Help me Choose a Catalinbread Foundation Overdrive

Messages
358
Hello all,

My trusty twin reverb was taken from me. Police report filed, numbers added to the stolen gear registry etc. but in the meantime I'm in need of a new pedal platform.

I'm thinking in lieu of shelling out for another Twin (80 lbs, awkward to carry, prone to being stolen apparently) I'd try the SS route and use one of the extension cabs I've got laying around. Quilter Tone Block is at the top of my list right now, but that's another discussion entirely.

My thought is that I'd use one of the Cbread pedals as an outboard preamp of sorts, run through a clean, load, flat-eq power amp. Now, the issue I face is which to use?

I play alternative, with elements of "ambient" or "shoegaze". Lots of stacked delay and reverbs, lots of loud/quiet/loud, lots of drive stacking. Current dirt is a Rat, either on its own or boosted by either a clean boost or TS-style, and a Cbread Manx Loagthan for fuzz also either on its own or occasionally boosted.

Guitars are MIJ Jazzmaster, MIM Strat, and Reverend Descent Baritone H90.

From videos and descriptions, I've identified either the SFT or the 5F6 as the ones I think I'd like best. My concerns are how well they'd take those dirt pedals going into them. The pedal would be set for edge of breakup, and left there. Guitar volume for cleanup, and Rat/Muff/Boost for additional dirt. Delays and reverbs go after the Cbread pedal, or in the amp effects loop.

I liked the Baxandall tone stack in the Manx Loagthan, so I think I'd like it in a another context now that I'm somewhat familiar with how to use one. I also like the crunchy not-quite-clean sounds out of the 5F6. If I could just nab a Bassman or Ampeg, I would (I'm not looking for more back strain and stolen property though.)

Questions:
1. Any experiences with Cbread Foundation series or either the SFT or 5F6 in particular? Am I missing the mark entirely here with what they are/do, or is this something worth pursuing?
2. How do these pedals take dirt? Do they really react like an amp, or would my muff-style fuzz just turn it into mush.
3. Anything else I'm missing? Additional things to consider? Am I just way off the mark here with my plan? Anybody done/do something similar? etc.
 

la noise

Member
Messages
21,156
SFT over 5F6 for those purposes. Not as much clean headroom
on the 5F6---which is a Tweed platform so that is a given.

I'd also look at the RAH.... that and the SFT are both killer pedal
platforms. :aok

I've used them both in the past for that.
 

deadlands

Member
Messages
1,692
For what you want to do, there are more options than CB.

The Shiftline Twin is a BF Twin voiced tube preamp. This would give you back the sound of your Twin and be very versatile for all sorts of situations. It's designed to do exactly what you want.

http://shift-line.com/card.php?device=75

Also, the Lovepedal Super Six Grey Ghost sounds a lot like a BF Super. It can do clean to pretty dirty and has a nice tube amp feel. You can usually snag one during a SNS sale for just a few bones north of $100.
 
Messages
358
I'll look into that, thanks for the tip!

The thing of it is that even when I had the Twin, I basically had this same thread on TDPRI because I never really bonded with it. I think what I always wanted was a Vox or some other low/medium gain amp. I have an AC 15 that I love, but it can struggle a bit with dirt and distorting delay trails at high volumes. With my Twin, I always had some pedal on at any given time hence why I thought the Cbread or similar ones would be suitable.

That said, maybe something along the lines of a proper preamp is what I'm really looking for, not just another pedal? That's a whole world I know nothing about.
 

deadlands

Member
Messages
1,692
The thing of it is that even when I had the Twin, I basically had this same thread on TDPRI because I never really bonded with it. I think what I always wanted was a Vox or some other low/medium gain amp. I have an AC 15 that I love, but it can struggle a bit with dirt and distorting delay trails at high volumes. With my Twin, I always had some pedal on at any given time hence why I thought the Cbread or similar ones would be suitable.

