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strymon vs line6 technology....

lovesickmusic

Member
Messages
621
I am a huge fan of both, but it got me to thinking....we are still talking about "digital" pedals that model analog, right? unless i am missing something, it seems to me like strymon just has better "technology" (also build quality) ...but we aren't talking about anything being actually analog ......just "analog modeled"....thoughts? school me...
 

nathobornio

Member
Messages
111
Im a big fan of Line 6 and Strymon too... For me Line 6 is far more versatile overall.. The timeline is the best delay period for me - but for cheaper i can get a Line 6 m9 which would cover what I'd need the Strymon to do (and i dont think anyone would tell a difference without seeing them) and be able to use all of their other effects built in..

Saying that if I had the money i'd get both :)

Line 6 drives really arent the best, but i'd say theyre better than alot of people make out.
 

lovesickmusic

Member
Messages
621
I guess the root question i have is, that essentially they are using all modeling right? Its not like we are talking specific chips/capacitors/etc etc. its still alot of "programmed" sounds into a computerized board....

no?
 

kleydj13

Member
Messages
1,607
If I'm not mistaken the line 6 M series effects are a little dated. Technology accelerates at a crazy fast rate, so new digital algorithms are probably a bigger step forward than a new analog circuit. Line 6 has great functionality, but I have found Strymon to be more refined in terms of tone and authenticity. That said, if Line 6 released updated effects I would be pretty interested.
 

Charlie_Pace

Member
Messages
2,427
I have owned both Line 6 pedals and Strymon pedals, and here's my sense.

Line 6 is bone head simple, what you get is what you see, the modeled sounds aren't bad, but they are nothing to write home about, ther reliability is questionable, and they typically take a large amount of real estate.

Strymon is expensive and overall sounds better. Their products are a little less intuitive, and take reading the manual a bit to fully understand them. Compared to actual analog pedals, they get close, but not 100%. The soft switches they use now are nice, the old switches were very sticky.

In this case, I think if one was playin live it'd be hard to distinguish the pedals from each other, but the Strymon stuff had very unique sounds (Ice, Trem delay, etc.) so they take the take for me in terms of digital modeling.
 

rbrogan

Member
Messages
1,215
I love both, and actually own and use a few line 6 pedals. I've had the pleasure of getting to play through the Strymon stuff. The main difference, Strymon's pedals are made to be more up market products. This means that they've got the luxury of higher quality switches, better components, potentially faster IC's that handle the actual algorithms, etc.

Overall, this "technically" makes for a more reliable and refined product. I say "technically" because it doesn't mean that all Strymon's will always be perfect, unfailing products. It just means that given a Line 6 M13, and a Strymon Timeline, the timeline will most likely hold up better over time. There are always exceptions to the rules. Line 6 has a murky reputation when it comes to hardware quality. There are a lot of guys still pounding their DL4's that they bought back in 2004, and there a ton of guys who bought a brand new one, and it broke 3 months later. I personally use an M13, and I love it, but I'm also painfully aware that the foot switches on there may start failing in the next couple of years. Or they may be just fine, you honestly never know. The Strymon stuff also has better analog to digital conversion, which goes back to better components. Especially on the multi-effects units for Line 6, you can tell they had to skimp a bit to keep the price points. Line 6 seems to get better and better with this every generation (or better at hiding it from my ears...), so I'm very interested at the next generation of the M-Series pedals if continue to develop them.

Then there's the algorithms. While most people will probably side with the Strymon stuff as objectively better... this is more personal taste. I think Line 6 has some pretty amazing algorithms that they've made; some of the Verbzilla Reverbs, and the Echo Parks Tape settings. I think Strymon in general shoots for as close as an emulation as possible, while also allowing tweaking and parameters that wouldn't be quite as easy or possible in it's real world analog counterpart. Line 6 on the other hand, seems to go more for the "flavor" of say, a tape delay. With an El Capistan you can control tape bias, and crinkle, tape age, and reliably produce a wonderfully warm, broken old tape machine. The Line 6 Echo Park allows you to introduce tape modulation (sort of a bias/old tape warble) that is not nearly as tweakable, but has such a beautiful sound to it (to me at least).

Per usual TGP... YMMV, IMHO...
 

chrisross

Member
Messages
2,759
It's kinda like how Sonic and Wendys both make hamburgers, but Sonic is much, much better at it.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
I think I read somewhere some of the guys at Strymon used to work at Line 6 in a creative way. And joined up with the Damage Control guys to create Strymon.

Can someone confirm or deny that ? Kind of interesting if it's true....
 

FuzzGazer

Member
Messages
2,395
they've got the luxury of higher quality switches, better components, potentially faster IC's that handle the actual algorithms, etc.
So you believe that Strymon uses different components than Line6? Interesting, from what I have seen, they use exactly the same switches, components, and IC's. Pop open an El Cap and then pop open an M9 and tell me what you see.
 

zwolf

Member
Messages
404
I think I read somewhere some of the guys at Strymon used to work at Line 6 in a creative way. And joined up with the Damage Control guys to create Strymon.

Can someone confirm or deny that ? Kind of interesting if it's true....
This is true. Pete Celli, their "dsp guru ", came from line 6 before starting damage control.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
This is true. Pete Celli, their "dsp guru ", came from line 6 before starting damage control.

Thats pretty cool.

I dig both companies, I just think Strymon seems to be less comprising on build quality, bypass issues and how it effects your over all tone.

I would pay more money for an M9 for instance if I knew it had top notch components and circuitry.

I owned at one time an M13 and then a M9. Both had issues right out of a factory fresh box.

