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EarthQuaker Devices the Warden V2: Boutique Compression on a Dime

4.8 out of 5 stars

EarthQuaker Devices may not be the first name you think of when talk turns to guitar effects pedals, but with models as impressive as The Warden V2 – a hugely popular compressor pedal – you may just change your train of thought. Spending some time twiddling its knobs, you may find yourself to be more of a boutique-pedal person than you first realized. Let’s check it out!

EarthQuaker Devices The Warden V2Features

The Warden V2 is a handmade compressor with an optical-based circuit design, which is known to deliver more unique sounds than other solid-state technologies. This Ohio-made pedal is housed in a rugged, relatively compact blue chassis bearing an artsy silhouette of the ominous warden in question, along with a traditional footswitch and LED indicator for on/off status-at-a-glance.

It also features single 1/4” input and output jacks, which are both located at the top of the case instead of on the sides – that can be a benefit for connecting up with other pedals on a pedalboard. Powering The Warden V2 is done via a standard 9V DC adapter, with no support for battery operation.

ControlsEarthQuaker Devices The Warden V2

Control knobs are what it takes to make The Warden V2 do what you want, and it has plenty to spare with six of them. It’s actually a pretty high level of control over the compression parameters – by comparison, some classic compressors only offer a knob or two.

These controls comprise Sustain – which is the most vital, as it allows you to add or remove the compression – as well as self-explanatory dials such as Tone and Level. The Attack knob controls the speed that the compressor begins leveling the signal, while Ratio defines how much the gain reduction impacts the signal. Ultimately, this is an incredibly versatile pedal, and only spending some real time with it will reveal how much it can do.


Compressors can be a guitarist’s best friend, and The Warden V2 is no exception. With the aforementioned level of control that The Warden V2 offers, it’s easy to dial in the honk and snap that’s a hallmark of country styles. On the flip side, it is just as simple to iron out your tone to help everything sound more even.

In our case, we love to have a solid compressor in front of a good overdrive unit to add a little punch. Try doing this with The Warden V2, and you may be surprised at how tight your sound can be.

Sound, and the control you have over that sound is one thing, but the build quality on The Warden V2 is equally impressive – just as you would expect from a good boutique pedal builder.


A prison warden exerts a large amount of control over their penitentiary, and you can see why it inspires the name of this one! The level of control on offer here is huge, while sound quality remains natural. It’s a boutique pedal but at a price that won’t break the bank. Whatever your style, The Warden will be right at home on your pedalboard.

For more info about The Warden V2 from EarthQuaker Devices, click here.

For more of the best compressor pedals, click here

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