The Ultimate Dad-rock pedal: Earthquaker Westwood

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The Ultimate Dad-rock pedal: Earthquaker Westwood

Postby Koshchei » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:31 am

I was looking for a good overdrive that didn't colour my tone too much for bass (or neuter the low end), and had read really positive things about the Earthquaker Westwood as a "transparent overdrive", sort of in the same vein as the massively overhyped Klon Centaur (though the Westwood is not a Klon-clone -- it's its own thing). I'll also admit to being suckered a bit by the Twin Peaks themed description.

Build: top notch. Earthquaker is well-known for their quality.

While it didn't work out so well for bass (not transparent enough -- I guess I'm going to have to go Darkglass), as a pre-boost for my Boogie Mark 5 on the 2C+ setting for guitar, it's outstanding. It pushes the signal right into that creamy sustain without any note of harshness at all, and without the midrange hump that a TS808 gives (the 2C+ has plenty of mid already).

On a clean channel, it also sounds amazing -- just enough grit to sound like a pushed preamp, but none of the unmusical fuzziness that plagues other pedals. The EQ is also really powerful, letting it match well with pretty much any amp.

Worth the money? Depends. At double the price of a TS9, and with maybe a 10% improvement in tone, it's a tough call. It's a real shame that awesome pedals like this one are priced out of the range of working musicians, because this one would be a home run in the $120 range - it works well on its own for lower gain applications, and is excellent "secret sauce" for higher gain music.

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