All user reviews for the Strymon El Capistan

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Average Score:4.1( 4.1/5 based on 12 reviews )
 4 reviews33 %
 5 reviews42 %
 1 user review8 %
 1 user review8 %
Value For Money : Poor
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SonicPulverizer's review"Authentic Tape Sound"

Strymon El Capistan
The Strymon El Capistan is essentially the best tape echo emulation on the market. Strymon delivers a feature packed offering that is a dream of knob fiddlers. The El Capistan can toggle between three different tape head settings (Fixed,Multi, and Single) each having their own variance on the 3 available modes A,B, and C. The front panel controls include Time, Tape Age, Repeats, Mix, and Wow & Flutter. Holding the bypass and Tap tempo footswitches enables the "hidden" parameters of Low end contour, Tape bias, Tape crinkle, a +/- 3db cut/boost, as well as spring reverb. The pedal's looks, like all Strymon pedals, are elegant and clean. A great looking unit to add to your board.


The versatility of the I/O allows you to run the pedal in a stereo environment. It also allows you to connect an expression pedal to be configured with any parameter or one of strymon's favorite switches to recall a particular patch. The amount of control Strymon gives you makes it very easy to get a good sound out of the unit. The El Capistan runs 9v power.


The Strymon delivers excellent sound utilizing the SHARC DSP. Matching the single tape head with mode C selected offers sound on sound mode. This mode acts like a pseudo tape-looper. Using the Tap tempo switch you can control "splice" points and then use the parameters of the pedal to alter the loop. Taking advice from the Strymon website directly, setting the pedal up with a single tape head on mode A can elicit very subtle, natural sounding echoes with distorted guitars. You can use the Tape age knob to dial in the right amount of crispness desired.


The Strymon El Capistan is a very impressive delay. The only thing that comes close to it's sound quality is the JHS Panther which dwarfs the Strymon in price. The amount of control you are given is very inspiring and gives you a sense of fulfillment in your purchase. I am very awed by this company's work. Top notch pedal indeed.

mmolteratx's review"Very Realistic"

Strymon El Capistan
There are three modes available. These are fixed, multi and single. They each emulate different types of tape echo such as the Echoplex and Space Echo. Of course this emulation is digital.
A complaint I have is the lack of MIDI and lack of stereo ins. This would bring the functionality level much higher, though it's not the biggest of deals. You at least get stereo outs and tap tempo and can purchase the Favorite Switch if you want a preset. Downside is it's $50 extra.
There are five knobs, mix, time, repeats, wow & flutter and tape age. Each knob has a secondary function to control parameters such as crinkle, bias, spring reverb, etc. These allow detailed control over your echo tone.
You also have the ability to switch between buffered and true bypass operation.


The primary knob functions are self explanatory, though those unfamiliar with tape echos may not know what the effect of tape age and wow & flutter are. Fortunately, the manual explains these. The secondary knobs are a bit trickier since you probably won't know about them without the manual. The manual explains them and how to access them, though it is a bit of a PITA to actually do it.
Set up is easy, though as before it may cause some problems in a stereo rig since it doesn't have stereo ins. It's easy to incorporate in any other rig though and the favorite switch is a breeze to hook up should you choose to purchase it.
The high current draw can give you problems depending on your power supply and other pedals, though I just run it off output 5 or 6 on my Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2+.


I use the El Cap with a THD Flexi 50 and a Strat. The dry tone remains unaffected when I kick the El Cap on due to the analog dry path. This gives it the edge over several similarly priced units such as the Eventide Time Factor in my opinion.
The echo quality is great. It can get very close to the EP-1 that my friend owns. If it had a similar preamp structure in place, I believe it could nail it no problem. There's a thread on the Gear Page that compares it to several real tape echo units that gets the point across very well.
My only complaint sound wise is that the self oscillation is a bit weak. Nowhere near as prominent as a real tape echo or even most analog and digital echos. This isn't a deal breaker for me or most others but it is nice to have around for when you want to go crazy.


I absolutely love the El Cap. It does everything I need and it's built incredibly well. My favorite thing would have to be the multi head setting. It gives a great ambient feel to my tone that I love for when I'm the only guitarist. My complaint is still the oscillation. I feel like Strymon could have done better.
The value might not be as good as something like the Time Factor since it only does 3 types of delays but it does those 3 types so well that if you're only looking for tape echo, I'd buy this any day over the TF.
I'd buy another if it were ever stolen or broken. The former is considerably more likely.

benoi31's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Strymon El Capistan
Many possibilities: 10 faders with secondary characteristics, and 9 possible combinations of switch!
Can connect the pedal in stereo.


This is a pedal that must be tamed! As mentioned above, there are a lot of possible settings.

