Speaker Cranker review by EarthQuaker Devices

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8 (6 votes)
EarthQuaker Devices: Speaker Cranker

Price paid: $ 105

Purchased from: Macdaddy Music via Amazon

Sound — 10
I have Epiphone LPC Studio and Bugera V55. No noise. Takes another Overdrive or boost better before it, though I prefer it alone as I like the particular edgy clipping. Even though I say edgy it's really very slight. This isn't a distortion pedal. I am not going for the sound of anyone else. I just want a slight Overdrive to erase a bit of the sugar of my clean channel and add some grit to the dirt. It does this just as I had hoped. Because it's germanium it warms up after being on for awhile and gets smoother. So does the amp. Both get warm and very smooth. If I run another Overdrive before this pedal, like Boss SD-1 or Marshall Bluesbreaker II then I can get some straight up Slash type Marshally distortion. But I prefer the pedal by itself.

Overall Impression — 10
I would buy another, and based on this I am looking forward to another Earthquaker pedal. They all sound really great. I give this pedal the complete 10 stars. I do not work for them or get any promos for ranking them high. I like the fact that this pedal just adds a small clip, some small charge to the guitar signal. Previously I have heard people talk about their overdrives and say things like - "really opens up the mids", "tightens up the bottom", adds high bias fuzz to the treble. And other things like that. This pedal doesn't do any of that. It leaves your signal as you like it, just with some boost and dirt. Really quite an elegant and simple pedal and works for subtlety, can stack for something more.

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Reliability & Durability — 10
It's as dependable as they make em. Box is 4x2 inches and smallish. Good for a board, won't take up room. Chickenhead knob is an inch across and can be turned with your toe. Pedal is true bypass. From a forum is this hearsay: "They traced out the 4 or 5 resistor values to the single transistor, and also noted the 3 clipping diodes on the output. Later in the thread, someone from E.D. Actually verified that the component values were correct (to Electra Drive Spec). The E.D. Circuitboard for the SC is pretty neat - it is small enough (because of the super low parts count) to basically "hang off" the back of that single 10K pot. That means they can build those things fast, and keep the price down. BTW - no need to run that pedal at any voltage other than 9VDC (or even less), because the clipping diodes on the output will always limit the signal to a "consistent" point no matter how hard it is driven." Thanks to 11Gauge for his information he says: "...The SC can get *much* cleaner and more sparkly than the LL (if that's what you want.) Also, when it's fully cranked and dirty it has more clarity and definition than the Les Lius - the bass doesn't get all squishy and lose it's attack response like the LL does. The transistor in the LL is driven a lot harder - there is a ~3 megaohm resistor in its feedback loop, versus only ~2 megaohm in the same position in the SC. The gain pot in the LL is smaller (more gain) - 1K linear taper, versus 5K linear taper in the SC. They both have the 330 ohm "max gain series resistor," but the difference in gain pot and feedback loop resistor will give the SC much less of a gain range, and extend it down more into the "dirty boost" kind of thing. The LL lets you switch between a pair of simple silicon diodes, or a trio of BAT46 diodes (with the BAT46's switchable from 3 or just 2). The SC is hardwired with a set of 3 1N60 germanium diodes. So the LL will get a lot more "splat and fizz" with the silicon clippers selected, especially since it has more gain on tap. It will also get a lot more compressed and mushy when the BAT46's are selected. Silicons clamp less than 1N60's, which clamp less than BAT46's. ...So the 1N60's in the SC seem to have the "better clamping/compression effect" coupled with less gain, as opposed to any of the settings with the LL. In the process, they eliminated the need for another footswitch or toggle, and only had to change the value of 2 resistors and the gain pot. Pretty smart - the devil is always in the details. The little Electra Distortion circuits are fun for lots of tweakers to play with. The guys at ED might have been fiddling with the LL, Gaspedals Carb, etc. Trying to find a way to make something that is more of an Overdrive than a distortion-to-fuzz. Like the Fuzz Face (or LPB-1 might be more appropriate), it is fun to fiddle with, because there are only 4 resistors and one transistor to change the values of. And - the transistor is the same thing that you will find in something like a Big Muff. Very common and cheap bipolar silicon transistor. They are a lot easier to work with than jFET's, MosFET's, and obviously germanium (the last one is really only relegated to Rangemaster-type builds - there isn't enough gain to make it work like the Electra Distortion design does). My hat is off to ED for tweaking something to be "a bit more balanced" than the LL - very nice that they were able to eliminate the switches and toggle, and get it back to the Lovepedal COT format - one knob."

Ease of Use — 10
One knob called "More". Can't be easier. This is a boost with slight germanium clipping. More boost before noon on the dial, more Overdrive after. Both sound good. It remains on all the time for me, on both clean and gain channels. I ordered it, got an email from Macdaddy Music that they mailed it just an hour later. Receive it in two days.

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