The story of Earthquaker Devices begins with Jamie Stillman fixing his own overdrive pedal and then deciding to get into the pedal business himself. Twelve years later, Stillman’s Earthquaker Devices is one of the most celebrated brands in the industry. One of its latest, the Avalanche Run, is a delay and reverb combo that produces an “avalanche” of sound for players seeking to create otherworldly tones.
Tested with a 1968 Princeton Reverb and a ’67 Telecaster, the Avalanche’s reverb proved very responsive, with a Decay knob to control the delay time and a Mix knob that allows everything from slight verbed tones to 100-percent effected tones. The effect itself is quite lush and slightly modulated in nature. The 100-percent effected tones lack attack, instead swelling into a fantastic barrage of beautiful verbed-out mess.
The Avalanche Run’s Delay section produces everything from tasty slap-back echo to locked-in repeats via the Tap tempo footswitch at a variety of subdivisions set by a Ratio selector knob. It also offers a toggle with Reverse and Swell settings that produce backward tape sounds and auto-volume swelled tones; a Tone knob allows for dark to bright repeats. Using the effects together produces especially beautiful and expansive tones from a single box. In addition, holding down the Tap switch causes the pedal to go into self-oscillation with short delay times or infinite repeats when utilized with long delay times. An expression pedal can also be attached to control most functions.
The Avalanche Run is the perfect answer for players looking to add both reverb and tap tempo delay in a single pedal. It is obvious that this unit was designed with the ambient guitar player in mind. But no matter the style, it is a fantastic-sounding unit.
This article originally appeared in VG December 2016 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.