Earthquaker Devices has entered the switcher market with a phenomenal contender. The Swiss Things is an AB/Y switcher with two independent loops as well as an auxiliary tuner and an expression pedal output.
The solid, inconspicuous black chassis houses the true bypass circuity and secures the most silent switches I’ve ever used, so they’re perfect for tap dancing without worry of clicks and pops between signals. Five switches, a phase button and boost pot give the user a lot of routing and looping options, as well as cheeky additions to loops that aren’t even being used, and bright multi-coloured LEDs to ensure you know what is active when playing on dark or dimly lit stages.
The Earthquaker Devices Swiss Things is powered by a 9V adapter located top and centre of the unit, so it’s perfect for a pedalboard (as you’d expect for a switcher, but also from Earthquake Devices). Bright LEDs inform the user of different routing that has become active out of the A and/or B, effects loops and boost (red, yellow, green, pink, blue and aqua respectively). All the switches are Earthquaker’s patented Flexi-Switch design for noiseless switching and feature isolated transformers for the effects loops. In addition to being an AB-Y switcher, the Swiss Things features two effects loops, one buffered and one unbuffered. This is specifically to cater for drives and gain-based effects, and the separate unbuffered effects loops for time based delays and reverbs, and modulation effects such as chorus and flange. Clearly labelled Send and Return for the loops sit opposite the auxiliary outputs for a tuner and volume or expression pedal. The steel chassis can withstand any amount of stomping without fail, and intelligently located jack in/outs ensure you won’t accidentally yank cable when stepping forward for that blasting solo that use both loops, multiple amplifiers and the boost. In addition to the loops and routing options, empty loops can be switched to and used as a kill-switch if left empty. This can be particularly handy when muting for tuning, or for especially quiet breaks or pauses in songs. With some creativity this can be incorporated into songs.
Long list of specs aside, the Swiss Things is mostly practically designed. On first use, it was a bit confusing that the A/B outputs are actually located as B/A on the unit itself, so it can take some getting used to remembering that the outputs don’t read from left to right. The ‘A/B’ and ‘Both’ switch are also located at the top of the unit, above the Loop 1, Boost, Loop 2 switches and Boost pot, so it could be precarious stepping over them to switch between amps. Admittedly though, it makes more sense to have the effects loops easily within reach. Located front and centre is the boost’s pot and switcher, which can push an amp a little harder for a grittier tone overall or to poke through a dense mix when required. The boost works well, with plenty of gain, fairly precise control, and an even arc of gain as you dial the pot up to 10/5’clock.
Overall, the Swiss Things would be great addition to any pedal board. There’s plenty of routing options, and it won’t get in the way. You can use two independent loops for different effects, as well as clearly see what you’re doing and when you’re doing it thanks to bright, multi-coloured LEDs. The labelling and layout is a bit confusing at first, but after plugging it all in - that won’t be an issue. The auxiliary outs for expression pedals and a tuner are a handy addition that pushes the Swiss Things to the head of the pack - not all AB/Y pedals include this feature. The Flexi-Switches are my favourite addition, as they feel smooth and sturdy but remain deadly silent. Earthquaker Devices - as their names suggests, are a force to be reckoned with.
Hits and Misses
Silent Flexi-Switch switches
Buffered and unbuffered loops for different effects
A LOT of routing options
Bright multi coloured lights
Confusing labeling and location of in/outs