EarthQuaker Devices brings back its vintage yellow-box-inspired White Light Overdrive for a special limited run

EarthQuaker Devices has gone back through the archive and added its White Light Overdrive to its Legacy Reissue series. 

The White Light is an old-school hard-clipping overdrive pedal with a whiff of the classic DOD OD250 and MXR Distortion+ about it, but the Portland, Oregan guitar effects specialist promises even more dynamics.

Despite its simple layout – the White Light is a three-knob drive pedal with a toggle switch for adding compression – EarthQuaker Devices promises total control over your drive sound and a fresh twist on those classic pedalboard flavours, with White Light “much more dynamic, open and harmonically rich than these classic overdrives it shares its lineage with”.

It’s a bold claim but EQD is not known for making them lightly. The White Light is designed to react to your playing and thanks to that Comp switch it effectively has two core modes. 

When the Comp switch is in the minus position the sound is wide open and you’ll hear more upper mids and “bite”. Flick the switch to positive and the midrange response is flatter and there’s more crunch and compression. 

Gain and Level behave as they do on most drive pedals. Gain controls the amount of gain in your signal. Level controls overall output. But Weight is an interesting one. It does a lot of the heavy lifting here, controlling various parameters under one dial.

Perhaps in some pedals it might have been called ‘Character’ or similar, but here it handles the low-end response, the level of saturation, and the general feel of the overdrive. In other words: it’s mission critical, and it’s a big part of what makes the White Light something of a big deal in a market that is awash with overdrives. You might even say it’s saturated.

This Legacy Reissue model is housed in a fresh new enclosure, with the jacks and pedalboard power supply inputs all located on the top of the unit for ease of mounting. The enclosure design also features Flexi-Switch Tech so you to use momentary and latching switching. Run it on 9V DC, no higher. It’ll draw 10mA. And you can use it on electric guitar or bass guitar. 

And if you like what you hear in the demo videos then you had better be quick and place an order; they are only making 2,000 of these puppies. The White Light is priced $159/£175 street. For more details, head over to EarthQuaker Devices.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.