Vibrato sounds great on any instrument. Even when seasoned vocalists belt out high-pitch notes with a subtle vibrato, it improves their performance. Today we’ll discuss the Top 13 Vibrato Pedals from 2023, focusing on bass guitars.
Generally, many pedals can work on either instrument when we speak of bass and electric guitars. Some pedals on today’s list can be used for guitars and basses, while some are designed purely for the modern bass guitar player.
On today’s post are pedals from renowned brands like Behringer, Jam Pedals, Boss, Keeley Electronics, Earth Quaker Devices, TC Electronics, Joyo, Digitech, Walrus Audio, JHS, MXR, and Crazy Tube Circuits.
We’ve attempted to give you a detailed overview of each pedal so you can easily decide which pedal appeals to you the most and can be your bass’s next best friend.
Why is Vibrato Pedal Good For Bass Guitar?
Vibrato adds more character to an instrument. Most electric guitars have tremolo arms to add gentle vibrato to different notes. Since standard bass guitars don’t have such an option, a vibrato pedal can achieve gentle to profound vibratos to add more expression when playing bass.
Think about a bridge in a song where everything mellows down, and the focus comes down to the bass line. Imagine playing fancy runs and holding the final note with lots of vibrato until the rest of the band kicks in. That would surely be a moment to remember.
Top 13 Vibrato Pedals For Bass 2023 (On All Budgets)
1. Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300
Behring products are immensely popular as they are feature rich and come at a low price.
Behringer’s ultracool UV300 vibrato pedal delivers exciting whammy-like nuances to your electric and bass guitar sound. Measuring 2.1” by 2.8” by 4.8”, the pedal sits nicely on your pedal board without taking up much space.
This multidimensional device can be mild and mellow sounding when the situation requires it or can be equally aggressive, thanks to the wealth of controls on the user interface paired with the cleverly engineered circuitry under the hood. This is simply why the UV300 offers excellent value for money.
Starting from the far left is the “Mode” switch. Here you can choose between three options to alter the behavior of the footswitch. When “Latch” is selected, pressing the footswitch turns the vibrato effects on. If the “Unlatch” mode is selected, the vibrato will only appear when the footswitch is pressed down. This fascinating feature works great if you only need to apply vibrato to some of the notes being played. The central position is the “Bypass” setting. In this mode, the sound will remain unchanged even if the pedal is pressed since the signal will bypass the unit unhindered.
The “Rise” knob controls the modulation. Being a time base control, it regulates how long it takes for the vibrato effect to reach maximum depth. Turning the knob clockwise gives way to faster modulation, which shortens as you move the knob to the left.
Another time-bound effect, the “Rate,” sets the tempo of the vibrato. If you imagine that you have a tremolo arm in your hand, slow movements of the arm can be mimicked by moving the knob to the left. As you go clockwise, however, the vibrato sounds similar to when the tremolo arm is depressed and pulled back faster. So, in short, the speed of the effect can be controlled through the rate knob.
Finally, the “Depth” control sets the modulation effect’s intensity. Just like fluttering the tremolo arm causes a shift in the pitch of a played note, the depth control determines how much of a pitch shift can be added to the vibrato effect. You’ll experience an increased pitch shift as the knob is rotated to the right and vice versa.
- I/O and Footswitch
The quarter-inch input jack is placed on the pedal’s right, while the output jack on the left can send the signal to the next pedal in the chain or to an amp. The 9V power input is located on the pedal’s right side, but another great feature of the unit is that a 9V battery can also power it. The hinges on both sides of the pedal can be carefully removed to reveal the battery compartment underneath.
Looking at all the fun vibrato sounds this pedal emits, the incredibly low-price tag is quite absurd. The rise, rate, and depth features give you exceptional control over every aspect of the vibrato. In addition, the pedal’s versatility can be gauged because it is equally suitable for bass and electric guitar.
With such a low price, Behringer has had to cut a few corners. If there’s one thing that could be improved, it’s the build quality. The pedal feels a little flimsy and plasticky. Furthermore, the “Rise” parameter could be slightly more responsive as it is hardly noticeable.
2. JOYO R-09 Vision
Specializing in a wide array of products, the people of Joyo seem to have a solution for everything.
If you want to buy an amp, the Joyo brand offers amps and cabinets for electric guitars, bass, and acoustic guitar. However, perhaps the brand’s most detailed catalog pertains to guitar and bass effects pedals. From single-effect pedals to multi-effect units, Joyo has it all.
As a proud owner of a Joyo Dark Flame pedal, I can tell you that the delivery of sounds is good enough to give some top-of-the-line American pedals a tough time, and the build quality is second to none. The same vision and execution are reflected in the R-09 Vision pedal, which offers multiple effects.
- Section A
Both sections are more or less the same and have similar knobs labeled “Speed,” “Control,” and “Depth/Mix.” The fourth knob is where all the magic happens. Labeled “Type A,” rotating this knob can activate 9 different effects. These include Mod – Phase, Chorus, ST – Phase, Flanger, Ring Modulation, Rotary, Tremolo, LQD – Phase, and Tri – Chorus. Whichever one of these effects is selected, the three control knobs make relevant adjustments accordingly.
