If you are someone who enjoys the 60s surf reverb, this is the pedal for you. The Catalinbread Topanga Reverb Pedal was designed to copy the sound of the Fender 6G15 reverb unit that usually sells around for around $1,000.
If you love the Fender 6G15 but can’t afford the price tag that comes with that reverb pedal, the Catalinbread Topanga Reverb Pedal is an amazing dupe.
Catalinbread created this reverb pedal to have the distortion and overdrive go directly into the front of your amp. I personally think that the Catalinbread Topanga is the best spring reverb pedal that I have ever used; I am saying that because of how well it works, but I’m also saying that because of the price range.
A spring pedal that performs this well isn’t usually this affordable, but Catalinbread somehow managed to do it.
This reverb pedal not only have an attractive cosmetic appearance, but it also has a very warm and realistic tube-driven spring tank sound to it. Catalinbread’s reverb pedal was born to be connected to the input part of your amp; I highly suggest that you don’t use this pedal in the effects loop.
By driving your preamp, this reverb pedal is going to provide you clean, vintage sounds; if you are looking for a sound that’s more intense, turn the volume knob. By turning the volume knob, you’re going to increase the sound which allows the reverb to saturate your amp a bit further.
The Catalinbread Topanga Reverb Pedal has four knobs. These knobs are:
The Dwell knob provides you with the ability to control how much signal is going to your reverb springs; cranking the dwell knob up can shorten the wet side, which is due to the signal crashing the springs.
As for the Tone knob, this knob allows you to control the brightness of your sound; if you are looking for your sound to be a bit brighter, turn your knob clockwise. If you are looking for your sound to be darker, turn the knob counter-clockwise.
The mix provides you with the ability to adjust the amount of reverb that blends in with the dry sound. By turning this knob all of the way up, you are going to receive a fully wet sound.
The Volume knob is the rock on this pedal. The Volume knob is the volume control of any preamp, which allows you to increase (or decrease) the sound.
It is most definitely easy to become overwhelmed by the massive reverb pedal; market that’s available; there is a countless number of pedals available in every single style in the world.
In order to know how to evaluate a reverb pedals’ quality to make sure that the reverb you’re looking at is the proper one for your needs, you need to understand what criteria is used to evaluate a reverb pedal’s quality.
This review of the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal will look at the following criteria:
- The quality of sound produced
- The materials that the pedal is made from
- Who the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal is best suited for
- How easy the pedal is to use
- The value of the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal for your money
Core features of the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal:
- Spring reverb
- 9V negative power supply
- Requires 80 m A current
- Has four knobs
- Single stomp switch
- Also comes with a volume control
The Catalinbread Topanga Reverb Pedal is a pedal that is different from any other Spring reverb pedal that I’ve used; this pedal sounds like an actually outboard spring reverb tank. Unless you happen to be using fuzz, the reverb doesn’t get muddy or noisy; it’s a reverb pedal that has a warm distortion.
Who is Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal best suited for?
The Catalinbread Topanga Reverb Pedal is best suited for guitarists who are interested in playing surf style or who have interest in playing surf style.
Does the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal work as advertised?
Yes, it does! While some surf players may argue how about realistic this reverb pedal sounds, this reverb pedal is every surf guitarist’s ultimate dream. When you have all of the settings set at their most extreme, you’re going to receive the sound of a Fender reverb unit that’s slightly distorted.
Pros of the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal:
- One of the best spring reverb pedals on the market
- Has many options of lush sounds that range from soft to surf-worthy
- Has the wash sounds when you have the knobs turned all of the way
- Incredibly versatile, especially for a surf pedal
- Volume knob adds dimension and warmth
- Quality, solid build
Cons of the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal:
- Needs a separate on and off switch
- Hidden modulation mode
- Doesn’t play very well with higher gain pickups, causes unwanted distortion
Other alternative reverb pedals to consider:
If you are interested in something that’s a little bit less complex to use, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame may be something that you’re interested in. The basic setup of this reverb pedal is a pedal board friendly, compact, battery powered pedal that has been loaded up with new sounds; these new sounds are now called Tone Prints.
Each pedal has a small number of several sound variations that you can choose from; one of these variations being Tone Print. Tone Print allows you to download the settings that celebrity guitar players have designed and upload them to your pedal by using a mini USB cable or by using your smartphone.
You can use your smartphone by aiming the speakers on your phone to your pickups; this beams the data directly to the pedal.
The EarthQuaker Afterneath Otherwordly
If you’re looking for something a bit more spicy, the EarthQuaker Afterneath Otherwordly isn’t the typical reverb pedal; that most guitarists are used to playing with. I would not suggest that you purchase this pedal if you are just looking for a moderate echo, any sort of conventional sound, or a bit of a subtle ambience.
The Afterneath produces an original sound; however, the sound the Afterneath Otherwordly produced is comparable to a multi-tap digital delay algorithm that is combined with a reverb. However, if you’re looking for a unit that has all of the combined effects that the EarthQuaker Afterneath Otherwordly, you’re not going to find one.
Final Take: The Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal
The Topanga delivers across the entire board, from the subtle waves of reverb to the Dwell and Mix modes, to the wet/dry mix. For $195, you can purchase yourself a great spring reverb pedal. The Topanga uses a lot more than just surf music for inspiration in this pedal too; you can fine tune this pedal to what you exactly need.
Even though this is a digital pedal, you don’t receive the digital harshness that you get in a lot of other digital pedals, even the high-end ones when they’re up on their higher settings.
That’s all for the Catalinbread Topanga Reverberation Pedal review. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!
Danny grew up playing anything that looked like a guitar. Since some kids just don’t know how to grow up, he continues to write about guitars because you can do that these days.