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Strymon El Capistan Tape Delay Pedal V2

One of the most comprehensive tape echo emulators ever made — featuring 3 tape machine types, new 'Spring' reverb control, MIDI & more!



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Product Description

The best-selling Strymon El Capistan, regarded by many as one of the most authentic vintage magnetic tape echo emulator pedals you can buy, has evolved! This second-generation stompbox retains the same warm, saturated, and rich tones offered by the original but adds significant new features — to give you additional flexibility, power and ease-of-use on stage and in the studio.

Strymon has most notably added a 'Spring' reverb algorithm/knob into the equation — perfect for embellishing your echoes with gentle ambience — while further upgrades include full MIDI implementation for control over just about every single El Capistan parameter, a premium analogue JFET input circuit, and a new ARM DSP chip for increased processing power. Everything from classic slapback echoes to psychedelic space explorations are possible with Strymon's new and improved El Capistan V2!

Key Features

  • 3 tape machine types: Fixed, Multi, and Single. Each type has 3 unique modes and extensive control over tape quality, machine health and tone.
  • Intuitive and powerful sound-shaping controls allow you to easily dial-in an endless variety of inspiring echo flavours.
  • Ultra low-noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters and a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response.
  • A dedicated 'Spring' reverb control, with finely-tuned algorithm capturing the essence of the small spring reverb tanks found in classic tape echo machines of yesteryear.
  • 'Wow & Flutter' knob adjusts the amount of mechanically-related tape speed fluctuations, from the crisp delays of a fully-cleaned and serviced machine, to the warbly pitch-modulated echoes of a road-worn piece of gear.
  • Effortlessly create multi-layered ambient soundscapes with the tape-style "sound-on-sound" looper, all without the headaches of tape machine maintenance and repair.
  • Full MIDI implementation lets you control just about every knob, switch and setting remotely via the EXP/MIDI jack or USB-C connector. Delay time can be synchronized via MIDI Clock Sync, and the sync setting can be saved for each preset.
  • Save and recall all the new sounds you create via 300 onboard MIDI preset locations.
  • Class A JFET preamp input ensures uncompromised dynamics, exceptional touch sensitivity and superb responsiveness.
  • Full stereo in/out capabilities means zero compromises when it comes to signal routing or pedal placement. Select mono or stereo (TRS) input with the flick of the rear panel switch.
  • Easily control the El Capistan V2 with an expression pedal or MultiSwitch Plus.
  • New ARM DSP chip provides more processing power for every sonic nuance, with less energy consumption on your pedalboard.
  • True/buffered bypass, for a 100% unprocessed signal or a conditioned signal with preserved high-end integrity.
  • Adjustable line/instrument input signal level, with line level mode providing 10dB of added headroom for use with active bass guitars, synths, amps effects loops, vocals and more.

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Tape Machines

Classic single-note slapback. Rhythmic multi-head delays. Ambient, washed-out echoes that dissolve into waves of noise. El Capistan’s three different tape machines provide a huge variety of vintage delay sounds, offering unique functionality depending on what the 'Mode' switch is set to:

  • Fixed Tape Head Machine: Creates a classic delay effect with tape speed controlled via the 'Time' knob. The 'Mode' switch selects between three playback heads, each a specific distance from the record head for a specific delay interval. Choose between: (A) short delay with 1/16 note tap tempo, (B) medium delay with 1/8 note tap tempo, and (C) long delay with 1/4 note tap tempo.
  • Multi Tape Head Machine: Has the same three playback heads as the fixed version, but simultaneously uses two of the three playback heads to create rhythmic delays that groove with one another. The 'Mode' switch selects which two playback heads are active: (A) heads 1 and 2 are active, (B) heads 2 and 3 are active, (C) heads 1 and 3 are active. The 'Time' knob adjusts tape speed.
  • Single Tape Head Machine: Changes things up by running the tape at a fixed speed while the 'Time' knob sets the delay time by adjusting the position of a sliding record head. This tape machine also features a sound-on-sound looper. The 'Mode' switch offers the following options: (A) tape motor runs at double speed for higher fidelity with shorter delay times, (B) tape motor runs at normal speed for lower fidelity with longer delay times, (C) sound-on-sound mode for tape-style looping with instant tape splice, bulk erase, and two tape speeds.