- Section B
The second section has the same “Control” and “Depth/Mix” controls and a slightly different “Rate” knob. This means that section B is designed for rate/time-bound effects. Here the “Type B” effects knob can control another set of 9 effects, including OPT – Tremolo, SM – Chorus, Low – Bit, Auto – Wah, Analog Flanger, Phase, Octa, Stutter, and Vibrato. The control knobs adjust their functionality according to the selected effect.
Although the pedal has multiple effects, the vibrato is the one we’re most interested in today. Through the rate knob, the vibratos speed can be set. The speed increases as the knob is moved clockwise. The depth knob sets the intensity of the effect. The higher the depth value, the harsher the vibrato effect will become. Finally, through the control knob, you can adjust the modulation and depth between the vibrations.
- Layout & Signal Path
This pedal from Joyo has an interesting control layout. The unit is divided into two sections. Sections A and B have separate buttons to activate the side you wish. Between the two sections is a switch that has a very useful application. In the first mode, you can allow the signal to pass from section A to section B in series. In the second mode, you can have both sections activated in parallel. Also, when A and B sections are wired in parallel, you can turn one side off to pair the other side with the dry signal. Not many pedals today have this feature.
- Footswitches, Ambiance Lighting, I/Os
Both footswitches are multifunctional. Pressing them activates or deactivates the section. The Mode A and Mode B LED lights up accordingly. Pressing and holding the switch activates the tap tempo option. The effects unit has some decorative ambient lighting on its top and bottom edges. You can select the lights to be always on, always off, or only on when the pedal is active. This can be done with the help of the aptly labeled switch underneath the unit.
In the R-09 vision, you get two sections with 18 modulation effects. Both sections can be activated in series or parallel, with interesting usages. Finally, the ambiance lighting on the edges of the unit makes it look wicked cool on the pedalboard in dark lighting.
The R-09 measures 5” by 4.3” by 2”, which makes it by no means a small pedal. You’ll have to clear space to set it on your pedal board. What’s more, for someone just looking for a more basic single-effects vibrato pedal, perhaps something like the Behringer UV300 would be better.
3. Walrus Audio Julia Analog Chorus/Vibrato V2
Sporting some creative artwork from the designer Adam Foster, the Julio Analog is undoubtedly worth checking out.
The thought process is the same with any pedal that features the Walrus logo. The Walrus Audio team keeps its ears open to the kind of music out there and is well-tuned with what’s popular and what’s not. Any sound that tickles the company’s fancy is put into an easily workable pedal design.
Once the prototype has seen some in-house testing, it goes through a rigorous process of getting pushed to the limits by several artists that the brand has come to know and love. After getting creative feedback, the pedals are tweaked to perfection and launched in the market for you and me to play with.
Hidden under the rugged metal chassis is some Low-Frequency Oscillation circuitry that creates all the tonal magic. Setting the speed of the LFO is made a cinch thanks to the “Rate” knob. With subtle representations to much more profound whacky modulations, the rate knob is your friend. Turning the knob will make the LFO LED blink according to the selected speed for easy reference.
The “Depth” knob is sort of like an intensity control. From a broad sweep to little or no movement and everything in between, the depth control sets the Low-Frequency oscillation’s amplitude. Increasing the depth makes the effect more intense and profound.
The lag knob is sort of like a swinging pendulum. Setting the midpoint around which the modulation fluctuates is set by manipulating this parameter. At lower levels, the modulation is compact and tighter. As the lag value is increased, you’ll observe crazy pitch changes. The knob should be set around noon to avoid that unwanted out-of-tune feel.
- Wave Switch
The “Wave” switch helps select the texture of the waveform. The graphic shows that one option has much sharper peaks while the other form is a bit rounded with a more gradual change. To simplify things further, you get a chance to choose either a triangle or sine LFO. With Chorus, the triangle waveform is the way to go, and of course, for Vibrato, the sine wave mode is the best option.
- D – C – V Blend Control
This control helps you blend between dry, chorus, and vibrato modes. Having the knob turned down, you’ll hear the dry signal without any other effect. At the 12 o’clock position, there’s a 50/50 ratio between the dry and wet signal. As you go beyond noon, the vibrato effects take center stage. This is where you’ll hear just the vibrato. Keeping the setting between the dry and 12 o’clock position is ideal for bass guitars.
- I/O Options
The pedal has a top-facing quarter-inch input and an equally sized output jack. Some guitar players prefer the I/O options on the top as they’re easy to access without disturbing the neighboring pedals on the board. The power input is also found here but is a bit recessed into the body for some reason which may cause the power supply to get unplugged inadvertently.
The Vibrato on the Julia V2 is managed very creatively. The blend knob is handy as it helps gradually change the sound from dry to chorus to chorus + vibrato and, finally, a full-on vibrato effect. In addition, the not-so-common waveform switch opens a new dimension of experimentation.
The Julia V2 tends to get a bit noisy with some power supplies. The I/O ports are also on the flimsy side and lack quality control. Some users have also noticed a slight coloration in sound even when the pedal is powered off, which can be a deal breaker.
4. JHS Pedals Unicorn V2 Uni-Vibe/Vibrato
Behold! The “all analog, bulb-driven photocell modulation” pedal is called the Unicorn V2 Uni-Vibe.
