When choosing to incorporate the vibrato pedal into your rig, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for. Some things to consider are features, sounds, and even size. Read more and allow some of the best vibrato pedals to introduce themselves to you.
Overview (Best Vibrato Pedals)
There has never been a much more perfect time to learn playing the electric guitar.
The reason why we say this is there are now hundreds of ways to enjoy the said instrument.
You have different guitar innovations, amplifiers that are filled with features, and yes. You guessed it right. Pedals.
Effects pedals have always had their own unique way of inspiring players all over the world. Whether it be a simple overdrive, a gritty distortion, a spacey reverb or a chime-y delay, they always help add a certain character to our tone.
Each of us has our own unique approach to playing the guitar. We all have different musical influences, and these factors can help affect our choice of pedals.
You may be into metal, in which case you are going to opt for high-gain distortions to help you achieve that chugging tone. You may also be into country, in which gain low to medium-gain overdrives can be your thing. You can even be into ambient music, in which case delays and reverb are your best friends.
Because of these multiple factors, it can often be daunting and overwhelming picking out which pedals to opt for. This can even be more true if you’re only just starting out!
But fear not.
Luckily for most of us, there are a lot of reviews, demos, and blogs which we can all find useful when deciding which ones to try out.
Since there are a lot of different effects pedals and pedal types, it’s important to narrow down which of these effects you want to check out first.
Of course, it’s only normal to start off with your usual types – overdrives, distortions, reverbs, delays, all that good stuff.
But who knows? Vibrato may also be the thing for you!
Let’s take a better glance at what vibrato can do for your guitar sound, and what are some of the best options available out there today.
I don’t know about you, but I really like it when a vibrato pedal produces a lush tone that just sits in the mix, without it really being in your face.
Let’s get right into it!
What is Vibrato & How Does It Work?
A lot of guitar players confuse a vibrato with a chorus and a tremolo.
Equipboard was able to label it precisely how we envisioned it, and here’s how they put it:
Vibrato – pitch modulation
Tremolo – volume modulations
Chorus – a vibrato signal that is mixed with the original signal from our sound
Pretty simple to understand, right?
However, if you actually hear them in a live setup or in a recorded song, things can get a bit confusing.
A vibrato’s sound can be described as the same as a string being bent in continuous motion.
Imagine hearing a singer belt out high notes. At the end of each run or not, he or she varies the pitch, creating a sort of moving and “flowing” note sustain.
This was a seemingly interesting aspect for guitar players and manufacturers, which is why they opted to place the effect in a stompbox form!
You can use a vibrato if you want to add life and texture to your dry signal. You can experiment with a plethora of tones, and you can even keep it as an always-on type of effect on your chain. If you’re looking to add a certain richness to your tone, then a vibrato can be just the thing you are looking for.
Vibrato pedals can be very straightforward, but there are some companies that provide a bunch of other options for your pedal as well. This is why it’s important to know what you’ll need first.
Your playing style and skill level all play important roles when deciding to purchase a pedal. You need to figure out first how often you will be utilizing this sound.
Next up is sound quality. It helps to watch a couple of videos and demos before pulling the trigger and purchasing.
The included features is also one thing you must always look into. There are a variety of vibratos out there that also come with other effects, like a chorus! If you’re also interested in incorporating that sound to your pedalboard, then you can opt for these two-in-one sorts of effects units.
Another thing would be your budget. It helps to spend within your means, and know which aspects and parameters you can compromise on.
Lastly, pedalboard size is a major consideration. If you already have a build and you have little space available, then opt for a mini-sized vibrato that suits your playing style and needs.
Where Does It Go In The Signal Chain?
Since this can be considered a modulation pedal, the wisest choice would be to put it after your filters and drives, and before your delays and reverbs. This is to help you obtain the maximum tonal characteristic of the vibrato without having its sound affected.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best vibratos available out there on the market today!
BOSS VB-2W Waza Craft
Of course. What better way to start off a top something pedal list than with the BOSS, right?
