EarthQuaker Devices is one of those brands that keep you surprising with every single release. They have creative approach towards every effects unit and always manage to manufacture something extremely distinctive and unique. Their products are not like other mass-produced stompboxes as they always have some sort of gem that inspires the throngs of musicians. That is why all their newer pedals are extremely exciting. Plus, they always have these weird yet eye-catching designs that start talking to you from the first glance and lure you into their webs immediately. What I have described above is a general rule that applies to the model we are about to discuss. Hoof Reaper is the combination of legendary stompboxes from the brand – Hoof fuzz box and Tone Reaper. These two fuzzes are topped with an octave effect that makes everything even more interesting and intriguing. Owing this pedal means having the access to countless sonic possibilities, numerous different combinations that simply make sense. If you are an experimental human being that wants to submerge in the waves and layers of jaw-dropping sounds, then you should definitely give this one a try. After all, such all-encompassing pedals are not that common and can easily turn into a real investment. Let’s begin and see what we have here!
Oh, man, I don’t even know where to start – EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Reaper is a real beast that has so many features that you will be mesmerized as soon as you find out all the information about it. It combines two different fuzz pedals – Hoof and Tone Reaper, both of them with distinctive and different characteristics. They both feature the hybrid of silicon and germanium transistors, giving you more interesting patterns to work with. Hoof has warmer essence and has certain properties that set it apart from other devices. It is a Muff style pedal that enables you to change the frequency response and scoop some mids if that is what you are looking for. Tone Reaper is a 3-knob fuzz box that can deliver a wide variety of fuzzy sounds. But EarthQuaker Devices did not stop there. They decided to include analog Octave Up that is the perfect addition to the recipe and completes the whole pedal. These three different sounds can be quickly triggered with the help of individual footswitches, making live performance a child’s play. It is worth noting that (similar to other stompboxes from the brand), Hoof Reaper has relay-based switching and can be powered with an adapter only. It has true bypass that makes sure your signal remains in its pristine character once it goes through the disengaged pedal. We cannot neglect how amazing the design is – weird graphics suit the character of the unit perfectly. The connections are typical with single input and output, making this thing really easy to shove on the pedalboard. Though it is bigger than your standard pedal, it is all worth it for the abundance of features it offers. As you can see, Hoof Reaper does not play any games when it comes to delivering overarching qualities.
When you think about all the features we have just discussed, you might think that control panel will be too much to handle. However, EarthQuaker decided to section out the knobs and basically merge together the panels of two separate pedals. When you look at it, you see two boxes side by side and such configuration makes it really easy to understand what is what. The first section takes care of the Hoof, while the second one is dedicated to the Tone Reaper.
- Level – determines the output volume of fuzz;
- Fuzz – modifies the amount of gain and sustain;
- Tone – changes the frequency response and lets you enhance the treble as you turn the knob clockwise;
- Shift – lets you mess around with mids and accentuates them as you crank it up;
- Level – changes the output volume of fuzz;
- Fuzz – changes the character and intensity of the effect;
- Tone – accentuates lower frequencies when turned clockwise
Hoof Footswitch – engages the Hoof part of the pedal;
Octave Footswitch – activates analog octave up effect and lets you swirl up your sound;
Reaper Footswitch – triggers the Reaper circuitry;
All three of the footswitches have complementary LEDs that display which part of the Hoof Reaper is activated and lets you navigate through all the settings with ease.
The sound of Hoof Reaper is where the whole world turns upside down and everything becomes extremely interesting. The pedal offers different ways of operation: you can use each effect individually (Hoof, Octave or Reaper), combine two of them (Hoof + Octave, Reaper + Octave, Hoof + Reaper) or mix all three (Hoof + Octave + Reaper). This means that this beast can have 7 different characters or ambiences, letting you play with different sounds each time. Hoof alone can bark up the most mind-blowing fuzz tones while retaining definition at each and every setting. Its midrange can be tweaked to the scoop-mids effect, letting you go down that road and get really dramatic. The Reaper can emit the most beautiful overdrive out there, while Octave Up is so textured that your mind might blow off. Just imagine utilizing these three together – you will enter a real Octavia territory and access the fuzzy mayhem that will shatter some windows, quake the earth and let the aliens know who is the boss in the universe. And if I am being honest, I do not think I am exaggerating! Hoof Reaper is a beast of a unit that will introduce to you all the shades and flavors of fuzz, octave and Octavia.
All in all, Hoof Reaper from EarthQuaker Devices is everything you ever wished for. It is definitely one of the best octave pedals out there, as it combines it with fuzz and lets you experiment with the legendary sounds of Octavia. Its sonic capabilities are mind-blowing and its build quality will convince you that tanks can sometimes emit shocking sounds! If you love fuzz and octave, this one is a must-have. Good luck!
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