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Strymon Timeline and Empress VM SuperDelay

kracdown

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I recently got a Strymon flint, and am completely blown away by the quality of the build and sound. I've been thinking about adding one of their Timeline delay pedals too my board, but I feel like that would be a bit redundant with my Empress VM Superdelay. So here are my ideas:

1. Get a Timeline, keep the Empress on my board too
2. Get a Timeline, take the Empress off of my board
3. Get a Timeline, also find a big box DMM for my board (probably have it modified by analogman)

I just want to have the largest array of delay sounds at my feet.. I want to be able to do U2, tape delays, slap backs, analog delay sounds, etc.

Thanks
 

tteixeira

Member
Messages
350
Option 3 seems to be a road that many TGP'ers take. The VMSD is a solid pedal though, and unless if you are gonna really utilize all of the Timeline's features, you wouldn't be doing bad if you just kept it and skipped on the TL.
 
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763
I currently run Strymon Timeline + Line6 M5 for delay. I also once owned a Empress Superdelay (non-VM) for a couple of days and A/B'ed it at home and at band rehearsal to my Line6 DL-4 that I had at that time. My band mate owns a EHX Memory Boy Deluxe that I have A/B'ed against my Timeline's "dBucket" mode.

Comments:

  • Empress Superdelay is a very good, pristine sounding digital delay with lots of interesting and useable features.
  • Unfortunately, many of those features cannot be combined (like, you have the cool "strum for tempo" feature, but not in "tape delay" mode); and you are stuck with very limited modulation options
  • I kept the DL-4 and sent back the Superdelay, mainly because I prefer washed out, slightly dirty delay sounds like on the Line6 "Tube Echo" model
  • I've missed the "reverse mode C" thing on the Superdelay ever since. If Empress made a MXR sized box with only that effect for less than $200, I'd probably buy it. Much cooler than the Strymon "Ice" model IMHO
  • Except for the "reverse mode C", the "strum tempo" (instead of tap tempo) and "strum pattern" modes, the Timeline can do almost everything that the SuperDelay can do IMHO. And then some.
  • However, while the Timeline CAN do "dirty, washed out tape delay" better than the SuperDelay, I still prefer the Line6 "Tube Echo" for many things. Main reason why I bought the M5 again, after having sold my M9 to fill the Timeline-gap in my wallet
  • Another thing that Line6 DL4/M series do better than the Timeline is Swell/Auto volume echoes
  • Timeline is quite good in emulating analog bucket brigade delays. But the EHX Deluxe Memory Boy won the direct comparison hands down (other TGP users have reported different results; it also seems that not only tastes vary, but also EHX delays can have quite big unit-to-unit differences)
Bottom Line:

1. Unless "reverse mode C" is a cornerstone of your signature sound, yes, Superdelay and Timeline are kinda redundant. And Timeline is better IMHO, having an analog dry path, better (though still kinda limited) modulation, better "dirty" tape sounds and better ways of combining different stuff, like Looper + various delay algorithms.

2. So if you want two delays, I would suggest to take either the Superdelay or the Timeline; and to combine it with a DMM/DMB and/or a M5. If you're rich, combine it with a Toneczar Echoczar :)
 

lux_interior

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5,376
Their differences, strong and weak points have been discussed a lot in the past, so the search function will help. I've written a few things as well, since I've owned all three of them. Both the Timeline and the VMSD have excellent sound quality, and the interface is their main difference (although the Timeline can of course do much more, so it depends if you really need that or not - many don't, but only realise this afterwards). So they cover the same ground, but the DMM falls outside this since it excels at more natural analog sounds. So my advice would be for you to examine your needs very carefully and decide whether the Timeline will offer you something that you don't have already. The DMM probably will (and it's not necessary to plan its mods before even getting it - I've owned mine for ages and I like it just the way it is).
 

jackrockerman

Member
Messages
782
sorry,VMSD tape delay is better than Timeline..
hehe,my friend have one(Timeline) and do A/B comparison with mine..
and he realize then..VMSD more natural for tape and more headroom..
and Timeline repeat for tape just washed too much..

timeline is better for the Ice mode and delay Pattern only..
not for tape simulation..

keep the VMSD and get the El Cap..and maybe plus with Maxon Ad99 for the true Analog...