The choice of heads defines "rhythm" of the delay.
Very convenient, you can make a delay in black or note, or make syncopated stuff via the multi-heads. You really adjust to the ear and take your time to see what rhythmic form is best suited to what we play.
Note that there is a kind of looper function set, but very special: the recorded signal will gradually deteriorate as a cassette (depending on the settings you have set), and we can add things above. Anecdotal, but can be nice in certain specific cases (I use eg finally to a kind of fade out a song)

Then different potentiometers allow us to set all functions of the tape delay.
- The time sets the pace as feasible using the tap tempo
- Tape age darkens the sound As rehearsals, very nice to differentiate the effect of which is played
- Wow and flutter adds fluctuations associated with tape delays, it sounds like a chorus, very special, but great for creating sound tablecloths
- Repeat the number of repetitions with a high degree can be easily from self-oscillations (also feasible now tap tempo supported) The self-oscillation may also seem trivial, but it can be great to make mounted in a piece for example.
- Mix: the level of delay. Note that you can remove the dry signal completely.

Then press the 2 switches you have access to other functions:
- Spring reverb: it is great to create soundscapes fluids
- Low end contour, can remove the low delay. I have a little more trouble to use it, it can help to reduce the delay compared to the dry signal.
- Bias tape which adjusts the bias of delay (reduces the headroom for a discrete signal)
- Tape crinkle which adjusts the mechanical noise. I have difficulty seeing the effect of this potentiometer Indeed, it is far from the effect "vinyl striped", sounds are light.
- A boost 3Db, nice if you use the delay solo example

Here: needless to say it will have to redouble patience and ingenuity, and can be very precise in setting the tone with this machine! Personally I enjoyed myself as a little crazy to test the possibilities of this pedal, and I am far from having done the trick!


Frankly the sound is terrible!

We hear about the digital side and "cold" of the pedal, and the famous "veil Strymon" ... Personally, I would say that this is not quite true. I can not find the pedal particularly "cold" with the tape age can be quite warm sounds, even at concert volume levels. Digital by next spring against, but it is not really a problem because we really found the side tape delay of interest.
The "veil Strymon" does not bother me too much, and I think the pedal still respects the nature of the amp and guitar, even if it has that strong personality. See if that bothers you or not though.

It remains that there is a fleshy and organic side in this delay is simply awesome! The ability to fine tune modulations provides access to a lot of different types, and we find all the sound characteristics of tape delay.

For me it is really tip top, listening absolutely!


Being a fan of math rock, prog and other ambient rock, I was looking for a delay that would be able to perform several functions: a fairly clean delay and delay allowing the creation of soundscapes.
With el Capistan I'm thrilled because I have access to these two types of delay, plus endless variations between the two!

I often use it in again, it really is an excellent tool for creating rhythmic or melodic patterns. The tap tempo is really convenient, and self oscillation holding down the tap tempo can really make original stuff.

My only regret is the lack of preset. It is very easy to tinker a favorite switch (see on the net), but I think it was really more the pedal is directly supplied with. As it stands, it is rather annoying to have to look between 2 songs to change its delay (not counting the number of parameters to be modified). I think I'd be soon, so keep a type delay "sound sheet" on hand.

Another thing I find unfortunate is that the delay "remembers" what is played when changing mode on a head type (eg switch from single mode to B mode), but not when changing head (single multi). Which is a shame because it could have cool stuff with the looper.

The new price seems a little expensive.

Used 200 euros purchased against this is for me a great deal! It acquires énorméments possibilities, without ever returning to the "cliché" because all parameters can be modulated (unlike the delays that make everything, but one way, as the flashback)

Bourmix's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Not convinced!"

Strymon El Capistan
Bcp options (for me too).

Digital (and it shows!)

The tap tempo is cool!


We turn is modified cool, but get the secondary functions taking the supported switches pff I'm confused.


It is especially at this point that I want to emphasize. I have Subdecay Echobox (analog / digital) and Capistan seems to me ultra synthetic in comparison.

The sound is clean no problem on that, but this is an ultra digital environment that leaves me cold (no heat).


I am one of those guitarists who pedal = sound, turn on switch and basta.
So Capistan is clearly too much for me level opportunities.

Its level I'm not at all hung ultra digital side of the pedal, synthetic sound with this super cold that does not suit me.

I kept my Subdecay.

ENG152's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Very good ... digital delay."

Strymon El Capistan
This is a simulation of the band echo pedal digital format. Stereo input (since the change in 2012 from the serial number 12-50000) two jacks output and an input for an expression pedal assignable to any parameter. El Capistan is True Bypass but can be passed in "Trail" mode (the delay dies slowly when stopping the pedal) while pressing the ON button when turning. Power only by supplied AC adapter. The pedal comes with pads stickers to paste below a ridiculous sheet quick start and a sticker Strymon. The quality is average, the rotation buttons offers no resistance, the pedal is very slight: ... destabilizing printing when the grip is mixed for a machine of this price ...


