When most musicians hear the name Seymour Duncan, they most likely think of great pickups. And while that part of Duncan's business remains the core of their brand, the company has quietly amassed an impressive lineup of fantastic effects pedals as well. From the 805 Overdrive to the Dirty Deed Distortion, Duncan's effects display the same amount of quality and construction found in their pickups and usually offer a unique take on the concept. First announced at this year's Winter NAMM, Duncan's Catalina Chorus pedal has created a good deal a buzz despite its short time on the market. We take a closer look at the Catalina to help you decide if this new pedal deserves a spot on your board.
Like the rest of Duncan’s pedals, the Catalina imbues a sense of high quality as soon as you take it out of the box. The paint job is pristine, the build is tough and solid, the controls feel top-tier – in short, it’s a very well-constructed pedal.
As far as controls and settings go, the Catalina features plenty of them. There are knobs for Mix (which can go from silent to unity to a 3dB boost for the wet signal), Depth, Delay and Rate along with a Tone setting control for controlling the warmth or clarity of the wet signal.
Between the Depth and Rate knobs, you'll find a Dynamic Expression toggle switch that makes the effect follow along with the dynamics of your playing. While Hard Mode will increase the depth of the chorus effect as you play with more intensity, Soft Mode allows you to receive more of the effect the lighter you play. You can control the sensitivity either mode by using the Threshold control above the toggle switch.
If you just want to use the Catalina like a traditional chorus pedal, you could easily disengage the Dynamic Expression feature by pressing the Expression footswitch at the bottom. Other features include stereo outputs and True Bypass.
Thanks to the Catalina’s array of controls and features, the possible sounds you can crank out with this single pedal is downright impressive. And I’m not talking about a slight variation in the depth or rate either, but highly versatile sounds that cover everything from Nirvana-like underwater twittering to Cure-like swirling sound with a ton of top end.
While the number of settings might seem daunting at first, chorus veterans should have little trouble getting acclimated to the new features while brand new players will get the hang of it after a couple of hours of experimenting with each setting.
The Delay knob can be set to anywhere between 6 to 60ms, allowing for a variety of different effects. Depth and Rate knobs control the modulation of the delay time, creating everything from an intricate sparkle to ambient chaos. You can also use the Catalina's Tone knob to attenuate the effect's high end, allowing it to intensify either its warmth or its shimmer.
And with the Dynamic Expression toggle engaged, it will give your playing another level of atmosphere and personality that simply can't be found on many other chorus pedals.
Whether you’re looking for a chorus pedal that can give you something subtle and more traditional or an effect that is bold and unique – or anything in between – the Catalina Chorus delivers. Check out the video below to hear the Catalina in action for yourself!
There are players out there that like their chorus pedals that create sounds that are subtle, familiar and traditional. Then there are those on the opposite side that wants a chorus pedal that offers something different, something bold and unique. Whether you fall into the first or second category, the Catalina can deliver as it has been tailor made to merge the best of both worlds. With a fully analog character and an unprecedented level of control, you have the ability to create classic chorus tones or out of this world sounds in one high-quality pedal. All in all, it's a definite winner in our book!
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