Global Chip Shortage Takes Another Victim, The Bastl Thyme Effects Processor

The global chip shortage has claimed another victim, the Bastl Instruments Thyme effects processor.

The Thyme effects processor is described as ‘a sequenceable robot-operated digital tape machine’. It’s a stereo effects processor, designed for the exploration the space between classical multi-effects categories (delay, phaser, reverb, chorus, pitch shifter, multi-tap delay, tape delay, tremolo, vibrato, compressor).

Bastl announced that the are retiring Thyme via Twitter:

“Good night sweet prince. You have fallen victim to the global chip shortage like many others. ?Sweet dream…you will not be forgotten?.”

36 thoughts on “Global Chip Shortage Takes Another Victim, The Bastl Thyme Effects Processor

  1. It had been discontinued once in 2020 (confirmed by Bastl via email). Got mine at the time because I thought prices would skyrocket. There’s always hope for an update like the Softpop maybe? Dream well sweet prince.

  2. This is excuse is getting old. Plenty of stuff on Mouser and Digikey if you are savvy and can Rev designs or use surface mount. Sorry posts like this don’t endure one to a brand. Bad marketing. If the ship is sinking, should I be inclined to buy other things from them?

    1. You must not design electronics.

      Surface mount parts are harder to get than through hole, and most microprocessors that were being used in audio are unobtainable. The parts shortage is also still getting worse, not better. If you are desiging analog electronics this is navigable if you have the resources and foresight to snap up parts in bulk where and when you can find them. For digital designs you may rely on a single source part like an ADC, microcontroller, or fpga which may be impossible to find or involve a multi year wait. The price on these sorts of parts has also increased so much your design may no longer make sense.

      There is no end in sight to the parts shortage and the consequences will keep getting larger.

      1. 100% accurate reply. I design circuits for a living and it is simply impossible to design new products at this time.

        I own a company ( and We had to purchase 2 years of stock 6 months ago from Taiwan, Malaysia to stay in business. Not everyone can do that even if they are lucky enough to find a source.

        And prices to pre-order into the future are an order of magnitude higher. It is not limited to China. In fact most microcontrollers and FPGAs and unique chips are not made in China.

    2. i’ve got the opposite perspective, crucial parts are missing and much more expensive nowadays, delivery times are much longer and most of the time not realistic so if they do get the parts eventually they will need to ramp up the price, it will probably not sell well and their investment will go to waste.
      so instead of letting people wait knowing they will not make any more they come forward and said it’s discontinued, they simply preferred to be transparent about it, most brands just wait till they have a newer version assuming we will just understand the older is no longer relevant.
      redesign it is an option but it’s better to work on a new version instead with new/improved features, letting us know the older one is not manufacturing anymore before that is commendable.

    3. Hardware guy for manufacturer here. We have had a very hard time getting microcontrollers for our gear since early 2021, with some open orders direct from the manufacturer since last year showing delivery in mid-2023. DAC and CODEC orders have also been scheduled with the manufacturer well over a year in advance. We cannot simply shift products to a different mcu family without tremendous effort. Don’t forget that we’re buying tens of thousands of these parts at a time. If digikey has 138 pieces in stock it doesn’t do us any good.

      Texas Instruments has no inventory of many popular buck and boost power switchers and many other similar components. I’ve been spot buying power MOSFETs by OnSemi at 5x the normal price along with various ESD components, inductors and other usually common parts.

      The reality is that the factory sends us regular lists of impossible to source components and several of our products are on hold because we cannot get one or two parts (even in small quantities of 500 or 1000 pieces). Other products are supply constrained; each retailer is only getting a fraction of their open orders because that’s all we can make.

      1. yup, most folks don’t get that companies work on schedules and price on volume forecasts/agreements to remain profitable. not lots of 100 and spot market prices a bench tech basement boutique on-off product can live off of. sort of. lol. we’re all screwed for a couple more years. it was time for a cull anyway. folks are getting complacent with selection, and most modern products are pretty lame – just right for one key wonders.

  3. Love my Thyme as it is a truly innovative effects box, but as with some of the other Bastl boxes, it is not mainstream, so perhaps it would be viable in larger batches?

  4. THE REALITY IS trying to cut corners by using overseas slave labor has backfired in the most obvious and most predictable way – simply by considering the location of the slave labor you require to produce your goods at the necessary volume and cost is entirely located within a competing nation

    1. good luck finding all your raw materials, parts, and labor skills for high tech all in one country; it doesn’t exist. todays tech level is a *consequence* of global manufacturing. if we were still as nationalist as you seem to want, you would have a dial phone and a CRT TV still. get over it. globalism isn’t going away unless everything crashes back to MAGA levels.

