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 Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?

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tvthewiredturtle

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PostSubject: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:40 pm

picture is up... I have yet to plug in.
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:04 pm

Looking forward to your review, but after watching the demo vids, and reading all the user reviews, I have a veeeeery good feeling about this one. Especially since we now have the Nocturne to take care of the preamp duties, all we need is the right tape sim... the VMSD was good, but I'm betting the Strymon is going to be pure gold.

Working out a trade right now with somebody in Puerto Rico, trading my VMSD for an El Cap.
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:16 pm

ruger9 wrote:
Looking forward to your review, but after watching the demo vids, and reading all the user reviews, I have a veeeeery good feeling about this one. Especially since we now have the Nocturne to take care of the preamp duties, all we need is the right tape sim... the VMSD was good, but I'm betting the Strymon is going to be pure gold.

Working out a trade right now with somebody in Puerto Rico, trading my VMSD for an El Cap.

been playing my strat all this time into it and found that turning the secondary control
"tape Bias" gives a full super clean sound.. WOW this is so not leaving my
board. (unless santa is naughty and there is no xmas bonus)
Gonna play the tele now with the Tim and nocturne in front
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:38 pm

Hey Tavo,

Sweet! What's that toggle switch doin on your Nocturne? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:50 pm

You guys (TV & Ruger) showed us a few Echo pedals in the past, aren`t you.
There was one black pedal a few month ago. Is this not good?

Anyway this Strymon looks interesting. Would love to watch a video.
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tvthewiredturtle

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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:01 am

Brett wrote:
You guys (TV & Ruger) showed us a few Echo pedals in the past, aren`t you.
There was one black pedal a few month ago. Is this not good?

Anyway this Strymon looks interesting. Would love to watch a video.

The Empress Super Delay VM was a cool box, but it was too involved and the
tape sim in it was only a little part of it...

this Strymon El Capistan is a total dedication to a tape echo, good gravy is it nice.

here's the first part from the company

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYda1k6AZuo
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:25 am

Mine is (supposedly) leaving Puerto Rico today, Express Mail. I should have it by friday!!! (fingers crossed)
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:49 am

They got pretty good website, nice videos etc.

Didn't take long to find what I was looking for:


Quote :

Ultra low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters

115dB typical signal to noise

Analog dry path for a zero latency dry signal that is never converted to digital

Premium analog front end and output section


So, the guitar dry signal is never converted to digital, only the effect is. And what with 24bit AD/DA
it should sound very good indeed.

Price about a 300 bucks or so.
(of course , +taxes and +shipping to finland)

Looks like a neat deal.

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:01 am

I have owned their Brigadier delay, and I can attest that there is zero noise, and the dry signal stays completely intact. It's the closest a digital pedal ever got to my Maxon AD-999.

I know I haven't received the El Cap yet, but I've been thru enough delays to know... I think the El Cap is THE ONE. At least until someday I can find (& afford) a Blue Coconut Echoverb (real tape machine echo).

I'm anticipating the Nocturne & El Cap to be the PERFECT PAIR... the missing link... now all I need is a 6G6-B (or even better, a BLONDESHELL!)... I've got everything else!
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:53 am

First infatuated thoughts about the EL Capistan.. (cross posting alert)
I'm finding out there are lots of fancy names and trumped up explanations for
the controls to make it all seem like you are actually utilizing a real tape machine.
Which of course is brilliant marketing especially when your product lives up to
all the claims. All saying the controls are very intuitive and within minutes you say to yourself
"aw I know what that one does, thats bass or thats treble,etc"

Do you know this thing has tap tempo dotted 1/8th and dotted 1/4 notes?? Hell ya man, EVERYTHING is in this box and out of the gate you think Hmmmm this thing is really warm sounding, maybe too warm... and it is kinda but if you want it to be as pristine as a clean tape head and new tape can be you can dial
that in too. The Edge needs to get one of these.

I'm googoo over this little box, its been quite some time where I got a new piece of equipment and couldnt walk away after 10 minutes of demo. I wasted half a day sitting with the EL CAPISTAN.. It evokes so many classic songs in my head, that I'm not really talented enough to suss out but it inspires me to try because I
now see the tool the artist/musician had in front of himself to create the signature riff and texture.

