Other Equipment

Catalinbread Topanga pedal

1

Tavo's posted about this before, but I couldn't find the thread.

I lucked into a "Topanga" for a good price second hand over the weekend, and having read the reviews and comments, I bit.

If you were ever looking for a tank in a box - this is most definitely it. Forget about the Boss '63 reverb pedal, it's harsh useless crap compared to this one - I rehearsed with the Topanga yesterday, and it really does what it says on the tin : it's as close as you're ever gonna get to a Fender outboard reverb unit without using springs and tubes.

Amazing little pedal, and the preamp in it is pretty great for giving your amp a little nudge - the amp I had for rehearsal was too big for the particular room we were in, so I was glad to have that extra preamp juice on tap. And honestly, halfway through the rehearsal I forgot I wasn't playing through my usual rig - pedal's thàt good.

It's definitely going to be something to put in the back of the amp in case the real spring I'm using dies, and I'll be SO happy to have this thing when it's airplane/promotor backline again!

3

Tavo's posted about this before, but I couldn't find the thread.

I lucked into a "Topanga" for a good price second hand over the weekend, and having read the reviews and comments, I bit.

If you were ever looking for a tank in a box - this is most definitely it. Forget about the Boss '63 reverb pedal, it's harsh useless crap compared to this one - I rehearsed with the Topanga yesterday, and it really does what it says on the tin : it's as close as you're ever gonna get to a Fender outboard reverb unit without using springs and tubes.

Amazing little pedal, and the preamp in it is pretty great for giving your amp a little nudge - the amp I had for rehearsal was too big for the particular room we were in, so I was glad to have that extra preamp juice on tap. And honestly, halfway through the rehearsal I forgot I wasn't playing through my usual rig - pedal's thàt good.

It's definitely going to be something to put in the back of the amp in case the real spring I'm using dies, and I'll be SO happy to have this thing when it's airplane/promotor backline again!

– WB

Seriously amazing reverb pedal and it doesnt jack with your dry guitar signal, infact it has a nice boost too. Something I hate about blackface combos with reverb is that the verb takes over and sucks in the guitar signal too much IMO. One reason why I came up with a more simplistic reverb to put in my blondeshell. I think this Catalinbread Topanga is the cats pajamas and I use it on my pedal board at the very end of the signal chain boosted with the brain in front. (try the easter egg feature for fun, its relaxing and space like)

Here is the Topanga vs a cork sniffer's actual Spring tank.. cant beat that darn little stomper and yes all Boss '63' reverb pedals should be tossed for the simple fact that they are turning your guitar into 1's and 0's :)

(cover your ears when I start gushing about my F-bomb)

4

I've been using the Topanga for about a month now...have done 3 shows and several rehearsals...and it is as advertised above. Awesome reverb pedal!

5

For surf guitar, the Topanga (along with Carbon Copy) are my GO TO pedals!

6

"Tavo said
and yes all Boss '63' reverb pedals should be tossed for the simple fact that they are turning your guitar into 1's and 0's"

Yup!

7

The Topanga does sound really good....definately does the spring sound convincingly but I'd love to have one of Tavo's F-Bombs.

8

Hmmm...and I just got a Strymon Blue Sky a few months back - always something coming around the corner I guess.

9

Been wanting one of these for awhile. A Mad Professor Silver Spring too. Though I suspect the Topanga is tops for realistic spring sound. MD

10

You pushed me over the edge Walter. Just grabbed one last night. Now I get to see (hear) what all the fuss is about.

Not sure why, but reverb and delay curiosity seems without end. I am helpless to resist! MD

11

Ha! I'm curious alright, but it's not without end - especially on the delay part. I really only use a delay for slap, and I'm not all that picky as long as that works.

The Topanga pedal is fun - it really does a classic Fender tank extremely well, but without the drawbacks - I've always loved the tone of those things, but what's left of your guitar tone when you turn the 'verb off is not so cool at all.
It's definitely a keeper, and as far as "pedal that does tank realistically" goes, I'm done.

12

Late breaking reverb update:

Just unpacked the Topanga reverb. It is exactly as claimed. Has a most realistic reverb sound and "presence" for lack of a better word. Tried it with a non-reverb amp (EC Tremolux). Got that west coast sound. Tried it with the Gries 20, which has a fine built in reverb. The Topanga actually sounds better. It also cooperates perfectly with my other pedals (clean boost and delay).

The volume knob is the special touch. Catalinbread does it again. Thanks for giving me the nudge Walter. Great sounding pedal. MD

13

You pushed me over the edge Walter. Just grabbed one last night. Now I get to see (hear) what all the fuss is about.

