EarthQuaker Devices ™ “quite possibly the best pedal company in Akron, Ohio, USA” was founded in 2004 by Jamie Stillman, with his wife Julie Robbins working alongside as Vice President.
The company name comes from an idea for a fake metal band called ‘EarthQuaker’.
Jamie says, “I handle all the circuits, oversee branding and various other chores”.
“Julie is the master brain behind #EQD. She handles all the dealers, artist relations, accounting… pretty much everything at the business end”.
Stillman began building effects pedals for friends whilst playing guitar and drums in bands (punk to psychedelic rock) and working as a graphic designer. He currently plays guitar in a band called Relaxer.
He says EarthQuaker Devices started from a broken pot on a DOD 250 overdrive pedal, because the circuit schematic appealed to his life-long tinkering gene.
“I’m thankful for the faulty pot on that 250! Without it, so many promising roads may have remained un-traveled and so many amazing effects would still be lost in the ether”.
EarthQuaker Devices | Out of the ordinary designs
Stillman was tour manager of US garage rock band ‘The Black Keys’ in 2006, when the band’s guitarist used some of his pedals and posted an on-line video demonstration.
That led to 20 quick orders, which inspired the creation of more pedals.
By 2008, EarthQuaker had gained a reputation for creating out of the ordinary designs. Producing enhanced effects based on classic distortion, overdrive and fuzz circuits.
More than 10 years later and the company now employs just over 50 personnel.
Hand building pedals, one at a time, out of a former automotive paint warehouse in the idyllic wasteland metropolis of Akron, OH. Actually, that’s 350 West Bowery Street!
Jamie says, “Everything is built by hand by choice because we like to employ our friends and run a local business.
The people who work for us need to earn a decent wage and have benefits (health insurance, etc) available to them.
Not many (if any) people in our industry are offering their employees what we offer and keep prices low.”
This is a video about the History of #EQD “Wizards, rainbows, cake (and nerds)”: –
EarthQuaker Devices | Shake me to the core!
The idea of an EarthQuaker device being part of my pedal board set up has been something of a slow burn!
In the beginning (I came back around to Bass in 2012), the EQD sound didn’t shake me to the core as much as I wanted it to – far from it. But how come?
I hadn’t heard a sound in many of the on-line youtube demonstrations that I thought I could use.
That said, I like The Warden compressor pedal, because it works well with Bass down to 40 Hz and has plenty of functionality.
However, it won’t be replacing my TC Nova Dynamics any time soon. I would miss the metering too much.
Clean sounding modulation, octave effects and delay is an absolute must for me. And with versatility too.
I don’t use much overdrive or any dirt, distortion and fuzz; and very little reverb on Bass.
That’s not to say I don’t understand the artistry of those that do, but effects are also about personal taste.
Maybe that’s where I’m going next? A little overdrive, fuzz and some off the wall craziness!
Back in 2016, EarthQuaker Devices delivered two pedals that I wanted to add to my rig.
Here’s my review of the first of them: – Night Wire Harmonic Tremolo on Bass
EarthQuaker Devices | Blog post | Citations
InfinityBass.com | by Simon Edward | July 3rd, 2017.