analog delay is analog..no other delay can emulate..

pls be honest..hehe
 

Hairpin Turns

Member
Messages
893
Th Timeline can of course do much more, so it depends if you really need that or not ...So my advice would be for you to examine your needs very carefully and decide whether the Timeline will offer you something that you don't have already.
This is good advice. Sold my Timeline recently after 7 months of ownership. I was pretty wowed by all the features when I first heard about it, and it's truly a remarkable piece of gear, but I found myself only using dbucket and dtape with any regularity, and l had other pedals that I preferred for those things (one of them being the el cap). I did love the reverse delay on the Timeline, and some of the other engines were great too, but I really only messed around with them rather than needed them. And about 5 of the delay engines I never used at all.
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
sorry,VMSD tape delay is better than Timeline..
Well, it's a pretty old (and useless, if you ask me - it's not better or worse, just different) debate. For the record though, I agree with you. As a real tape user, I always liked the VMSD's tape sound more, especially mode B and C with a bit of extra modulation from the switch added every now and then. Strymon's tape mode sounds great, but a tiny bit "clinical" and too perfect to me.
 

kracdown

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5,981
i wouldn't get rid of the VMSD, I'm just trying to put together a board that will give me as many delay possibilities as possible. I do plan on eventually getting a real tape delay, but i doubt ill lug that around for most shows. For some reason, I just felt like the Timeline/DMM combo would be slightly more versatile than the VMSD/DMM
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
It would be more versatile since the Timeline offers more than the VMSD, but the questions are (a) would you need the extra modes? (b) would you be willing to find your way through all these parameters and subparameters to dial your presets?
 

kracdown

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5,981
It seems like there are certain features that I would love in the Timeline.. But I'm not sure if I would use them enough to justify the unit. Truth be told, I mostly use delay for slap backs... But i do occasionally use it for U2 type things.
 

foo_3001

Member
Messages
618
It depends,

Like I posted in another thread about the BlueSky / HoF debate,

if the delay will be to spice things up, you´re more than well equipped with the SuperDelay,

if it´s gonna be the main ingredient then go for the Timeline.

The Timeline is great for pad-like ambient stuff, better than any other delay IMO on the market. But as an all-round delay I found the sound to have a certain character that can´t be dialed out and it´s harder to use live than the SD for example.
 

kracdown

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5,981
It depends,

Like I posted in another thread about the BlueSky / HoF debate,

if the delay will be to spice things up, you´re more than well equipped with the SuperDelay,

if it´s gonna be the main ingredient then go for the Timeline.

The Timeline is great for pad-like ambient stuff, better than any other delay IMO on the market. But as an all-round delay I found the sound to have a certain character that can´t be dialed out and it´s harder to use live than the SD for example.
Interestingly enough I just replaced my HoF with a Flint!

But that's a great way of putting it. Looks like i'll just go for a DMM to add into the equation.
 

jb4674

Member
Messages
6,765
Instead of spending over $450+ on a TimeLine, I would source out a used Eventide TimeFactor and give it a try along with the VMSD. If you feel that you need more, then I would consider getting the TimeLine at that point.
 

kracdown

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5,981
Me too! On my bigger touring board that is, I´m keeping the HoF on my grab ´n´ go / fly date board as I really like how it sounds.
The Flint sounds way more natural to me, but the HoF sounds better than all the other one's at the price point IMO.

Anyway... I've decided to start with getting a DMM and go from there
 

teleclem

Member
Messages
4,690
I'd personally go for option 3. I owned the VMSD before the TL and I prefer the capabilities/sound of the TL overall.

I'd also suggest a DMC controller for it in order to maximize usefulness but that will set you back some more $.
 

kracdown

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I'd personally go for option 3. I owned the VMSD before the TL and I prefer the capabilities/sound of the TL overall.

I'd also suggest a DMC controller for it in order to maximize usefulness but that will set you back some more $.
The Gear Page makes me sick ;)

I think ill get the DMM first only because i doubt i'd use a lot of the Timelines settings.
 

mcdes

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Messages
7,549
I've just got the number three option. Timeline and DMM.

I love the timeline, but I'm also a snob, and had to have the DMM...... Just telling it like it is!!

But so far, between the two..... Awesome!
 




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