Earthquaker Astral Destiny Review


Calling all reverb enthusiasts: A heavy and spacious cosmic quest is coming your way.

The gang at EarthQuaker Devices has a deep catalog of effect pedals to their name. Perfect for thoughtful sonic experimenters and grab-and-go, take-to-the-stage performers alike, the pedals that make up the EQD family are functionally diverse and deeply imaginative. With this newest addition to the line, the EarthQuaker Devices Astral Destiny introduces a new experience with all the boldness and inventiveness they are known for.

The EarthQuaker Devices Astral Destiny is a reverb effect pedal with multiple supplemental effects that build a large tonal character. Featuring octave and modulation effects along with preset slots and expression capabilities, the Astral Destiny is an effect pedal with deep functionality and a unique tonal palette. A compact pedal with heavy reverb packed inside, the Astral Destiny is an ethereal powerhouse. Let’s take a closer look.

The Tones

Astral Destiny specializes in heavy reverb tones that are built up by several different octave effects. At its most basic, the Astral Destiny’s core tonal character is spacious and atmospheric from its combination of reverb, octave, and modulation effects. Where the Astral Destiny can create a familiar reverb effect with minor tweaks and adjustments, the magic lays with its eight presets and the musical exploration they encourage. Intuitive controls and responsive effects will easily bring you along on this spacious journey.

The eight effect presets the Astral Destiny comes equipped with span a spectrum of reverb tones.

Astral Destiny’s reverb is built up in each setting by one of the following effects:

  • Abyss – No added effect
  • Shimmer – An upper octave effect
  • Sub – A lower octave effect
  • Sub Shimmer – An upper and lower octave effect
  • Astral – An upper and lower octave effect with a regenerating tail
  • Ascend – An upward pitch bend effect
  • Descend – A downward pitch bend effect
  • Cosmos – A regenerating fifth to reverb tail

With such a wide selection of effects, it may be difficult to know where to start. We can recommend trying out a couple settings to start picking up what Astral Destiny has to offer:

Sub Shimmer – The combination of both upper and lower octave effects can produce a full, glassy voice reminiscent of a synthetic organ effect. Try Sub Shimmer out to feel out the octave effects of the Astral Destiny and how they interact with your guitar at its most resonant and spacious.

Ascend and Descend – These two pitch-bending effects can add an extra dimension to the reverb effect with an upward or downward inflection. Use Ascend and Descend to change the trajectory of sustained notes and chords to send your signal on a detoured trip.

Cosmos – The regenerating fifth effect of this preset can add a chiming flicker and shimmer to single picked notes. This makes for a great addition to any ambient soundscape.

Astral Destiny’s eight effects ring out differently from similar reverb and octave effects. The interaction between the two effects makes for a unique tonal character. Along with the octave effects, the Astral Destiny features a chorus effect to add extra movement and glimmer to the overall reverberated tone. All combined, the trio of effects blooms in ways that trail out into reverberated space. The distinct tonal character cannot be overstated.


Getting a good handle on the Astral Destiny is straightforward and streamlined with an intuitive set of controls. The Astral Destiny’s reverb is sculpted by a Mix and Tone knob to control the overall level and treble output. A master Length control can be used to reel in or max out your reverb trails to let the effect resonate out as far as it can go. This control is crucial for your individual reverb tones and is reliably responsive to finely shape it. The chorus effect on the Astral Destiny is easily dialed in with Depth and Rate knobs as you may see on any chorus pedal. One large and impressive function of the Astral Destiny is the Preset toggle. Since the Astral Destiny has two independent operation modes, Live and Preset, players can hop back and forth between the Live mode, where all pedal functions are active to be adjusted, and Preset mode to click into saved presets. The pedal comes with eight factory preset effect configurations that can be accessed via the Activate switch. These presets can be edited and overwritten to recall a favorite effect configuration at any time.

Unique Features

A key feature of the Astral Destiny’s playability is its unique Stretch feature. If you are looking for a way to interact with your reverb on the fly, this is the way to do it. The Stretch function doubles the length of the reverb trail and provides a temporary pitch bend when engaged. By using its dedicated footswitch, the Stretch function can be sustained by holding the footswitch or quickly blinked in and out by tapping the footswitch. The speed of the pitch bend can be altered by holding down the footswitch and turning the Length knob to your desired speed. Stretch can be used to set the effect off kilter for interactive, on-the-spot experimentation.

The Astral Destiny also includes an output to connect expression pedals. Expression interactivity is mapped to the Depth control, though it can be manually reassigned to one of the four other effect parameters. The interactivity an expression pedal adds only enhances the playing experience of the Astral Destiny to roll through different effect voices while playing. Additional customization of the Astral Destiny can be accessed through its Tails and Full Bypass switching. Factory preset to Tails Mode, the Astral Destiny can be assigned to Full Bypass switching to top off the effect experience to its last detail. The Astral Destiny’s custom features leave great power to the player to home in on their ideal pedal experience.

Astral Destiny Final Thoughts

The Astral Destiny quickly sends players into a new dimension of reverb. Its reverberated voices can either ring out carefully when treading lightly or move mountains with celestial force when maxed out. This pedal makes for an excellent addition to an ambient player’s board for reflective reverbs with glimmer and movement. Highly interactive and responsive to a player’s input, the Astral Destiny is a pedal that makes it easy to dial in specific tones without getting overwhelmed by controls. A streamlined pedal with massive tones, the Astral Destiny easily makes each trip a tonal adventure.

Also, check out our take on the EarthQuaker Devices Special Cranker Review.