Earthquaker has rapidly advanced
from small boutique shop to major
player in the pedal market on the strength of well
constructed, attractively designed, and great-sounding
effects that are affordably priced for
what they offer. The Depths ($195 street) features
a classic-style optical Uni-Vibe circuit with
Intensity and Rate controls, each covering a wide
range of settings. A handy Level knob helps
compensate for any psycho-acoustic or actual
volume drops that can occur when engaging the
pedal, and it can go beyond that and even push
an amp into overdrive. The Depth’s circuit has a
current draw of 35mA and requires an external
power supply (not included). You can choose to
run it on 9 volts for a warmer response, or at 18
volts for a brighter sound with more headroom.
EarthQuaker strays off the beaten ’Vibe path
via a Voice control that shifts the effect’s tonal
center, bringing out different parts of the undulating
sweep. Turn it clockwise and it enhances
the low end; twist it the opposite direction and
it thins out the sound and enhances the midrange.
This control also interacts with the Throb
knob, which adjusts the low end of the pulse. By
manipulating the Voice, Throb, and Intensity, I
could create warm-sounding Uni-Vibe phasing
textures à la Hendrix and Trower, or, at higher
Rate settings, Leslie-style effects. And that was
just the beginning. For example, with the Intensity
control turned up, the Voice knob could be
used to enhance various frequencies, creating
a number of cool sounds that were more auto-filter
Some ’Vibe clones tend to muddy the mix—
not so The Depths. These swirling sounds were
far from murky, making this pedal ideal for humbucker
lovers and/or loud volumes, as well as
helping it play well with distortion, whether of
the amp or pedal variety. Bottom line: With its
cool graphics, pedalboard-friendly size, and
pristine sound, The Depths definitely rises to the
upper tier of ’Vibes that you’ll want to audition.
Kudos Wide range of lush Uni-Vibe-style effects.
Concerns Battery power not an option.
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