The Multihead feature is sooooo cool. Plus they thought of a lot of neat little extras like holding down the tap tempo for infinite repeats.. thats pretty rockstar.
I also took a little latching stomper I made and plugged it into the expression jack. When you click it on, your delay time ramps up like an elevator to half speed. Click it again and it ramps back down in a time warp slurry.. thats cool.
Cant wait to get an expression pedal built.

the only thing I could possibly complain about are the cheap pots, jacks, and switches but that seems to be the norm with mass produced surfaces mount
digital components(wave flow solder technology,etc).. That is probably not
even a valid complaint because the line6 DL4 is built the same way and worked
on stage 2times a week for 9yrs. Smile

if I could change anything about the pedal is I would appreciate algorithm control over the modulation but the intent with the pedal's modulation is emulation of
analog "tape wow and flutter with the natural modulation that occurs with worn in or worn out tape". They do this feature very well, but it wont allow me to try to
get those DMM sounds i like.
I know I can assign an expression pedal to the wow and flutter control but that only gives me a Less or More feature.

Yet those are peripheral issues about not much really because the operation of this unit is slick n sexy.
Sound wise its very close to being an authentic tape echo device more like an Echoplex than a Space echo "tonally" (a fatter more saturated tape unit compared to the RE301 specifically). I found myself being inspired to sit with the guitar and create new riffs and tone palettes with the rest of my pedals.
It even made me enjoy my strat again (which feels so tiny compared to a gretsch)..
This delay pedal is quiet, my guitar tone remains MY guitar tone and
the delay's characteristic feel is articulate and its saturation response to my string attack is interactive.

I think it fits the bill as a "be all delay" for my needs but only when I have a particular Preamp pedal infront of it (U know that was coming). I thought it "felt" spot on( in the texture sense of what playing through a real tape echo
feels like) with my RE301 using the Brain Seltzer in front of it..yet I liked it Best with the Atomic Brain's "Dyno" mode engaged. A brighter preamp really makes the slower delay time settings really "pop" back at you before the echoes trail into
velvet like smears.

Will I take my 80s Boss DM-3 off my board? no way. Will I want to stop using my
EH Deluxe Memory Boy, maybe... I'm still in honeymoon mode, we've only just begun.
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:35 am

wow... no DMM sounds?!?! I thought for sure the El Cap would be able to cover those bases. The Brigadier did it "ok", it didn't have the ability to go beyond subtle modulation... but that's all I use on the DMM anyway, I never use the crazy vibrato on the DMM...

I've got a tracking number, it SHOULD be here sat or mon...


HEY TAVO... how's the reverb ALONE on that thing? I know it's probably good for adding a bit to echoes, but how is it if you use no echo, just the reverb? Decent?
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:29 pm

ruger9 wrote:
wow... no DMM sounds?!?! I thought for sure the El Cap would be able to cover those bases. The Brigadier did it "ok", it didn't have the ability to go beyond subtle modulation... but that's all I use on the DMM anyway, I never use the crazy vibrato on the DMM...

I've got a tracking number, it SHOULD be here sat or mon...


HEY TAVO... how's the reverb ALONE on that thing? I know it's probably good for adding a bit to echoes, but how is it if you use no echo, just the reverb? Decent?

Maybe I should have said it doesnt give me that shimmery deep chorus effect minus the wobble see sick detuned thing I dont like about vibrato
that I can get out of the DL4 or DMB. I'm not saying it doesnt do a chorusing effect
but its more related to how a tape echo makes that sound... which is ironic
because the Deluxe Memory Man was given a chorus effect to simulate tape
echo's chorus...but it doesnt measure up, still it became its own iconic sound..that
I LOVE!. its okay.. I have a fulltone dejavibe and Maxon Cs-550 for that water vibe sound.

regarding the reverb as a stand alone "spring reverb" ..nah. No schploink or splash spring things happening if you want to get your dick dale on.
BUT.. Its atmospheric and sounds really sweet with longer delay washes (multiheads mode, option C)
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:54 am

My El Cap should be here anytime now... just waiting for the mailman! Got fresh strings on the Hot Rod & I'm ready to SPEND SOME TIME!
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:22 am

ruger9 wrote:
My El Cap should be here anytime now... just waiting for the mailman! Got fresh strings on the Hot Rod & I'm ready to SPEND SOME TIME!

