Should I get the Strymon Volante or the El Capistan?

Ask the DudeA reader’s question to the Dude:

“I am torn between the Strymon Volante and the El Capistan.
I have seen your video a million times and am still not sure. I like the rhythmic possibilities you can get with the Volante, the rec level knob which can add some dirt to the repeats, the 3 delay types and the 4s max delay time.
But I am tempted with the warm sound, and the simplicity of the El Capistan.
I want the unit as a main delay (currently have a Boss DD7 which will stay on the pedalboard as a second delay).
Do you think it is worth it to lose that extra warmth for all that pros of the Volante?
Currently, I am playing a Les Paul through a Bugera 5W tube amp.
I mostly play ambient and progressive to blues rock (Huge Pink Floyd fan).
Also, if you have the time, what is your favorite (or favorites) delay pedal(s) and why?”

DelayDude:

Thanks a lot for your email! On my pedalboard, the El Capistan was a permanent pedal for a long time. But now, the Volante has replaced it. Personally, I think, the handling is much easier because it has no secondary functions like the El Capistan. Every pot has its own function and can be tuned without difficulty.
And as you already mentioned, the rhythmical repeats of the switchable, virtual tone heads offer endless possibilities.

Of course, the El Capistan also offers two different rhythm modes as well, but they do by far not reach those of the Volante. Not only activating certain tone heads, but also the option “full/half volume” of the tone heads produces completely different emphases of the repeats.
Rec Level provides Gain and thereby is able to make some low gain overdrive pedals superfluous.

Sonically, the three types of delays vary a lot and frequently, people forget, that the sound additionally can be altered by the half, normal or double speed setting of the tape.
Using the tape setting on half speed and a slightly turned down wear pot (which reduces the treble), you will get close to the sound of the El Capistan.

With your Les Paul and its Humbuckers in combination with the Volante, you ought to create a really, really nice sound. Especially because of the fact that you are a Pink Floyd fan, the Volante (with its Drum sounds) is perfect for you.

My two favorite delays which are both on my pedalboard are in fact the Volante – amongst many other things because of the external tap and midi- input (this is why I might be a bit biased) and the Empress Echosystem which I use for reverse, pitch and digital sounds.

The history of effect pedals: The first pedals

Effect PedalThere are numerous pedals in different versions an especially these days there seem to be two trends: on the one hand there is a progress in the development of digital effects one the other hand one can see the revival of analog pedals in combination with innovative features. But how did all this began? Continue reading “The history of effect pedals: The first pedals”