The V2 is still relatively compact for a dual footswitch pedal, measuring 1.6” by 2.6” by 4.8”, making it a friendly-sized unit for most pedalboards. If you’re hoping to try the variations of a classic vibrato effect with the addition of some new age controls, you’ll surely get a kick out of this offering from JHS.
The pulsating tones this pedal can dish out will take you decades behind as you come to grips with the nostalgia of some familiar Pink Floyd Uni-Vibe guitar sounds. And with all its analog goodness, the tonality is warm and cozy, getting you unimaginably close to the classic sounds you crave.
- Volume & Speed
Starting from the right, the top row has a “Volume” knob which does what it’s supposed to and controls the volume of the effect, but that’s not all. Staying true to how a Uni-Vibe should sound, the pedal delivers some natural clipping when used with high-gain pickups. Next to it is the “Speed” control. You can choose how fast or slow you want the tempo of the modulation by rotating the knob. The blinking LED will adjust its speed according to how fast (clockwise) or slow (counterclockwise) the tempo value is set.
- Ratio & Depth
The second row has the “Ratio” knob. You can rotate this to choose between one of four options: quarter notes, dotted eighth, eighth, or triplets. The subdivisions make setting the tapping ratio precisely according to the required tempo easier. Finally, the “Depth” knob will help set the intensity of the vibrato effect. The intensity increases when you move the knob to the right.
Right in the middle of the pedal is the “Dry/Wet” switch. In the “Wet” setting, the pedal goes into full vibrato mode. In the “Dry” mode, the dry signal gets thrown in the mix along with the vibrato effect to give you that vintage 60’s style Uni-Vibe tone. In each mode, the control knobs can create several variations.
- Footswitches & Connectively
On this feature-rich pedal, you’ll find two footswitches. The left one activates the pedal and can also bypass the unit if needed. The switch on the right gives you access to the tap tempo feature. The nearby LED lights up to indicate the tempo that has been set. The top of the pedal has a 9V input flanked by quarter-inch jacks for the input and output. Also, on the pedal’s right is an expression/tap input. You can toggle between the two features by flipping a switch that can be found inside the pedal. In expression mode, an external unit can control the speed/rate of the modulation effect in real-time.
The search for the illusive all analog Uni-Vibe tone is over now that JHS has delivered the V2 Uni-Vibe pedal. You get the classic vibe and a modern representation of the vibrato, which works equally well for bass and electric guitar. Throw an expression pedal in the mix, and you have a total package.
The pedal adds a bit of coloring to the sound when switched on. With a tuned ear, you may also pick some shrilly top-end frequencies, especially when the unit starts to clip as the volume is turned up. In addition, while you can get by with single coils, the pedal will clip at some point if a bass is connected.
5. MXR Uni-Vibe Vibrato/Chorus M68
The M68 from MXR is a close competitor of the JHS Uni-Vibe pedal discussed earlier.
Much smaller than the original Uni-Vibe units from days past, this MXR pedal measures 2.5” by 4.5” by 5.5” and can be a valuable addition to your pedal collection. Innovative circuitry is hidden under the metallic exterior, giving the unit dual capabilities.
This little stompbox is a great space saver as it knocks off two pedals from your board. Once you start experimenting, you’ll realize that the unit can be used in Vibrato mode and has a Chorus effect too. The controls on board are enough to dial down the sound you need, regardless of the selected mode.
- The Modes
When the pedal operates in Chorus mode, you’ll hear a blend of the pitch-shifted signal and the original dry signal. However, in the Uni-Vibe mode, you’ll hear just the pitch-shifted sound as the dry signal will be eliminated. When using the pedal for the first time, a good starting point is to have all three knobs pointing up in the 12 o’clock position and make adjustments one at a time to familiarize yourself with which knob controls which aspect of the tone.
- Speed & Depth
If you want to control the sweep rate of the selected effect, the “Speed” knob is where you should start. When the knob is rotated to the right, the sweep rate increases. The “Depth” control decides how profound the effect is. In other words, the intensity of the effect can be increased when the knob is turned clockwise.
- Level & Vibe
The central knob is labeled “Level” and controls the volume of the selected effect. By default, the pedal runs in chorus mode. However, you’ll notice a “Vibe” button next to the knob controls on closer inspection. Pressing this will switch the pedal to Vibrato mode.
Quarter-inch jacks are found on both sides of the pedal. The right side has the input jack, while the left accommodates the output jack, which carries the signal to an amp. Powered by a 9V DC power supply (sold separately), the pedal can be juiced by a 9V battery which can be installed by removing the plate underneath the pedal.
You get two effects in one unit with this pedal in your setup. The usage is straightforward, and the controls on offer do a decent job of shaping your tone. In addition, the Uni-Vibe runs on 9V of power but can also be driven by a battery which adds to its portability. Finally, if you’re a Hendrix/Pink Floyd fan, you’ll find some accurate tones on the M68.
Although the M68 doesn’t sound bad and has some reasonably good chorus and vibrato representations, the pedal doesn’t get close to the vintage Uni-Vibe sounds it so boldly claims to deliver. Also, from the build quality point of you, the overall feel is cheap and flimsy.
6. Digitech Ventura Vibe Rotary
Digitech pedals are commonly found on guitar/bass players of all skill levels.
I, too, have fond memories of my Jam Man Looper, which has served me well in writing solo sections of tons of songs over the years. The newer pedals from the brand include some exciting effects, including whammy, distortions, overdrives, feedback, delay, and much more.
