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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb

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RaistMagus wrote:

I'm about to order a Topanga and a Belle Epoch, could you tell me some things about the 9v vs 18v power? I currently use a 1SPOT and I'd really like to refrain from buying a $200 power unit. Would an average 18v power supply bought from the local electronics store do the job? Could I daisy-chain both Catalinbread pedals on one such power supply unit? Could I buy one more 1SPOT and use one outlet of each into one power plug and get 18v?

I am currently daisy chaining the Belle Epoch and Topanga on this Dunlop 1A adapter: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ECB004/

I'm using a 1 Spot brand 5 way cable along with it: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1SpotMC5/

So far, no issues as all. The Belle Epoch draws 61mA, and Topanga is 80mA. So you're not even using 20% of the total capacity of that Dunlop power adapter. Have fun, the Belle and Topanga sound great together.

Last edited: Apr 16, 2014 13:47:12

SanchoPansen wrote:

RaistMagus wrote:

could you tell me some things about the 9v vs 18v power?

I don't own the Topanga, but all pedals that 'could' be run at 18V 'should' be run at 18V, IMHO. You get more headroom and the pedals seem to work smoother. I doubt that there is a noticable difference at low volume settings, but as soon as you are at live volume in a band setup you will be thankful for the more powerful tone.

RaistMagus wrote:

Would an average 18v power supply bought from the local electronics store do the job?

Yes, but ensure they supply enough mA for your pedal. Also, these electronic store power supplies sometimes don't have a proper isolation, as they are not supposed to be used with audio devices. You might get some interferences/humming.

RaistMagus wrote:

Could I daisy-chain both Catalinbread pedals on one such power supply unit?

Yes, if the power supply has enough mA for both units. Again, this might cause interference problems.

RaistMagus wrote:

Could I buy one more 1SPOT and use one outlet of each into one power plug and get 18v?

This is what you do with VoodooLab power supplies. You simply combine 2 outlets to one with a Y cable to get the power doubled. I do not know if this applies for the 1-spot supplies as well...and I wouldn' t try it, as it could fry the pedal Wink

dont confuse Voltage and Current draw with an adaptor ..and do note that the voodoolabs has isolated power supply from each outlet.. a daisy chain on a onespot or godlyke is going to leak and signal noise is going to multiply. The topanga is going to operate at a premium if its not starved and 18volts is superb for it. 9volts is lame

http://www.thenocturnebrain.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nocturne-Brain-Preamp-Zombies/240721872969

TVTheWiredTurtle wrote:

dont confuse Voltage and Current draw with an adaptor ..and do note that the voodoolabs has isolated power supply from each outlet.. a daisy chain on a onespot or godlyke is going to leak and signal noise is going to multiply. The topanga is going to operate at a premium if its not starved and 18volts is superb for it. 9volts is lame

Yup, but the adaptor only provides 30mA of output. Here's what the website says:

Tech Spec
Model Diago PS08 18V Adaptor
Input 9V DC Centre Negative
Output 18V DC Centre Negative, 30mA Max

I have never seen such an adaptor before tbh, but it might work like a step up transformer. As far as I see it, you simply plug it on to the tip of any 9V adaptor and it magically provides a level up to 18V (with a max current draw of 30mA).
You're absolutely right about daisy chaining. Try to avaoid cheap wallwarts and daisy chains. It might work well in your environment at home or your practice room, but as soon as you get to a gig it could spoil the whole evening. Especially outdoor gigs where the power is supplied via generators.

The Hicadoolas

SanchoPansen wrote:

Tech Spec
Model Diago PS08 18V Adaptor
Input 9V DC Centre Negative
Output 18V DC Centre Negative, 30mA Max

I have never seen such an adaptor before tbh, but it might work like a step up transformer. As far as I see it, you simply plug it on to the tip of any 9V adaptor and it magically provides a level up to 18V (with a max current draw of 30mA).

Looks like a charge pump, i.e. a simple circuit to double voltage. These are usually very limited in current capacity. Some boutique effect makers include such a circuit inside their pedals.

If you have a thrift shop nearby look for 18v laptop PSUs/chargers. They are usually well filtered and regulated, have a high current capacity and are equipped with a barrel plug. Make sure the voltage is right.

