Sweeten your tone and boost your signal with Catalinbread's Epoch Boost

(Image credit: Catalinbread)

Catalinbread has replicated the legendary preamp circuit from the Maestro Echoplex EP-3 tape echo and housed it in a standalone pedal that might well become your always-on tone sweetener.

It's no secret that an EP-3 preamp can do some magical things for your tone. The Catalinbread marketing folks call the Epoch Boost a "mastering effect," one that takes your tone and makes it better. 

For decades, guitarists – even those with little use for the Maestro Echoplex's tape echo – would  insist on having an EP-3 in their signal path simply for the loving analogue warmth and organic mojo it would give their tone. The EP-3 preamp is a crucial component in Eddie Van Halen's juicy Friday Night guitar tone. 

(Image credit: Catalinbread)

This is an easy way to juice your rig, and fittingly, the Epoch Boost is a very simple setup. It has two knobs; one for the level of EP-3 preamp you want in your signal, and one for the level of boost.

You can dial in up to 20dB of boost, which is wholly transparent when the preamp level is set to zero. Catalinbread says the Epoch Boost's circuit is faithful to the original vintage preamps, with NOS Orange Drop capacitors and output mixer stage.

The Epoch Boost has an internal voltage of 22V, so no worries about having enough headroom or clarity, and has a switchable Internal Hi-Z Buffer. It takes a 9V DC power supply, drawing 2mA of current, and is priced £149 / $149.99.

See Catalinbread for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.