You can also find many guitar accessories like expression pedals and footswitches in Digitech’s arsenal. Another very intuitive effects unit is the Band Creator pedal which packs bass sounds and a plethora of drum patterns on which you can jam along and write songs.
- Effects Selector
A metallic switch on the very top of the user interface reveals how many different effect types you can access when you get your hands on the Ventura Vibe from Digitech. The “Vintage” setting delivers the classic Uni-Vibe sound with a wide range of vibrato. In the “Modern” mode, a much more modern and new-age vibrato effect is heard. Finally, when “Rotary” is selected, the pedal emulates the tones of a rotating Leslie cabinet.
- Drive + Tone
The controls on this pedal are nicely managed, given its small size. A concentric knob on the unit controls two different aspects of the selected effect. The inner knob shapes the “Tone,” thus making it bright or warm depending on the preference. The outer knob controls the “Drive” of the sound. When the knob is moved clockwise, you’ll hear more of an overdriven tone.
- Depth & Mix
As found on many effects pedals, the “Depth” knob sets the intensity of the selected tone. The higher the depth value, the more profound the result will be. In addition, with the “Mix” knob, you can set the wet and dry signal ratio. Increasing the mix enhances the wet signal while cutting back favors the dry signal more.
The aptly named speed knob changes the tempo or rate of change in whichever of the three voicings are selected. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. The speed of the modulation can also be altered in other ways on the Ventura Vibe. Pressing down on the footswitch and holding it will automatically cause the pedal to shift to the fastest speed for the selected effect. Once you let go, the pedal will return to the current setting. This comes in handy when you wish to put more emphasis on some but not all sections of what is being played.
The top of the pedal has an input for the power supply. Unfortunately, the Ventura Vibe isn’t battery-powered. The pedal has a couple of quarter-inch stereo inputs on the right side. Similarly, the right side has a pair of quarter-inch outputs, so you can connect a quarter-inch cable from the “Mono” output of the pedal to an amp input or send the output channel to two different amps and fully enjoy the vibrato/rotary effects.
Digitech has squeezed in three different effect voicings in a single pedal. The control layout is uncluttered, and the concentric knobs do an excellent job of shaping the tone of the sound. In addition, the temporary boost long pressing the footswitch provides is a very useful feature.
You specialist musicians will be able to gather that although the rotary effect is decent, it doesn’t come close to how a Leslie rotary amp should sound. Many users have similar issues with the Uni-Vibe sound on this pedal. It’s close, but better alternatives emulate the sound spot-on.
7. Jam Pedals Ripply Fall
The Ripply Fall from Jam Pedals is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing pedal on the list.
There was a time when the WaterFall and the Ripple were two of the most sought-after pedals from the brand. The Waterfall was a dual effects pedal that used BBD chips to produce immensely lush and silky-smooth Chorus and Vibrato-based sounds.
The Ripple, on the other hand, was a dual-stage phaser pedal with unique tonal characteristics that offered great transparency and sweet phase nuances. You’ll find the best of these pedals squished together in the Ripply Falls unit with a few additional features.
Starting from the WaterFall side, the right footswitch can be pressed to activate or bypass the section. This half of the pedal has a switch that can be flipped to toggle between Chorus and Vibrato. The other controls for the Chorus/Vibrato effects are “Speed” and “Depth.” The bright red speed knob controls the rate of the modulation. You can dial subtle to aggressive vibratos by varying the speed. The “Depth” knob controls the intensity of the effect or, in other words, the amount of wet signal on top of the dry one.
- Ripple & More Switches
On the left of the unit is the Ripple side. Activated by the dedicated left footswitch, this section offers unique phaser options. The Ripple section has its own “Speed” control for setting the desired rate of phase. In the unit’s center is the speed multiplier switch for the WaterFall pedal, but that’s not all. You’ll also find a switch here that helps toggle between the “+/-“modes. Here you can adjust the modulation by making it profound or less pronounced.
The pedal can be powered by a 9V power supply, which must be purchased separately. The power input can be found on the top of the unit. On the right side are two quarter-inch jacks. One is for input, and the other is to connect an expression pedal for varying the depth of the WaterFall effect. In addition, you’ll find a couple of quarter-inch outputs on the left of the unit. One serves as a standard output, while the other is another expression input for controlling the speed of the WaterFall via an external expression pedal.
Standing out on a dark background, the wonderful blue, red, and yellow neon fish graphic truly stands out. The LED lights are strategically placed to go well with the image, and the three-parameter knobs follow the same color scheme. The pedal measures 3.7” by 4.7” by 1.1”, which is not so bad considering the effects it adds to your board.
Talking about the pros, the Ripply Fall is a unique and versatile pedal that essentially gives you three different effects in a single unit. The unit will make you look at your bass guitar differently, as each effect sounds fantastic. At the same time, you get a truckload of knobs, switches, and helpful LEDs that help easily shape the tone.
Overall, the pedal delivers what it claims and does an excellent job. Perhaps the only negative point could be the placement of the speed-multiplying footswitch. Hitting it accurately without disturbing the surrounding controls might be challenging in a live setting.
8. TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato
Effects pedals and processors from TC Electronics are used worldwide by artists and musicians alike.
