The new Catalinbread Epoch Boost is a ‘pocket-sized’ modern day recreation of a classic tone secret from the days of old. Well, let’s just say almost everyone was using this vintage preamp back in the day!
Catalinbread Epoch Boost
Often the simplest circuits offer the best enhancements to a guitar’s tone. The Catalinbread Epoch Boost is a pocket-sized version of one of those fabled designs. It is a reproduction of the “early” EP-3 preamp circuit which was originally part of a Maestro Echoplex EP-3. Although, there’s no echo here, just the preamp section of the old tape delay unit. This preamp has been favoured by many guitarists, including Mr Eddie Van Halen himself. It just adds a magical sparkle everyone seems to be chasing in their search for tone.
The Epoch Boost has just two knobs labelled PREAMP and BOOST, and should be easy enough to use. Like the original vintage Maestro Echoplex EP-3, the pedal has NOS Orange Drop capacitors and a basic rudimentary output mixer stage. This simple circuit should be all you actually need to create great tone, and the simple layout should get you there with ease.
The internal voltage has been set at 22 Volts for improved headroom. Catalinbread has also added a switchable hi-Z input buffer to make the pedal more flexible in modern setups. When turned down, the Boost control gives you classic EP-3 tones, but can add up to 20dB of what Catalinbread describes as “crystal-clear” boost, when needed. Hopefully these modern improvements to the original circuit won’t detract from that tasty tone we are all looking for from a pedal of this type.
And for a boutique pedal built in the USA, I think it’s priced very well, especially as it uses good quality components in its circuit. If you have never tried this type of circuit before, it’s definitely worth checking out the demo video below to get an idea of what to expect.
They are due out on 23 September and you can pre-order by following the link below.
RRP – USD 149.99