    2. You really don’t get it – there is no source for the vast majority of components other than China. It’s not a choice to use “slave labor” (an unsubstantiated slur against ethical manufacturers) and use other suppliers, it’s a choice to source from China or exit the field entirely

  5. Okay, I’m feeling pretty ignorant here, but could somebody who is kind and patient please break down this chip shortage situation for me?

      1. Nope.

        First, let’s talk audio DACs and CODECs. There was a massive fire at an AKM factory in Japan in late 2020 that effectively stopped their production of most chips for about a year. Companies were forced to design in chips from other manufacturers, but of course supply couldn’t keep up.

        Texas Instruments, OnSemi and many companies that make power regulators and discrete components in Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand have been hit hard by a sudden spike in demand combined with the impact of COVID lockdowns.

        COVID has impacted chip fabs in Taiwan and China that manufacture wafers for major microcontroller suppliers such as NXP and STM. Combined with major companies stockpiling components, this has led to a brutal shortage of vital components. Microchip has faced similar problems making microcontrollers, DACs and flash memory at their facilities in Thailand for similar reasons.

        1. All true.

          Many analysts also point out that Trump put a 25% tariff on Chinese electronic components and banned the sale of US-made semiconductors to China.

          This escalated a trade war that’s both reduced US production of semi-conductors and reduced imports of Chinese parts.

          This didn’t just make electronic parts more expensive for US companies, but also had the side-effect of reducing semiconductor production in both the US & China:

          In general, tariffs are popular with politicians, because they can pretend that they’re ‘punishing’ another country. In reality, US companies pay the tax, and there are always unexpected consequences to messing with the free market.

      2. Blaming China doesn’t even come close to pinpointing the issues at hand. An ignorant argument, to say the least.

        Besides Frodo’s excellent post, I want to add about the neon shortages thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A gas needed for semiconductor manufacturing.

    1. Basically, people (companies) want chips to put in their products. These products need these chips to work.
      There aren’t enough chips being made for all the products that people want to sell.
      Therefore, a chip shortage.

    2. Contrary to many posts. I can confirm that it is not limited to China. In fact, China is the only place that you can still get parts because they provide the parts that are most common in designs.

      The hard to get parts are unique and special components from Taiwan, Malaysia, etc. Those parts such as microcontrollers, FPGAs, special purpose digital ICs, special voltage converters are no where to be found with delays of years, not months.

      As to the reasons, probably a combination of higher demand from the past 2 years together with the decade old ill advised theory of “just in time” manufacturing across all branches of the supply chains.

  6. Okay, anybody else besides Sabazios and Dongleboob? I was hoping to truly understand the in’s and out’s about the matter.

      1. Thank you! This is giving up vs being savvy. The savvy companies will make do and survive. Long lead times and shortages are nothing new in the electronics industry. We had 18 mos. in the RF industry.

  7. @ Conquering Ruler. This is a good summary. I have a buddy who works for HP (Hewlett Packard), and when this first started he mentioned the majority of chip production is in Taiwan, so no, it ain’t “all about China”. BUT, there is a limited production capability (much fewer factories that I realized) and there has been increased demand, for multiple reasons. This article explains most of that, and it’s a good summary:

      1. Not a very nice comment John. You could have left out the word ‘obese’ and got your point across. I’m not obese btw.

        Surprised that Synthtopia posted your comment.

        1. Bill

          Synthtopia encourages readers to share any perspectives they have, as long as they are not personal attacks on individuals or groups of individuals.

          Some might take the mention of “obese Americans” as a personal attack on US citizens, but the CDC describes obesity in the US as “a common, serious, and costly disease”:

          Also, please keep in mind that Synthtopia does not manually moderate all comments, only comments from first-time commenters and people that have a history of not contributing constructively.

          This means you should expect that other readers will occasionally say things that offend you, just like you see on any other public forum on the Internet. It also means that, when someone complains that Synthtopia ‘censored’ their comments, the commenter probably called somebody an offensive name, or left a racist or sexist comment.

      2. +1
        “obese” is being a bit kind, morbidly obese is more like it.

        As for “standing in line”…
        According to a few websites I checked about the 2020 election, 80 million wouldn’t even stand in line to vote for issues or candidates that impact the quality of their everyday lives. Maybe Buffett/Voting combos?

  8. Damn. This has been on my shopping list for years, but never got round to it. I hope Bastl are doing ok as a business, love their products. I wonder if the Softpop 2 is going to face similar problems? Thankfully, thats one I did get round to buying 🙂

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