Since 1982, BOSS debuted the VB-2, and it took the world by storm. Because it was hard to get a hold of one before, BOSS released a Waza version of the VB-2. This made the classic tones of the VB-2 available to a lot of modern guitarists today.
It boasts Rate, Depth, Rise Time, and a Mode knob where all of the magic happens.
Mode offers Latch, Bypass, and Unlatch features, which is responsible for creating some of the tones that make the VB-2W sought after.
Just like the original VB-2, the Vibrato Waza Craft houses the same all-analog circuit. To top it all off, it’s made by BOSS. This means you can rely on this beast night in and night out thanks to its durable construction!
TC Electronic Shaker
From the company that brought you the Corona Chorus, the Flashback Delay, and the Hall of Fame Reverb, T.C. Electronic has another trick up their sleeves!
The Shaker is another one of those T.C. Electronic units that incorporates their renowned TonePrint technology – a feature that allows the player to load effects into the pedal via an app and Bluetooth connection! Pretty genius, right?
It can be controlled using four dedicated knobs – Speed, Rise Time, Depth, and Tone. Each of these parameters helps you control certain aspects such as time between peaks of the effect, the intensity of the vibrato, and even the equalizer settings of the effect itself.
If you’re looking for a versatile offering, the Shaker is something you can consider adding to your rig.
MXR M68 Uni-Vibe
Another renowned name famous for giving us the Phase 90, the Carbon Copy, and the Distortion +!
The Uni-Vibe is an analog vibrato offering from MXR that sports three simple control knobs – Level, Speed, and Depth. You can also choose between two effects – classic vibrato or chorus.
Tweak the Depth knob and you control the overall intensity of the vibrato. If you’re into adjusting the sweep rate of the effect, mess around with the speed knob a bit. Lastly, the Level knob helps you control the overall output volume of the pedal.
It’s also housed in a rugged, classic enclosure, making it gig friendly.
Behringer UV-300 Ultra Vibrato
Yep. I hear you. Finally. A budget-friendly offering!
Behringer has been around long enough for us to know that they provide quality sounding pedals at a fairly affordable price. With the UV-300, they manage to stick to that perception.
At a glance, you’ll immediately notice the similar controls and functions of the knobs onboard the Ultra Vibrato. Yep. It’s the same as the VB-2!
It’s popular among musicians thanks to its classic vibrato tones from the ’60s and ’70s.
While it does look and sound good, its hard plastic enclosure is still the downside for most users. Great value for money though!
Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl Chorus/Vibrato
We know we’re only talking about vibratos. But that didn’t stop Chase Bliss Audio from making one of the most versatile chorus/vibrato pedals available out there today.
The Warped Vinyl takes pride in providing a plethora of tone-shaping options to the guitar player. While it can seem to be intimidating at first, it actually is pretty simple to understand once you get the hang of it.
In total, here are the controls of the Warped Vinyl (and some of their functions):
• Ramp Knob – responsible for the ramp time for a variety of parameters
• Volume Knob – controls the level or output
• Mix Knob – responsible for controlling your wet/dry signal
• RPM Knob – dedicated control for the rate of the vibrato
• Depth Knob – dedicated control for pitch variation
• Warp Knob – responsible for controlling the modulation
Aside from all of these controls, the Warped Vinyl also comes with three toggle switches, giving you extra options for tempo selection and LFO Wave preferences. It also houses 10 presets, all of which are controlled via a lower toggle switch.
Yep. This thing is definitely packed.
BBE Mind Bender Vibrato/Chorus
Completing our roundup is another affordable variant, this time from the minds behind BBE.
The Mind Bender Vibrato/Chorus sports a simple yet equally functional design and control layout. It only comes with two simple control knobs – one for speed and one for depth.
Aside from some classic vibrato tones, you also get some creamy chorus tones along with the option to switch between the effects with ease. It’s analog sound paired with a pretty good price point is what makes the Mind Bender shine.
Exploring different types of effects and sounds is always fun. It helps keep you inspired and motivated to try out other things that may improve your skills and try out different styles out of your comfort zone.
Vibratos – just like any other pedal out there – should spark creativity in you as a player. Have fun and don’t forget to play your heart out in case you get to try one!