“A domesticated drive with a broad range of fattened boost, crunchy speaker breakup and muscular distortion”: EarthQuaker Devices Zoar Dynamic Audio Grinder review

EQD's latest dirt pedal offers amp-like drive and heaps of tone-shaping capabilities, but is above all a love letter to dynamics

EarthQuaker Devices Zoar Dynamic Audio Grinder
(Image: © EarthQuaker Devices)

Guitar World Verdict

The EQD Zoar Dynamic Audio Grinder is a dynamic distortion with amp-like character and an interactive EQ and Weight control that can sculpt varying degrees of boost, saturated overdrive and stabs of fuzz.


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    Wide dynamic range of drive.

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    From distortion to overdrive, fat boost to speaker breakup.

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    Crumbly grind to hi-fi fuzz.

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    9V and 18V operation.

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    18V offers quick response and clearer dynamics.


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    No battery operation.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

What the hell is a Zoar? One quick Google search reveals it was a Biblical city – and that the name roughly translates to “little” or “insignificant.” Now, I don’t believe the folks at EarthQuaker Devices are biblical scholars; nor do I believe they intended to create a “little” or “insignificant” dirt pedal. 

But I’m pretty sure – judging by the illustrated hairy creature with claws of doom on the pedal’s face – you’re gonna need the Zoar Dynamic Audio Grinder when you’re down on the killing floor. 

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.