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Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal

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The Catalinbread Belle Epoch Tape Echo, has tape echo sounds so authentic you'd swear there was tape inside the pedal! Inspired by the Maestro Echopl...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

An epic tape echo based on the legendary EP-3 Echoplex.

The Catalinbread Belle Epoch Tape Echo, has tape echo sounds so authentic you'd swear there was tape inside the pedal! Inspired by the Maestro Echoplex, EP-3 model, perhaps the most famous tape delay ever, the Belle Epoch features everything you love about the EP-3 in a small, maintenance free pedal format. The designers felt that a "tape echo" pedal was much more than just a standard digital delay with some "filtering" on the repeats. There are a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle traits of the Echoplex that needed to be implemented in order to be authentic. The preamp, the self-oscillation character, the ability to play the pedal as an instrument unto itself, the ability to control the "record level" of the signal hitting "tape", the wow and flutter, the way the repeats decay, the way the circuit interfaces with the amp and other pedals - all these things were important to get right.

The Belle Epoch was designed to be run in front of your amp in the same way the Echoplex was designed to be run in front of your amp. They share almost identical input and output circuit topologies, including the passive unbuffered mixer circuit of the EP-3. However, we tuned it to have a lower output impedance than the EP-3 to not load down the output as much while still retaining the open non-buffered output interface. A buffer does just what the name implies - it isolates one circuit from the next and can create a "disconnected" feeling that is subtle but a player who relies on touch-sensitive dynamics in his rig will appreciate the difference of not having the buffer. Having said that, the Belle Epoch will perform great in almost any pedal stacking situation. But for the most authentic Echoplex-like experience, we recommend that you run it before any foundation overdrive type pedals and after fuzzes, treble boosters, and the like. For the most awesome experience, try playing it right in line before your cranked up tube amp.

FEATURES
  • MIX control replicates the functionality of the Echo Volume control on the EP-3
  • TONE / REC LEV control sets how hard the "tape" or delay line is hit
  • SWAY / MOD control sets the amount of random tape wow and flutter effects in the echoes
  • ECHO SUSTAIN controls how much delay signal is fed back to the delay line to get multiple repeats
  • ECHO DELAY controls the delay time, from about 80ms all the way up to 800ms

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
CatalinbreadBelle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.9

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality (18)
  • Compact (16)
  • Responsive (13)
  • Versatile (12)
  • Good selection of effects (8)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (14)
  • Home studio (11)
  • Amateur recording (10)
  • Professional recording (9)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (11), Professional musician (6)

Reviewed by 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-19

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(10 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Belle Epoch Tape Echo pedal

By Blue waters

from Minneapolis

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects
  • Responsive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Mobile DJ
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

    The only problem I encountered with this product was there were not any instructions included or warnings not to take the bottom off of the pedal. I assumed that it ran on batteries as well as an adaptor. I was wrong. It only runs with a plug in power source. Like I said I thought I could run it like all my other pedals. WRONG! I opened the pedal and ruined it. Like I said there were no instructions or even a warning label on back of the pedal maybe it's just that I 'am too dumb to assume that it would work like all of my other pedals. That said my friend has one and it works great. I am planning on buying another one of these. I don't know if this was an isolated case but if not DO NOT do as I did and be out of two bills with a pedal that does not work. Just a word to the wise

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    worth the price of two pedals

    By srl

    from arlington, ma

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Authentic
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive

    Cons

    • No 18v Adapter Included

    Best Uses

    • Performances

    Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

    the preamp alone is worth the price. i put it up against the new ep3 preamps out there and this is way better. i have it on all the time, in its own effects loop just in case i'd need the preamp off, but it sounds great with clean tones and EPIC ala "Achilles Last Stand" with distortion. the delay quality is excellent and feels very tape-like, without the breakage. spend a little more and buy this one rather than the other echoplex preamps, etc.

    (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    This thing sounds like a helicopter....

    By Crust

    from Brockton, MA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

        make "helicopter" sounds...whirring tones...awesome sound effects petal.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Super fun pedal

        By Landlocked Surf Rocker

        from Snowy Mountains of NC

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Easy to use
        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Responsive
        • Solid literature
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Messin' Around
          • Spacing Out

          Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

          I've had this pedal for about 3 weeks and have had a lot of fun with it. I'm not really well versed with the accuracy of the Echoplex tone but for my intentions it sounds awesome. The pedal itself is very versatile in that it can be a standalone delay, slapback as well as just a nice cavernous reverb.It can be as subdued or completely insane and over the top as you want and it's pretty easy to lose an hour or two in it's repeats.
          I don't play much outside of my bedroom but I would recommend it to anyone.
          The only issue I have with it is that the built in preamp adds a bit of noise when I'm running it in my chain with fuzz, overdrive or distortion. This isn't a major problem as it's an incredibly quiet pedal relative to any others I've messed with. I'm sure this problem can easily be solved by just tweaking the order of my effects.
          Overall I'm super stoked. Catalinbread's owner's manuals are top notch as well, giving a historic overview of the pedal as well as recommended settings and operation. They are clearly a company that really cares about the product and their customers.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          ALSO PERFORMS FANTASTIC on VOCALS!!