Old punks never die... They just become surf rockers.

LeeVanCleef wrote:

SanchoPansen wrote:

Tech Spec
Model Diago PS08 18V Adaptor
Input 9V DC Centre Negative
Output 18V DC Centre Negative, 30mA Max

I have never seen such an adaptor before tbh, but it might work like a step up transformer. As far as I see it, you simply plug it on to the tip of any 9V adaptor and it magically provides a level up to 18V (with a max current draw of 30mA).

Looks like a charge pump, i.e. a simple circuit to double voltage. These are usually very limited in current capacity. Some boutique effect makers include such a circuit inside their pedals.

If you have a thrift shop nearby look for 18v laptop PSUs/chargers. They are usually well filtered and regulated, have a high current capacity and are equipped with a barrel plug. Make sure the voltage is right.

Dooohh!
image

???? why not just do it proper and get an audio filtered power supply for the pedal.
$9 and has euro adap plug too boot!

image

http://www.amazon.com/HQRP-Adapter-18-Volt-93600890017-Replacement/dp/B00GSUX5CQ/ref=pd_sim_sbs_MI_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=1FEY5Y78AGF2XYQWFS86

http://www.thenocturnebrain.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nocturne-Brain-Preamp-Zombies/240721872969

Thanks, I'll pass. I have 2 VoodooLabs PP2+ and I really dislike wall-warts.
buzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The Hicadoolas

One power supply I really like for a mix of 9v and 18v pedals is the Gator G-Bus-8. It has 3x 18v outs and 8x 9v outs, total of 1700 mah. I use it to power a Belle Epoch, Echorec and a ToneCzar tremolo at 18v and then other 9v pedals. Works really well and seems to be very quiet. You have to get 2 extra 18v cables from them since the 18v outs have a different outlet than the 9v.

http://www.gatorcases.com/p/16108-1004/g-bus-8-us

this is what i use for power, it gives you an 18v and 12v option

http://www.amazon.com/JOYOS-IMPROVED-JP-02-SUPPLY-OPTIONS/dp/B0097WDJZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398103555&sr=8-1&keywords=joyo+power

http://dinosaurghost.bandcamp.com/
http://sixtycyclehum.podbean.com

According to this database that this guy did (don't know how accurate or updated it is), both the Joyo (verified elsewhere too) and the Gator have un-isolated outputs. Basically a glorified breakout box, which IMO is not worth the glorified price. Obviosly it works well for some, just saying.
If buying, I'd go cheap and simple PS and chain OR one of the truly isolated options, like Cioks.

image

Insect Surfers
The Tikiyaki Orchestra
Surfer Joe
Fiberglass Jungle - Surf Radio

Well, but really, how long can a discussion on the merits of a reverb pedal say on track? An eight page discussion of a pedal?

Last edited: Apr 21, 2014 17:24:10

Tuck wrote:

Well, but really, how long can a discussion on the merits of a reverb pedal say on track? An eight page discussion of a pedal?

We obviously have a lot more work to do to beat the redundancy of the FRV-1 threads. Dead Reverb

DreadInBabylon wrote:

According to this database that this guy did (don't know how accurate or updated it is), both the Joyo (verified elsewhere too) and the Gator have un-isolated outputs. Basically a glorified breakout box, which IMO is not worth the glorified price. Obviosly it works well for some, just saying.
If buying, I'd go cheap and simple PS and chain OR one of the truly isolated options, like Cioks.

A PS and chain won't give you the 18v options. And the Cioks is expensive.
The Gator is a fairly inexpensive option that has a flexibility. It's been super quiet for me, so I haven't felt the need to get anything else.

+1 on both the Topanga Reverb and the Gator PS. I'm using that combo (the Gator for over five years) and it's working great. BTW, my Gator is almost maxed out on outputs (dig and analog pedals), the 18v outs are not isolated from each other, but are from the 9v outs, which are individually filtered and well-regulated. It's def more than a glorified breakout box - I know, I've been inside it. And IMO, I consider 18v operation of the Topanga more than just an option - it makes a whole lot of difference and I won't run mine on 9v after trying it.

