Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Review: Dwarfcraft Devices Eau Claire Thunder
The unit I will be reviewing today is a custom Eau Claire Thunder/Robot Devil but this review will be for the Eau Claire Thunder side of the pedal but a Robot Devil review will be coming up as well. The Eau Claire Thunder is high gain, fuzzy monster, the name Eau Claire Thunder could not be more fitting. With plenty tonal flexibility, this fuzz works great on both bass and guitar and even has a built-in feedback loop for more insanity! Read on to find out how this massive fuzz/distortion stacks up to the other high-gain fuzz boxes I've reviewed in the past.
My specific Thunder is laid out a little differently than the standard one so to avoid confusion I'll go over the features of the standard one first and then compare them to my custom. Both pedals feature controls for volume, tone, gain, trim (it's like an input volume control, makes stacking other pedals into it much easier) feedback (to control the tuning of it) and a timewarp switch to make the Thunder have a more blunt or a sharper attack. The standard ECT has footswitches for bypass, feedback and a toneblaster (on my model it's just a toggle switch) control for an added volume and midboost while bypassing the tone circuit. Also it should be noted that the feedback switch on the standard Thunder is momentary while the feedback footswitch on my specific model is latched. All of these controls give the user a solid array of tone shaping options for variety of different tones for a variety of different instruments and instrument tunings. Like all Dwarfcraft pedals they are made with great care and are as solid as can be.
I don't even know where to begin, the Eau Claire Thunder has a lot of great tones in it, even if you do want to dial it back for more low gain tones. I think the Thunder excels at high gain fuzz with tons of crushing low end but you can also coax out a more cutting tone with a sharper attack and a slightly scooped edge to it, you may not use all of the options given to you but you're sure to find something you'll like. Also the Eau Claire Thunder seems to have a very distinctive tone that really sets i apart from your typical high gain fuzz. The feedback loop built in to Thunder gives you and even wider array of tones once it is engaged allowing your playing to fight with the feedback and create some seriously glitchy tones. The best way to use the loop is to run other pedals into (I personally like running a voltage starved Robot Devil into for crazy robot sounds and motorboating), it's just a really fun thing to experiment with. I can't really describe what the Eau Claire Thunder does for your tone so just have a listen to the recordings I did and hear for yourself.
Dwarfcraft Thunder low gain+Mid-Fi Deluxe Pitch Pirate by Mike Fetting
Here is a more low-gain sound from the Thunder with a little bit of delay from a Mid-Fi Deluxe Pitch Pirate towards the end.
Dwarfcraft Eau Claire THUNDER! by Mike Fetting
This is probably my favorite tone from the Thunder, lots of bass and lots of gain.
Grey by EelFistNoise
This is a more experimental noise track where you can hear how crazy things can get when run through the Eau Claire Thunder's feedback loop. I used other pedals like a Sparkle Motion treble booster, Phnatom Ring octave pedal and an Atomic Clock delay.
The Eau Claire Thunder is my go-to box for high gain fuzz, it is the base of my tone and I don't see that changing any time soon. It offers all the versatility I need for making anything from Rock to Doom to straight up Noise and the included feedback loop makes things even more fun. Check out Dwarfcraft's website for more info on the Thunder and where to get your own!