          By Billy C.

          from Mays Landing, NJ

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • EXCELLENT for VOCALs Thru PA System!!
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

            Back in 1968 I began using a Maestro Echoplex for Delay Effects for Vocals through my SHURE Vocal Master PA Sysyem. I continued this with many more upgraded PA's until about 1994 when my Echoplex finally died! At this time, Digital Effects had pretty much taken over the use of the old Echoplex, BUT after experimenting with everything that was "NEW" coming out, I never found anything that really matched up to that old ECHOPLEX delay sound especially for VOCALS! I have seen a few ECHOPLEX Copies that have recently been Manufactured BUT the High Pricing stood in the way of purchasing one. Recently Catlinbread has come out with the Belle Epoch EP3 Tape Emulator and catching my attention, I did some research and was very IMPRESSED. I called Catlinbread and asked if this unit could also perform on vocals as the old Maestro did. The answer I received was " Why don't you purchase one and experiment and see for yourself"!! This wasn't exactly the answer I was looking for, But after Musicians Friend offered me an "Extra Incentive" with a 15% one day discount, I pulled the trigger and purchased one! I must tell you, after plugging this in and running it for VOCALS, I was BLOWN AWAY!! This was without a doubt the closest thing (IF not EXACTLY) what I used to hear with the old Maestro EP3!! It was like hearing that UNIQUE delay that only the Maestro Echoplex could deliver on a vocl mike back in the old days!! I am TOTALLY happy with this little delay and it IS a KEEPER!! I recommend it as a VOCAL Effect, ( If the old Maestro EP3 is desired ).

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Very Impressed!

            By Tommy the Rocker

            from Gering, NE

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Responsive

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Performances

              Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

              Very impressed with the overall sound and vibe of this unit. As close to an actual ep-3 tape unit as you will come. I owned an El Capistan pedal prior to the Belle Epoch. I feel the Belle Epoch sounds more organtic and is easier to dial in.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              The real deal!

              By Jack Butler

              from Ny

              About Me Professional Musician

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Good Selection Of Effects
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                Great pedal it's the only pedal I have heard that sounds like an echoplex, I have a lot of echo pedals that try and sound like the echoplex and they are all good but this pedal is #1. It's a bit expensive but it's worth it. I wish they would have sent a power supply.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Work's amazing. !!!

                By rotnroby

                from Santa Barbara Ca.

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Compact Design
                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Performances

                  Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                  I use this unit live and it's as good as it gets .. Really!! I own a original Echoplex and it's as good if not better.. The repeats have the same degradation and warmth as the original. The best part is no tape no cleaning no demagnetizing … Big plus.. I use it live mostly I use it for 50's style slapback its so good I have it on all the time..

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Favorite Delay

                  By Krem

                  from ND

                  About Me Novice

                  Pros

                  • Compact Design
                  • Excellent Sound Quality
                  • Responsive
                  • Sounds great

                  Cons

                  • I Only Have 1 Of Them
                  • No Stereo
                  • No Tap

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio
                  • Performances
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                  This is my new favorite delay. This thing not only sounds great, it FEELS incredible. This pedal is made to be interacted with. Its great for guitar and really shines on synth lines. My curiosity about tape delays is well satisfied with this pedal, I feel like I dont need a real one. If anything Id just buy another Epoch. Make sure to mess with the internal trim pot to get it in the sweet spot. The preamp is a really nice tone sweetener in true bypass mode, although it cuts some high end. Highly recommend this pedal.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Wow

                  By Kentucky Picker

                  from Kentucky

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Pros

                  • Compact Design
                  • Excellent Sound Quality
                  • Good Selection Of Effects
                  • Responsive
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Events
                    • Home Studio
                    • Mobile DJ
                    • Performances
                    • Professional Recording

                    Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                    This sounds like an echoplex. It doesn't sound sort of like one or an emulation of one, it just sounds like one. The preamp adds a bit of compression and volume and I set it to be always on. It seems to both smooth out my sound and add a bit of grit and punch.
                    You can take the back of the pedal, that where the setting for either true bypass or buffer and the volume for the preamp are, just be careful when your screwing the back plate back on and don't over tighten and hit components with the screws.
                    In short if you want that vintage delay sound that can go from slapback to space ship this is for you.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    EP3 in a box

                    By JIm the Runner

                    from San Jose, CA.

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Compact Design
                    • Excellent Sound Quality

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Events
                      • Home Studio
                      • Mobile DJ
                      • Performances
                      • Professional Recording

                      Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                      This is a top notch delay pedal, one of the best on the market. Eric Johnson had a couple of these on his new pedalboard. That's interesting. This thing nails the EP3 including the preamp.