Having an impressive portfolio of pedals ranging from effects like distortion, delay, reverb, flanger, chorus, loopers, and a ton of others, the brand is endorsed by Bass players like Robert Trujillo, Roger Glover, Tom Hamilton, and guitarist legends, including Steve Vai, Scott Ian, Tony Iommi, and Jon Petrucci.
Speaking of Vibrato pedals, the company offers several options, for instance, the slightly basic Tailspin Vibrato and even the Shaker Vibrato’s mini version. However, the pedal discussed here trumps both thanks to more tone-shaping capabilities due to the controls on offer.
- Speed & Depth
“Speed” and “Depth” controls are commonly found in almost all Vibrato pedals. More often than not, the depth parameters adjust the intensity of the vibrato effect. Moving in a clockwise direction enhances the intensity. If we consider the vibrato effect a series of peaks and troughs, the speed control sets the time or interval between any two peaks.
- Rise Time & Tone
The “Rise Time” parameter takes things a step further and depends heavily on the intensity value set by the depth knob. Manipulating the rise time changes the time it takes for the vibrato to reach the intensity value set by this knob, regardless of where it’s set. The “Tone” knob sets the overall sound’s bright or dullness. Moving the control counterclockwise darkens the tone.
- Vibrato Type Switch
Apart from the four control knobs, a switch labeled “Vibrato Toneprint Latch” can be found on the interface. The switch can toggle between two different vibrato modes. Firstly, you use the pedal like any other and turn the vibrato effect on or off by pressing the footswitch. In the “Latch” setting, however, things happen a bit differently. The vibrato effect will be triggered and linger on until the user lets go of the footswitch.
The pedal measure around 5 inches by 3 inches by 4 inches and is flanked by quarter-inch jacks for the input (right) and output (left). Powered by 9V, the unit has a top-facing input port. Finally, next to the power input is a USB port plugging through which you can update the pedal’s firmware when required.
The latch feature is great if you want to emphasize certain sections of what you’re playing rather than applying vibrato to everything. The pedal is versatile and works equally well with Bass and Electric guitars. Finally, the unit has a true bypass, so your tone has no coloration when the pedal is off.
You’ll notice that this vibrato pedal will work exceptionally well with high-gain humbucker pickups. However, using an instrument with single coil pickups is where the Shaker Vibrato struggles to express itself effectively.
9. EarthQuaker Devices The Depths V2 Optical Vibe
Carrying forward the legacy of its predecessor, the Depths V2 is even more impressive.
While the internal mechanics are similar to the older model, you’ll find a few more goodies on the V2 thanks to the constant innovation and out-of-the-box thinking the company never shies away from. Getting close to that classic Hendrix style sound made famous by the iconic “Machine Gun” track can now be easily achieved.
This beautifully crafted pedal, with its emerald green appearance and classy octopus imagery, not only looks good but also has a comprehensive set of knob controls so you can shape every aspect of your tone to realize the unit’s full potential. Do you have a 6-string bass or an electric guitar on hand? The Depths V2 can take on everything you throw at it.
No beating around the bush here. The “Intensity” control does what it says. You’ll benefit immensely from turning the knob to the right if you want a more intense vibrato. In contrast, moving counterclockwise will surely do the trick if a more mellow vibrato sound is what you’re after.
The “Voice” knob on the Optical Vibe pedal does what the tone knob is expected to do on some other pedals. Acting like a mini equalizer, the tone can be played around with to cut or boost the available frequencies. If you want more highs, go clockwise. Stay in the center for mids and cut back to stimulate the bass frequencies.
- Rate & Level
The speed of the vibrato can be controlled by rotating the “Rate” knob. The pedal will go quickly from peak to peak when the knob is turned to the right. The speed of the vibrato slows down when the knob is turned in the opposite direction. The “Level” control adjusts the volume of the vibrato. However, there’s more. As you move past the noon position, the knob becomes a boost control.
The “Throb” knob is something that puts more focus on the lower end of the vibrato. The recommended setting for this parameter to shine through is activating the neck pickup. Furthermore, when the voice knob is turned down, the warmth combines with the throb value to create fascinating results.
- Appearance & Connectivity
The Optical Vibe pedal has top-mounted quarter-inch input/output jacks, in the center of which is the 9V to 18V DC power input. As in most cases, the power supply is sold separately. Finally, the pedal measures just 2.25” by 2.5” by 4.62” and can be easily accommodated on any average pedalboard.
Most vibrato pedals focus on the intensity and speed of the vibrato. The throb control on the Optical Vibe is a bit different in that it works impressively with the voice control to add a new dimension to your vibrato work.
The pedal is versatile and does a good job of delivering some impressive vibrato effects, but if you’re looking for that specific Uni-Vibe sound, perhaps you could look elsewhere. Also, the presence of a vibrato/chorus switch would have been something of an added advantage.
10. Boss VB-2W Vibrato
The VB-2W Vibrato pedal from Boss belongs to the Waza Craft series.
The pedals from this series are engineered to improve upon the regular series pedals from the brand. Contrary to some pedals that change the tone of your sound even when in bypass mode, the circuitry of Waza Craft units is much quieter and leaves the instrument’s tone unchanged.
