Price paid: £ 240
Purchased from: Thomann
Ease of Use — 9
It wouldn't hurt to have something printed around the dials that have a secondary feature for when the bypass and tap switches are held down, as it's easy to forget what these do. That's not too big a deal unless you REALLY want to tweak every aspect of the delay but it would definitely help for fine tuning.
One of the first things I found when testing this pedal was that the tap tempo alters the pitch of any active repeats while being tapped, in the same way that repeats change pitch when the delay time knob is moved. To me this is an awful design flaw, horribly inconvenient and hardly subtle if you need to alter your tempo due to an over-excited drummer... But this can be avoided! Thanks to a forum member's suggestion we worked out that if you tap with both the bypass and tap switches together (if you have trails enabled) then you switch off the delay while simultaneously hitting the first tap of a new tempo, and on the second tap you re-enable the delay. This allows for seamless tempo changing!
Could be a little easier to use in those respects, but otherwise it really couldn't be easier to dial in a great sound. The range of delay time is amazing, the mode switch gives you the three most popular delay options at your finger tips, and everything is just how it should be!
Sound — 10
I play mostly blues and classic/hard rock, as well as playing in my church's worship band, and this delay pedal is absolutely perfect! I decided I wanted a solid analogue sound after spending months looking at the Brigadier and the El Capistan and decided against the tape echo. I play almost exclusively Yamaha Super Flighters or the odd Les Paul through a Marshall JCM900 with an array of overdrive pedals, and I use delay mostly in solos and more atmospheric lead lines. One of the best things about the Brigadier for me, other than the analogue bucket brigade sound is the favorite function with the external switch. I have the dials on the pedal set to a fairly standard quarter note delay (but sometimes flick it to dotted eighth) which I use for standard lead parts and then I have my "favorite" settings as high repeats and higher mix that I use for massive sustain on volume swells.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As soon as I took this out of the box I could tell the build quality was outstanding. The switches are soft click but still feel perfectly durable, and the metal chassis is obviously built to last. The knobs feel sturdy but not stiff, likewise with the switches.When spending this much money on any product you expect quality, but I think Strymon have got to be some of the best on the market for production quality. The sound is one thing, but if it breaks half way through a gig then you're obviously gonna have a problem. I'd have no problem using this without a backup... mostly because a second one would cost too much ;)
Overall Impression — 10
I was a little concerned that I was spending more than was worth doing so on a delay pedal, but that concern was gone as soon as I turned it on for the first time. The sound is incredible, it's easily manipulated to sound exactly as you want. Although it's simulating an analogue delay, it's possible to turn the bucket loss right down and have an almost hi-fi sounding delay if you want something a bit crisper. That being said, you can also turn it right up and it sounds just like analogue!
The overall build quality is excellent, the range of sounds is mind blowing, and the processing power is just incredible! The only complaint I have is regarding the tap tempo pitch change, although that can be worked around it shouldn't have to be. I would definitely replace this if necessary, and will absolutely recommend to anyone who's looking for an analogue delay sound. The tap and favorite functions are the icing on the cake for this, it really is amazing!