The setup is rather simple once you understood how Strymon means emulating a venerable tape echo: it is rather well thought out and there are a lot of hidden features and other "tips". There are 2 switches with three positions to choose between different modes, the latter affect how the animal will behave. Simultaneously pressing both buttons (on / off and tap tempo) allows access to other functions ...


Is it like a tape echo? YES! is that it can replace a conventional delay? too! Is that the sound is as impressive as all the ultra rave reviews suggest: firstly, yes!
This machine cares earful as soon as the branch in his room on his little amp: extreme spacialisation sound, beautiful tablecloths, rendering is extremely flattering. Strymon El Capistan the really lends itself to all experiments and colors the sound to great effect. Control over the quality of repetitions is really total more can be used as a kind of looper since it can restore 20 seconds of delay where you can again and again add layers. Can determine the level of wear of the tread, make self oscillation (quite believable), introduce a natural modulation ... There is also a simulation of reverb, it's really full as a machine ... Now it really remains completely and permanently digital. Use volume scene and then, poof, the curtain falls and charm no longer operates. I use it with a Fender deluxe reverb, a RAT white face (fabulous!) And U.S. (ie front) stratocaster: active as soon as the effect is lost in heat, it is as if the sound became more "polished". By listening we even hear of yet overpowered DSP devices that populate her womb. No, it is not a delay: it is a simulation of delay. This really is the ugly duckling of my chain of sound. Difficult to explain, it's illusion for a while and then suddenly you realize that it is as yet another delay in plug in to 100 million light years away from what a man Memory a Panther cub, Aqua / Supa puss, a maxon or carbon copy can come out. It's a bit like comparing an MP3 and vinyl: it's neat, it sounds impressive but ultimately it REALLY missing something ... there must be something in this box that kills the MOJO ... I'm not too convinced by emulation in amp (my poor DRRI explodes all plug in machines and emulate what I've heard). I guess for this effect is a little similar.


I tested many models before making the acquisition. For me it rivals with everything I've tried like digital delay (whose boss, T-REX and Eventide). It sounds much better than the Flashback / alter ego of TC too. Hype around this pedal, however, seems to me quite unwarranted. It's not a bad machine, far from it, but it is not yet one who manages to forget his true nature ... I do not think the bear and I intend to return to a good old bucket brigade with 10 times less features but a sound that makes hair stand on end ...

Jumikael's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A different story: very disappointed!"

Strymon El Capistan
As always with Strymon, the finish is superb and the machine gives a good impression of solidity.


As I did not have to worry immediately understand the operation of a Timeline or Brigadier (with its secondary functions) as I had a little more trouble with this model, however the interesting features. I do it found nothing intuitive contrary to what is said in another view, quite the contrary. But I confess that I have little knowledge about the tape echoes.


So it may be a matter of taste. But just before I had a Superdelay Empress that enchanted me and which I foolishly separated on a whim. With the Empress, all flowed naturally, editing was simple, and all the sounds were intelligible, distinct and beautiful.
On El Capistan, I have not managed to amuse myself for a moment. Worse, I have not managed to find one satisfying sound. There as a "veil" on the Strymon delays. it tends to embellish apparently sound, but in my case, it ended up tired. I find it disturbing side is even more present on the El Capistan delays than other brand. In addition, I find that the three functions of El Cap, one is drinking. And there was a big lack of understanding in rehearsals, no matter the settings (failed model? Config 'not fit?)
So I do not know, maybe by dint of having heard so much good I was expecting too much of this delay.


Used fairly long, I am rapidly removed without being convinced. I suspected he fell on a failing model to say ...
I liked him a beast multi Zoom effect received the same day. I had tons and tons of delays. Almost all what you might think, but really, I have rarely been so disappointed!

I would add though that they do not care about the mouth of the Strymon in world: have to buy or make a switch to save a favorite preset miserable, this is clearly abuse! El Cap for me is not worth a single second price. A look into opportunity after having tried.

manmane's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A killer!"

Strymon El Capistan
I do not go over the features, everything has already been said!

Too bad she is not a midi but good decision ...


First ultra intuitive (if you know the minimum operating principle of tape echo chamber)
Sub settings are accessible after it is working on sheet (no digital display) ...

French manual found on audiof '(thank you "nowhereman"!)

I found all the possibilities for my RE201 Space Echo, without the disadvantages (fragility due to his age), and Tap Tempo and more!


Tip top, nothing to add!

Used with guitar, bass and contrabass

Not a fart breath, many settings allow to go from bright and clean and a good crados strongly modulated the delay.

I find again the sound of my old Space Echo!


