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Overview by GAK

This is arguably the ultimate Echoplex EP-3 emulation in a pedal. Catalinbread have used their next-level design prowess to craft a truly realistic reproduction of the legendary tape echo, using the exact circuitry that was found in the original. The only thing that’s missing is the actual tape! With additional echo modes and fun expression pedal capabilities, the Belle Epoch Deluxe is a pedal that you never want to switch off.

Authentic EP-3 Experience

Catalinbread’s Belle Epoch Deluxe is an expanded version of the hugely popular Belle Epoch and is part of their stellar Delay & Reverb series. Whilst both are spot-on emulations of the Maestro Echoplex EP-3, the Belle Epoch Deluxe has a lot more features and is capable of a wider variety of tones.

Vintage-Correct Spec

Plus, the BED’s circuitry is a precisely engineered, faithful & fine-tuned reproduction of the one found in a vintage EP-3 - there’s everything apart from the record and playback heads (which are bulky and require a tonne of maintenance). The Belle Epoch Deluxe is hand made by Catalinbread in Portland, OR using an all-discrete, through-hole construction with the finest quality components.

Compact + Reliable

Instead of tape, Catalinbread have opted for an ultra-high fidelity 24-bit digital delay line instead of tape. The result is an astonishingly authentic tone in a more compact, reliable and affordable package.

Whilst the Belle Epoch Deluxe is powered via traditional 9V DC, it’s internally converted so the analogue JFET preamp runs at a higher 22V - just like the original. This provides the optimal amount of headroom as well as additional echo clarity. The sound of the EP-3’s pre-amp is so good, Catalinbread dedicated an entire pedal to it with additional tone-shaping controls - the Epoch Boost.

6 Distinct Modes

Whilst the smaller Belle Epoch can pull off a huge variety of spacial effects and spaceship noises, the Deluxe takes it a step further by giving you 6 Echo Programs to choose from. There’s classic EP-3, dark “analog” BBD-style, Leslie-esque roto-swirl, sweeping resonant filter, Deluxe Memory Man-style chorus and DMM-style vibrato modes. Each one has its own distinct flavour, it’s like having 5 delay pedals in one!

Expression Pedal Functionality

You can hook up an expression for hands-free control over the Delay Time (which has an authentic 80ms to 800ms range) or a specific function depending on which mode is selected. It’s the best way to get the most out of the roto-swirl and filter modes as you can affect the rotary speed or sweep the filter whilst you play.

Hands-Free Oscillation

Another way you can dynamically shift your sound is with the Echo Osc footswitch. This control gives you instant access to runaway self-oscillation, which can be tuned to your liking with an internal trimmer.

Configurable Switching Modes

There are two types of switching modes available - True Bypass or buffered Trails - which you can choose with an internal switch. Trails works like a vintage EP-3 as the juicy pre-amp will enhance your tone when the echoes are turned off whilst letting the decays naturally fade out. In True Bypass mode, you can use the saturation from the BED’s pre-amp to give you a lift during sections where you want your guitar to stand out.

The Belle Epoch Deluxe is a no-brainer if you love tape echo and lush delays, as it’s by far one of the most vintage-accurate pedals out there in both sound and response. The additional echo modes provide a tonne of versatility, making it a worthy all-in-one analogue-style delay solution for your 'board. Sonic experimentalists will love the ability to control parameters with an expression pedal, as you can easily create evolving, shoegaze-y textures.

Every brand new Catalinbread pedal comes with a 3-year warranty, which covers defects in materials and/or workmanship. Contact [email protected] for more info.



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