The Obligatory Commentary

Right, because I’m definitely being forced to display my personal thoughts on the internet. But hey, the title sounded cool. These are the things that I have yet to comment on, and feel that this site may implode upon itself if I do not. Such is inexorable link to the lifeblood of this site that is held by the words Timeline, U2, Prairiewood, and Dennis Hopper. (Okay, maybe not that last one.)

1. The Timeline

How do I feel about this? Well, first off, let me say that I was right. I posted this in January, questioning whether that casing was for the Timeline 2, and it turned out it was. And I’m right so seldom, that I like to hold a little celebration for myself that one time a year. So I probably shut all the blinds for a little while and did some Bono moves in my living room with an Izze in one hand and a remote playing back Edge’s ‘Even Better Than the Real Thing’ anti-solo from ZooTV in the other. I’m sure it was glorious. But as that faded, I began to think about whether I would be purchasing a Timeline 2, or a Strymon Timeline, as they are more commonly known. My thoughts:

  • Best feature-set in a pedal ever. Strymon is currently the only company listening to what players want. Huge props to them.
  • Will the lack of tubes in the buffering section make the wet signal less ‘weighty’? The weight of the delayed notes was one of my favorite things on the original Timeline. However, the original Timeline sounds very close to the T-Rex Replica, which is very weighty, and without tubes.
  • The amount of features almost makes me want 2 of them. It’s good that you can route the looper pre or post delay, and thereby use delay with the looper, and the dual delay setting looks very functional; but when I hear people say that it can replace their reverb or all their delays, I think they may not be thinking entirely through live applications. Features are great, but you can’t use all of them simultaneously. Makes me think about keeping my DD20/DD20/DD7 tandem, which is what is currently doing the work of one Timeline. Except that I can run any effects on any of those pedals, together at once.
  • Was I the only one not a huge fan of the demo’s? Sounded a little thin and un-amp-like to me. Turns out, they were recorded direct. I guess that makes sense to hear the cleanest delayed signal possible, but it didn’t help someone like me as I’m already looking for the most warmth possible. However…and this must be said…spectacular playing on the main demo.
  • The hype surrounding this is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The hype doesn’t bug me so much…but the sense of entitlement from certain fans? Whoa. It’s already kept me out of the conversations for the most part. I think some folks are literally looking for a mind-meld feature where they can just think the bank and patch number, and it will automatically come up.
  • The relatively low power requirement for a pedal with that many features worries me a bit. I hope they didn’t skimp on processing power in an effort to make it more easily powered by bricks.
  • But if it sounds even anywhere near the other 6 Strymon/DC pedals I’ve owned (Brig, Blue Sky, OB1, DC Timeline, Liquid Blues, Nexus), it’s going to be amazing.

So bottom line? I think that no matter what, Strymon has created a fantastic pedal that will sell a lot, and make a great number of people happy, creative, and musically satisfied. Will I be buying one? I have to honestly say that I’m still up in the air. I know, that’s weird; I did those original Timeline videos a couple years ago and it sounds funny to me to even think about not having the ‘BPM Timeline’ that I’ve been dreaming about for so long, not on my board. But, times have changed, I’ve started to have a very improbable romance with those DD20′s, and I’m getting more tone out of my hands and mind and the way they react to my amp than I used to. The ‘holy grail pedal search’ has lessened in recent years.

What it will probably come down to is if the features of the new Timeline become a necessity for me. Right now, my ‘Boss Ultimate Delay’ as I call it, has 10 presets, a 40 second looper, and can run 3 different sounds/settings at one time. I really like that feature set. However, the DD20′s are a little bit noisy. For a lot of my recent recording work, I’ve been turning off their channel and recording with the Brigadier, Timeline 1, and DD7 for all my delay needs. But live, I love my Boss Ultimate Delay. hehe Decisions, decisions, and trying desperately to turn off my brain’s default of just getting and keeping all of them. As in, all the delays on universe.

Or then again, maybe this questioning of getting the new Timeline is just pre-sour-grapes because I probably won’t be fast enough to get one on the first run. ;) Either way, Strymon is currently rocking and deserves unequivocally every praise they get.