The series includes pedals like the Blues Driver, Super Overdrive, Delay, Metal Zone, Chorus, Dimension C, a Chromatic Tuner, and the deep and dynamic Vibrato VB-2W, which we’ll be talking about today. Housing a BBD within its metallic confines, the Waza Craft vibrato sounds better than the original VB-2 unit.
- Rate & Rise Time
On the pedal are 4 knobs that control different aspects of the sound. The “Rate” knob sets the speed of the vibrato effect. Moving clockwise increases this modulation rate. The next knob controls the distance or time between the peaks of the vibrato effect. Hence the name “Rise Time.”
- I/Os & Footswitch
On the I/O side of things, you’ll only find a single quarter-inch input and output on the pedal, contrary to the stereo options seen on some of the pedals from Boss. The footswitch has a thumbscrew that can be loosened to open the battery compartment inside. A 9V battery can also power the VB-2W if a power supply isn’t available.
- Depth Knob & Expression Pedal
A common control seen on most pedals is the “Depth” knob. Increasing the depth value enhances the intensity of the vibrato. The higher the depth value, the more intense the vibrato effect. In addition, the pedal has a quarter-inch expression pedal input on the right side. The external pedal can be used to modify the depth of the effect when needed.
- Standard/Custom Switch
Found under the four knobs is a switch that can choose one of two options. The “S” option puts the pedal in the original VB-2 mode. Switching to the “C” mode activates the Waza Craft sound. Musicians with highly tuned ears will notice that a slightly different waveform is used for modulation in the custom mode, and the effect is much more dramatic. In addition, some low-end shaping gives way to a grander sound.
- Mode Switch
The pedal has three operating modes: “Latch,” “Bypass,” and “Unlatch” mode. In the latch mode, the unit works like any other pedal. Stepping on the pedal once activates the vibrato, and stepping on it a second time deactivates it. When the unlatch option is selected, the vibrato effect is active only till the pedal is pressed down and disappears when it’s released. Finally, the circuitry in the VB-2W is purely analog. The signal is still going through the bucket brigade (BBD) chip inside the unit in the latch and unlatch settings. However, in “Bypass” mode, the signal passes without going through the BBD chip.
The pedal has a lot to offer. You can channel the tonal characteristics of the more basic VB-2 pedal or shift the unit into Waza Craft mode. Other than that, there are three operating modes, out of which the unlatch feature has some practical applications. Finally, having the option of powering the unit through batteries is always handy.
For some users, the change in tone the VB-2W claims to offer compared to the original unit is a bit too subtle. In addition, while the pedal offers expression pedal connectivity, it would be a cool feature to somehow control the vibrato rate, too, rather than just the depth.
11. Keeley Electronics Vibrato/Chorus
This beautifully crafted seafoam pedal is very handy as it delivers multiple effects.
Not only that, but there are also various modes to choose from, making this a very versatile pedal. The smartly engineered dual-function knobs adjust their behavior according to the selected mode. This saves space and makes the user interface uncluttered and easy to navigate.
The pedal measures just 2” x 2.67” by 4.4” and take minimum real estate on your pedal board. The unit has a top-mounted power input and can be run on a 9V power supply (sold separately). Also found on the pedal are quarter-inch jacks on either side for input and output.
- Mode Selection
There are three modes to choose from in this little blue box. The first mode is “ADT,” which stands for Automatic Double Tracker. When activated, you hear a couple of slightly out-of-tune voices merged with the dry signal. The standard “Seafoam” mode, after which the pedal is named, delivers a modulated chorus created as the signal passes through the Bucket Brigade Delay circuit. Finally, the “Dual Chorus” mode allows different chorus representations of varying depths to cross over each other.
Starting from the left, the first knob on the interface controls two parameters. When in ADT mode, the tuning of the two voices can be varied through the “Tune” function of this knob. In Dual Chorus and Seafoam mode, the knob adjusts the rate of the chorus, which can be varied between a range of 0.1Hz to 7Hz.
Below this is the “Space” control. If the ADT mode is selected, the space knob adjusts the Abbey Chamber Reverb sounds. In the standard Seafoam mode, you can adjust the brightness or warmth of the tone through this control. Finally, the low band chorus’s depth can be changed in the Dual Chorus mode.
The delay time of the ADT mode’s detuned voices can be set up to almost 21ms through the “Delay/Time” control. In the Dual Chorus mode, the Depth knob controls the high band chorus’s depth. Finally, when Seafoam is selected, the knob controls the depth or intensity of the modulation effect.
The “Mix” control sets the ratio between the dry and wet signal regardless of which mode is selected. In the noon position, you’ll hear both signals equally in a perfect blend which is ideal for classic chorus sounds. Enhancing the wet signal adds more vibrato as the original signal is reduced considerably.
- Dip Switches
There’s a lot more to the Seafoam pedal than meets the eye. Directly placed within the internal circuitry are a couple of dip switches. The first switch toggles between guitar and bass mode, enabling you to use the custom EQ settings. There’s also a “Treble Cut” switch which cuts the noise, adds warmth in the upper position, and creates a full-bodied crispy chorus when the switch is flipped in the other direction.
Although deceptively small, the pedal has a lot to offer. You get three different modes, and the controls change according to the selected setting. Equally great for Bass or the Electric guitar, this tiny little unit will serve you well for years to come thanks to the sturdy build.