Maybe just my experience, but it soured me on Line 6 a bit, but I'm sure I'll give them another shot at some point.

Their variax acoustic is amazing.... I love mine.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
So you believe that Strymon uses different components than Line6? Interesting, from what I have seen, they use exactly the same switches, components, and IC's. Pop open an El Cap and then pop open an M9 and tell me what you see.

Really ?? Exactly the same ?? There is someone on TGP that upgrades the m series pedal to have better fidelity.

Maybe he'll chime in.

I believe the the whole bypass philosophy is different between the two companies, isnt it ?

The whole digital conversion and/or analog dry through issue ? I dont really care about that stuff, I just use what sounds best to me....but it leads me to believe at least some components are different.
 

FuzzGazer

Member
Messages
2,395
Really ?? Exactly the same ??
Yep. They both use Sharc's and SMT parts, how/why is one better than the other?

I believe the the whole bypass philosophy is different between the two companies, isnt it ?
That may be true, but it has little to do with the component quality.

The whole digital conversion and/or analog dry through issue ? I dont really care about that stuff, I just use what sounds best to me....but it leads me to believe at least some components are different.
This is just a matter of utilizing a dry path or not. Again, little to do with component quality.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
Yep.



That may be true, but it has little to do with the component quality.



This is just a matter of utilizing a dry path or not. Again, little to do with component quality.

Interesting and I'll take your word for it. Although the switches on an M9 and a timeline are definitely different.

I believe the DSP chips are different, aren't they ? I have no dog in this fight ( not that it is a fight ;) ) . Just find it interesting is all.

EDIT _ i just re-read your answer about the chips above and again I trust what your saying.

Is the input jack component the same ? I only ask because both problems I had with my M13 and then M9 were directly related to the input/output jacks and how they connected to the rest of the unit.
 

FuzzGazer

Member
Messages
2,395
Interesting and I'll take your word for it.
Oooh, don't do that! Open them up and look for yourself.

I believe the DSP chips are different, aren't they ?
Nope, both use Sharcs.

Is the input jack component the same ? I only ask because both problems I had with my M13 and then M9 were directly related to the input/output jacks and how they connected to the rest of the unit.
As far as I can tell the are using the same off-the-shelf I/O jacks that everyone else uses.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
Oooh, don't do that! Open them up and look for yourself.



Nah, I've only opened up OD pedals to swap out IC chips, but I always go back to whatever they come with.

For instance I could care less if my overdrive pedal is " SMD "or Hardwired.

I really dont worry about the insides. I buy based on my ears and a record or reliability I guess.
 
Messages
767
I have a Timeline and a M5 on my board and I like both. Both got a lot more live-use friendly when I added a Disaster Area DMC-3XL controller that can switch presets on both (with "hold to scroll") and control the Timeline looper including special functions (reverse, half speed, undo/redo, looper pre/post delay). This finally made the Timeline looper really better than my previous M9's looper for me.

There's still some delay stuff that the M series do better than the Timeline IMHO, like swell delay and the strongly low cut filtered "dub music echoplex" style echoes, check my A/B videos below.

What I like about the M5 compared to the Timeline:

  • "Auto Volume Echo" beats Timeline's Swell algo IMHO. Also, I lobe the Line6 "Tube Echo dry thru" model, and that cannot be replicated by Timeline's "dTape". But dTape can do lots of other great sounds.
  • parameter WYSIWYG (you see the settings of all parameters, plus what the expresiion pedal does to them, in realtime)
  • expression pedal easier to assign
  • works with my Diago Powerstation daisy chain supply (causes the Timeline to make high pitch squeal)
  • Tap tempo / tempo averaging works better
  • way more tap subdivisions, including one that I like to use that Timeline doesn't offer: 4th triplet
  • has lots of useable non-delay models (yes, most are not REALLY great, and some really suck; but I love to have a whammy at hand when I need it once in a while, without having to buy an actuall Whammy pedal eating lots of money and real estate)
  • useable tuner (I use it as my main tuner)
  • good value for money

What I dislike about the M5 in addition to the stuff mentioned above:

  • preset switching is kinda complicated
  • when switching presets via midi, preset name is not displayed
  • large enclosure

What I like about the Timeline:

  • Analog dry path
  • sounds better/alters input signal less when switched to buffered bypass (persist on) compared to M5 in DSP bypass mode
  • progammable -3dB to +3dB analog levels - great!
  • overall sound quality (I agree it's better than the M5)
  • display easier to read (though it shows way less information)
  • better preset switching
  • convenient "hold preset switch for infinite repeats" function
  • does useable reverb (I like it better than the M5 verb algos) ... check my videos below
  • knobs are easy to set and have clever "taper" (like, mix has a "natural" repeat level at noon, while "wet equals dry level" is at 3 o'clock)
  • fun stuff like the Ice model
  • more MIDI control options than M5

What I dislike about the Timeline in addition to the stuff mentioned above:

  • sometimes behaves erratically: Dry sound suddenly disappears, I have to change presets and turn mix knob to get it back. Infinite repeats won't stop after releasing preset footswitch. Tap sometimes doesn't react properly. Trigger errors in swell mode.
    Others have reported different experiences, but for me, my Line 6 gear (DL4 => M9 => M5) performed more reliable than the Timeline
  • High pitch squeal when playing back loop in half speed (even when recorded in half speed)
  • artificially "throttled" delay times: You can't go really fast (like 5 ms), except for Lo-Fi mode. Doesn't comply with the "I can use my digital delay with modulation as chorus, flanger or vibrato standard"
  • when in true bypass, looper doesn't work (IMHO activating the looper should automatically switch the unit from true bypass to buffered bypass; like on M9/M13)









 




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