Ever since Catalinbread put out the Epoch Boost, they noticed much to their delight, that many folks are buying it with the Belle Epoch Tape Echo. This realization sent Catalinbread down a rabbit hole discussing specific uses and merits of each Epoch Family pedal–Catalinbread concluded that the Epoch Boost-Belle Epoch pairing actually makes a lot of sense even in a world where the Belle Epoch Deluxe exists. More on that later.
Here’s the skinny: Catalinbread is selling the Epoch Boost and Belle Epoch as a Limited Edition Box Set. Only 500 will be made, each with a unique serial number. Catalinbread got great feedback on the Epoch Boost’s color scheme and readability, so it made sense to have the Belle Epoch Tape Echo match it–Epoch Family style.
Alright, let’s get geeky for a second. The Belle Epoch was modeled after the EP-3 and the preamp is an approximation of the Echoplex preamp and it sounds really really close. The Belle Epoch Deluxe, however, is not an approximation; it has the exact EP-3 specs in it–using the “later" mode preamp circuit. The Epoch Boost also has the exact EP-3 specs, but uses the "early" mode pre. The "early" and "later" mode differences are slight but they are noticeable, one with a flat frequency response and the other a brighter one.
So why are some people buying the Epoch Boost and the regular Belle Epoch instead of just the Belle Epoch Deluxe? It boils down to specific needs and modularity. One of the awesome things about the Belle Epoch Deluxe is that you can pop it into trails mode and have the preamp on all of the time, sweetening up your tone even when the delay is bypassed, but wherever the Belle Epoch Deluxe lives in your chain, the delay and the preamp live together and cannot be separated. That’s where the idea for this box set comes in. Let’s say you want the Belle Epoch delay but want the option to put the EP-3 style preamp (Epoch Boost) somewhere in the chain that isn’t tied to your delay. Maybe you want it at the beginning with the boost cranked to make everything after it sing, or at the end; always-on to refine your entire sound. Some people like using the pre to fatten up their signal before stacking with their dirt section. In this configuration, your options are only limited by your other gear.