I just bought it, having had and / or tested:

-Roland Space Echo RE20 1978 (see above)
-Ibanez DE7 (Delay my first, it's still my favorite curiously after Strymon of course)
-Line6 Echo Park (although for very electric guitarist)
Tc Electronic Vintage Delay (very neat and some possible settings)
Tc Electronic Flashback (well, but no tap tempo)
-MXR Carbon Copy (ditto)
-Boss DD20 (very digital, and bulky)

I have wanted to test:

Empress-Tape Delay (equivalent to Strymon enough in advance)
-Eventide Time Factor (gas plant)
-Boss RE20 (bulky in the pedal)

but I wanted to stay on the analog spirit ', without programming, with everything at hand to play the knob in Live ...

I think I have finally found the Holy Grail!! (At least compared to what I was looking for)

Reiep's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" My delay reference"

Strymon El Capistan
Digital delay pedal reproducing a tape delay. Full specs have been posted below. Since mid-2012 entry is now stereo and switches are not click.
The ELCAP seems very solid, while brushed aliminium. He needs 250 mA 9V, center negative, but it seems that 200 mA is sufficient according to some tests.
The system preset with Favorite swicth is well thought out, you can enjoy more opportunities pedal. And it builds very easily for a few euros :)


5 knobs (double function), 2 toggle switches, two foot switches, it starts to make the world. Provided it is not pert, in the sense that the annexes settings will not be changed every 4 mornings. The main thing is before us. An indication of 2nd function on the pedal would have been useful, you need to open the manual every time. Mention spring reverb reverb can make a fortune without any worries with ultra short delay.
For the rest, the knobs are responsive, pleasant, do not make noise when turned, digital forces.
Good point, setting mix is ​​100% dry to 100% wet, it will be possible to use it in a parallel loop. The 50/50 is reached at about 3.
As described below, it is possible to assign an expression pedal to any knobs, I will not go over in detail.


This is clearly where the ELCAP makes the difference. I have owned a lot of delays lately (standard Flashback and X4, Eventide Timefactor, Strymon Timeline) and no faces in terms of tape. The Flashbacks are excellent but despite Toneprint I never found my shoe foot (or so via the PC editor), the Timefactor is mainly oriented digital delay though his tqpe is very good fashion, and I have not at all like the ergonomics of the Timeline and how tape cut against the ELCAP.
I use the serial loop of my Diezel Hagen, no worries. I have two settings: a short and discrete delay with a lot of modulation for lead (Single, B-mode) and another with a longer and more repetitions to get a clean singing (multi, B mode). The fact that the dry signal is not converted helps.
I love playing with the settings of age and Wow & Flutter giving lots of personality delay, without going overboard.


In the end, it's just a great delay, both rich and fairly simple to use. The only real complaint is the lack of management of the MIDI protocol, to enable / disable the pedal and change the preset (but fall into the technological frenzy kind Timeline).
Virtual Decadence09/27/2011

Virtual Decadence's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Wouahou! A cry is so beautiful"

Strymon El Capistan
See other reviews


Attention is a pedal to DSP, it consumes a lot. You need a power supply providing 250 mA. Do not expect to put on an octopus with a poor power supply at the end boss and four other pedals ... it will not work.

So, I cleave to a power supply Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 + (and most important is to have two out at 250 mA, the standard version with only 100 mA outs in analog pedal).

Well I took the pedal "Favorite" but I think I would have done better to take a pedal instead.


I have already said WOUAHOU! That's it.

(Provided we are looking for a tape delay of the course)

My favorite knob (y 'was always one) is the "Tape Age". The color gives it leaves me on the ass.


I just have it. I played for hours. Nothing is missed in this pedal.

The sounds are fabulous. The possibilities sound inspire new research. We go from the pure vintage psychedelia to modern research in every sense.

And if I were to cite a single killer-feature that would be the fact of having endless repetitions of the foot by holding down the TAP TEMPO switch (which is more limited with the output level so as not to blow up the speakers).

I'm already in love with this pedal and my Duesenberg Starplayer also (she always has the last word in the pair).

Write a review smarter and laid back again :-) Here I just wanted to scream WOUAHOU!
Shala Meka09/27/2011

Shala Meka's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" very nice color"

Strymon El Capistan
I will not dwell on this subject, it was done before me.


The bug is not easy at first because there are a lot of settings but in fact it quickly and it is difficult to have a bad sound.

About the manual, there is a French version as nowhereman kindly translated. (There is a link to his opinion)
With this release, it comes out easily.


The sound is really very nice, very organic.
I think that next to an analog tape echo, it must seem a bit cold and synthetic, but its flexibility and its reliability in August for the true u live.

We can go to the delay repeats pretty clean (with color anyway) to the echo machine LOFI overused.


Super delay with its grain color while preserving the maximum dry signal.