Catalinbread has just dropped another reverb pedal for those who enjoy the more exotic flavours of electric guitar ambience. It’s called the Sinkhole, and it is a modulated reverb that applies a four-voice chorus to proceedings.
As ever with these more adventurous takes on reverb, extreme settings yield extreme results. Catalinbread promises “otherworldly tunable modulation” courtesy of a wide-sweeping Feedback dial that can tease some uncommonly creative sounds of of the mod section.
Go down the Sinkhole and you'll find comb filtering, phaser-like textures, and arguably most exciting of all, “haunting auto-filtering”.
This is their “most ethereal” reverb unit to date. Which is saying something.When you chance upon a reverb with a feature set to take your tone to hitherto uncharted territories, we often think of the shoegaze and post-rock and metal players who are looking to dose their sound with something ambient.
Catalinbread, of course, already stocks the X40 Soft Focus Reverb, an pedal inspired by shoegaze bands such as Slowdive and their use of the Yamaha FX500 rack unit. The Sinkhole offers something quite a bit different, and is an intriguing prospect not just for the extreme weirdness. Sometimes you just need the hint of something strange to give a chord part the texture and space it needs.
The enclosure design is what we would expect from Catalinbread. There is a Volume dial that controls the gain of the onboard preamp.
That onboard preamp is a little bonus, allowing you to run the Sinkhole as a clean boost or to add a little front-end gain to help things along with your guitar amp.
There is an all-important Mix dial for adjusting the balance between wet and dry – fully clockwise your signal is 100 per cent wet. Fully counterclockwise takes the reverb out of the equation and it’s just you, your guitar and the Sinkhole preamp.
Mod controls the rate of the chorus. At it’s lowest setting the LFO hardly moves. Verb controls the amount of reverb while Feedback is holding the keys to the astral gateway, so to speak, pulling a double shift by adjusting both the depth of the chorus and the amount of feedback in the circuit.
Feedback in modulation circuits could also be described as intensity, and that could be apposite to the sounds on offer here, but expect the unexpected as you turn it clockwise. This is an interactive control and how Catalinbread has rigged it makes the Sinkhole more than just another reverb with modulation.
Out of the box the Sinkhole has a buffered bypass, so the trails will continue and fade out naturally when you turn the pedal off, but there is an internal switch for true bypass if that’s more your speed.