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Changes at Catalinbread

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by -Hawk-, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    I've been following the rumor train about the state of Catalinbread over at TGP for a few months because they are one of my favorite pedal companies. Seems like there was some de facto confirmation of a couple rumors based on this video from NAMM.



    It was just two years ago that they lost their founder in a tragic accident.

    Now it appears Howard Gee, their media face and product designer, is gone. Seems like they came to NAMM without anything new (the preamp sort of qualifies) and with a crew that may not have been ready to pick up where Howard left off in terms of product knowledge and demonstrations.

    I am making the thread not to slag the company, but to express some disappointment. What always drew me to Catalinbread was that they always had unique offerings that were really useful, and Gee's unique perspective was a big part of that. In addition, their YouTube channel was unparalleled when it came to education on how to get the most out of their products.

    Wish him the best and wish the company the best, but I have to wonder if they'll be able to capture that same magic again.
     
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  2. Shnook

    Shnook Tele-Meister

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    Considering Howard and some of the others had been with Catalinbread pretty much from the beginning, I think it's a huge loss not only for the company but their customers as well. While we can only go on rumors and speculation right now, from what I've heard 'through the grapevine' is that just about all the employees are gone now. Why hasn't anyone come forward to confirm? Because lawyers... Definitely not a happy situation.

    The estate was settled leaving Nic's mom the company. Apparently she and the others couldn't settle on reasonable terms and she now owns a pedal company without the folks who worked alongside her son to make it the success it was. A shame as I'm a big fan of many of their pedals. I certainly won't be buying any more Catalinbread pedals. The whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    I'm sure I'll end up buying more of their stuff, even if it's just older models. There are still a handful on my list to try out.

    Still, I think they need a pretty bold step forward to maintain their image (in my mind) as a cutting edge company.
     
  4. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Buy them while you can. I think they will close sooner or later.
    I'd love to see Howard on a different company. He also knew how to make great pedal demos and get great sounds out of that Princeton Reverb RI!
     
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  5. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    Bummer. I only have the Belle Epoch but is basically always on.
     
  6. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    That's a damn shame. I've only just bought a few pedals but my "Zero Point" flanger was the best I tried when I was auditioning them.

    I hope they find a way to resolve any situations and remain on track as they certainly have a very good reputation with the retailers I've visited.
     
  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    A darn shame. Their pedals changed the whole way I look at pedals and my own sounds. I knew that when the founder was suddenly killed in an accident, that was going to be difficult for the company to recover from. If Howard Gee left ... well, that's the end of a least what CB was. I'm pretty well done with my pedalboard, but have always wanted to try a few more of theirs more than any other company. Yeah, doggone it, I'm just a big fan with a deflated heart from hearing this.:(:( I wish I had the budget right now to pick up a few more, just to have around when I wanted to experiment.:cry:
     
  8. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Shame. Hopefully they can continue, even if not in the same class as it started. I have 3 CB pedals, and really it should be 4 (should swap my boss FRV reverb for a Topanga). I'm not much of a pedal guy (took me 10 years to get started with them and still it's based around delay/reverb/trem), but the CB pedals have always interested me.

    Wonder if original pedals will go up in price over the next couple of years.
     
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  9. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Damned shame. I already have a Belle Epoch and the damned-near unspellable Pareidolia, and there are a handful of their pedals like the Katzenkönig and the Echorec that are on my radar... hearing this, it might be a good idea to get them sooner than later.
     
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  10. maggieo

    maggieo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I love my Belle Epoch and Echorec. I've always wanted to try a DLS, but I bet they'll be unobtanium now.
     
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  11. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just watched that video from NAMM above... ohh, it's sad when the interviewer has to lead you through your own product demo.
     
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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Well that blows. I have an Echorec and Topanga, not letting those go, especially now.
     
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  13. Deafen

    Deafen Tele-Meister

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    Not sure if it's kosher to do this, but I just listed a Mk II on the classifieds here.
     
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  14. Deafen

    Deafen Tele-Meister

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    I've only ever had a couple CB pedals, but I love 'em. My pepto-pink DLS was the core of my rig until I moved to the Helix. Killer service, too - it started making bad noises, I shipped it off to them, and they sent it back having basically rebuilt the whole thing.
     
  15. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    Ugggg....that video was painful to watch! I admire what the founder was able to build: the Belle Epoch is one of THE most revered delay pedals ever, wouldn't you say? I'm surprised the mom and Howard weren't able to come to terms, but money often divides family and friends.
     
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  16. sclitheroe

    sclitheroe Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

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    I followed Howard on Instagram, and from some of his posts, and I think he was completely burnt out. There was one post in particular that I felt like the writing was probably on the wall.

    I think the combination of the tragedy, the new Belle Epoch Deluxe (which I think was a _ton_ of hard work to pull off, and took more out of the folks at CB than they showed on social media), and possible legal wrangling/uncertainty about the company's future would be enough to do in anyone.

    At some level too, I believe guys like Howard are artists as much as engineers, and they put a lot of soul and creativity into their product, and I wonder if the well of creativity just dried up and it was time to channel that creativity in another direction - I'm not sure it's much different than being in a band and running out of ideas to fill albums with, and having to move on to new experiences to channel that inner wellspring.

    -Scott
     
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  17. Shnook

    Shnook Tele-Meister

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    I think Howard may also be drained after the company he worked so hard for was put into the hands of someone who apparently doesn't appreciate his hard work and dedication to the company. With him posting so many acoustic guitar videos on IG I get the feeling he's moving on from pedals for now.
     
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  18. Spaceboy

    Spaceboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I've notice more acoustic focus from Howard on IG, but I honestly didn't know until recently that he left Catalinbread. That makes so much more sense now. He was such an exuberant personality and a creative designer. I hope he finds greener grasses somewhere if/when he's ready to do something new. I have owned a handful of their pedals, none at the moment though. I might have to grab the BE Deluxe.
     
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  19. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been interested in trying the Katzenkönig. Or building one, they are very simple. Love Love Love my Echorec[/QUOTE]
     
  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    As the news of this sinks in today, it got me thinking. The SFT is one I should probably get and the Adineko is one I've always wanted to try. I'm really not a delay player, but I know that I should probably keep my BE just in case.
     
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