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EarthQuaker Devices’ Erupter Delivers on Promise of “Ultimate Fuzz”

July 12, 2017
Written by
Elle Puckett
Images courtesy of EarthQuaker Devices

One knob, an unreal amount of possibilities.

EarthQuaker Devices president, product designer, and legendary pedal builder, Jamie Stillman, calls the Erupter “the ultimate classic fuzz tone.” Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of its design—thanks to the two years of experimenting, tweaking, and hunting for the perfect tone balance, EarthQuaker has designed a new standard for fuzz pedals with more capabilities than meets the eye.

The goal of the Erupter is to have an explosive fuzz tone that screams at any pickup position and crisply cuts through at any point in your effects chain without any impedance mismatch. Basically, you can play it anywhere, with any gear and it will still rage; no weird oscillations, just explosions of tone. This pedal delivers fuzz with a massive low end that isn’t too mushy, and a high end that is clear without being too harsh. Can something be dirty and clean at the same time? Yep.

Let’s talk about the most blatant feature of this pedal. The knob. This is called the bias knob. It’s not a volume or gain knob (the Erupter has a fixed volume/gain level just above unity gain). The bias knob adjusts the amount of voltage being fed into the transistors. Meaning, you will always get the richest fuzz possible but as you roll the knob up, the characteristics of the fuzz change.

Exploring the full spectrum of fuzz from the Erupter’s bias knob is a colorful journey. Let’s check it out!



At its lowest setting, the Erupter produces a gated, thick tone with slightly less out. It transforms clean tone into a spongy, bee-buzz sound. An almost synth-like tone. Think of an old video game, chords sound very broken with a lot of air and you can almost imagine the notes of your guitar ripping through a piece of paper. The Erupter somehow manages to retain a natural decrease without having that dying battery, velcro-like decay. Its an interesting and odd setting, and I had a lot of fun toying around with it. If the Erupter was a normal pedal, it wouldn’t be an EarthQuaker.


When the bias knob is pointed straight up (noon), the sound starts to thicken up a bit, and some additional harmonics are added to the signal. At this setting, the output has a little more definition and the mids come in beautifully. Try messing around with the volume knob of your guitar and the level of Erupter to throw in a little clean up where you want it, and add another adjustable parameter. There are more layers to unlock.

All the way up…

Turn the bias knob all the way up and its name suddenly makes sense: It erupts! Who could have predicted this? You now get all the loud, gnarly, nasty, fuzzy, crazy stuff. Technically speaking, more harmonics are stacked on top, the response is tighter, the definition is incredible, and the sustain lasts for days. It is refined and loud without being too muddy or harsh. Just a thick, burly fuzz you can use to chug heavy, surging power chords or tear through the air with full, crisp leads.

For having been built with a single purpose, the Erupter has an incredible amount of depth and variety. As a fellow shredder friend of mine said, “It sounds like what I wish my fuzz pedal sounded like.” I think that sums it up perfectly.

The Erupter is available now.


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