Anyone who knows Strymon knows that their pedals are the Rolls Royce of stomp boxes, so when they announce a new delay, it’s a bit of a big deal. And as far as delay pedals go, the Volante Magnetic Echo Machine isn’t you’re garden variety, it’s an emulation of three classic delay sounds from the 1960s and 1970s.
Strymon’s new Volante Echo Machine faithfully replicates famed delays of the 1960s and 1970s, including the Binson Echorec and the Maestro Echoplex.
The Magnetic Echo Machine takes a bit of DNA from a few key vintage delays that helped to create the sounds of the 1960s and 1970s, namely the infamous Binson Echorec.
The Volante has three main settings, Drum, Tape and Studio. The ‘Drum’ setting reproduces the haunting delay sound famously favoured by Pink Floyd, which was originally created by the Echorec’s series of rotating magnetic drum heads. On a side note, it looks as though Strymon has taken some visual cues from Binson’s original.
The second setting, ‘Tape’ replicates the sound of 1970s tape delays such as the Maestro Echoplex, while ‘Studio’ recreates specific reel to reel tape delays that were more common practice in the studio.
The Volante incorporates controls for ‘head spacing’ which shifts the delay’s rhythmic patterns in the same way that it would have on an original unit from the 70s. ‘Low cut’ is a relatively self-explanatory filter control, however, ‘mechanics’ interestingly gives a player controls over unique characteristics that were found in the analogue machines, such as friction, creasing, splicing. The control for ‘Wear’ basically makes the unit sound worn out by decreasing the fidelity of high frequencies, and ‘Rec Level’ increases gain for organic sounding saturation, much like that of the preamps on older tape delays.
Strymon has put a lot of effort into digitally recreating the small nuances of vintage machines that often sell in the thousands, and however nice it is to own an original, the benefits of the Volante can be seen in its modern functionalities, such as looping, tap tempo and high impedance stereo input.
For more information take a look at the Strymon’s website.