EarthQuaker Night Wire Review

Performer Magazine Reviews the EarthQuaker Devices Night Wire Harmonic Tremolo FX Pedal

PROS: More than just a tremolo pedal, great blend of tremolo & LFO goodness.
CONS: Players looking for a “hard tremolo” should look elsewhere.
PRICE: $195

From Link Wray’s “Rumble” to The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now,” tremolo is an effect that can bring a unique sonic texture to any genre. EarthQuaker’s Night Wire Harmonic Tremolo pedal has a unique approach to this sonic flavour (that’s right, we spell it all British-like).

The standard tremolo controls are here: level, rate and depth, but the addition of a frequency control, as well as a switch that toggles between an attack or manual mode, and a 3-way switch that has LFO, manual or attack selections. The effect takes the signal and divides them into low and high frequencies, then runs them through an LFO that flips them 180 degrees, giving that sonic counterpoint-ish push-pull.

It’s hyper-rich in the “standard” tremolo mode, with a pulsating sound that goes way beyond a normal tremolo pedal. There’s no loss of tone or volume when engaged; the effect is very present overall in any setting. Think of it more on the side of soft and lush, rather than a harsh and direct punch. Engaging the Attack Mode, the speed is defined by pick attack, and the rate control becomes the sensitivity adjustment; pick harder, and the rate increases, like an auto- or touch-wah.

The LFO mode is amazing, bringing the feel of envelope filters, phasers, Uni-Vibes, and hyper modulations all together. The range of filter gets controlled by the frequency knob, and it’s an amazing blend of pretty much every filter and modulation effect. It can be overwhelming at first, but it’s very responsive with the Attack setting.

Depending on the settings between the two modes, there’s not a super big change between Manual & LFO modes; it seems to just take it to another level in a seamless manner. Players searching for more on the tremolo side can switch to LFO mode, and it takes things to the next level, while still maintaining the overall effect’s nature.

In short, it can be subtle and slight, with a warm/thin warble, and go to extreme over-the-top LFO sounds. Players looking for a hard, harsh, bold “attack” might want to look elsewhere, but considering all the variations of the pulsating, expansive richness of a tremolo, as well as any LFO filtery goodness, this is well worth a look (and listen). At a street price of $195, considering the variations offered, it’s also pretty reasonable for a Made in the USA pedal.

FEATURES
-Traditional tremolo with adjustable filters
-Filter Frequency has Manual, LFO, and Attack modes for tonal variety
-Filter Frequency LFO mode continuously sweeps and frequency control adjusts the speed
-Tremolo section has Manual and Attack Modes
-Tremolo Manual mode uses rate control to set the speed
-Attack mode responds to pick attack

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