EarthQuaker Devices promises "an overdrive you can trust" with the Special Cranker

EarthQuaker Devices Special Cranker
(Image credit: EarthQuaker Devices)

EarthQuaker Devices has retooled and expanded its Speaker Cranker design into a new overdrive pedal, the Special Cranker. The firm is billing it as “an overdrive you can trust.”

Like its predecessor, the Special Cranker offers a discrete, all-analog distortion circuit, which is designed to boost and roughen up the edges of your signal, while retaining its core characteristics and tonal definition. 

As such, the EQD says the Special Cranker has “the same spongy, dynamic, and touch-sensitive character… but with more gain, double the output volume (now with a user-friendly Level control) and an added Tone control.”

There’s also a new diode selector switch, which allows you to throw between asymmetrical silicone diodes (i.e. the original Special Cranker diodes) or the newly added Germanium diodes option, for a more rounded tone. 

Controls include ‘More’ (a gain control which alters the bias of the transistors), alongside Tone and Level dials. The signal path is all-analog and the Special Cranker has true-bypass switching. 

We suspect it’s going to tick a lot of boxes for players in search of a transparent overdrive that is not completely clinical or devoid of its own character.

The Special Cranker is available now for a very reasonable $99. Head to EarthQuaker Devices for more information. 

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.