I’ve probably said it before, but I love how the crazies at EarthQuaker name their pedals. I mean, initiating a “Translucent Drive Manipulator” is just mega cooler than merely stomping on an overdrive pedal—even if that’s essentially what you are doing. It’s all about perception and pleasure, right?
But, beyond having fun with tone toys, the Westwood ($179 street) actually is a bit different than your typical overdrive. This is something on the order of a “colored boost,” reminiscent of the excellent Chandler Little Devil I tested back in 2012, albeit with a few less features and a less lofty price tag. With subtle tweaks, the Westwood does that excellent ballet of retaining the inherent tone of your guitar and amp, while simultaneously adding more level and restrained grit. Yet, even with a cranked Drive knob, note articulation is clear and precise—it’s just a tad more aggro and vibey.
If you want more fun “coloring” your sound, the Tone controls are voiced very nicely and offer a bountiful boost/cut of 20dB. The center frequency of the Treble knob is near a midrange sweet spot of 2kHz, which means you can deploy the Westwood as a cool treble booster, or tame the attack for scooped-like shimmer. You can lower the boom without adding mud by diming the Bass knob (with its 80Hz center frequency), or clean up rampaging low end with a counterclockwise twist.
For any guitarist who loves the tone of their rig, but wants more “more” without veering into distortion, the organic and natural push of the Westwood should be just the trick. It’s transcendently translucent.
Kudos Fabulous and subtle drive. Great EQ. Excellent sound.