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Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo

Strymon El Capistan

4.9 4.9 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Tape style delay effect pedal

26th January 2016

Strymon El Capistan by chinesewhiteman

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo

Strymon meticulously modeled every nuance of multiple tape delays to create the El Capistan. The result is an incredible sounding delay that is capable of everything from fairly clean controlled delay to full on spacecraft oscillation and everything in between. Crisp slap, or a warm subtly modulated echo, El Cap has you covered, but the main event here is a lush, creamy texture unlike any other unit in this price range, and with this amount of flexibility.

You get very intuitive control over an interesting and inspiring set of parameters on the El Cap. Control beyond the norm, such as age and wear which have a profound and gorgeous affect on the sound of real tape machines. Much of the mojo comes from these idiosyncrasies. Adjusting the age of the tape has a similar effect to tone as a filter but with a deliciousness that you just have to hear for yourself. Wear is adjustable through a pair of settings called "Wow and Flutter," and "crinkle." Here's where my explanation will fall short, but here goes: "Wow and flutter" is mechanical wear/imperfection who's effect is something like modulation and "Crinkle" is tape wear such as splices/folds/stretching and the effect is something like distorting. Both of which, again, are similar to modulation and distortion, but with a mojo totally unique to tape, and not as predictable as the plain effects by themselves.

If that's not already fat and juicy enough, there is also reverb on this thing! Not to mention that the inherent sonic quality of the feedback of tape delay, especially when pushed, is an amazingly beautiful thing. All that amounts to extremely dense and rich sonic vibe that Strymon absolutely nailed in the El Cap. Bottomline, The El Capistan is amazing and is hands down my favorite guitar pedal, and probably my favorite effect period. Not only does it sound great, it is unlike any other unit in this price range, and with this amount of flexibility, or reliability for that matter because lets face it, that real thing might sound even more glorious, but you can't dial it in. It only sounds the way it does because it is slowly failing and will take much effort to restore.

Last edited by chinesewhiteman; 26th January 2016 at 11:47 PM..

  • 1
11th September 2017

Strymon El Capistan by jonitto

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo

Strymon's models of classic tape machines are at the top of the industry. At first I shied away from other digital emulations after purchasing a few other companies highly touted models with those algorithms. The reason was the unmistakable digital sound that these units delivered while trying to emulate tape and analog delays. Strymon's digital emulations get around this by having a totally analog signal path. It makes a huge difference to me. All of there digital models sit and play well with other analog pedals on your board.

Greg Jones


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