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Catalinbread's Epoch Family is Growing

Catalinbread's Epoch Family is Growing

In 2020, Catalinbread delivered a pared-down version of that preamp with the Epoch Boost. The all-new Epoch Bias expands on that circuit with a couple crucial differences.

The first solid-state Echoplex that was released found its way into innumerable recording studios, guitarists found themselves plugging into it to extract its wonderful preamp qualities right before hitting the amp. And staying true to that, Catalinbread's original Epoch Boost was billed as something of a “mastering tool”, the finishing touch for your tone. When it came time to head back to the drawing board, the folks at Catalinbread thought of a couple extra variables you could use to craft your perfect EP-3 experience.

They added a Bias control designed to give you a little more gain and body from the stock circuit by simulating out-of-spec parts in the preamp core, so that every pedal is “one of the good ones.” Catalinbread played with the “early” and “later” circuits and found the differences to be a bit too subtle, so we decided to add a well-curated filter knob to take you from early to later and beyond, a tasteful hi-cut that lets you adapt the pedal to your rig, not the other way around. The Preamp control lets you engage a gentle filtering circuit that simulates the Volume control from the original Echoplex, acting on the tone as the echo would have. The stock EP-3 circuit adds only a trivial amount of gain by itself, so we’ve included a Boost knob to wring as much gain from it as possible, giving you a real punch where you need it. It’s intended as their most tweakable EP-3 offering to date.

Catalinbread Epoch Bias // Guitar Preamp Pedal


PREAMP: This essentially acts as the “Volume” knob from the EP-3, which is to say it’s not really a volume knob at all. That control was named such because it was the mix knob for the tape echo output, mixed with some of the “loading-down” of that echo side. At its core, it is a wet-dry mix control. But because there’s no echo here, the knob pans between “nothing” and the preamp. And when this knob is all the way down, that’s exactly what you hear: nothing. It sounds like a volume control until noon, and beyond that, it imparts some subtle frequency enhancement, on account of the loading simulation circuit. The loudest point on this knob is at about 2 o’clock.

BOOST: Adds extra gain and volume to the circuit. When this control is set all the way down, it simulates the stock EP-3 circuit.

BIAS: The original EP-3 pre-circuit had a fixed gain and volume, dependent on one resistor value in the circuit. But because part tolerances were all over the place at the time of the EP-3’s release, there was quite a bit of variance in the overall gain in the preamp. This knob lets you dial that value in, to run the circuit hot or cold. Think of it as a gain control and a body enhancer. This control also makes light crackling noises as it is being turned, this is normal.

FILTER: The first few hundred EP-3 units that came off the assembly line featured a slightly different preamp circuit than the rest, a little brighter than stock. And when we say “a little”, we mean it. The Filter control adds a tastefully-designed and gentle hi-cut filter that purposefully exaggerates the differences a little more than either mode, for a more refined, bluesier tone that sounds great regardless of knob position.

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Catalinbread Epoch Bias Boost, Overdrive, and Preamp Pedal

Epoch Bias Preamp Pedal