NAMM 2020: The Sunn O))) dirt box rises again as EarthQuaker Devices unveils the Life Pedal V2

NAMM 2020: Having been released in gold, then in silver, and pretty much selling out immediately, the Life Pedal from EarthQuaker Devices is getting a wider release in a more compact enclosure.

It was the must-have distortion pedal of 2019 and we see no reason why the Life Pedal v2 won't be this year either. Is it a distortion, octave fuzz, or boost? It's all three and maybe a little more. Developed in collaboration with Sunn O))) guitarists Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson, the Life Pedal is a distortion with a blendable analog octave up and a "100 per cent clean" boost that is designed to hit a tube amplifier hard and send your tone spinning through a wormhole of cascading drive and harmonics.  

(Image credit: EarthQuaker Devices)

Tonally, the Life Pedal might not get you Sunn O)))'s Life Metal in a stompbox – you might want to hit up Reverb for some vintage Model T heads 'cos you'll need tubes and heaps of volume – but it's an exceptional place to start.

While the pedal has an all-new enclosure, the gameplan is unchanged. The Life Pedal features an octave fuzz that was inspired by the classic Shin-Ei FY2 and FY6 units. That circuit leads into an LM308-chipped RAT-style distortion, and features a three-way clipping switch (op Amp, Asymmetric & Symmetric) to sculpt that gain. The second stage operates as a clean MOSFET boost to get your tube amp all hot and bothered. 

The Life Pedal v2 is limited to 2,500 units, is handmade in Akron, OH, and takes 9V to make it go. 

As the press release reads, "This is your opportunity to transcend." Well, maybe it was time to quit yoga anyway.

See EarthQuaker Devices for more details.

Check out our NAMM 2020 hub for more hot gear news and rumors ahead of the convention.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.