You’ve heard the rumors: Some of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest tones were achieved without pedals. Not so fast! While that’s technically true, some of the most venerable guitar gods relied on an old tape echo unit to help achieve their legendary tones. This unit is the Maestro Echoplex EP-3. While some guitarists made great use of its echo effect, others dragged one to every gig just for its magical preamp. This preamp circuit was wired always-on, and so even those using it as an echo effect received significant tonal enhancements from the preamp circuit as well. Everyone from Eddie Van Halen to East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys relied on the EP-3 preamp to take their sound to previously unreachable heights. And now you can also, with our Epoch Boost.
Balance: Because the "Early" EP-3 models total less than 500 units, it's very likely that most people have never experienced the sweep of this control, but here goes. Instead of being a standard volume control, the Balance control pans between two different signal paths: the combination of the preamp and the mixer circuit, and something similar but different. The result is a volume control on the first half, and a rudimentary frequency enhancement on the second half. Anything above noon on the Balance control will gently push different frequency bands, with the most perceived loudness halfway between 2 and 3 o'clock. Think of it as a pickup selector control or the strangest EQ knob of all time.
Boost: While the Balance knob and accompanying circuitry gives you the magic, the Boost control takes the versatility to the next level. When set all the way counterclockwise, the signal is at unity gain (plus wherever the Balance knob is set); there is no boost happening. As you roll it up, the Boost control sets the gain level of the preamp, adding a ton of sparkle and volume which can shake hands with the most stubborn of amps. Set your amp right on the verge of breakup, set the Boost to taste and watch even the most sterile rig spring to life.
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