Controls & Routing

You'll struggle to find many compact tape delay emulators that can rival the sheer amount of control offered by the El Capistan V2, all while remaining tactile and intuitive:

  • TIME: Adjusts the delay time according to the selected 'Tape Head' type.
  • WOW & FLUTTER: Controls the amount of mechanically-related tape speed fluctuations.
  • TAPE AGE: Influences the bandwidth of the tape, just as it would change over time in a traditional tape machine.
  • REPEATS: Varies the number of repeats from one to saturated oscillation.
  • SPRING: Adds spring reverb without affecting the level of the dry or echo signals.
  • MIX: Controls the balance of the dry and echo signals, from 100% dry at minimum to 100% echo at maximum. Set to 3 o’clock for a 50/50 dry/echo mix.
  • TAPE HEAD: Changes the selected 'Tape Machine/Head' configuration. Fixed: one head, 'Time' knob varies the tape speed. Multi: two heads, 'Time' knob varies the tape speed. Single: 'Time' knob varies the head position, tape speed is fixed.
  • MODE: Changes the operation of El Capistan depending on the 'Tape Head' setting. See complete User Manual for details and SOS looper info.
  • TAP: Tap 1/4 notes to set the delay time. The LED flashes red to indicate tempo. Hold switch for infinite repeats.
  • ON: Engages and bypasses effect. Red LED indicates the effect is engaged.
  • IN: High-impedance, ultra-low noise, discrete Class A JFET preamp input. TRS adapter cable required for stereo input signal.
  • OUT L: Low impedance stereo audio signal output. Use Out L for mono output.
  • OUT R: Low impedance stereo audio signal output. Use Out L and Out R for stereo output.
  • INPUT SWITCH: Select input signal type.
  • EXP/MIDI: Multifunction communication jack for external control of El Capistan’s features and functions. Use a standard TRS expression pedal for continuous control over the knobs of the pedal (default setting). See complete User Manual for details about configuring for MIDI communication or accessories such as Strymon Conduit, MultiSwitch Plus, and MiniSwitch.
  • USB-C: Computer connection for controlling via MIDI and for performing firmware updates.

Secondary Functions

  • Low End Contour: Gives you control over the low frequency shaping of the echo repeats. Go from extended bandwidth to extremely high-passed, magnetic drum-style repeats.
  • Tape Bias: Allows you to make tape machine bias adjustments, from under-biased to over-biased. Higher bias levels result in reduced echo volume and limited headroom. Lower bias settings result in the cleanest echoes with the most headroom.
  • Boost/Cut (+/-3dB): Lets you achieve a plus or minus 3dB boost or cut when the pedal is engaged.
  • Tape Crinkle: Controls the amount and severity of tape irregularities; including friction, creases, splices and contaminants. Go from smooth and well-cared for, all the way to chewed and mangled. Characteristics track accordingly to tape speed.


Ins, Outs & Switches

  • High-impedance, ultra-low noise discrete Class A JFET TRS stereo input
  • Low-impedance independent TS stereo outputs
  • Expression pedal input allows the connection of a TRS expression pedal, MiniSwitch, MultiSwitch Plus, or TRS MIDI connection
  • USB jack for controlling via MIDI from a computer or for performing firmware updates
  • Dedicated 'Tap Tempo' & 'On/Off' footswitches

Audio Quality

  • Premium JFET analogue front end
  • Ultra-low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters provide uncompromising audio quality
  • 520MHz ARM Superscalar processor
  • 32-bit floating point processing
  • 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response
  • Audio Input Impedance: 1M Ohm
  • Audio Output Impedance: 100 Ohm


  • Strong and lightweight anodized dark grey aluminium chassis
  • 9V DC power supply included
  • Power Requirements: 9V DC centre-negative, with a minimum of 300mA current
  • Dimensions: 4.5” deep x 4” wide x 1.75” tall (11.4 cm deep x 10.2 cm wide x 4.4 cm tall)
  • Designed and built in the USA
Elliot Stent author picture

Written by Elliot Stent

Customer Reviews


5 reviews





Mr Andy Thomas25th Sep 2023

Value 4Looks 4Durability 4Sound 5

Mr Steven Terzza31st Mar 2023

Great delay pedal, sounds ace. Although 1st item was faulty, no dry signal. Replacement item perfect

Value 4Looks 5Durability 4Sound 5

Mr Nicholas Burt26th Jan 2023

Value 5Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Trusted Customer15th Sep 2022

Rich tape delay simulation, tweakable in every way. This pedal is expensive, but sounds fantastic. Since v2 has added MIDI control, it's even more useful as if you already have MIDI in your rig then you don't need the extra Strymon switch to be able to use presets. One feature of the MIDI implementation that I find very useful, and that many MIDI-capable delays don't have, is that you can configure per preset whether the pedal follows the MIDI clock signal. This means that I can have clock running but still get a nice short slapback-type delay out of the El Capistan, then for another preset have a rhythmic delay properly in time.

Value 4Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Mr Kevin Wagg8th Aug 2022

Value 5Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

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