Heat vs strymon deco?


spiraling more into the elektron vortex. i really like the heat but am struggling to justify the cost vs another synth etc. have had a few strymon pedals that i really liked, and checking out info on the deco. obviously way less featured but anybody have experience with both? would i get some of the warmth and color from 1-2 settings of the heat. way cheaper and smaller footprint too, which i like. no filter and all that cool heat stuff, but it does have cool tape fx. found this video:

Sequence Analog Heat from Octatrack

The Deco is never going to be as flexible as the Heat, but it should do better tape simulation if that’s your thing.


I run a Deco on the master out on all my current tracks.
I like it a lot. It’s really easy to go from subtle, to super saturated tape phasing.
The deco will ultimately “color” the sound when activated.
Each mode is quite different from each other too.

Sum, is kind of the basic tape phasing emulation and has a rich full sound. It’s the one I use the most.
Invert, can somewhat act like a high pass filter phasing thing
Bounce, is the weirdest one. It will definitely sound different on the left vs right, this bothers some people.
Some tracks sound better with bounce as opposed to Sum. It kind of sounds like some stereo widening type effect.

All my tracks posted here are using Sum most of the time, and sometimes switching to Invert.
The track Coms1, is using Bounce only.

I dont have a Heat, but I’ve used one.
They really are not in the same league.
I absolutely love the deco, and wanted something special to kind of glue/color my entire sound.
It does that, and although it’s a fantastic effects pedal, it’s going to color your sound like an fx pedal will, it’s not going to make your sound clean and crisp.

The Saturation is nice to, I usually have it set to something really subtle, unless it calls for over driven crunchy goodness. Again though, not even in the same league as the Heat, but I highly recommend it.


I own both.
I love what Deco does to my Machinedrum.
You can use it for the saturation, but also for expanding anything in the stereo field, get some phaser or chorus FX, or even a short delay.
A very good pedal IMO.


The deco is simple in a very positive way - the video demonstrates what you can expect from the saturation side. the tape fx are great from flange, chorus, beautiful slap to delay. Heat is much deeper in every aspect. If you are interested in endless variations of dirt, get the heat. If you want an easy nobrainer sound enhancer the deco is it. Having both is another option :wink:


Thanks for the detailed response. Your tracks sound good! However you worried me with the non-hi fi pedal sound thing. I’m also a guitarist and have had many pedals and not looking to rob anything from the signal, no tone suck. I figured this wouldn’t be the case because my timeline seemed pretty transparent.


How about the clicking sounds when switching? Audible?


Hi, I can’t say much about Deco because I’ve never used it but I am very tempted by it… I have AH and it gives decent mixes a certain type of “now it’s there” that I’ve never gotten unless I was using gear I couldn’t afford in a Chicago based studio i worked for a while back. Heat easily goes so far into the that’s waaaay too far zone that I think it turns people off sometimes. They overlook all the dialed back colors, sounds, and flavors. Anyway, yeah and Deco is a better price, has some of the best flanging I’ve ever heard, sounds amazing, it’s a better deal, and looks more classy too. Kinda hard to go wrong either way here!


It’s a really high quality pedal, ultra low noise. When activated though, it sounds like tape, kinda blurs, glues, colorizes the sound. It’s not some pristine subtle clean sounding thing, but in the best kind of way.
I’ve seen a few comments about people confused on how the Bounce works, and not liking it. I like it, but only at certain times.


It definitely is, but if you switch in on the right part of your track, it’s less noticeable


I had a deco for about a month or two a couple years ago. I ended up returning it because although I liked the sound I found that it really messed with the frequency balance. I would mix my MD to the levels I liked and then engage the effect and have to remix levels and re-EQ. It was fine for tracking but if I wanted to play live without the deco then my mix would be compromised.

With the Heat, the EQ is available if the chosen effect alters the sound in way you don’t like.


When you switch it on and off, maybe.
But I don’t do that often : I just turn the saturation down and up, usually.
And I must tell you I’ve never noticed such click.

I switch the Tape FX on and off a lot, and never noticed a click on this part.


+1 for the deco i bought it without knowing how versitile it is, i just wanted som tape saturation but wow i got a nice bonus + cool knob fiddling =)


And there is a hole for an expression pedal, if you want to get crazy with your feet :wink:
But these knobs are sooooo great to play with. Moog great.


I’ve never tried Deco but I just wanted to say that I’ve owned more than 40 “pro” musical units over the years and none of them, as standalone devices, have been even close to providing the delightfullnes of my :heat:.

It’s simply the best investment I’ve made to the studio. Everything just sounds better with :heat:.


so got the deco yesterday, was initially disappointed as it rolls of A LOT of highs and initially the bass was way low, figured out how to get equal bass back with the hidden controls,…that part is great. still not LOVING the amount of treble i am losing but properly managing output and low saturation i do get a sound i like. will probably be making up some of the treble that is lost as i “master” my jams. it’s also cool that there is a big difference in sound, because it can be used as an mood switch at some part of the song. still figuring out my preferred sounds on the other side, which are pretty cool for breakdowns, etc.

this being said, 10 minutes into my first trials i was sure i was going to send it back for a capistan or a bluesky, something that is more immediately gratifying, but it has grown on me and will most likely be staying.


I use Deco mainly with left knob at 9 o’clock, volume to 12.
This way I have saturation without loosing too much treble.
I usually leave the right part off, until I want some jungle like beat (middle switch full front, right knob close to max). Or mess with the right knob to get tape like sounds.
I love it on MD.


I loved my Deco. But sold it to fund my Digitakt. It was funky. But it boosted and sucked certain frequencies when I ran a Tempest drum machine through it. Very specialised. And now I’m wondering if I need Heat! But I’m very moderate in my distortion needs. In fact I had a nice solution previously…Two warm FMR PBC 6As. Gave great character on the bus. I’ve also been looking at a Valley People Dynamite, but they’re not cheap. Or dreaming of the famed and pricey Distressor[s]! But perhaps the Heat is the glue I fancy a sniff of… :zipper_mouth_face:


Please, tell us more of these hidden controls. Didn’t even think of that.


Press both switches down and move the volume to about 9 o’clock.