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EarthQuaker Devices fears no micro niche nor pedal cult. How else to explain the Terminal, a fuzz that refines the glorious-sounding and dunderheaded Shin-Ei FY-2 Companion. Like the FY-2, the Terminal isn’t crazily versatile. It’s bossy, bassy, compressed, and squishy—a veritable nightmare for the shred set. But one man’s dynamics-squashing anachronism is another’s Excalibur: If you love Neanderthal fuzz, the Terminal is pure brilliance.
The original FY-2 was limited in that it was missing high mids and top end, which rendered it all but inaudible in loud bands. The Terminal addresses these liabilities with more expansive gain (fuzz), midrange (“voice”), and treble controls. They make the Terminal a viable stage pedal instead of a practice-space wallflower. If you’re a fan of anything from lysergic garage buzz to Neil Young’s fractured, exploding-Deluxe tones, you’ll find a texture—or 20—to love here.
Test gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Stratocaster, DeArmond Jetstar, Fender Tremolux
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