The Catalinbread Topanga is a big wet and splashy 60’s outboard spring reverb tank.
Surf’s up! And we’re all headed to Topanga, this spring reverb pedal is based on the legendary Fender 6G15 outboard spring reverb unit!
Catalinbread has captured all the drip, flutter, cluck, clang, and splash of the original tubes and springs unit in a small pedal format!
The outboard Fender 6G15 spring reverb unit is the sound of Surf guitar, Spaghetti Western, and many other great guitar sounds from the sixties.
How does it differ from the internal spring reverb found in most Fender-style amps? The signal is in front of the amp and causes the reverb signal to distort and therefore sound more intense.
Because there were additional knobs on the outboard units, you also have more control over the reverb qualities.
The Dwell knob controls the input to the spring
The Tone knob allowed the treble to be dialed back to just the right degree of brightness.
It was also essentially a tube preamp, so it would color the sound going into the amp.
All this added up to a very distinctive reverb sound with a lot of attitude and complex non-linearities that are hard to replicate.
But we here at Catalinbread did just that!
Besides giving you the classic three-knob control compliment of the original, we’ve also added a great discrete preamp.
The Volume knob controls the preamp for a healthy amount of great clean boost when you want it
The original Fender reverb unit’s Dwell control was basically the volume control for its tube preamp. This is very similar to the preamp in all Fender amps.
So the Dwell knob sets how hard the transformer and springs are being driven.
The Topanga’s Dwell knob works the same way, controlling how hard the virtual spring circuit is driven. This ranges from a very mellow reverb to the over-the-top reverb that made the original famous.
Essentially, this control is a low-pass filter for the reverb signal coming out of the spring tank.
We’ve duplicated this architecture in the Topanga to give you the authentic sound.
Most people run the Tone wide open but you can back off the control to obtain mellower background reverb sounds.
Full counter-clockwise is dry-signal only and full clockwise is reverb signal only.
Just set to the amount of reverb you want.
Do note though that if you hit an overdriven amp (or overdrive pedal) with the Topanga, you’ll need to run the Mix control lower to obtain the same balance. This is true for the original unit too.
We’ve added the ability for you to control the overall output of the Topanga.
The Volume knob controls both your dry signal’s volume as well as the reverb and affects the output gain of the discrete preamp.
Topanga runs from 9 to 18 volts using a standard DC center-negative power supply for pedals. Make sure you’re using a supply that provides at least 100mA.