Although loaded with modes and adjustable parameters, the Seafoam Vibrato/Chorus lacks an expression input that could’ve completed the package giving the user the ability to change the rate and depth of the modulation at will.
12. Crazy Tube Circuits Killer V
Having this cool-looking pedal on your board will undoubtedly turn some heads.
Taking major inspiration from the amplifiers that emanated from the USA between the 50s and 60s, the Killer V is a promising effects pedal. The unit focuses on recreating pitch-wavering vibratos from the golden era of music and looks great doing it, thanks to the creative design of the interface.
Whether you use this one with clean tones or overdriven sounds, the pedal is more than equipped to handle whatever you throw at it. Furthermore, the internal circuitry can take Electric guitars and Basses well. With that said, the Killer V is worth trying when you visit your nearest guitar store.
- Volume & Master
There are a lot of fun controls on the Killer V that you won’t usually find on most vibrato pedals. For instance, the pedal features “Volume” and “Master” knobs. The volume knob controls the amount of gain. Rotating clockwise will add more gain to the signal. Finally, the master knob controls the level of output.
- Mode Switches
The user interfaces a couple of switches to toggle between different modes and settings. Both these switches are reminiscent of some of the classic amps in the 60s. The three-way switch to the left labeled “B/N/M” actually selects the preamp. The options you can choose here are bright, normal, and mellow. The witch on the right has to do with the relationship between the dry and wet signals. The options to choose from are “Wet” and “Dry/Wet.” The sound is 100% modulated in the wet setting, while in the second setting, the modulated and unmodulated signals are merged in parallel.
- EQ Controls
You’ll also find a two-band EQ on the Killer V. Through the “Bass” and “Treble” knobs, you can cut or boost the frequencies you wish. As is self-explanatory, the bass knob controls the lower frequency response while the treble control adjusts the higher frequencies.
- Depth & Speed
If you want to adjust the intensity of the modulation effect, the “Depth” knob comes into play. Turning the knob up add more warble to the vibrato sound, and cutting back on the parameter makes the modulation more subtle and mellow. Finally, the “Speed” control determines the rate of the modulation effect.
- Footswitches, I/O and Power
The “Vibrato” footswitch on the right side of the unit activates or deactivates the Low Filter Oscillator. On the left of the pedal is the “Bypass” switch. In case of a power surge, the pedal automatically switches to bypass to protect the Killer V from damage. The I/O quarter-inch jacks are top-mounted on the device, and so is the 9V power input.
In this, uniquely designed pedal are 6 customizable parameter control to get the most out of your sound. The switches on the board can change preamp settings and even manipulate the processing of the overall sound. Finally, playing with depth and speed controls can add character to the vibrato, especially when playing bass.
With so many options and a wealth of controls, it’s hard to find a chink in the armor of this metallic monster. A blend/mix knob would be a better way to manage the wet/dry switch. Also, an expression pedal could give the user more control over the modulation.
13. EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct Vibrato
This smartly crafted pedal is inspired by vintage vibrato effects from the 60s.
So here, would you put this pedal on your pedalboard? Typically, you would add the Aqueduct Vibrato between your distortions/overdrives and time-based effects. However, some of the more pronounced and warbly sounds are achieved by putting the vibrato at the end of your signal chain.
The size and simplicity of this three-knob pedal may deceive you. Upon closer inspection, however, you’ll see how diverse and comprehensive this unit is. The Aqueduct has a pair of parameter-changing knobs and a mode knob that helps select 8 different modes.
- Rate & Depth
The pedal has a Low-Frequency Oscillator, the speed of which can be selected using the “Rate” knob. Turning the knob to the right will increase the speed of the highs and lows in pitch. The “Depth” can be used to alter the intensity of the vibrato. You can make the vibrato sound mellower by turning the knob to the left.
- Modes: Sine & Triangle
Starting from the far left, you’ll find the “Sine” setting. This waveform has smooth edges with gradual peaks giving way to a softer and gentler vibrato. In “Triangle” mode, the waveform has sharper peaks and troughs. There is a sharp fall and rise in this case. You’ll hear more pitch bending in the setting.
- Modes: Ramp & Square
The “Ramp” setting is similar to the triangle wave. However, in this setting, you hear a sudden sonar peak and a gradual downward slope. You’ll notice slightly more sustain before the eventual release. In the “Square” mode, you’ll experience sharper corners and abrupt peaks and troughs, much like the shape. Nothing is smooth about this setting, but you can use it when playing trills on your stringed instruments.
- Modes: Random & Env D
The “Random” mode combines all the waveforms being jumbled up and randomly thrown at you. Using the depth knob in this setting creates exciting new flavors of vibrato. You’ll hear creepy warped sounds when the depth is kept low. Things get a bit muddier and more random when the depth value is increased. “Env D” refers to Envelope Controlled Depth. Env D selects a sine wave with an adjustable speed that can be changed using the rate control. The sensitivity of the envelope can be set through the pedal’s depth control. This is more like an auto-wah, as the modulation amount depends on the playing intensity or pick attack.
