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Catalinbread makes shoegazers’ dreams come true with the FX40 Soft Focus Reverb

Catalinbread FX40 Soft Focus Reverb
(Image credit: Catalinbread)

Catalinbread has announced the FX40 Soft Focus Reverb, a new reverb pedal that brings the sound of the cult shoegaze-favored Yamaha FX500 rack unit to the floor.

Named after the FX500’s patch 40, aka Soft Focus – most prominently heard on Slowdive’s 1993 classic Souvlaki – Catalinbread’s effort is in essence a dreamy plate reverb, split into three paths.

Path one is a multi-voiced chorus, two adds an octave-up for shimmery goodness, while the third path is just the plate reverb.

Knobs are onboard to adjust Mod (chorus) and Symphony (octave-up), while Verb (plate decay), Mix and Vol round out the control set.

Catalinbread notes that while the pedal is not an exact recreation of the original Yamaha patch, it was developed after extensive A/Bing with their own FX500.

Crucially, the company has added a mix control, sorted out the original’s preamp and installed superior bypass circuitry. The original’s digital delay has also been removed in order to focus purely on providing ethereal reverb sounds.

Shoegazers are increasingly spoiled for choice when it comes to reverbs – earlier this year, Walrus Audio launched the Lore Reverse Soundscape Generator, while the Keeley Loomer remains the go-to all-in-one for My Bloody Valentine textures. Catalinbread’s offering might just have the simplicity and versatility to win over a wider range of guitarists, however.

The FX40 Soft Focus Reverb is available now for $209 – head over to Catalinbread (opens in new tab) for more.

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).