2. Friday’s U2 Concert

So, U2 were on American Idol, this last album was somewhat disappointing, and it’s become extremely unhip to enjoy them. And as Friday approaches, I literally could not care less about any of that. Their music, for some reason or another, touches me in a way I’ve never felt before. And I can’t wait for Friday, when I will touch Edge in a way he’s never felt before. As in, a group hug with him, me, and his amps. Maybe even the Lovetone pedals and the Dallas Arbiter. I literally feel giddy and as if I need to take Wednesday and Thursday off just to sit and mentally prepare. Are these feelings healthy? Probably not. Are they awesome? Yes.

And thus far, on this leg of the tour, they’ve been playing Miss Sarajevo from their lesser-known Passengers album. This absolutely kills me:

I’m ready, guys. We were 1201 and 1202 in line last year. Hoping to bump that up by about a thousand this year. And don’t worry, Edge. If you run out of Herdim picks, I’ll be stocked up. All you have to do is ask. I will trade them for one Rickenbacker, or one group hug including said Rickenbacher.

For those of you interested in the U2 concert, or what is probably more likely, laughing at me making a fool of myself at the U2 concert, I will be tweeting updates this time. You can follow me at guitar4worship by clicking here, or by clicking the Twitter icon at the top right of the page. It will be splendid.

3. Prairiewood

It shipped today. And there was much rejoicing.

It is scheduled to arrive on June 17th. The day of the U2 show. Coincidence? I think not. June 17th may end up being pretty much the best day in history.

I’ll give a full update when it comes in, but here’s a picture Rob sent me. Check out the new, slightly smaller neck, the less gaudy maple dot inlays on one of his last pieces of Brazilian Rosewood, and the new more rustic green finish. June 17th, June 17th, June 17th. I think that even if Edge were to break a string, I wouldn’t let him play this guitar. Well, maybe. ;)

4. Dennis Hopper

This has nothing to do with anything, but I saw this at Guitar Center today:

Gotta love it. Except that you don’t. But hey, who doesn’t love Dennis Hopper? ‘Look at me…wrong!’ Name that stupendous movie.

Timeline. U2. Prairiewood. Ah, I feel so much better now. :)

Splendid.
Karl.

46 thoughts on “The Obligatory Commentary

  1. I’m with you on the Timeline. I’ve got such delay goodness right now that I could only add to it…not take anything away. This creates a problem because I usually sell gear to buy gear. I’m in a quandary on this one because $450 I quite a bit. Actually it is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the ML2 pricetag and I own one of those…what to do…

  2. I got my Liquid Foot Jr. midi controller last week so I’m just waiting for the SMS alert to pop up on my phone. I’m looking forward to the weirder stuff that it can do compared to the DCTL. It’s just a pedal and not going to change my life.
    It’s a $500+ pedal for anyone living in CA. :)
    They were blowing out the ML2 for $399 at my local store a couple months ago.

    The guitar looks great!
    BRW as they say on TGP ;)

  3. i’ve been trying to resist the new timeline although i already watched the videos twice! and i agree with Dan, that guitar looks mighty great. good stuff, bro.

    btw, i was just watching Apocalypse Now on HD so I may be cheating here a bit ;)

  4. You mean the Boss Ultimate Delay that you’ve been trying to dump on TGP for a couple weeks now? Just kiddin’!

    Speaking of which you never answered my email about buying. Oh well, picked one up elsewhere.

  5. Mark H–same for me. :) And selling a Frenzel is just unthinkable! ;)

    Dan–haha You’re right! Forgot about the tax for us. And are they still selling the ML2 for that price? That I might get! hehe

    Samuel–ah! How could I forget about the Glass Nexus? Fixed! Thank you!

    Rhoy–good form, brother!! I didn’t think anyone was gonna get that one. Ah, such a fantastic film!

    Matt K.–haha Actually, I was looking to raise funds for something else, and wasn’t sure I needed the second DD20. So I was gonna sell both (because you don’t need that tap switch with one) and then buy another one back. haha I’ve done that with DD20′s before. ;)

    But I haven’t bumped that thread in a while…it’s just up there so I don’t have to rewrite it in case I actually do end up buying and keeping a Timeline. haha

    And really sorry about the email! I just checked, and I don’t have anything from you in my inbox. It’s possible that it got caught in my spam folder and deleted. Really sorry about that. Glad it worked out though!

    • They’re out of the ML2 now. They were selling for $579 and sent an email out about a weekend blowout sale including the ML2. I thought it was a low price!

