EarthQuaker Devices Life Pedal V2

The Signature Sunn O))) Stompbox - Only 2500 Available Worldwide!

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Written by

Elliot Stent

In early 2019, EarthQuaker Devices and experimental metal band Sunn O))) collaboratively designed a stompbox that encapsulated the group's signature sounds - the Life Pedal. Able to produce earth-shaking distortion, fuzz and octave-up tones, this large and ultra-limited stompbox sold out fast and has become somewhat of a collector's item already. However, EarthQuaker Devices has quite literally brought it back to life!

Bad puns aside, the EarthQuaker Devices Life Pedal V2 features the exact same circuit as the wildly popular original, meaning that you can expect the same world-ending Sunn O))) sounds. However, the Life Pedal V2 features a much more compact enclosure, allowing you to save valuable real-estate on your pedalboard.

And with the addition of expression pedal control over the octave blend and 'Flexi-Switch' technology on the relay-based true bypass footswitches - the Life Pedal V2 is just about better in every way!

Here's what Earthquaker Devices says about the Life Pedal V2:

Engulfing Distortion

Life Pedal is a distortion with a blendable analog octave up and a booster combined in one compact package. The “Amplitude” side is faithfully modelled after the classic “White Face” distortion unit, right down to the LM308 IC and tantalum caps.

The only modifications made to the original circuit are in the clipping section. The traditional circuit uses a single pair of silicon diodes for a tight, compressed crunch. The Life Pedal introduces two additional clipping options to better adapt to different rigs.

The first position is no diodes to allow for full, grinding Op Amp assault at maximum volume. The second position utilizes two silicon diodes and one LED in an asymmetrical clipping configuration. This delivers a slightly compressed and smooth crunch, similar to a valve amplifier. The last position is the stock double silicon diode configuration which provides that classic tone you know and love.

Octave Effects

The Octave in Life Pedal is an all-discrete, analog full-wave rectifier circuit built around a pair of Russian Germanium diodes. Located at the input of the circuit, the Octave control slowly blends in the octave effects as you turn it clockwise. This feature can also be used via expression control allowing for wild, hands-free octave swells mid-riff.

Because this is an analog octave effect, it is monophonic and works best playing single notes above the twelfth fret while using the neck pickup. Playing chords with the analog octave will sound clanging and chaotic. Using the bridge pickup and playing below the twelfth fret will produce a very subtle octave effect. Going full Octave transforms Life Pedal from a simple distortion device into a swelling, raging fuzz similar to the classic Super Fuzz!

Flexi-Switch Technology

The Life Pedal V2 features EarthQuaker Devices relay-based “soft touch” Flexi-Switch Technology for both momentary and latching footswitch operation as well as a very low 15mA current draw. Designed and manufactured by EarthQuaker Devices in the dark corridors of Akron, Ohio.

Features

  • Distortion with a blendable analog octave up and a booster - for instant earth-shaking Sunn O))) signature tones
  • Features 3 different clipping options: symmetrical silicon, asymmetrical silicon & LED, and no diode op-amp drive
  • Octave distortion and booster can be used independently
  • Expression control over analog octave up blend
  • All-analog signal path
  • Flexi-Switch - allows for momentary and latching-style operation from a single footswitch
  • Silent soft-touch switching with true bypass
  • Powered by regular 9 V DC PSU (centre -, 2.1 mm, ~15 mA current draw)
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