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Strymon Updates Iconic Guitar Pedals Without Ruining Everything

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  • Posted on 20th Jul, 2022 18:21 PM
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Strymon has released updates to it's line of guitar pedals that add features without removing anything or changing what already works, meaning the quality you expect is still there.

  • Strymon has updated some of the best-loved guitar pedals around.
  • The US-based effects company is known for ultra-high quality, great sound, and reliability. 
  • These new pedals are solid updates, but you don’t need to upgrade.

Strymon

If your range of guitar pedals is widely regarded as some of the best in the industry, what do you do for a sequel?

It's hard to find a more respected name in the guitar pedal game than Strymon. In a market where digital recreations of analog effects are often scorned, Strymon's pedals are an exception. Its prices are high, but that rarely draws complaints in the guitar forums. And even when the company drifts into the distinctly esoteric, far from its core market, the result is excited interest rather than armchair lamentations about lost focus. With its new range of updated pedals, Strymon has chosen the safe, maybe even boring route. And guess what? That's just fine. 

"The old ones are still good… wait a while, and you might reconsider and stick with what you have," musician re5et said on a forum participated in by Lifewire.

Pedal Headline 

Strymon is like the IBM of the pedal works, from when IBM was a solid, reliable PC maker that nobody would regret buying. This comes down to a combination of features. One is that Strymon's pedals are totally reliable. They don't buzz or hum when they're not supposed to, they don't break, and they are beautifully built. Even Strymon's guitar pedal power supplies, which cost as much as high-end effects pedals from other companies, are worth every penny for the same reasons. I've used one for years, and while I didn't like buying it, I love having it because it lets me stop thinking about power supplies. 

Another is that they are incredibly well-thought-out. The designs usually include everything you need, nothing you don't, and enough small customization options to keep the nerds happy. For example, you can open up some pedals and flip an internal switch to convert a mono input to a stereo input—not something most guitarists care about, but a big deal for anyone using the pedal with synthesizers. 

But above all, people love Strymon pedals because they sound amazing. The guitar effects market is obsessed with analog effects, yet Strymon's digital recreations of tape echo and distortion, spring-based reverbs, and so on are so good that nobody cares. And digital has the advantage of being endlessly tweakable while letting the user save presets to recall later. 

Strymon—The Next Generation

Strymon has updated its "small box" effects, leaving its flagship TimeLine (delay) and BigSky (reverb) pedals alone for now. The new pedals change pretty much nothing from the old ones, choosing only to add extra features. 

The new lineup now has MIDI for full control of all parameters from your computer or a hardware MIDI controller. You can also use this to synchronize the time-based effects like delay and tremolo with a song, rather than having to dial it in manually. The user can also store up to 300 presets and real these via MIDI.

That means that musicians playing live on stage can quickly switch all their pedals to the presets for the next song with one tap, and folks in the studio can store presets for the project on their computer. 

"The fun bit with MIDI'd Strymons for me is recording your realtime knob moves from the pedal and being able to fine-tune it later," electronic musician and Strymon fan Tapesky said on the Elektronauts forums. "It's like having an extra set of hands for evolving sequences or drones."

Strymon

The pedals can now also be switched between mono and stereo input with an easy-to-reach external switch instead of an internal one. 

These new pedals also run on a new DSP (digital signal processing) chip, with more processing power, but less power consumption, and now connect to computers via USB-C.

Add this to some minor tweaks to the sounds and controls, and you have a range of winners. 

Even the obsessive gear upgraders that people music forums are happy. These new pedals add very specific new features that will be essential for some and worth the upgrade (like MIDI), but if you own an original model, then it hasn't just been rendered obsolete.

This is typical Strymon—it could have gone for the quick buck to make everyone upgrade, but these new models are more about updating an already solid line of products to be relevant for the next decade. It also brings them into line with more recently-released pedals from Strymon, like the Compadre (compressor) and Zelzah(phaser), which already pack the new stereo selector, MIDI presets, and so on. 

Solid, reliable, not particularly exciting, yet still inspirational. That's Strymon.

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