I like Earthquaker Devices pedals. I don’t have a massive collection of them because, like many other pedal collectors, I also have many pedals from other brands. I can’t have them all. I want to bring up the topic of the EQD Flexi-Switch. But first…
I recently discovered the EQD Special Cranker. I’m in love with this thing. I also have a Plumes. While I do like the mid-hump of Tubescreamer type pedals, the Plumes is not one I’ve bonded with too much. However, the Special Cranker… I just can’t get enough of that thing.
Most low-gain pedals tend to fall apart when you crank the gain. Not so with the Special Cranker. I absolutely love it with the toggle switch on the germanium setting, and the “More” (gain) set all the way up. It’s super creamy that way, and suggests a bit of fuzz, but without getting fuzzy enough to call it that. Hard to describe, but it’s magical.
Anyway, getting back on track. The Earthquaker Devices Flexi-Switch. I much prefer soft-switching pedals. When a pedal manufacturer makes a soft-switching pedal that’s also true-bypass, relay-based or whatever, I feel that’s the best solution. However, sometimes there is a problem. Some pedals with soft-switching can be set to remember their on/off or bypass state after power off. Meaning, a pedal can remember if it was on or off, bypassed or non-bypassed, after power down. Once powered up again, they’ll return to this state.
What’s so important about guitar pedals remembering their bypass state when powered off?
Why is this important? For most guitar pedalboards, you actually want pedals to simply power up bypassed. You turn them only only when you need them. However, when you have a switching system like an RJM PBC, GigRig G3 or Morningstar ML10X, you usually want the pedals on all the time.
It’s not much of a hassle to turn on or engage a few pedals after startup if they are there, accessible, right in front of you. It’s just a matter of remembering to do it. That said, if you are running a rack system or your pedals are under a shelf in a multi-tiered pedalboard, it’s much more of a problem then.
So, can Earthquaker Devices Flexi-Switch pedals remember their bypass state after power off? So far, from what I can tell, the answer is no.
I haven’t tried them all… But I tested this with an EQD Hizumitas, Special Cranker and Plumes. They all revert to bypass even if you power them down while bypass is engaged. I’ve searched around and haven’t found definitive answers regarding this. I also downloaded the Special Cranker manual off the Earthquaker Devices website and there is zero mention of bypass state when powering on in the manual. My guess is that without modding these pedals, there’s no real way around this.
I own an Earthquaker Park Fuzz. That one has a standard hard-clicking 3PDT true-bypass switch inside of it. That one will stay in whatever bypass state you left it at when powered down. This doesn’t mean you need a classic 3PDT true-bypass switch to achieve this. There are quite a few soft-switching relay-based true-bypass guitar pedals out there that remember their bypass state when powered down, or can be set to do so. So it’s definitely possible.