EarthQuaker Devices Astral Destiny Reverb Pedal REVIEW

EarthQuaker Devices built their reputation on making some really extreme and wild effects. Their Astral Destiny reverb has some very off the wall versions of pitch shifting reverb, that are simply out of this world.

Players looking for classic reverbs like spring, plate and such, go look elsewhere. What this brings to the table is a reverb plus octave effect, which gets into some ethereal and angelic territories.

There are 8 different variants available with the Astral Destiny pedal:

  1. Abyss: Huge reverb with no octave effect
  2. Shimmer: Adds an upper octave to the reverb tail
  3. Sub: Adds a lower octave to the reverb tail
  4. Sub Shimmer: Adds an upper and lower octave to the reverb tail
  5. Astral: Adds an upper and lower octave combined with a regenerating tail
  6. Ascend: Upward pitch bending
  7. Descend: Downward pitch bending
  8. Cosmos: Adds a regenerating fifth to the reverb tail

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Going through the controls, the preset knob allows users to save 8 versions; when you’re at a spot where you have a version of the effect you’d like to save, press both footswitches at the same time, the LED indicator light flashes four times, and that version of the effect is saved, and can be recalled. The length control is related to the decay length of the reverb. The depth and rate knobs cover the modulation, while the tone covers the EQ response. For overall effect output, the mix control runs things, allowing the user to balance the effect versus the dry signal. Pedal nerds who get into the weeds will appreciate the choice of having the reverb trail off, even after the footswitch is pressed to disengage the effect, or the quick cut off of full bypass mode.

The stretch footswitch really pushes things, literally. It doubles the reverb’s effect time and changes the pitch of the octave effect. It can work as a momentary effect, meaning press and release for an instant shift, or hold it for a longer sweep of the effect’s transition up or down. Expression pedal control can be assigned to the function controls easily.

Plugging this in, right off the bat, was spiritual, to say the least. Those sweeping and airy synth-like pads are glorious in every mode. Like a lot of EarthQuaker’s effects, this is not a subtle sound, but it’s quite workable overall, and anything less than these big and spacy sounds wouldn’t cut it. Adding in the expression pedal really added functional real time control.

Each setting has some serious musical possibilities, but we especially liked the sub shimmer mode, as it seemed to fit against almost anything.

In the past getting this many shimmer type reverb effects meant a digital unit, which usually needed a specific power supply, and meant deep diving into menus and parameters. EarthQuaker kept the hands and knobs editing method, while still giving useful musical variations of this effect, and the ability to recall favorites easily. Guitarists looking to fill out a sound without having to go to a synth device, this can easily add in something new, without having to re-define their playing, or re-do their entire rig.

PROS:

Excellent and unique sound, easy to save settings, expression control and stretch function is quite creative

CONS:

None

STREET PRICE:

$199

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