Not sure why, but reverb and delay curiosity seems without end. I am helpless to resist! MD

– mad dog

btw.. its gets better with 18v.. I run mine at 12v.

14

"better" how Tavo? Does it have a noticeable effect on the reverb, or is it mostly the preamp function?

15

"better" how Tavo? Does it have a noticeable effect on the reverb, or is it mostly the preamp function?

– WB

Its not earth shaking, it just has a slightly cleaner attack and a hint more "boing" like a tank. May affect how you play in a better way, if you were using it for surf digging into the E-A strings against the bridge. I do a few tunes needing that but for myself, running it at 12v works better with the preamp I keep at the front of my chain. I run the Topanga after my Boss DM-3 out to the amp.

16

What is a "topanga" anyway? All I get is a city in Cali and some actress....

17

What is a "topanga" anyway? All I get is a city in Cali and some actress....

– ruger9

One of the two most famous LA canyons, the other being Laurel.

18

One of the two most famous LA canyons, the other being Laurel.

– Kap'n

AH.......... now I get it................

19

Well Walter, you made me do it! Just received my Topanga today. After a fairly brief (so far) test it does sound really good. I'm not a huge fan of Catalinbread - so much hype about them (not their fault) and so many disappointments when I finally try their stuff (which kinda IS their fault). But this one is a beauty.

We must have the sound of Fender spring reverb imprinted in our brains. I have been using a TC HOF Mini on the plate setting, as the spring setting sucks. In fact I usually use the plate setting on any digi reverb. But the Topanga sounds "right".

20

Well Walter, you made me do it! Just received my Topanga today. After a fairly brief (so far) test it does sound really good. I'm not a huge fan of Catalinbread - so much hype about them (not their fault) and so many disappointments when I finally try their stuff (which kinda IS their fault). But this one is a beauty.

We must have the sound of Fender spring reverb imprinted in our brains. I have been using a TC HOF Mini on the plate setting, as the spring setting sucks. In fact I usually use the plate setting on any digi reverb. But the Topanga sounds "right".

– JimmyR

Youre exactly right about catalinbread and their precious cafe lumberjack appeal from Portland BUT I dont think they were trying to be that or front that way at all.... they have done superbly with this Topanga reverb because they are guitarists and they pay attention to their customers. I have great respect for their pursuit of good tone. They've quite a winner with this pedal for sure! :)

21

Wasn't aware of Catalinbread's "precious cafe lumberjack" appeal. (That phrase has a really nice ring to it!!)

I've found them to have always interesting, sometimes amazing, pedal choices. Starting with a CB Semaphore I used for a long time. Other favorites of theirs:

Montavillian Super Chili Picosa Ottava Magus II

That last one is maybe the prettiest sounding octave/fuzz pedal I've heard. Traded it and have missed it ever since. MD

22

Actually I just realised that I also like the Catalinbread Naga Viper. Not a bad booster in the treble booster style. But I have tried the SFT, DLS (every version), WIIO, and a couple of others I forget the names of - just awful. Oh, the Montavilian - I hated it!

So I am pleasantly surprised at how much i like the Topanga. I only tried it because of Walter.

23

I've been recording my band today, and it actually happened. I had an old Princeton Reverb with me, three non-reverb amps, two outboard tanks - and I've actually used the Topanga pedal for one tune. And recording a digital pedal while I'm surrounded by plenty of analog gear is a first for me. So I guess it really is that good. I'm still impressed - so I'm not going to apologize for eh..."passing the GAS" Jimmy.

I've triend their echoplex pedal too - and was really impressed with that too - but I'm too cheap to buy it new. I'll get the first reasonably priced second hand one that pops up. Having been using my echoplex plenty today, actually.

24

Well, I done gone and bought a Topanga off reverb for a good price used.

I have a Flint but I've been wanting more from the reverb that the Flint has to offer. The spring reverb is good on it but from all the demos I've watched the Topanga seems to nail the 60s spring reverb sound better. I also find myself using the tremolo less and less lately so I do believe I'll be selling off the Flint!

I was also debating getting the new Subdecasy SUPER Spring Theory but there's a strong lack of good demos on the ol youtube.

Looking forward to surfing some gnarly tones

25

I really like the Flint, but don't use the spring reverb setting. It's a bit ordinary. I like the plate though. But i will never use the Flint for gigs because I always have issues with Strymon pedals and their ridiculously fussy power requirements.

So I have tried my Topanga a few times... Still not 100% sure about it. My new Boss DM2-w has been occupying my time instead. Not exactly a spring reverb, but I like my TC mini-HOF reverb with the plate reverb setting onboard. Tiny, easy, great sound.


Register Sign in to join the conversation