  6. I see the new Timeline more as a Glass Nexus replacement; that might just be me, but considering how many effects are actually some form of delay, may not be too crazy an idea? I think I may sell my GN to get the new TL and use it as such…

  7. They were playing Until the End of the World in Norman, Ok when The Edge walked right over me (on the bridge) and I got a close up of his Converses. Is it weird that I’m excited I was close enough to see his shoes?

  8. The Prairiewood looks gorgeous! I can’t imagine how long this week is going to feel for you…counting down to the guitar delivery AND the U2 show. So do you have someone waiting at your house for the delivery while your out trying to get into the show? I know you’ll have to get there pretty early to get further up in the queue to get in. I can’t imagine you’d be allowing the Prairiewood to wait on your porch while you’re at the show!

  9. Is there a better MIDI controller out there than the Rocktron Midi Mate? I love the look of the Liquid Foot Jr. but the price point is brutal! It just kills me how much real estate the MM takes up!

    Next blog topic – new Coldplay is coming! Here’s a killer new song to get you fired up (Johnny freakin’ Buckland!)…

  10. Karl, I just gotta add one thing to your comments on strymon. While I agree that strymon is listening to what the players want, I personally think that they are not the only one and that there is one more company out there like that. Wampler Pedals. I really love all 3 of my Wampler pedals (The Leviathan, Ego Comp and Hotwired), and it seems like I see Brian post on the gear page in response to comments good and bad (although the bad ones barely exist) about his pedals more than any other builder out there. Plus there is something to be said for a company that makes primarily dirt boxes, and the people that buy them keep them and keep buying more. Maybe I am a naive “wamplerhead” but it seems like i rarely hear of someone selling a used Wampler pedal. And I think that has so much to do with the fact that they listen and make gear that players want.

  11. Dan–blast! That’s such a good price!

    Daraithe–interesting idea! I may be interested in the Nexus, too. ;)

    Jonathan M–ah! That’s awesome! When you were describing it, I got excited. haha

    And ya, slightly thinner neck…same scale.

    3LittleWirds–yep, that’s it. :)

    Rhoy–haha Nice!

    Travis–right on! Maybe we’ll run into each other!

    KennyG–ah, it’s so exciting! And luckily, I live in an apartment complex. So if I’m not home they’ll just drop it by the leasing office. I hope. Gonna leave a note just in case. :)

    Jeff T–great to hear from ya bro! How’s life?

    Great clip, too!! Thanks for that!

    And unfortunately, yes…the Midi Mate is awesome and huge.

    Sal–you need to!! :) I’ll have to come by The Venue.

    Matt–very cool! I haven’t really gotten into the whole Wampler thing yet…probably because I’m kind of off od’s right now. I’m sure in a few months I’ll be back on, and checking them out! :)

  12. Wow, that Prairiewod looks way cooler than before, love that worn green finish.
    The new Timeline looks cool, but is not for me. My first delay is still on the board (marshall echohead) plus the dd7 I added last year. Still find out new settings for those two, so the Timeline would be overkill for me.

  13. I’ve heard great things about the Echohead, but have yet to play one. That’s cool that you’ve still got it!

    And I agree on the Prairiewood. When he first mentioned that he thought he should go lighter on the finish so that it reacted with the wood more, I was a little nervous. But I think it worked out!

  14. Hey Everyone!

    Karl this is a fantastic post! I too am a HUGE fan of Miss Sarajevo! I think that break you took improved your blogging! Thoroughly entertaining!

    If everyone gets a chance and you want to support a fellow musician I am now in a gigging band! We just won a battle of the bands at the Illumination Festival Nor Cal! We’re trying to get into Joshua Fest also. Anyways we have a cd out and I was wondering if you guys might take a listen and give me some feedback. Check us out on facebook. Just search for Anadel. We’re also on reverbnation here

    Hopefully that worked. Anyways thanks for your amazing writing Karl! As always a huge fan! Mostly because you’ve given me an even deeper love for delay :D

    Ben

  15. Karl at the guitar shop:
    “Give me all of the delay pedals you have. Wait. I’m worried that what you just heard was give me a lot of delay pedals, what I said was, give me all of the delay pedals you have…”

  16. The new Timline is amazing as far as number of features. But, as if the thing didn’t have enough features, I literally had a dream that it made grilled cheese sandwiches. No joking whatsoever. And I ate them. And they were good…

  17. Congratulations on the Prariewood man. It must feel good to have that coming back. Or back already, if it arrived on the 17th.

