Watch Wilco’s Nels Cline demo EarthQuaker Devices’ Astral Destiny modulated octave reverb pedal

The Astral Destiny from Earthquaker Devices  looks a stick-on to be one of effects pedals of the year, but as with the most unorthodox stompboxes in the EQD lineup, it eludes easy definition. 

EarthQuaker call this fully-featured pedal as "An Octal Octave Reverberation Odyssey" on the enclosure and describe it as an modulated octave reverb. 

But to give you a better idea of what all this sounds like in practice, the Akron, Ohio effects specialists had Nels Cline from Wilco demo the unit. We'll run through the reverb modes below, but Cline playing his Novo Miris through the Astral Destiny and into a Magnatone combo speaks volumes as to the Astral Destiny's potential.

(Image credit: Earthquaker Devices )

As to the flavours of reverb Cline is serving up, there are eight reverb modes all in. You've got the pure reverb Abyss mode, which is just a huge reverb with no octave effect, Shimmer mode adds an octave-up to the reverb tail, Sub adds an octave-down, while Sub Shimmer splits the difference and adds both. 

The Astral Destiny then goes totally interstellar with the Cosmos mode, which adds a regenerating fifth to the reverb tail, offers an an upper and lower octave combined with a regenerating tail on the Astral mode, while Descend and Ascend offer upward and downward pitch bending. 

All this is controlled via three large dials on the enclosure – Preset, Length and a eight-way rotary Mode dial – plus mini-knobs for Depth, Rate, Tone and Mix. There are two footswitches, one to engage or bypass the effect, the other activating the Stretch feature, which allows you to double the length of the reverb while adding some adjustable pitch bending on top. 

There are eight programmable presets and an expression pedal input – would should make this a powerful tool for performance. Definitely not your common or garden reverb pedal.

The Astral Destiny is priced £205 / $199 and is available now. See EarthQuaker Devices for more details.

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.