I'm quite fond of 40watt(2x6L6) Fenders, like the Bandmaster, Super etc ... they can be clean when you want them to or push them for some dirt and crunch. They also handle pedals as good as anything.

That said, maybe something along the lines of a proper preamp is what I'm really looking for, not just another pedal? That's a whole world I know nothing about.

IMO, a preamp would work better. If you want to run directly to a power amp or mixer, you'll want line-level signal, not instrument-level like what would come out of a pedal.

Some other options:
Effectrode Blackbird
Ethos preamp (gets a lot of love around here)
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
AMT F-1 for Fender Twin
AMT V-1 for Vox.
Both these pedals work great as your last in line pedal you run everything else into before the amp. Switchable cab sim, effects loop, and side chain loop, along with excellent tone controls, really give you most bang for the buck used between $80-110.
I own both, really great witn any amp or power amp I've tried.
I love Catalinbread delays, but after owning 3 versions of the DLS,2 versions of the WIIO, and the CB30, have concluded IME that their amp in a box pedals don't work for me. Obviously, they do for many others, but the AMT offerrings give you something that theirs don't, a realistic clean tone. The others all start at slightly dirty and go from there.
Not at all a jab at Catalinbread, they make great stuff, NOTHING has come even close to their Belle Epoch and Echorec pedals for me in a live context. I just need an amp in a box pedal to start clean, and gradually increase gain/drive similarly to the amp it's targeted to nailing.
 
Messages
358
I love Catalinbread delays, but after owning 3 versions of the DLS,2 versions of the WIIO, and the CB30, have concluded IME that their amp in a box pedals don't work for me. Obviously, they do for many others, but the AMT offerrings give you something that theirs don't, a realistic clean tone. The others all start at slightly dirty and go from there.

That's my worry. I can't find a demo where it looks like they do any kind of clean-ish thing at all. I fear that putting a muff in front of the SFT would make it muddy and unintelligible, or I'd have to back off the volume to such an extent that my sound would disappear entirely.

The preamps look a little pricey for what I need right now. I'm a hobbyist and occasional gigger; I don't make my income from music. Cbread seemed a cost-effective solution, but I'll look much more closely at those AMT pedals. Thanks for the tip!
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
Member "Minty901" can give you the most extensive breakdown of how well these AMT pedals work that I've found anywhere.
 
Messages
358
AMT F-1 for Fender Twin
AMT V-1 for Vox.
Both these pedals work great as your last in line pedal you run everything else into before the amp. Switchable cab sim, effects loop, and side chain loop, along with excellent tone controls, really give you most bang for the buck used between $80-110.
I own both, really great witn any amp or power amp I've tried.
I love Catalinbread delays, but after owning 3 versions of the DLS,2 versions of the WIIO, and the CB30, have concluded IME that their amp in a box pedals don't work for me. Obviously, they do for many others, but the AMT offerrings give you something that theirs don't, a realistic clean tone. The others all start at slightly dirty and go from there.
Not at all a jab at Catalinbread, they make great stuff, NOTHING has come even close to their Belle Epoch and Echorec pedals for me in a live context. I just need an amp in a box pedal to start clean, and gradually increase gain/drive similarly to the amp it's targeted to nailing.
How well do those AMT pedals take dirt going into them? Specifically Muff style and a Rat would be the primary two. That's the biggest thing that will discriminate between pedals for me. Maybe preamp is the way to go, I'd just like to avoid the steep price tag if I can.
 

StormJH1

Member
Messages
1,243
That's my worry. I can't find a demo where it looks like they do any kind of clean-ish thing at all. I fear that putting a muff in front of the SFT would make it muddy and unintelligible, or I'd have to back off the volume to such an extent that my sound would disappear entirely.

The preamps look a little pricey for what I need right now. I'm a hobbyist and occasional gigger; I don't make my income from music. Cbread seemed a cost-effective solution, but I'll look much more closely at those AMT pedals. Thanks for the tip!

