Catalinbread Belle Epoch EP-3 Digital Tape Echo Pedal

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$210
Catalinbread Belle Epoch EP-3 Tape Echo Pedal

Meta Analysis Overview

Our rating of 94/100 is based on analysis of 200+ sources comprised of online reviews and discussions. Under the Pros and Cons headings below you'll find a condensed analysis of what those owners and users have been saying. Feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts in the comments section.

The Echoplex was known for its lush repeats from a saturated preamp feeding into the tape with just a little modulation provided by the tape speed and component condition.

Older tapes will sound more lo-fi, aging motors will fluctuate in speed.

Whatever the quirk of those original units, Catalinbread sought to replicate as much of them as possible in a small-format Delay pedal.

Enter the Belle Epoch: A recreation of all the things that made the original Maestro Echoplex well-loved, without the maintenance.

Features

  • Controls: Echo Sustain, Mod, Rec Level, Mix, Echo Delay, Internal Trimpot for preamp level.
  • Delay Time: Up to 800ms
  • Switching: True Bypass
  • Power: DC Adapter and 9-Volt Battery

Pros

Users were delighted to find that the Belle Epoch recreates the wash/oscillation of the original unit. Many Echoplex recreations tend to just use a vibrato circuit for modulation but the Belle Epoch recreates the random wow and flutter effects of a real tape machine.

Cons

The control labels were hard to read as noted by one user. Another noted that the pedal took away from the sound that they wanted. A subsequent comment noted that this was the internal preamp at work. This is resolved by turning the internal trim pot to zero.

Overall

The Belle Epoch is the closest "tapeless" recreation of a well-loved classic. For those looking to make spacey soundscapes and noise oscillations, the Bell Epoch checks all the right boxes.

Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best Delay Pedals.

About the Author

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.