The new Earthquaker White Light V2 takes its cues from the distortion pedals of the 70's and 80's but with enough creative twists to earn a space on your pedalboard. With its highly flexible tone shaping and wide range of voices, do not hesitate going to the light.
The all-analog White Light is at it's core a distortion pedal that excels in pre-metal crunch that is not overly scooped or compressed. And while it looks like a typical 3-knob affair there is more than meets the eye (or ear). The gain and level knobs do pretty much what you'd expect controlling the level of distortion and volume, respectively. But it's the "Weight" control that gives the White Light multiple personalities across the sweep of the knob. The Weight knob affects saturation and low end response, which can take you from bright and crispy sparkle to deep chunky riffs that remain tight and composed at either end of the spectrum. We loved the way the White Light gave single coils some serious low end heft without sounding muddy, and conversely rolling the weight control back can make a neck humbucker sing in ways we've always wished for. While testing the White Light, we were comparing it directly to one of our favorite old-school inspired pedals, the JAM Rattler. The White Light comes very close to the Rattler in terms of heft and presence, while producing a less "ratty" distortion that was smoother and more linear.
For fine tuning purposes there is a compression switch: In the "-" position it frees up the high end with more bite and sparkle, while in the (+) position it's more compressed, mid-focused and with a smoother top end. Both positions feel good, and it might come down to which sits best in the mix of your band, jamming buddies, or recording project.
Lastly, the natural tendency with a pedal like this is to crank the gain and let it rip. But at noon on the gain dial (or less) the White Light has remarkable presence, liveliness and just a hint of grit that gives a great "really loud amp" feel at almost any volume. It makes everything sound bigger and more alive (almost like the Echoplex-inspired preamp pedals) putting it squarely in the "always on" category. But you'll also want it for it's distortion capabilities....so maybe you need two. But Earthquaker is only making 2000 so you'd better hurry.
With great old-school distortion tones and a weight control that helps it play nicely almost any guitar, the White Light blends simplicity with remarkable flexibility at a very reasonable price.
In the words of Earthquaker devices:
The White Light is your favorite artist’s favorite pedal. The formerly impossible-to-find White Light is a hard-clipping vintage voiced dirt pedal that takes its cues from the vintage dirt pedals that defined the sounds of heavy rock. Think OD250 or Distortion+ without being overly derivative, a new voice to an old sound if you will. The White Light gives you total control over the feel and voice of the dirt, along with a modern presence that is highly responsive to your playing. We think you’ll find that it is much more dynamic, open and harmonically rich than these classic overdrives it shares its lineage with.
The Weight control allows you to adjust the saturation and low end, giving you plenty of tonal shaping options. The Gain control goes from clean to a nice crunchy overdrive tone, and there is plenty of output volume on tap to flame-broil the input of any amplifier. The Compression switch lets you fine-tune the character of the distortion; choose between an open-voiced overdrive with more high mids and bite or more compression with less bite and a flatter mid response. This limited reissue is the same White Light you know and love – or wanted to know but couldn’t find – but in our now standard size enclosure, with top mounted jacks and Flexi-Switch Technology.