Catalinbread

When thinking about brands that helped bring the boom in the world of stompbox effects, Catalinbread is one of (if not the) top brand in most enthusiasts eyes (read: ears). Leading the pack of high-end effects which are all hand-built in Portland, Oregon helps lend to its street cred, but what really helps keep Catalinbread in the conversation for boutique equipment is how they perform and quite frankly the tendency for the team in Portland to dive into the creative and unique side of things.

From endless amp-in-a-box configurations to artist emulation on the fly or their unique mashups of traditional effects and circuits venturing into uncharted territories (not just another Muff or Tube Screamer variant) or simply just your meat & potatoes effects being but being given the velvet glove treatment. There are plenty of muses to draw from for those who seek specific tools to achieve the sound they want or anyone looking for some new blood in their pedalboard setup to bring you to where you want to be on a musical plane.

As of March 2016, it was with a heavy heart that Catalinbread had lost the founder Nicholas Harris to a tragic accident, but not without having the entire effects, MI and music community band together to show support for a brand that garnered the attention and respect of many. Even those who some would consider his competitors, in a show of support for the man and the brand he helped make high-end effect pedals as desirable and in some cases a ‘must-have’ in these days. If that does not instill confidence in a brand then I don’t think anything else will.

Have you always lusted for one of those vintage Supro style amps but cant find or afford one of these masterpieces from days gone past? You will fall head-over-heals for the Valcoder. Want that searing, ominous and down-right heavy (for the time) tone of Toni Iommi from his hayday with Sabbath? Then the Sabbra Cadabra (probably the 5th most obvious name they could have used) is the box for you. Have a soft spot for doom/gloom and letting go of control if even for a moment or two and letting randomness take over? Then you will stop at nothing to get an Antichthon in your signal chain.

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