Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo

Maker: Strymon

Model: El Capistan

Condition: New



Magnetic Monster.

When we decided to develop an effects pedal that delivers the sound and feel of our favorite tape echo machines, we knew we must relentlessly study and faithfully recreate every last nuance.

We spent months in the Strymon sound design labs with an intense focus on capturing the warm, saturated, distinctive qualities of tape echo machines. The result is our hand crafted dTape Technology. Utilizing a ridiculously powerful SHARC DSP, every drop of processing power is harnessed.

Extensive control.

El Capistan provides three different tape machine types in one, each with three unique modes. With ten parameters to tweak, you get extensive control over tape quality, machine health and tone shaping.

Go from the sound of a pristine, studio-quality tape machine to the heavily fluctuating sound of a machine in need of service. Get the full bodied sound of fresh tape all the way to the gnarled qualities of worn out tape.

Because it’s DSP driven, you get a range of tape experiences unattainable with a traditional tape machine. All of this without the headaches of tape machine maintenance and repair!

Tape Machines and Modes

El Capistan has three distinct tape machine types, each with three separate modes.

  • Fixed Head-Time knob varies the tape speed while the playback head is fixed in position
  • A – short delay with 1/16th note tap tempo
    B – medium delay with dotted 1/8th tap tempo
    C – long delay with 1/4 note tap tempo
  • Multi Head- 2 of 3 playback heads are selected at once. Time knob varies tape speed.
  • A – Heads 1 & 2 selected.
    B – Heads 2 & 3 selected.
    C – Heads 1 & 3 selected.
  • Single Head- Tape speed is fixed while the Time knob varies the position of a sliding record head.
  • A – Tape motor at double speed. Higher fidelity with shorter delay times.
    B – Tape motor at normal speed. Lower fidelity with longer delay times.
    C – Sound on Sound mode with instant tape splice, bulk erase, and two tape speeds. A tape-style looper!

    Sound on Sound

    Just like one of our favorite moving head tape echo machines, El Capistan gives you a Sound on Sound mode, but with some cool new features. When you enter the mode (Single Tape Head, Mode C), the machine is already recording, just like a traditional tape echo machine. We go several steps further by giving you instant tape splice and bulk erase functions. It’s like having a built-in tape-style looper!

    To set the length of your tape, press Tap once to set your splice ‘in’ point, and press Tap again to set your splice ‘out’ point. All of the tone shaping knobs are active and affect your loop as it plays back and re-records. Press Tap a third time to completely erase the tape. You get 20 seconds of tape in slow speed, 10 seconds in fast speed. Check out our video demo below.


    • Hand crafted dTape algorithms deliver meticulously nuanced recreations of tape echo systems.
    • Three tape machines in one: Fixed (one fixed playback head), Multi (multiple playback heads), and Single(sliding record head)
    • Each tape machine has three modes for extremely flexible echo options
    • Five tape adjustment and tone shaping knobs: Time, Mix, Tape Age, Repeats, Wow & Flutter
    • Five “hidden” knobs for extensive tone tweaking: Tape Crinkle, Tape Bias, Low End Contour, Spring Reverb, +/- 3dB Boost/Cut
    • Sound on Sound mode with instant tape splice and bulk erase. A built-in tape-style looper!
    • Press and hold Tap for instant Infinite Repeats
    • Stereo output
    • High impedance mono input (internal jumper enables selectable TRS stereo input) Please read this FAQ for more info on the TRS input.
    • Expression pedal input with selectable control over any knob parameter
    • Connect an optional Favorite Switch to save a favorite preset
    • Tap Tempo and Bypass footswitches
    • 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
    • Super high performance SHARC DSP in a compact form factor
    • True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching)
    • Selectable Trails Mode with high quality, transparent Analog Buffered Bypass
    • 9V center negative DC supply included, 250mA current draw
    • Strong and lightweight gunmetal gray anodized aluminum chassis
    • Crafted with love in the USA

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