Catalinbread Epoch Boost – EP-3 Based Preamp


The Catalinbread Epoch Boost is pedal based on the preamp section of the orignal Maestro Echoplex EP3. Use by many of the greats – Eddie Van Halen et al.

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Catalinbread Epoch Boost

What is the Catalinbread Epoch boost all about? Well, you’ve heard the rumors. Some of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest tones were achieved without pedals.

Not so fast!

While that’s technically true, some guitar gods relied on an old tape echo unit to help achieve their legendary tones.

This unit is the Maestro Echoplex EP-3. While some made great use of its echo effect, others dragged one to every gig just for its preamp.

This preamp circuit is always-on. So even those using it as an echo effect received significant tonal enhancements from the preamp circuit.

Everyone from Eddie Van Halen to East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys relied on the EP-3 preamp. It takes their sound to previously unreachable heights. And now you can also, with the Epoch Boost.

Around the shop, we refer to the Epoch Boost as a “mastering pedal”. This is because it sounds like your base tone, but is sculpted to perfection by a mastering engineer.

This is accomplished by employing the same internal circuitry as a real EP-3. From the NOS Orange Drop capacitors to the output mixer stage that acts as a rudimentary frequency selector, it’s all there.

We’ve taken the liberty of kicking the internal voltage all the way up to 22 volts. This just like the original unit, giving you unparalleled headroom and clarity. Inside, we’ve included a switchable hi-Z input buffer if you’d like to use the Epoch Boost as your only pedal.

The Boost control gives you just the EP-3 tone when rolled off, but adds up to 20dB of crystal-clear boost as you crank it. And trust us, you’re gonna want to. See it in action


  • Pocket-sized reproduction of the “early” EP-3 preamp
  • Up to 20dB sparkling, dynamic boost on tap
  • 22V regulated internal power from your standard 9V supply
  • NOS Sprague Orange Drop capacitors just like the original
  • Close approximation to original TIS58 JFET
  • Biased a tad hotter than the stock unit for extra warmth
  • Internally switchable hi-Z input buffer restores high end lost due to cable capacitance
  • Super-sharp embossed enclosure
  • Accepts 9VDC centre negative power ONLY



Because the “Early” EP-3 models total less than 500 units, it’s unlikely people have experienced the sweep of this control.

Instead of being a standard volume control, the Preamp control pans between two different signal paths. The combination of the preamp and the mixer circuit, and something similar but different.

The result is a volume control on the first half, and a rudimentary frequency enhancement on the second half.

Anything above noon on the Preamp control will gently push different frequency bands. The most perceived loudness halfway between 2 and 3 o’clock. Think of it as a pickup selector control or a very unique EQ control.


While the Preamp knob and accompanying circuitry gives you the magic, the Boost control takes the versatility to the next level.

When set all the way counterclockwise, the signal is at unity gain (plus wherever the Preamp knob is set); there is no boost happening. As you roll it up, the Boost control sets the gain level of the preamp, adding a ton of sparkle and volume which can shake hands with the most stubborn of amps.

Set your amp right on the verge of breakup, set the Boost to taste, and watch even the most sterile rig spring to life.


For those of you running tons of true-bypass pedals or extremely long cables, our super-transparent internal buffer will recover any treble lost on the way to the amp. It is factory set to OFF, and occurs BEFORE the EP-3 circuit.

Additional information

Weight 0.2 kg
Dimensions 11 × 6 × 5 cm
Analogue or Digital



Black, Silver


2 mA



Pedal Type


Power Connection Type

Centre Negative

Silicon or Germanium




EAN 13





Epoch Boost


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