Last edited: Apr 22, 2014 00:58:11

What you need is, I think, and now I am not kidding, as I was above, ... what you need is a reverb pedal FAQ setting out the pros and cons (both real) of pedals, discussing use and merits, linking in samples (preferably the same signal piped through different pedals and settings. If this isn't the community that can do this, what is?

Last edited: Apr 22, 2014 01:39:28

Hey Tuck, I think this is the thread. We just need fill it with content... Big Grin
Ill try to start (all IMHO and naturally debatable...)

FAQ:
Q: What's a better reverb pedal for Surf guitar, Boss FRV-1 or Catalinbread Topanga?
A: Catalinbread Topanga.

Q: Do I still need a real tube unit?
A: If you've already asked, then yes.

FRV-1 pros: Dead Reverb
- Some find that the FRV-1 cuts better at a live mix since it has more pronounced drip and EQ profile;
- Quiet Boss switching;
- Cheaper;
- has Fender logo Shocked
?
?

FRV-1 cons:
- The whole signal gets digitized;
- The buffers suck;
- Harsh and one-dimensional, very trebly, Not much usable range;
- Was modeled from the Fender Reissue!
- Tiring to play for a long time, lacks drama.

Topanga pros: image
- Direct signal has clean undigitized path;
- Selectalble quality buffer (that can boost)/ true bypass;
- Very sensitive to playing dynamics;
- A lot of versatility and range, 100% wet mix, sel. modulation;
- Was modeled from a vintage unit;
- Sweet sounding, very compelling, fun fun fun.

Topanga cons:
- Drip could be stronger (EQ before or after it could probably settle any stage/band presence issues);
- Can be easily clipped (to solve: watch the Dwell pot, use 18V);
- Relatively expensive;

(using AVRI Jazzmaster to Showman '65 with 15" Weber Chicago in Tone-Ring)

Played both, passive/active A\B and Y, mixed to different channels, with many different settings and routing.
Alone, when matching the sounds as close as possible, the Topanga kills.
I tried just having the Boss add something, but even together (parallel), whenever the Boss is on even slightly, it just mushes the sound more, no added value. Bad digital is an abomination.
I'm selling the FRV-1, and when a better digital pedal comes out, I'll sell the Topanga, it's the nature of these toys.

I'm not setup now to provide sound clips that will do justice, perhaps someone can fill in.

Last edited: Apr 22, 2014 05:22:30

mike_fried wrote:

... the 18v outs are not isolated from each other, but are from the 9v outs, which are individually filtered and well-regulated. It's def more than a glorified breakout box

I stand corrected sir.

DreadInBabylon wrote:

Topanga cons:
- Drip could be stronger (EQ before or after it could probably settle any stage/band presence issues);
- Can be easily clipped (to solve: watch the Dwell pot, use 18V);

That's the only shortcoming that I've come across too. It just doesn't quite have that "drip" that's desired and used with great effect for some surf purists. But for me, while I like that sounds, it's such a specific one to use effectively (high settings, heavy, pal-mute playing etc) I don't mind at all. In fact, the result is the Topanga sounds a little smoother for more general usage aside from OTT surf.

It's a good start. Brian - hook this man up? It needs a few identifiers maybe so people can track versions of the pedals. I'll be there are some. There may be some competitors worth mentioning, and I think it needs the standard discussion of the pros and cons of pedals vs. tanks. And, of course, the train pic for the heading.

Competitors - none Big Grin

But for what it's worth...

Strymon Flint and the Hardwire RV-7 have been my previous favourites, and the reverb on the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus is pretty good for those just needing something really, really simple. Subdecay Spring Theory is worth a mention to if the user wants an additional (uniquely voiced) Room reverb for shoe-gaze/ambient stuff.

IRRC the FRV-1 does the spring 'bounce' the best, but that's about all it does well.

"Belton Brick" pedals like the Solid Gold Surf Rider, Earthquaker Ghost Echo are also great for a spring-like feel, and the controls interact like a tanks do, but the decay has a noticeably 'grainy' sound to it instead of a 'splash/bounce', which might not be ideal for certain surf tunes.

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