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Earthquaker Devices

EARTHQUAKER DEVICES Special Cranker


An Overdrive You Can Trust

An all-discrete analog distortion enhancement device designed to give your signal some extra grit and boost without drastically altering your tone and retaining all of the natural nuances and character of your amp. Think of it as sticking an extra preamp tube in your amplifier for more saturation. Single notes will blossom and bloom with rich harmonics and singing sustain with responsive, tube-like sag. Power chords will sound thicker and crunchier, a little more ragged around the edges. Complex chords will remain distinct and complex, as the Special Cranker is designed to preserve your tone’s integrity without muddying up the low-end or smearing the midrange.

Design Notes

The Special Cranker picks up where our beloved Speaker Cranker left off. It has the same spongy, dynamic, and touch-sensitive character of the original but with more gain, double the output volume (now with a user-friendly Level control), an added Tone control to shape your signal, and a diode selector switch featuring the original asymmetrical Silicon diodes as well as a hot, new Germanium diode option.

The More control goes from nearly clean to a medium gain overdrive when at maximum. This control adjusts the bias of the transistor, so you may hear a little noise as you turn the control. Don’t freak out; it’s totally fine. The gain characteristics are dependent on which diodes are chosen. When the Germanium diodes are selected, the Special Cranker delivers a softer, more rounded response with tamed highs and lower output, while the Silicon diodes add a brighter, more modern edge and higher output. Both are exceptionally responsive to playing dynamics and have excellent clarity. The Tone control gives the user full command over treble frequencies, cutting the highs when counterclockwise and adding a slight high frequency boost when turned clockwise. The Level control adjusts the output from nothing to nearly double at maximum.

Tech Specs


Dimensions: 4.75 x 2.50 x 2.25 in. (121 x 64 x 57 mm) with knobs


Current Draw: 15 mA


Input Impedance: ≈5 MΩ


Output Impedance: <25 kΩ


Flexi-Switch® Technology

This device features Flexi-Switch® Technology! This relay-based, true bypass switching style allows you to simultaneously use momentary and latching style switching.

  • For standard latching operation, tap the footswitch once to activate the effect and then tap again to bypass.

  • For momentary operation, hold the footswitch down for as long as you’d like to use the effect. Once you release the switch the effect will be bypassed.

Since the switching is relay based, it requires power to pass signal.


Power

This device should be powered a standard 9-volt DC power supply with a 2.1mm negative center barrel. We always recommend pedal-specific, transformer-isolated wall-wart power supplies or multiple isolated-output supplies. Pedals will make extra noise if there is ripple or unclean power. Switching-type power supplies, daisy chains and non-pedal specific power supplies do not filter dirty power as well and let through unwanted noise.

The Special Cranker can be safely operated from 9-18 volts.