Dial in the the tape bias and boost to taste because default is at a preset 50% wet mix.
Also the dry/wet mix is at 50% at THREE O'CLOCK!! I was getting mad at first because
I couldnt capture the "run like hell" thing I was after..
Gunna have a video up today (didnt happen last night, the motor seized on my
space echo)
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:22 pm

Just sat for 30min with it.

It's pretty much exactly what I expected. No full review yet... Just a few points for now:

IMHO it doesn't sound any better than the VMSD in the "tape sim" department, TONE-WISE... BUT the El Cap is infinitely more tweakable in all the tape parameters, which I was missing on the VMSD.

Also, the El Cap has a lower noise floor, and doesn't digitize the dry signal (and I can tell; some people can't.)

I DO miss the VMSD's presets terribly... BUT luckily, the El Cap is so user-intuitive it's alot easier to dial up what's needed.

I do feel like there's a certain "analog-ness" that's STILL missing, even when compared to my AD-999... there's just something magic about that one... but the VMSD suffered this problem as well. As did the Brigadier. It's still digital technology, it's only going to get so good. I can't expect a digital sim to have that...for lack of a better word..."soft"... feeling to it, like something analog does. Hard to explain. Ironically, if I remember correctly, the RE-20 actually did a pretty good job of that, despite the fact that's it's digital, and digitizes even the dry signal. I always thought the echoes sounded great on that one, just didn't like that whole "input preamp" thing it had going on...

For tape freaks, it's the king. The VMSD is a better "all-rounder", it does so much more. But those of use longing for real tape echo without the real tape price or hassle, the El Capistan appears to have raised the bar as high as it's going to go in the digital realm.

Looking forward to seeing some of your presets Tavo... I'll put some settings up here too, when I've had some time to get better aquainted...
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:46 pm

ruger9 wrote:
Just sat for 30min with it.

It's pretty much exactly what I expected. No full review yet... Just a few points for now:

IMHO it doesn't sound any better than the VMSD in the "tape sim" department, TONE-WISE... BUT the El Cap is infinitely more tweakable in all the tape parameters, which I was missing on the VMSD.

Also, the El Cap has a lower noise floor, and doesn't digitize the dry signal (and I can tell; some people can't.)

I DO miss the VMSD's presets terribly... BUT luckily, the El Cap is so user-intuitive it's alot easier to dial up what's needed.

I do feel like there's a certain "analog-ness" that's STILL missing, even when compared to my AD-999... there's just something magic about that one... but the VMSD suffered this problem as well. As did the Brigadier. It's still digital technology, it's only going to get so good. I can't expect a digital sim to have that...for lack of a better word..."soft"... feeling to it, like something analog does. Hard to explain. Ironically, if I remember correctly, the RE-20 actually did a pretty good job of that, despite the fact that's it's digital, and digitizes even the dry signal. I always thought the echoes sounded great on that one, just didn't like that whole "input preamp" thing it had going on...

For tape freaks, it's the king. The VMSD is a better "all-rounder", it does so much more. But those of use longing for real tape echo without the real tape price or hassle, the El Capistan appears to have raised the bar as high as it's going to go in the digital realm.

Looking forward to seeing some of your presets Tavo... I'll put some settings up here too, when I've had some time to get better aquainted...
YOU GOT IT!!!! yeea.

In this quick test did you adjust the the bass contour, boost and tape bias first?
The empress VM ends up sterile compared to this thing.
..and you are right on about this being the tape heads machine
(please go back and adjust these setting and play exactly what you were
playing before..but with the nocturne infront)

video coming verrrry soon
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:53 pm

HA! My Nocturne was ON THE WHOLE TIME, silly!