I kind of want to check out the AMT pedals, as well - they seem to be reasonably priced, though I have no idea where to start with them, and the whole "foundation pedal" approach (as opposed to a true pre-amp/direct box like the Tech21 stuff) is something that can be generally hit or miss.

There's a lot of good will towards Catalinbread in these parts, and most of it fully deserved. But I just did not have good luck with the Dirty Little Secret or the CB30. I think the key to them is really having a big, powerful amp with clean, full-bodied headroom to run into. (In that sense, your proposed solution of pedal -> Quilter -> cab might be just the ideal setup for one). I ran them into smaller combos (tube, hybrid, and solid state) and just had poor results. Not nearly the low end I expected, and they got dirty very quickly (as others have noted).

But I think that's kind of the point of them, and why they are called "foundation overdrives". CB is hardly the only company to take that approach - a lot of the JHS amp-in-a-box stuff was really envisioned to convey a driven sound for the subject amplifier. Their Twin Twelve v.1 (which I bought and generally love) is more or less an overdrive pedal. They re-did it a year later as a v.2 and basically added a footswitchable clean 1484 channel to it (d'oh!). My argument has always been that you're only an "amp-in-a-box" pedal if you can do some range of clean-to-dirty when fed into a flat, clean amp.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
The AMT pedals take dirt and fuzz just fine. Better than both the Liverpool and Leeds Tech 21 pedals I had, and cross over from bedroom to live better than most pedals of any kind that I've tried.
I was seriously bummed a few weeks ago that I didn't have my F-1 with me on a 2 week European tour where I had to use an Orange Rockerverb 100 full stack every night as the backline. Clean channel on that amp had all the warts and tone of plugging your guitar straight into a mixer.
To give the Orange the benefit of the doubt, the amps were set really low and would have sounded better turned up a little bit, but that's the curse of FOH and House PAs these days, and why attenuattors are so popular.
Anyways, the F-1 used to be on my fly board in the sidechain loop of my Amptweaker Big Rock Pro, so I could have a nice clean channel at any stage volume and/or to plug into the effects return of backlined festival amps(usually JCM900s) that had intermittent input jacks fron people stepping on their cables and/or preamp tubes going microphonic or crackling.
Never again, F-1 will be in my bag everytime I have to fly from now on to be sure the only thing that will suck is my playing-haha
 
Messages
358
Thanks for the insights!

I'm currently overseas with the US military, so I can't really try any of these out. I can however look up every Youtube demo for all of these and obsess over the specs for the next few months! The AMT stuff looks like it's pretty cool, can't believe I'd never heard of them (they're Czech? or Russian?) I do think that their Vox in a box pedal is discontinued (as is the Cbread, maybe they were hit by the same parts shortage?) I have a local shop when I'm home where I can try all the Cbread foundations. As for the AMTs, those will have to be ordered online so I'm a little more apprehensive but it's still definitely an option I'm weighing.

Floor is still open for other suggestions/input if anyone has any. I'll be here a while without a whole hell of a lot to do besides work and obsess over all the gear purchases I'll make when I get home.
 

pup tentacle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,392
Check out the Kingsley tube preamp pedals as well. That Pedal Show features them in a couple shows... the Constable, (plexi preamp) Maiden (2 versions, Fender BF or Dumble preamp), and Juggler ("American" style preamp). I may have forgotten a couple models.
 
Messages
358
Here's my latest thought: AMT V1 AND a Cbread SFT; switchable with Boss LS2. Effectively I get the cleanish Vox sound I want, the dirty Ampeg sounds, and I bypass the issue of how well they take dirt as I just use the SFT for dirt.

Guitar -> Tuner -> Ibanez CF7 Chorus/Flange -> SD Pickup Booster (old one) -> Rat II -> Muff (Cbread Manx Loaghtan) -> Boss LS2 ->(A) AMT V1; (B) Cbread SFT (18V) -> TC FBx4 -> TC HoF -> Quilter Tone Block and either 2x12" or 1x12" cab w/Greenback Celestion V30s.
 
