even when the Depths is bypassed) passing through the on/off indicator LED.
Q: My Dispatch Master sounds like its clipping. Is it broken?
Probably not. It is normal for the Dispatch Master to clip at extreme settings. If for example, the Repeats are all the way up, and the Time is all the way down, the DM’s circuitry will be more sensitive to hot input signals and distort. To fix this, just back off those controls a little bit. We decided that a little bit of distortion at extreme settings was better than limiting the range (and thus the sound) of the Dispatch Master.
Also, the Dispatch Master doesn’t always like being placed after a buffered pedal, as they can cause clipping as well. For similar reasons, we recommend placing boosts after the Dispatch Master.
If you’ve tried adjusting your settings and signal chain placement and are still experiencing distortion, please email us and we’d be happy to test and repair your pedal.
Q: My EQD delay pedal is making a high-pitched noise. What’s wrong with it?
If you’re experiencing a noise issue, the first things to check are your power supply and cabling. Using Daisy-chain and/or Switch-mode power supplies may let unwanted electrical noise through. Please isolate your delay so that it’s the only pedal in your signal path, and test it using cables that you know to be good and a 9v DC isolated power supply intended for use with musical instruments. Time-based effects with DSP chips will always have a slight amount of clock noise. We have filtered this noise to an amount which we consider acceptable, but this will vary depending upon the gain staging of your rig and the quality of the electrical current in your environment.
If the issue persists, please email us and we will help you as quickly as possible.
Q: My germanium fuzz sounds weird. Should I send it in for repair?
Not yet! Germanium transistors are sensitive to changes in temperature and the sound of your pedal may change if it has recently been exposed to extreme heat, extreme cold, or direct sunlight. Please allow 15-20 minutes for the germanium transistors to adjust to the new temperature and try again. Germanium sounds awesome, so it’s worth the wait!
If you’ve given your transistors time to settle in and still experience an issue, please email us and someone will help you as quickly as possible.
Q: My pedal is buzzing. Can you help?
Yes, we can! The first things to check with any noisy pedal are the cables and power supply. Please isolate your pedal so that it’s the only pedal in your signal path, and test it using cables that you know pedal be good and a 9v DC isolated power supply intended for use with musical instruments.
If the buzzing persists, check that the hex nuts on the input and output jacks are tight. The jacks are grounded through their physical connection to the enclosure, and ground loops may occur if they are not tight. To tighten, remove the backplate, hold the jacks steady, and turn the hex nuts clockwise using a 13mm box wrench.
Q: Where do you get those awesome cakes?!
Pop & Goo's Bakery, right here in Akron, Ohio!