Quick Hit: EarthQuaker Devices Swiss Things Review
Simplifying switching for switcher haters.
Simple path to improved pedalboard organization and reduced noise. Great boost function.
Activating foot switches quickly can be tricky.
Ease of Use:
In typically irreverent EarthQuaker style, Swiss Things is called a “pedalboard reconciler” rather than a switcher. And there’s something to that. Swiss Things doesn’t have a digital “brain” like switchers that conjure unusual pedal combinations. But with a bufferless loop for dirt pedals, a second buffered loop for modulation/time pedals, A/B/Y amp switching, a buffered volume pedal output, and a boost that cranks the output by up to 20 dB, it opens up tone options while eliminating noise and tone suck.
The Swiss Things eliminates a lot of the compound noise and diminished tone quality that comes from running several pedals in series. And for any player that favors near-busted, noisy-as-hell germanium fuzzes, that’s a big deal. But splitting distortion pedals and time/modulation pedals into unbuffered and buffered loops also opens up the expressive possibilities of momentarily introducing whole pedal groups for super-radical tone shifts. The boost at the end of the circuit is brilliant, too, enabling substantial compensation for volume loss within pedal groups while amplifying the excellent tone massage work the Swiss Things performs en route. If you hate the idea of switchers but love organization, enhanced sound sculpting options, and a quieter rig, you’ll dig this smart, compact master of reconciliation.
Test gear: Fender Telecaster Deluxe with Curtis Novak Widerange pickups, Fender Jazzmaster, ’68 Fender Bassman, Fender Vibro Champ, Magnetic Effects Lonely Robot, Jesse Trbovich Trbo Bender Mk2, Wattson FY-6, EarthQuaker Levitation, Boss DM-2, EHX Small Stone