- Modes: Env R & Env P
The Envelop Controlled Rate or “Env R” setting works purely on the pick attack. The Low-Frequency oscillator’s intensity can be altered depending on how hard the strings are played. The rate and depth controls also come into play here, where the rate controls the envelope sensitivity, and the dept selects the intensity of the Low-Frequency Oscillator. The Envelop Controlled Pitch or “Env P” is like adding a tremolo bar to your instrument. Here the dynamics of the sound can be altered by the playing intensity. The waveform is set to sine.
The magical mode knob lets you choose from 4 different waveforms, a randomizer, and three varying envelop types that change in intensity based on the attack of the pick or the strength behind your finder picking. This gives way to impressive vibrato sounds, especially when playing slap-style bass.
The pedal has a bit of a latency issue. When you turn it on for an instant, there’s a lag in the signal, which can be manageable during a studio recording session but makes it tricky to use in a live setting. Also, the unlatch feature on the pedal is unreliable when you need just a slight flutter and take your foot off the pedal too soon.
Jam Pedals Delay Llama Xtreme
Here’s a pedal that uses three 3205 BBD chips to process the sound signal.
The unit is primarily designed to be a delay pedal hence the clever wordplay and matching theme on the interface. However, upon further exploration, one can find many modes on offer, one of which is the Vibrato effect, which makes the Delay Llama Xtreme appear on today’s list.
Measuring 5.9” x 4.88” by 2.2”, the versatile Delay Llama has four unique modes. These include the Vibrato feature, a “Tape-Age” delay, a “Random” mode, and finally, a “Pitch-Shift” setting. In each mode, the controls on the board adjust automatically to change different aspects.
- The Knobs
There are three knobs found on the interface that control various aspects of the Delay Llama pedal. The knob labeled “T” sets the delay time of the chosen effect. The number of repetitions can be set using the “R” control. Finally, the “L” knob is like a mix control and sets the amount of wet signal vs. the dry signal.
Below the three knob controls are three switches, each of which controls a different function. Activating the “TRLS” switch puts the pedal in trails mode. Next is the “KD,” or kill dry mode, which eliminates the dry signal. Finally, the last switch sets the tempo subdivisions. The options include eighth, quarter, and dotted eighth tempos.
The pedal also has three footswitches. The one on the extreme left turns the pedal on. On the far right is a dual-function switch that has the tap tempo feature and performs a hold function when long-pressed. The footswitch in the middle, when long pressed, shifts the pedal to extreme mode. A soft black button must now be pressed while tapping the tap switch to cycle through the four available modes.
When the single LED is on, the pedal is in “Vibrato” mode. The modulation can be adjusted by pressing the black button and rotating the R and L knobs. Increasing the R-value intensifies the vibrato. At the far right, you’ll notice the most amount of warbling and pitch shifting. In addition, turning the L knob counterclockwise increases the speed of the vibrato effect.
When the first two LEDs are lit, the pedal moves to “Tape-Age” mode, taking a page out of the classic tape delay machines. This mode tries to emulate different tape ages. In this mode, only the L knob applies. Recreating the behavior of old tape machines, turning the knob clockwise randomly increases the deviation in pitch.
When the first three LEDs light up, you are now in “Random” mode. This model has no controls to adjust what it does, as all the sounds you hear are randomly produced. However, setting the delay time in the millisecond range produces some interesting effects. Nonetheless, this mode is an acquired taste.
When in “Pitch-Shift” mode, all four LEDs light up. The R and L controls now come into play. Pressing the softback switch and turning the R knob will select the interval. There are 5 pitch-shifted intervals to choose from. Combining the L control with the black button will set the playback pattern. Here again, there are five patterns that can be selected.
- Inputs and Outputs
On the left of the pedal are three-quarter-inch jacks. The first one, labeled “DT,” is where you can plug in an expression pedal and control the delay time. The second one, marked “PS,” accepts remote signals to activate or deactivate different functions from external controllers. The third “Tap” input is where a tap tempo can be set through a controller. The input and output ports are top-mounted, where you can also find the 9V power input.
One of the most versatile pedals on the market, it is easy to see why the Delay Llama Extreme is the best-selling pedal from Jam Pedals. The unit boasts 4 Xtreme modes that give you subtle to intensely mind-boggling modulations. The controls are programmed to respond to each mode for dialing in the preferred sound.
Truly feature-rich, this one is a monster. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to get lost in the plethora of options on the unit. Someone who prefers a more basic, easy-to-use unit may be inclined towards looking elsewhere.
After going through today’s list, you’ve understood what each pedal offers. We’ve talked in detail about the specs and features and have given you a good sense of the positives and negatives of each pedal.
If affordability is what you’re after and you don’t mind the not-so-rugged exterior, the Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV-300 is a no-brainer. Indeed if you’re looking for a simple unit that isn’t too complicated in its layout or the way the tonal characteristics are shaped, you can select Walrus Audio’s Julia, JHS Unicorn V2, or the MXR Uni-Vibe.
On the contrary, for those who prefer detailed interfaces and look for multiple modes and settings in a pedal, the Crazy Tube Circuits Killer V, Earth Quaker Devices Aqueduct, and both Jam Pedal units can be ideal. The Joyo R-09 is a full-fledged dual modulation unit that features a detailed vibrato effect among truckloads of other variations.
Sultan Zafar is a guitar player from Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been playing music with various mainstream musicians for over 20 years. He is a song writer and music producer. These days he spends his time exploring different music genres and collaborating with fellow musicians on various projects. Read more..