Archive for June, 2011

Building TimeLine pedals

Posted by Ethan

Work furiously continues on the first TimeLine build! Metal chassis have been built, anodized, and laser etched, and we’re now beginning final assembly. All of the presets have been completed. We’re finishing up the user manual. We’re running our quality tests. And we’re making sure to build enough to best satisfy demand. We do still have quite a few more TimeLine pedals to build, and we will put them up for sale as soon as we can.

If you’re interested in purchasing TimeLine when it is complete, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter. We’ll be announcing the release of TimeLine there first. Make sure to add to your address book to ensure that the email makes it into your inbox and doesn’t get trapped by a hapless junk mail filter.

Premier Guitar video review of Lex Rotary

Posted by Ethan

Lex Rotary - Premier Gear awardRecently, Premier Guitar awarded Lex Rotary with their coveted Premier Gear award, and gave the pedal 5 out of 5 stars in their recent gear review.

Now they’ve put together an informative video demo that walks you through Lex features and sounds. Check it out! And learn more about Lex Rotary here.

Configure a Taylor SolidBody, enter to win.

Posted by Ethan

Contest has ended. Stay tuned for other giveaways!

Taylor SolidBody ConfiguratorOur friends over at Taylor Guitars are giving away a great gear package. Head on over to their website and try out their new SolidBody configurator. Using their configurator, you can explore different body style, color, pickup, and pickguard options and build a virtual model.

All you need to do is configure your SolidBody electric guitar, submit your design, and you’ll be entered to win the guitar, an El Capistan dTape Echo, blueSky Reverberator, a Tiny Terror electric amplifier from Orange, a 1-year subscription to Guitar World, and other Taylor guitar accessories.

El Capistan and blueSkyGiveaway ends June 30, 2011. Read their rules here.
Due to strict giveaway laws in many countries, their contest is open to residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec).

Enter to Win!

Getting closer…

Posted by Ethan

We are working our tails off building TimeLine pedals. Circuit boards are coming together. We’re hoping to have the metal chassis built, anodized, and laser etched within the next week or so. We’re nearly finished with presets. Audio and quality testing. We’re testing the MIDI functionality. All around making sure we can make the absolute best pedal we can, and make them in quantities to meet expected demand. We do still have a fair amount of work to do, but we’re getting close. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for being as excited about TimeLine as we are!

Building TimeLine pedals

Building TimeLine pedals

What we’ve been listening to

Posted by Ethan

We’ve always got some music playing here in the Strymon labs. As we approach the completion of our new TimeLine delay, we have been burning the midnight oil and it’s always great to have some killer songs to keep us company. Here’s what has been in our musical rotation over the last few weeks:

Pete – DSP/Sound Design, co-founder

Soundtrack to the movie Shine

About pianist David Helfgott (a fascinating story in itself). The soundtrack features not only great piano performances, but an amazing orchestral score by David Hirschfelder that is interweaved throughout. [Movie wiki]

Kansas – Leftoverture

Kerry Livgren created a masterpiece that needs to be experienced from start to finish in one listening session. [YouTube playlist]

Colin Hay – Going Somewhere

A great songwriter and storyteller, not to mention a skilled acoustic guitarist with an instantly recognizable voice. [Official site]


Ethan – Marketing Nerd

Subtle – Exiting Arm

I love this band. Impossible to categorize… extremely textural, experimental beats and weird guitars, low-fi/alt hip-hop rap/indie vocalizing, synths, drum machines, and laptops. Each of their albums takes you to a place where you’ve never been before. One of the most creative group of musicians I can think of. [Official site]

Drive Like Jehu – Yank Crime

I don’t anticipate that I’ll ever get sick of this album. The guitars on this album sound so sick. Super unique guitar playing. And I wish I could sing like Ric Froberg. [YouTube playlist]

Matthew Larsen and the Documents – Apheresis

Ok, so I was involved in this one! Matt is a grade school friend, and he recently asked me to mix and master his debut album. The album is deep and full of heavy emotion—much of it was written about his experiences overcoming his second bout with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I just love this album. Features a slew of great Western Massachusetts musicians and Matt’s awesome voice and piano style. [Official site]


Jake – Support/Shipping

From Indian LakesFrom Indian Lakes – The Man With Wooden Legs

Probably one of my favorite albums of all time. This band’s musical ability is far beyond their years. A truly mature and developed sound. [Official site]

The Ghost Inside, Returners

A really solid melodic hardcore album. Really encouraging and Inspiring lyrics and a great mood throughout the album. [Official site]

Dance Gavin Dance, Downtown Battle Mountain II

DGD’s sixth album (if you count the instrumental demos from 2008). It’s really fun and catchy, but still maintains a soulful post-hardcore base to the music. With Jonny Craig and Jon Mess back as the main vocalists, and Jon Mess as the main lyricist again, it finally feels/sounds like Dance Gavin Dance again. [Facebook page]

Dave – Firmware Architect, co-founder

Rush – Exit Stage Left
I’m gearing up for the June 22nd show! [YouTube playlist]


Just dig it. [YouTube playlist]


AC/DC – “Hells Bells” from the album Back in Black
Exposing my son to the classics. [YouTube vid]



Gregg – Analog Design, co-founder

At home I get a good dose of mid 70’s Black Sabbath, Muse and Radiohead from the kids.

For me, I play the occasional Nick Drake, Porcupine Tree, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, UFO and Uli Roth era Scorpions.




Interview with pedal steel guru Jon Graboff

Posted by Ethan

Jon GraboffJon Graboff has been very busy over the years, recording with artists across genres and across the planet. Possibly best known for his work with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, he has also recorded and/or toured with the likes of: Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, David Byrne, Carrie Underwood, Joan Osborn, Yo La Tengo, Ben E. King, Harper Simon, Phil Lesh and others. Recently we had a chance to chat with Jon and talk pedal steel, effects pedals, his musical experiences, and all sorts of other fun.

Can you tell us a bit about your formative musical experiences?

Well… when you’re from New York City, and there’s everything around you from jazz to hardcore, from afro-Cuban to Bollywood… it all gets inside you one way or another and informs your musical outlook. My mother was a very talented classical violinist and my dad was an artist and illustrator who played a pretty wicked clarinet. There was music of all kinds going on around me pretty much all my life.

What drew you to pedal steel guitar?

Jon Graboff pedal steel - with remote Strymon switchI’m not sure what attracted me to the pedal steel guitar but I remember the first time I heard one… even though I had no idea what it was at the time. I heard the first few notes on the Byrd’s album “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” and I clearly recall being captivated by the sound of it. A few months later, I was in a roadside diner with my family. We were going somewhere and someone played “If Teardrops Were Pennies and Heartaches Were Gold” by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner on the jukebox. There is a pedal steel intro on that too and I thought, hey, that’s the same instrument! Interestingly, they were both played by steel guitar great Lloyd Green.

» Click here to read the rest of the article »

Lex Rotary receives the Premier Gear award

Posted by Ethan

Lex Rotary - Premier Gear awardWe’re super-excited to announce that Lex Rotary has received Premier Guitar’s coveted Premier Gear award!

We’re also extremely proud that it has received 5 out of 5 stars in their recent gear review. They say, “The Lex nails a host of rotary speaker tone, but it also delivers a lot of the response and feel of playing one in impressive fashion.”

Read the review!

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