  18. Ok, so i have been thinking more and more about my choice on the timeline since this thread started. Today I decided that I want to poll the crowd and see if anyone cared to weigh in on this question. Wait for timeline? Or buy nova delay(or DD20) and pog 2? Thanks!

  19. Logan–haha Best ever!!

    Caleb–it is…kind of back. I’ll explain later. ;)

    Matt–that’s a tough one. I’m still up in the air about whether I’m gonna get one or stick with my Boss Delay Trio. :)

  20. Karl,

    I know this post is a year and a half old now, but do you mind telling me about the DD20/DD20/DD7 rig you used to run? I’m definitely a noob when it comes to pedals. I have a Strat, DD7, Timmy, TU-3, and a volume pedal, and I’m too intimidated by it to actually get any better at it. After a while I just give up and go back to playing rhythm on my Taylor acoustic.

    Where should I start? (In terms of learning to use a delay pedal)

    TIA

  21. For delay, a good rule of thumb is that less is more. Mix can be a little less than your dry signal, and repeats can literally be only 1 to 3 repeated sounds. Less mix and more repeats makes for a more ambient sound that stays out of the way of your playing, and less repeats with increased mix makes for a more rhythmic sound. For most rhythmic applications, you’ll want quarter note or dotted 8th note, tapped to the tempo of the song. For most filler delay, you’ll want a long time (1000ms) and not timed to the song.

    For my Boss setup I used to use, I ran two DD20′s into each other and treated them as one pedal. I had an external tap tempo pedal that plugged into both of them with which I could set each DD20′s tempo individually, or at the same time. This gave me the ability to have dual delays (running them at the same time), or one delay with 10 presets (each have 5 presets). The DD7 I used as a looper only, because it’s looper is actually pretty good.

    :)

  22. Delay: that’s my only real effect at the moment if you don’t count the RC Booster, and the Barber small fry I hardly ever use. I’ve been playing around with the stereo setup on the DD7 but have decided I probably won’t use it. There are 3 options with that ( using both inputs and both outputs ). Depending on where you set the mode switch you either get two different delays, panning or an undefined “ambient” effect which seems more like reverb than delay. I’ve only tested this at home using two amps but not sure the panning/ping pong thing is useful for church — mine anyway.
    I really wanted a way to go from “regular” tap tempo delay like the analog on the DD7 to dotted eighth without touching the pedal, but if you get an expression pedal it replaces the tap tempo switch and doesn’t seem to change the modes anyway, just mix, feedback and delay time.
    So I decided to settle for a mono hookup using the 800ms mode ( the one that allows dotted eighth ). For most playing I set the repeats to zero and mix about 9 o’clock. For dotted eighth I’m going to have to reach down and
    bump the repeats to maybe 10 o’clock and mix to Noon.
    At the moment this signal goes to a miked tube amp. The other signal path is basically RC Booster to Memory Boy delay to DI/PA. Ah we want our cake and eat it too.

  23. You might find you like one of the stereo setups. The first and simplest “stereo” setup with the DD7 is using only the A mono input but both outputs. That gives you a panning delay back and forth between amps or whatever two outputs you use. If you plug just into the B input, one output is direct with no delay and the other output has the delay. You’re definitely going to want the tap tempo pedal Boss FS-5U The double-input, double-output stereo modes are described in the manual on page 19 ( manual is here if you don’t have it http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/DD-7_OM.pdf

    Stereo connections using both inputs:
    1.
    Make the connection to the INPUT-A
    (MONO) jack and leave nothing connected
    to the INPUT-B jack
    2.
    Hold down the built-in pedal and insert
    the plug to INPUT-B jack
    The setting mode for stereo delay is enabled,
    and the CHECK indicator lights in
    orange.
    3.
    Select the stereo delay effect
    Use the MODE knob to select the mode
    for stereo delay.
    3200ms:
    This is a completely independent
    delay for A and B.
    800ms:
    This is panning delay.
    200ms:
    This is a stereo delay that imparts
    spatial broadness to reverberant
    sound.
    4.
    Save the settings
    Press the built-in pedal switch to make
    the CHECK indicator rapidly flash in orange
    and save the settings.
    After the settings have been saved, the
    unit returns to normal operation.
    * Never switch off the power while the CHECK
    indicator is flashing rapidly.
    * This setting is retained even while the power is
    turned off.

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