Strymon Volante VS El Capistan (Comparison)
Our pick: The Strymon Volante
The Volante gives you more functionality, some analog-esque features, and all at a modest increase in pricing. Both are solid pedals, but the Volante packs in enough additional value to be worth the up-front cost increase.
The Volante and El Capistan are two of Strymon's most popular delay pedals. We'll compare the two of them, side-by-side, highlighting the differences between them in a way that's helpful for those deciding which one to buy.
Both pedals use a digital signal processor (DSP) to create their echo tones and sounds, but still have an organic, analog appeal.
Strymon is one of the best pedal companies when it comes to getting high tone quality into entirely digital guitar pedals.
Read more: Delay pedals with a dotted eighth mode
The Volante is the larger and more functional of the two pedals and runs around $100 higher than the El Capistan.
But which one is "right" for you? Which one is more ideal for your situation?
You can use the comparison tool below to see the two pedals side by side with pricing, features, and an audio demo.
Strymon Volante VS El Capistan Comparison Tool
Strymon El Capistan Delay
Strymon Volante Echo
It's clear that the Volante is more flexible than the El Capistan, and also offers presets, which are not included in the El Capistan. If you listen to the audio demos it's clear that there isn't much of a difference between the two in terms of audio quality. Both sound great.
Note that the El Capistan has a set of secondary controls, in addition to the labeled controls.
Strymon El Capistan Delay Details
The El Capistan doesn't have any presets, and is more purely a delay effect, while the Volante puts more emphasis on reverb and echo variances. If you're looking for a simpler delay that focuses centrally on the tape delay sound, the El Capistan is a good fit.
You also have a more basic and straightforward control scheme, with a tap tempo control and bypass switch.
In total, you have three types of tape head algorithms and three subsequent modes for each type.
While you can dial in reverb and even digitally-modeled tape impurities, it doesn't quite meet the degree of control or versatility achieved by the more expensive Volante.
Strymon Volante Details
In the Volante, you have a more versatile control scheme and a broader mix of tones, with a lot of sounds that seem to have a reverb trail added to delay echoes. You also have more of an analog-style experience with four playback heads that sound more like a classic tape delay.
You still have only three modes of delay, but the additional flexibility and reverberated tones give you a much wider range of sounds to work with.
It's more like a reverb and delay pedal in one.
If you're looking for a pedal that can create a wide range of ambient sounds and provide some ability to call back presets, the Volante is going to be a far better choice than the El Capistan.
Since it's only an extra $100, we like it a lot better, given a one-to-one comparison.
It seems like Strymon tends to give you a dramatic increase in value as you get into their more expensive pedals. For an extra $100, the Volante can do most of what the El Capistan can do, plus a lot more.
Of the two, we'd recommend the Volante for its analog-style setup, the presets, and the wider range of tones it can accommodate.
If you have questions about the Volante or the El Capistan, feel free to drop them in the comments section below and we'll help out as much as possible.