Let me start by saying, the Avalanche Run by EarthQuaker Devices is a cool pedal.
I like the way it sounds, particularly its pairing of delay and built-in reverb. I found it easy to make interesting ambient sounds without much fuss. Additionally, it offers two features I think are useful in delays: tap tempo and stereo inputs/outputs.
The layout of the pedal is straightforward: The top row of black knobs are delay controls and the middle row of black knobs are reverb settings. The middle row also has two large white knobs on either side that control independent features, expression and tap tempo (more on those below). A toggle switch in the center makes it easy to switch modes and features a favorite mode of mine: reverse delay, which plays the delayed audio signal backwards while the reverb remains in normal mode, creating a trippy sound (An overused technique? I don’t care. I love when guitar is reversed).
When I first plugged into the pedal, it wasn’t immediately clear to me that the L and R-marked jacks, were actually inputs, so it took me a minute to figure out how to set it up with my amp in mono. For reference, you just plug into the two L-marked (or alternatively R-marked) jacks. There are no independent on/off controls for reverb and delay, so to use one and not the other, turn the mix to 100% dry on the unwanted effect. I mostly used the pedal by playing, stopping, then turning knobs and because I happen to own an expression pedal and I like hands-free control, I also easily configured the Avalanche Run with an expression pedal.
The expression control knob on the Avalanche Run is awesome! I have another delay pedal (Electro Harmonix Memory Boy) that has an expression pedal input but it only allows you control of the amount of delay and modulation. With the Avalanche Run, you can control just about every parameter available. When delay time is used in conjunction with an expression pedal it allows for new effects not available when just using the time knob. The tap tempo worked great and if you hold the knob down, it will self-oscillate, and when you lift up on the switch, it eases the oscillation, which is a major advantage over my Memory Boy.
When adding in the delay subdivision knob to the tap tempo, it’s helpful to start on 1:1, which is a quarter note. I was able to easily generate useable sounds, and it worked flawlessly (if you own EarthQuaker Devices’ Dispatch Master already, this is a expansive upgrade).
In short: I want this pedal. It sounds great, it’s built to last, and if you only buy one delay pedal it offers almost everything you could ask for. The sonic possibilities are infinite, particularly for players looking to add textural and atmospheric qualities to their sound.