Once upon a time, a couple of former Strymon and Line 6 folks got together and started making 500 Series rack modules under the name Meris. Eventually they started producing pedal versions of two of the modules. I saw one of those pedals, the Ottobit Jr., demonstrated back in January by Nick Reinhart and Juan Alderete on the great YouTube channel Pedals And Effects. It immediately struck me as potentially a perfect multi-effects pedal for Guitar Moderne readers. As luck would have it, in February, Nick introduced me by email to the Meris people who were kind enough to send one when the review models became available. I dove in and here are the results.
We pedal geeks often go on about the delightful idiosyncrasies of vintage effects: “Sure, germanium fuzz pedals are inconsistent and reactive to temperature, but, man, that sound,” or “Yeah, the original Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress Flanger was noisy as hell, but, man, that sound!” Modern effect pedals are often sturdier, more consistent, and quieter, but can lack that quirky character that makes the old ones fun and fabulous. Earthquaker Devices new Erupter fuzz brings some of sound and eccentricity that makes us love the pedals of yore.
The Space Spiral ($195.00 street) seems on the surface to be a typical modulated digital delay, but as with many Earthquaker Devices, er, devices, it is something more.
Like their Dispatch Master, the Spiral Delay is designed around what their literature refers to as a “dawn of digital” echo processor. This lo-fi technology gives this unit a more analog murk that sits the delayed signal nicely behind the original. Despite being digital, the sound of the delays are warm and smooth, without any audible aliasing, even when mixed very wet.
Compact reverb pedals have been around for three decades, since the Boss RV-2 arrived on the scene, and have largely settled into similar variations of Plate, Spring, Hall, and Room settings, with the occasional reverse and shimmer thrown in.
But Earthquaker Devices has developed a reputation for putting its own spin on even the most elemental effects, and their Transmisser ($225) twists this now common pedal into a unique new source of ambient sounds.
Taking a page from The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, here is the Second Ultimate Fuzz Roundup. The first one covered the ScreaminFX 1954 Fuzz, main.ace.fx’s Awdrey-Gore, Tribute Audio Designs’ The Big Fatty, RT Electronix’s Ultimate Analog Fuzz, Dusky Electronics’ Octomotron, Joe Gore’s Duh, and Animal Factory Amps’ Baron Samedi and Chemical Burn. For this one I was a tad less ambitious and tested one less fuzz, but it is an equally rousing group: Black Cat’s Monster K-Fuzz Stompbox, Pelican Noiseworks’ Pelitaur, the Supro Fuzz, the Haunt from Old Blood Noise Endeavors, Dwarfcraft Devices’ Necromancer, Yellowcake’s Pedals Furry Burrito, and Source Audio’s Kingmaker from their One Series.