I did adjust the the tape bias, bass contour, but I left the boost alone tho, since I'm using my Nocturne for that. Where do you have your bass, bias & boost set?
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:16 pm

ruger9 wrote:
HA! My Nocturne was ON THE WHOLE TIME, silly!

I did adjust the the tape bias, bass contour, but I left the boost alone tho, since I'm using my Nocturne for that. Where do you have your bass, bias & boost set?

The boost on the actual effect is a different approach and isnt enough to
really "drive" anything. I felt that as I turned it up it became more
EP-1 in the Fulltone TTE "tube bloat". If I turned it to a negative setting
it acted more like the space echo tape feel???
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:36 pm

tvthewiredturtle wrote:
ruger9 wrote:
HA! My Nocturne was ON THE WHOLE TIME, silly!

I did adjust the the tape bias, bass contour, but I left the boost alone tho, since I'm using my Nocturne for that. Where do you have your bass, bias & boost set?

The boost on the actual effect is a different approach and isnt enough to
really "drive" anything. I felt that as I turned it up it became more
EP-1 in the Fulltone TTE "tube bloat". If I turned it to a negative setting
it acted more like the space echo tape feel???

I totally hear that! Boost at 1:30, it more closely matches my AD-999, which has a "nasty edge" (that I like), where unity gain and lower has a smooth, DMM-like dreamyness. For Hot Rod Setzerin', I actually prefer a bit of boost.

Something else I've dug up: STREETS HAVE NO NAME... it's not straight up digital, but it's VERY CLOSE... tape age "full new", bias full counterclockwise (extra high end), tape crinkle at zero, low end contour rolled back, and the awesome dotted eighth mode!
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:47 pm

ruger9 wrote:
tvthewiredturtle wrote:
ruger9 wrote:
HA! My Nocturne was ON THE WHOLE TIME, silly!

I did adjust the the tape bias, bass contour, but I left the boost alone tho, since I'm using my Nocturne for that. Where do you have your bass, bias & boost set?

The boost on the actual effect is a different approach and isnt enough to
really "drive" anything. I felt that as I turned it up it became more
EP-1 in the Fulltone TTE "tube bloat". If I turned it to a negative setting
it acted more like the space echo tape feel???

I totally hear that! Boost at 1:30, it more closely matches my AD-999, which has a "nasty edge" (that I like), where unity gain and lower has a smooth, DMM-like dreamyness. For Hot Rod Setzerin', I actually prefer a bit of boost.

Something else I've dug up: STREETS HAVE NO NAME... it's not straight up digital, but it's VERY CLOSE... tape age "full new", bias full counterclockwise (extra high end), tape crinkle at zero, low end contour rolled back, and the awesome dotted eighth mode!

oh ya totally, its close like you said. Probably because its a saturated tape sound and not a vintage korg low res digi delay or tc electronics 2290 Smile

btw.. my pedals silkscreen shows only an A and B mode, even though the pedal has C mode on the 3 way switch?? When I clicked and found mode 3 I was sort of beside myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:53 pm

tvthewiredturtle wrote:

btw.. my pedals silkscreen shows only an A and B mode, even though the pedal has C mode on the 3 way switch?? When I clicked and found mode 3 I was sort of beside myself.

Weird man. Maybe it was a blem?
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:03 pm

ruger9 wrote:
tvthewiredturtle wrote:

btw.. my pedals silkscreen shows only an A and B mode, even though the pedal has C mode on the 3 way switch?? When I clicked and found mode 3 I was sort of beside myself.

Weird man. Maybe it was a blem?
better non for 303 plus shipping Smile

how do you like the FX loop?
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:07 pm

Haven't used the loop yet... honestly, I have no use for it... you got something in there? Does it affect the repeats only?
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:17 pm

ruger9 wrote:
Haven't used the loop yet... honestly, I have no use for it... you got something in there? Does it affect the repeats only?

ah you didnt take the bait darn I thought I was funny... there's no effects loop silly! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Strymon El Capistan dTape echo..could it be the one?   Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:12 pm

Laughing I saw 4 jacks in back... I just assumed when you mentioned it 2 were the loop... but they're for expression & stereo!
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