EarthQuaker Devices has just released the Special Cranker. This pedal is a versatile overdrive that’s an update on one of their highly-regarded, discontinued gems. Engineering the Sound took this new pedal for a drive.
Gone are the days of back-breaking, hernia-inducing pedal boards that cost a proverbial arm and leg. Thanks to the Special Cranker from EarthQuaker Devices you can now buy an overdrive pedal that covers all your heavy Queens of the Stone Age inspired tones and lightly gained colouration like the master Jimi Hendrix.
The Special Cranker is an update from their discontinued Speaker Cranker pedal — it was a no nonsense creation with one knob, More. The More knob — featured on both pedals — is the bias or the gain. As well as the More knob, this new release has Level and Tone knobs, and two Diode transistor modes to choose from.
The first diode on the left is Germanium — labelled as Ge — and it’s known for a softer and transparent tone, while the second diode on the right, Silicon — labelled as Si — produces brighter and more modern tones.
The input, output and power are situated on the top of the pedal and the overall profile of the Special Cranker pedal is very economical size. As mentioned before, the pedal community seems to be straying away from huge pedal boards and huge pedals that take up too much space on stage and in the tour van, so this design is very welcome.
On that note, we did feel that the knobs and toggle selector for the diodes was a little too close together. Given that the two modes give so much variation, we felt it would be great if you could easily access that selector on a dimly lit stage whilst performing.
Overall, Engineering the Sound was blown away by the sound of the Special Cranker pedal and how much variation it packed into one small package. Is this the overdrive to replace the two or three pedals currently taking up precious space on your board?
The Special Cranker retails at $99 USD and $189 AUD. For more details head over to EarthQuaker Devices.