                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      A great pedal to play with...

                      By spartagus

                      from America

                      About Me Novice

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Compact Design
                      • Excellent Sound Quality
                      • Good Selection Of Effects
                      • Responsive
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home Studio

                        Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                        I used to play in a garage band in the 60's. Got drafted into the military and 40 years later I retired. Time to learn to play again. THey did not have effects like they do now and I am enjoying playing with these great toys.

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great Pedal!

                        By Larry

                        from Vincennes, IN

                        About Me Experienced

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact Design
                        • Excellent Sound Quality
                        • Good Selection Of Effects
                        • Responsive
                        • Solid and well built, but not too weighty.
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                        • Power jack on the side-con for me, not a biggie

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Events
                        • Performances

                        Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                        I use the Belle Epoch either as my only effect or maybe with one other pedal freestanding (not on a pedal board). I find the location of the power jack a little awkward to use with a 90 degree jack on my guitar cable as the power jack prevents the cable from laying in the position it normally would lay. This is not a really big deal and does not prevent me from recommending it, but if I could change one thing about the pedal I would relocate the jack. Great sounding pedal! I also have the Echorec pedal by Catalinbread and sometimes use the two pedals together. Same issue with the power jack, but both great and I highly recommend them. There is no option to battery power either pedal which is not an issue for me as I never rely on battery power on any of my pedals, but this is different from most pedals in my experience.

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Exactly what I needed for this type of effect

                        By Erik W

                        from Arizona

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Compact Design
                        • Excellent Sound Quality
                        • Responsive
                        • Versatile
                        • Very broad range

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Amateur Recording
                          • Events
                          • Home Studio
                          • Performances
                          • Professional Recording

                          Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                          This pedal is awesome. I've been cycled several delay & echo pedals through my pedal board and been disappointed in all of them for whatever reason depending on their limitations. This one does everything I need.Excellent rockabilly slap back, perfect emulation of early U-2 style delay, and full control of every aspect of your echo effects from decay to sustain, speed, depth, span. You can even make your signal sound like some kinda crazy UFO from an old 50s sci-fi if you want. Every characteristic is fully adjustable.

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          great echo !

                          By steve l

                          from rochester,ny

                          About Me Professional Musician

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Compact Design
                          • Excellent Sound Quality
                          • Responsive
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Amateur Recording
                            • Home Studio
                            • Performances
                            • Professional Recording

                            Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                            it is a great ep-3 clone ! sounds amazing, easy to use,& all this in a very small package.

                             
                            5.0

                            It keeps on giving

                            By BJT customer x

                            from PVD, RI

                            About Me Professional Musician

                            Pros

                            • Compact Design
                            • Excellent Sound Quality
                            • Good Selection Of Effects
                            • Responsive
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Amateur Recording
                              • Events
                              • Home Studio
                              • Performances
                              • Professional Recording

                              Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                              The Belle Epoch is very versatile and I purchased it from M.F. this past May 17. It is great for all rock genres (rockabilly, blues, psychedelic and anything else). Inside it can be changed to true bypass or not. There is also a gain inside which will boost up the volume for solos or just for more power.

                              Service and delivery comments:

                              The sales staff and representatives are perofessional and are courteous. They are always helpful and that is a big reason why I'm a loyal customer.

                               
                              5.0

                              Pro pedal.

                              By Vinny j

                              from Maryland

                              About Me Experienced

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Excellent Sound Quality

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                                  This pedal is great. It will bring your amp to life! The only negative is now I want to buy more of this companies pedal!

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Great Delay

                                  By Moe

                                  from CO

                                  About Me Experienced

                                  See all my reviews

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Compact Design
                                  • Excellent Sound Quality
                                  • Good Selection Of Effects
                                  • Responsive
                                  • Versatile

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                                      The pedal is well built, knobs are tight and it looks cool. The delay works as a mellow delay or it gets crazy very quick. I have it plugged in at 18 volts and also tried 9 volts, 18 sounds more alive but you need to keep the knobs lower as they are much more responsive with the higher voltage. The pre-amp sounds great as long as it's set low, these are my preferences and may not be yours. So to sum it up it sounds great, from clear repeats to dirty wobbly repeats to an echoplex about to break or on it's last leg. Turned up loud I find it unusable but once again if you keep the tape age low it put's some magic in the background.

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Great Tape Delay Sounding Pedal

                                      By HofMoney

                                      from St. Pete, Fl

                                      About Me Experienced

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Excellent Sound Quality

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Amateur Recording
                                        • Home Studio
                                        • Performances
                                        • Professional Recording

                                        Comments about Catalinbread Belle Epoch (EP3 Tape Echo Emulation) Guitar Effects Pedal:

                                        If you are looking for the sound of an echoplex, this nails it spot on. I love the sound of old tape delays, and this really is a great addition to the pedalboard. If that's the sound you are looking for give this pedal a try!

                                        Displaying reviews 1-19

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