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Review: EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids Stereo Flanger

(Image credit: EarthQuaker Devices)

There once was a time when the mighty flanger pedal ruled the effects universe. It was heard on countless recordings, including the chorus-like chime of Andy Summers with the Police, the jet-like whoosh of Van Halen’s “Unchained,” the pitch-bending “auto whammy” of Pat Travers and Paul Gilbert and the natural, hollow-sounding “through-zero” tape flanging of the Beatles, Hendrix, Queen, the Eagles and more.

Many great flanger pedals are available today, but guitarists seem afflicted with decision paralysis when it comes to choosing one, especially because truly great flangers tend to be more expensive than most other pedals, and the majority excel at only one or two flanging effects. The brandnew Pyramids pedal from EarthQuaker Devices solves that dilemma by offering a plethora of awesome stereo flanging effects that sound better than most of the one-trick-pony pedals out there and for an affordable price to boot.

FEATURES Pyramids is a versatile yet easy-to-use flanger pedal with all of the desired controls (Manual, Rate, Width, Mix and Feedback) plus a Modify knob that controls different parameters depending on which mode is selected. The Mode switch provides eight distinctive flanging effects: Classic, Through-Zero, Barber Pole Up, Barber Pole Down, Trigger Up, Trigger Down, Step and Random. Pyramids has five individual, user-modifiable presets that are selected with the rotary Presets switch, which also features a ‘live’ mode that corresponds with the front panel control settings. The Activate footswitch provides latch or momentary operation, and the Tap/Trigger footswitch provides tap tempo control or triggers the Trigger Up or Trigger Down effects when those modes are selected. The pedal also includes pairs of stereo ¼-inch inputs and stereo ¼-inch outputs.

PERFORMANCE One word sums up the quality of Pyramids’ flanging effects: dazzling. I know of no other flanger pedal offering an assortment of flanging effects that are more comprehensive while also delivering stellar quality for each mode. The Through-Zero mode alone is worth the price of admission, and the desired effect is much easier to dial in and sounds closer to genuine tape-reel flanging than other competing products. If you love subtle, musical flanging, those effects are provided in abundance, but Pyramids also goes into more creative and experimental territory that most flanger pedals don’t even touch upon. Being able to save five of your favorite settings makes Pyramids an incredible and convenient tool for live performance when you need instant access to an encyclopedia of flanger effects.

STREET PRICE: $299
MANUFACTURER: EarthQuaker Devices, earthquakerdevices.com

• Eight flanger modes (Classic, Through-Zero, Barber Pole Up, Barber Pole Down, Trigger Up, Trigger Down, Step and Random) provide a comprehensive selection of flanger effects.

• The rotary preset switch provides instant access to five settings that users can modify and save or simply enjoy in the original factory settings.

THE BOTTOM LINE
For flanger connoisseurs, Pyramids is an essential addition to one’s arsenal. For guitarists looking for their first flanger, Pyramids provides all the flanger effects a player will ever need.

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Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.