Getting the most out of the gear you already own is underrated.
Those carefully curated pedals of yours may be doing a great job, but they can often turn out to be capable of giving far more. Taking a fresh look at how your pedalboard fits together can not only end up making everything sound better, but it can also open new doors creatively.
EarthQuaker Devices’ Swiss Things is a practical and relatively affordable key to unlocking that potential - the idea being to provide a smaller and more concise alternative to those switching systems that are considered by many to be an overkill in terms of features and price.
Not to be confused with a looper effects pedal, the Swiss Things employs two true-bypass loops, each facilitating simultaneous engagement of any number of active effects in the loop with one
push of the switch. Consequently, they can also act as a proxy on/off switch for units that don’t possess a footswitch.
Indeed, having hooked up a 70s vintage Dynacord Echocord II tape echo unit, this writer stumbled across some interesting sounds while using the Swiss Things’ Flexi-Switch technology to momentarily engage the loop.
Loop 1 is unbuffered for use with gain pedals and low-input impedance devices, such as a Fuzz Face, while Loop 2 is buffered and is best suited for use with modulation and time-based effects. Loop 2 also functions as a mute when nothing is plugged into it, which may be useful when tuning (if you want to avoid amplifying that familiar E-A-D-G-B-E melody we all love so much). Alternatively, plugging in an expression pedal enables dynamic volume reduction and will do the same job. And if you want to go the other way at any point, an adjustable boost delivers up to 25dB of clean gain.
As an AB-Y box, the Swiss Things allows the buffered output signal to be sent via Output A or Output B exclusively (A/B), or simultaneously (Both), thus enabling the use of dual amplifiers and stereo effects. Output B is transformer-isolated to assist with ground hum and features a phase reversal switch to correct any phasing issues with amps and/or pedals.
A neat, utilitarian approach to pedalboard management, EarthQuaker Devices’ Swiss Things nails down the essentials in style while maximising signal quality.