The Earthquaker Afterneath is not, strictly speaking, just a reverb pedal. This pedal essentially provides a special kind of reverberated sound that is made up of a bunch of short delays.
An otherworldly reverberation machine
It is described by Earthquaker Devices as an otherworldly reverberation machine that uses a swarm of short delays to create wild and cavernous reverbs and scattered, short rhythmic delays with bizarre characteristics. The reverb created is beyond massive and goes well beyond the territory of most reverb pedals.
The end result is an ethereal, ambient wash that goes from hall to an infinite glitched-out orchestra pit warming up in a canyon at the bottom of another canyon inside a well.
I love that.
Even though is not like the other guys in the best reverb pedal buying guide, I decided to include it just because it’s different, and it’s great. It is worthy bringing here just because of the fact that it’ll take your playing to places you wouldn’t go otherwise.
But you can be sure about this: you’ll either love it or find it useless. You can read what other people say about this pedal here.
Features and controls
It is powered with a 9V negative power supply, and it requires a minimum current of 65mA. It as mono connections at both input and output.
The controls of this pedal are very different from what you may see in any other reverb pedal. It has 6 knobs: Length, Diffuse, Dampen, Drag, Reflect, and Mix. It also has a single (true bypass) stomp switch:
- Length controls the length (i.e. decay) of the reverb.
- Diffuse adjusts the spread of the reverb. You will hear more the delays when turned counter clockwise, and more wash ambient as you turn it clockwise.
- Dampen is something like a tone control. Roll it clockwise for brighter tones, counter clockwise for darker tones.
- As said by Earthquake Devices (and as you will probably agree) Drag is the coolest control on the Afterneath. It separates the delay lines creating a stuttering, pingy effect. More delay as you turn it counter clockwise, more reverb as you turn it clockwise.
- Reflect acts as a feedback control in a delay pedal. It controls the regeneration of the reverb: turn clockwise for more echos. You can make the sound self oscillate if turned up high.
- Mix blends the wet signal into the dry. You won’t strictly get a fully wet sound by rolling it all the way up, but it would seem like you do. It is because the dry sound level will decrease as you turn the knob clockwise.
I can’t just say that this reverb pedal sounds great, but it does. Put another way, this reverb can’t sound great (from a pure reverb sound perspective) because it isn’t like other reverb pedals, but it sounds great because it is a crazy device that will take to unexpected places when you play with it.
You can check the videos in the playlist below to see what this pedal is capable about and think about if you like what it does more than the classic reverb tones will give you.
One thing is clear: the Afterneath is not a simple device; you will have to spend some time to catch up with it, but you’ll enjoy doing it…
Should you buy this pedal?
This question is difficult to answer in the case of the Afterneath. It’s not a typical reverb pedal, so you won’t want to think about it if you’re looking a pedal that recreates springs, plates, or even room reverbs.
When you listen to this pedal (or try it taking your time) you’ll either love it or hate it. If you love it, you’ll buy it, because you won’t find anything similar from other vendors. The Afterneath is unique, and when you play with it, it will inspire you and will take your playing to places that you wouldn’t go otherwise.
If you like playing with knobs researching for new sounds, this pedal may be a good pedal to consider.
Alternatives to the Earthquaker Devices Afterneath
I had written about some alternatives to this pedal but it was just bullshit. There ain’t no alternatives to the Afterneath, it is a unique device. You better see my list of the best reverb pedals if you’re looking for a more conventional stompbox.
This is a brief summary of my review of the Afterneath:
- It is a unique pedal
- True bypass
- Fully analog dry signal
- Hand made
- It will take your playing to unexpected places
- It is a little pricy, but it is unique anyway
- It would be so cool if it was stereo…
- Difficult to use
I’ve said it a couple of times already, but I will summarize my review by saying that the Afterneath is a unique pedal. It is not just like any other reverb pedal, either it emulates spring reverbs or natural room ambiences. You will either love it or hate it. If you’re looking for a more classic reverb pedal, buy one. But get an Afterneath too!!!
You can check the price of the Earthquaker Devices Afterneath here.