Last edited:

la noise

Member
Messages
21,156
Thanks for the insights!

I'm currently overseas with the US military, so I can't really try any of these out. I can however look up every Youtube demo for all of these and obsess over the specs for the next few months! The AMT stuff looks like it's pretty cool, can't believe I'd never heard of them (they're Czech? or Russian?) I do think that their Vox in a box pedal is discontinued (as is the Cbread, maybe they were hit by the same parts shortage?) I have a local shop when I'm home where I can try all the Cbread foundations. As for the AMTs, those will have to be ordered online so I'm a little more apprehensive but it's still definitely an option I'm weighing.

Floor is still open for other suggestions/input if anyone has any. I'll be here a while without a whole hell of a lot to do besides work and obsess over all the gear purchases I'll make when I get home.

Thank you for your service!! :aok :beer :)
 

AgusAD

Member
Messages
325
Just a suggestion: Broaden your search with the Tech21 Character pedals. Look out for the Leeds and the Blonde.
 

minty901

Member
Messages
2,124
Here's my latest thought: AMT V1 AND a Cbread SFT; switchable with Boss LS2. Effectively I get the cleanish Vox sound I want, the dirty Ampeg sounds, and I bypass the issue of how well they take dirt as I just use the SFT for dirt.

Guitar -> Tuner -> Ibanez CF7 Chorus/Flange -> SD Pickup Booster (old one) -> Rat II -> Muff (Cbread Manx Loaghtan) -> Boss LS2 ->(A) AMT V1; (B) Cbread SFT (18V) -> TC FBx4 -> TC HoF -> Quilter Tone Block and either 2x12" or 1x12" cab w/Greenback Celestion V30s.
hey i just found this thread. you dont even need the boss ls2, thats the beauty of the amt v1! it has a channel switching loop built into the pedal. put the cbread sft in the amt v1's channel loop (the loop on the left side of the pedal) then whenever you switch the amt v1 off, it swaps over to the cbread sft, bypassing the amt v1's preamp section. its designed to give you the flexibility of two channel amps by letting you switch between preamp pedals with the press of a single switch.

also since youd be going into TC pedals after the preamp, make sure you go out of the amt v1's effects send (top-right jack), NOT the output (bottom-left jack). the output jack boosts your volume massively (when CAB sim is switched off anyway, which i guess yours would be since youre going into speakers) and will clip your TC pedals, and even turning down the master knob wont help as the massive boost will already have done the damage of bringing up your noise floor. so go out of the effects send jack of the amt v1. you dont need to go back into the effects return, just use the effects send as though its your output. this gets you the cleanest signal with a good signal-noise ratio. you lose all use of the master knob entirely but that doesnt matter, you dont need it as you have level. the effects send comes after the channel switch loop.
 

minty901

Member
Messages
2,124
theres somebody on TGP who has compared the AMT V1 preamp with an actual Vox AC30 preamp and said they sound literally identical. cant remember his username though, but he and one or two others on this board are also great people to talk to about the AMT pedals. one dude has almost the entire AMT preamp line. do a search for amt and im sure youd find lots of good info.
 
Messages
358
theres somebody on TGP who has compared the AMT V1 preamp with an actual Vox AC30 preamp and said they sound literally identical. cant remember his username though, but he and one or two others on this board are also great people to talk to about the AMT pedals. one dude has almost the entire AMT preamp line. do a search for amt and im sure youd find lots of good info.
I found him. Checked out his YouTube channel, good stuff! I think these AMT preamps are the way to go over the Cbread if I plug the signal into the amp's effects loop return. Quilter Tone Block is easy enough to dial in a flat EQ though. I also didn't know about the channel switching feature, so that's cool too! Saves me the expense of picking up a Boss LS2 (though I've been itching for one for a while now).
 




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