The latest trend among boutique builders seems to be to release… lines of pedals, a bunch at a time! Following (probably) JHS’s lead, the Catalinbread Elements is a new line of rather inexpensive yet hand-made one-knob pedals comprising – for now – three devices: Fuzz, Distortion and Overdrive.
While we’ll cover each pedal separately, for now check out the videos below and – if you’d like a pitch about each of these babies, check out the manufacturer’s notes here.
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Catalinbread Elements, Builder’s Notes
We are excited to Introduce the Catalinbread Elements, a new line of pedals for the minimalist. Hand-made in Portland,OR with quality through-hole components. We distilled the best sounds of Overdrive, Fuzz, and Distortion into three simple one-knob pedals. The idea is to just plug in a Catalinbread Elements pedal and without any fuss, your tone is dialed, on any amp with any guitar.
Few things in life can compare to plugging in a guitar and playing your go-to riff on a gear setup that just works. Regardless of skill level or technical chops, or sheer amount of gear, this is a feeling whose greatness is 100 percent agreed upon. Whether you have a rig with two amps, 30 pedals or just one, there is something to be said about turning on and rocking without having to twiddle hundreds of knobs every time.
While we can’t streamline the amp setup process for you or take the guesswork out of your existing pedals, we can give you the next best thing: a series of stompboxes that have just one knob for a streamlined setup process, giving you that feeling of satisfaction each and every time you plug in. However, don’t be fooled by the simplicity; each circuit was designed and internally set to the sweet spot so you only have to worry about the volume level, just bring your amp and guitar.
Each Elements pedal is designed to work with a variety of amps of all costs and wattages, ensuring compatibility with whatever you’re rocking. Like the rest of our pedals, each Elements device is hand-built right here in our shop using the same high-quality through-hole parts as everything else. Whether you’ve been playing for three months or thirty years, the Elements was designed for those that care about tone and don’t care to read an entire manual to get the show on the road.
Fewer things are more akin to a rite of passage in the world of electric guitar than playing one’s first fuzz pedal. More often than not, players partaking in this ritual emerge on the other side a full-blown fuzz addict. We encourage this. One thing we do not encourage is letting this experience be sullied by playing into a fuzz that is anything less than superb. This is where the Elements Fuzz comes in.
Whether you’re a complete fuzz novice or a well-seasoned fuzz freak, the Elements Fuzz is a perfectly balanced silicon fuzz circuit (hey, even Hendrix preferred silicon!). Most folks in the know keep the fuzz knob cranked and use their guitar’s volume to tame the fuzz level at will, and we’ve taken the liberty of internally maxing that control for you; just turn on and rock!
All the way back when electric amplification was invented, what we now know as “overdrive” was an unwanted byproduct of low-headroom amplifiers. Despite giving you the freedom to do so, product manuals sternly instructed against turning the amp’s volume knob up past a certain level, lest the amp distort. Amp manufacturers released bigger and bigger amps to allow for more volume without distortion.
Eventually, everyone came to their senses and realized that amp overdrive was not only desirable, but cool. The only problem was that you had to… y’know, turn your amp up to ear splitting levels. This is where the Elements Overdrive comes in. Our one-knob overdrive is internally fixed to sit right in the mix, giving you amp-like breakup regardless of where the volume is set. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense rock machine, the Elements Overdrive delivers regardless of skill level.
Everyone remembers this scenario: You’re 14, and no matter what you do, you just can’t muster up convincing hard rock tones out of your tinny practice amp. You’ve pretty much tried every last trick you’ve heard from your friends and classmates that doesn’t involve money, until that fateful day that someone whispers that familiar mantra in your ear. “Something something… distortion pedal.”
Your hair stands up as you realize that this is the ticket to the big leagues. You get ahold of one of these mythical creatures and discover that it’s still rather lackluster. The Elements Distortion seeks to avoid this moment, giving you a no-nonsense thick and meaty distortion that you can feel in your gut and satisfy the rabid hunger within you. With just one solitary volume control, you can get burly crunch at low volumes or dime it and use your guitar’s volume control to keep the action even.